Custom pages allow you to create the design and message you need to communicate well. Building a custom page in Cause Machine is built around the foundations of Blocks and Sections in Column layouts. This article is designed to help you better understand each of these features for building any of your custom pages.
The foundation of your page design are the Blocks. You have a series of Blocks to choose from that we see most commonly used and needed for custom page design. These are as follows:
- Text Block - the text block is an area where you can add text by using the editor provided.
- Text Expand Block - this block allows you to have an area of text on your site where you have a few introductory sentences and then the user has to "click to view more". These are nice to use when you have longer text and don't want to busy-up your page with longer text (while still having SEO value for the text present on your site).
- Image Block - the image block allows you to load in an image (either of your own or from the integrated Unsplash directory).
- Button Block - this block is for a button that links to another page on the site, external links, downloads, or Lead Generator access
- Video Block - this block allows you to enter a URL for a YouTube or Vimeo video
- Gallery - this gives you a tool to create a grid layout or a slideshow for images
- Carousel - this is what we traditionally know as the header image on a website where you have an image with some text on top. This block allows you to edit the main image, text, and button actions. You can set one or multiple slider images here.
- Line Block - this allows you a clean separation on a page when needing to break text
- Map Block - this allows you a tool to notate a geographic location on a map
- Contact Form Block - this block allows you a tool to add a contact form on a page with the tools for where the completed form is sent once completed.
- Code Block - here you can add HTML code from other sites for things like a Facebook or Twitter feed, embedded form, and much more.
- Newsletter Block - this block allows you a tool to allow people to sign up for your newsletter directly from a custom page.
- Container Block - this block gives you an area to drop in other block and keep them in a designated area. This is useful when you want to have a color or image background or to have a video background behind a number of single items.
- Search - Cause Machine has a powerful search tool built into the platform. This allows you to add the search into a specific area of a custom page (and restrict where the search will focus such as only content or only jobs).
The layouts selector allows you the ability to choose two, three, or four column views. The system by default has a single column layout on a page that can be divided into additional columns. You can also stack columns within a column. For example, your page may have two major columns and then you add a three column in the right column of your major layout. Columns will arrange themselves with left priority when viewing in a mobile device (responsive view).
Cause Machine also has blocks for standard site content to help you populate your pages automatically. These are as follows:
- Content Block - this block brings in specific content from your community and provides a simple snapshot of what's new or certain areas of content. This is good when wanting to display a few pieces of new or featured content.
- Feed Block - this block captures what's new in your community with a running feed of new content, comments, and other activity. This is good to use for showing general activity and what's new in your community.
- Recent Comments Block - this block captures and aggregates all recent comments from all content from your community. This is good to show user activity in your community.
- Upcoming Events Block - this block aggregates and provides a list of upcoming events in your community.
- Featured Event Block- this block brings to live a presentation of a single featured upcoming event.
- Membership Block - this block provides a call to action (CTA) and button for becoming a member of your community.
- Interest Stats Block - this is one of the most powerful blocks offered. Here you can help your members quickly see all of the content relevant to their interest.
The Sections tab is a pre-designed collection of Blocks designed in such a way for the most common page designs to help you more quickly design and create a page. Drag and drop an entire section into your page to speed up the process of your page design.
A few other points
- Cloning a page - remember you can always clone a page once you have created a custom page to help save you time on re-creating the page.
- Page Restriction - you can restrict a page to be viewable to everyone or to only members. If you choose members, then you can choose to make a page visible to only a certain membership tier.