Using Percussion's blog capabilities, you can easily create a blog with the ability to have multiple content contributors. Percussion's blog capability is comprised of pre-configured content types and auto-lists.  The advantage of managing your blog in your CMS (versus a dedicated blogging tool) is that you can have a more consistent design experience, out-of-the-box workflow capabilities, a reusable content library, and single editing experience for content contributors. Setting a blog up can be done rapidly and consists of the following steps:

  • Design Blog Templates
  • Set up Blog Definition
  • Create Blog Posts

Design Blog Templates

To create a Blog in Percussion, you need to create two different templates -- a Blog Post template and a Blog List template.  A Blog List displays a summary of blog posts sorted in reverse chronological order.  A Blog Post is a single blog entry.

Before you begin designing your blog templates, you will need to make certain decisions in order to coordinate settings across the two templates:

1. Will you have user comments on your blogs?  If so, will you use Percussion's blog service or a third party such as Disqus? 

2. Will you use tags and/or categories to organize blog topics?  If you intend to use categories, you must configure them them first. See Managing Tags and Categories for more information on using this feature.

Create Blog Templates

Create your blog templates as described in the topic Defining Template Content. A Blog Post template must have a Blog Post widget.  If you intend to use Percussion's comment moderation feature, you will also need to add a Comment widget to the Blog Post template as well.  A Blog List template must have a Blog List widget.

Blog widgets allows you to enable or disable the display of several fields. To configure the content displayed:

  1. Open the template
  2. On the Layout tab, click the Configure button on the Blog post or Blog list widget
  3. Expand the Properties section and make edits as desired. 

There are a couple of fields of note:

  • If you are not using Percussion's comment moderation feature, then disable the comments field even if you are using a third party such as Disqus. 
  • If you do not intend to configure Categories, disable that field. 
  • Make sure that your configuration between your Blog List and Blog Post is synchronized and uses consistent terminology

Blog Lists provide RSS capabilities. For more detail on Percussion's RSS feed feature, see Creating and Using RSS Feeds

Create Blog Definition

Creating a blog is done through a wizard on the Percussion Dashboard.  The blog will be inserted into your navigation hierarchy. Once the blog is created you can manage the location of the blog in the same way you manage your site navigation.  

  1. Add the Blog gadget to your Dashboard, drag it onto your Dashboard.
  2. On the Blog gadget, click the create new blog button.
  3. Select where the blog will be located in the site navigation hierarchy
  4. In Blog link text, enter the text that you want to appear in links to the blog in the site navigation.
  5. Modify the Blog Name as desired. This field controls how the blog directory will appear in the URL.
  6. On the second page of the New Blog wizard, select the templates you created for the Blog Post and Blog List.
  7. Click Finish.

Create Blog Posts

Now that your blog has been designed and created, you can begin to create blog posts. There are two main ways to create blog posts -- through the Blog gadget on the Dashboard and through the Home page. 

Creating Blog Posts through the Gadget

  1. Access the Blog gadget on the Dashboard. The blog name now appears in the Blogs gadget. 
  2. Click the down arrow next to the blog name and choose View Posts.
  3. Click the Create New Post button.
  4. Enter the Post Title and Post Name. The post name is the URL of the page. 
  5. Click Save.

This opens an empty blog post page. Once you have created and saved your blog post, you can preview the Blog List page to see how it is dynamically updated as new posts are created. 

Creating Blog Posts through the Home page

  1. On the Contributor Home, click the Add New button.
  2. Enter the Blog Post Title and Blog Post File Name. 
  3. Click Next. 

This opens an empty blog post page. Once you have created and saved your blog post, you can preview the Blog List page to see how it is dynamically updated as new posts are created. 

Additional Blog Considerations

In the Percussion CMS, a Blog is simply a type of Page. If you want to create a Blog without having it in your central navigation or if you wish to organize blog posts into specific sub-directories, you can do this by creating your Blog List page using a page auto-list. (See Creating a Page Auto-List).  Blog Posts can then be created by creating pages using templates that have a Blog Post widget.  In this case you would not use the Blog Gadget on the Dashboard to create blog posts, nor would you see the "Blog Post" option in the Home page Add Wizard.  Instead, you would simply add pages using the appropriate template.