Knowledgebase: SocialCommerce

How do I use the Blog feature?

 

Shift4Shop's built-in blog feature allows you to create a blog within your store with just a few clicks.

This article contains the following sections. Please click on a link below to be taken to its respective topic.


Enable the Blog Module

To use your blog, you will need to enable the Blog Module in your store.

Note
Your Shift4Shop store already should have the Blog module enabled by default. The following steps are to be followed only if you have previously disabled it.

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Admin
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Modules
  3. On the modules page, use the top search bar and type in "Blog"
  4. When the module appears, place a mark in the "Enable" checkbox
  5. Click "Save" at the top right

Once the module is enabled, you will find a Blog menu by going to Content >Blog in your admin.


Configure Blog Settings

Now you will need to configure your blog settings that control your blog's presentation

  1. Go to Content >Blog
  2. Look along the top right of the page and click on the "Blog Settings" button

You will have access to the following options:

Display Features

These are general settings for the general presentation of the blog page.

  • Hide Archives
    Use this setting to remove linking to your archived blog posts.
  • Hide Categories
    If you do not want to use or have links to your blog categories, mark this checkbox
  • Hide Recent Posts
    This will remove the "Recent Posts" link
  • Prev/Next Navigation
    Marking this checkbox will enable a previous and next link on each article to allow visitors to navigate prooperly between posts.

Note
With the Previous/Next buttons, be aware that the blog is set to display posts in a reverse chronological order - meaning that the newest post will be displayed at the top of your articles list with older posts displayed after it in reverse order.

In other words, let's say you have three articles posted. They will be listed in this order:

  • Post #3 (at top)
  • Post #2
  • Post #1 (at bottom)

Because of this ordering, the "previous" link will actually point to a newer article while the "next" link will point to older posts. If you'd like, the labeling of the links can be changed in your Store Language section (Settings >Design >Store Language).

  • No of Posts on Blog Home
    Controls the amount of postings listed on the blog's home page
    (Limited to 25)
  • No of Recent Posts
    Use this to configure the amount of recent posts which will be displayed.
  • Blog Frame Template
    By default, the default frame will be used, but you can upload your own frame template to be used specifically for the blog.

Comments

These settings will let you configure the blog articles' Comments section.

  • Built-in Comments
    Use the built-in comments functionality.
    Selecting this option will then give you access to the following checkboxes:
  • Auto-Approve Comments
    Will automatically approve all comments to your blog articles so that they are visible instantly (without moderation)
  • Enable CAPTCHA for Comments
    This will add CAPTCHA requirement for comments.
  • Enable Comment Replies
    Marking this checkbox will add the ability for comments to be replied to similar to a discussion.
  • Use Disqus Comments
    Use Disqus as the comment feature instead of Shift4Shop's built-in comments.
    If enabled, you will be prompted to sign up for (or enter) your Disqus account information. You will also not see the settings mentioned above for the Built-in Comments function.
  • Disqus Shortname
    Enter your Disqus Shortname to link the blog's comments with your proper disqus site profile.

Homepage Blogs

These settings allow you to display blog article posts on your store's homepage

  • Show Blog Posts on Homepage
    Mark this checkbox if you'd like to have the blog articles displayed on your homepage.
  • No of Blog Posts on Homepage
    Specify the number of blog articles shown on your home page. only the most recent articles will be shown and these will be shown in a grid like pattern.

Blog Email Subscriptions

(Available for Plus plan merchants and higher) This section will let your users subscribe to your blog articles. As a new article is posted, the subscribers will get an email with the content of each article.

  • Allow Blog Subscriptions
    Mark this checkbox to enable the Blog Subscription function.
  • Total Subscriptions: # - Manage Subscribers
    Here you will see the total number of subscribers you have.
    You can then use the "Manage Subscribers" link to view and remove email addresses from the subscribers list.
  • Email Subscription Template
    This section (which appears after enabling the "Allow Blog Subscriptions" option) will then let you edit the template that is used to send the email to the subscribers. Along with editing the message and the email's "From" information, you can also edit and include dynamic variables into the subject line of the email.

Banners

This area will let you control the banner design for your blog pages.

  • Top Navigation Banner
    This will be the header of your blog's navigation banner. You can use regular text or HTML coding through the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Bottom Navigation Banner
    This will be the footer of your blog's navigation banner. You can use regular text or HTML coding through the WYSIWYG editor.

Using Blog Categories

You can also create specific categories for your blog postings if you'd like. For example, instead of one huge blog for all aspects of your store, you can have a category specifically for postings about your new releases or upcoming specials while also having a separate category for general news items. The implementation is entirely up to you.

To set up your categories:

  1. Go to Content >Blog
  2. Look along the top right of the page and click on the "Blog Categories" button
  3. Click "+Add New" to add a new category
  4. Name the Category and click on its "Add" button to add it.
  5. Click Save Changes to implement your updates

Creating Blog Articles

Your blog articles will be your individual posts.

To post an article:

  1. Go to Content >Blog
  2. Click the "Add New" button found towards the top right

You will have the following sections available to create your article:

Article Information

  • Article Name
    The name/heading of the article
  • Post Author
    The name of the article's writer
  • Post Date
    The date the article will appear

Tip
If you set the article's post date to a future date, the article will not display until that day! You can use this function to write out articles far in advance and have them appear on their respective dates.

  • Draft Mode
    If marked, this checkbox will place the article into draft mode and not allow it to appear on the store front. When you are ready to post the article, remove it from Draft Mode by unmarking this checkbox and saving.

Categories

Your blog categories will be listed in this section. Simply place a mark in the checkbox of the category (or categories) you'd like to have the article appear in.

SEO Title & Meta tags

This section will contain SEO options for the article.

  • Title
    Enter the SEO page title of the article.
  • Custom File Name
    Enter the custom file name for the article
  • Meta Tags
    Enter any meta tags (or use the Tag Wizard) to add the page's meta data.

Article Content

This section will allow you to create the blog article's content using the HTML Page Editor.

Editing Blog Articles

To edit an existing Blog article:

  1. Go to Content >Blog
  2. Click the title of the article you would like to change

From this page, you will have the ability to change the article's short and long content as well as edit its name, post date, author, and post image. You can also take the article out of draft mode by unchecking the "Yes" checkbox under "Draft Mode." The article will not display on your store front if it is in draft mode.

Finally, along the top right of the page you will see a series of buttons that will let you further refine the post. These are:

  • Tag Products
    Allows you to tag specific products from your store to be added to the blog post.
    Tagged items will display as thumbnail listings beneath the article.
  • Preview Post
    Allows you to preview the post.
    This will work whether the article is in draft mode or not

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