Understanding the Block Layout page

Using your admin panel, navigate to Structure > Block layout.

At first glance, the page can be a little overwhelming with everything that is already listed, so let's break it down and look at what is included on the page.

Block Column

  • Divided into block regions that correspond to the regions defined by the SiteFarm theme template.
  • Location where you will attach your custom blocks after they're created

Category Column

  • A descriptor of the type of block attached in this row

Region Column

  • If you attach a custom block directly on this page, you have the option to choose a region or modify an existing region assignment by using the drop-down menu. If you select a new region for an already attached block, the block will relocate itself to its new region in the list and update its physical display on the attached page(s).

Operations Column

  • The button in this column gives you the option to configure the corresponding block's settings, delete the block, or disable it but leave it in place. If you choose to delete, it only deletes the block from the Block Layout list; it does not delete the block completely from your site.
  • If you choose to configure a custom block, it will take you to the screen you used to create that block and its options. If you configure a system block (core, views, help, system, menus, lists) it will take you to the appropriate configuration screen. 
  • The configure button will also give you options for setting your block's visibility to determine where your block will be displayed.
  • If you choose to disable the block, the block name will be appended with (disabled) in the list and it will remain available in case you wish to use it again. Simply click the Enable button under the Operations column.

Naming conventions

You can name your blocks how you choose, but giving thought to a long-term naming convention may help you stay organized as your site and its blocks grow larger. Since you have one master list of all the blocks being used in your site, you may want to think about keywords or acronyms to spot blocks you want to work with more easily.

Suggestions:

  • Acronym by block type: MH-H Title of block here - for a marketing highlight - horizontal block
  • Association by topic: News - Professor X spotlight - for a basic block used by three different pages

Order matters - how to re-order your blocks

In addition to the consideration of naming, you'll also discover that as you attach blocks, they'll usually fall to the bottom of the region's list. The system will view the block's location as the desired one and show that block last in the region of whatever pages to which the block has been assigned.

Reordering your blocks is a simple as click-dragging the pull handle icon to the left of the block name and changing its position before releasing the mouse button. You'll notice an asterisk will appear at the end of the block name; this is to alert you that there are unsaved changes in your list. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Save Blocks when you've completed your work.

Disable - don't delete

You may decide that you don't need some of the blocks that came with your site by default. Or, perhaps you're not using some of your custom blocks anymore. We strongly recommend moving them into the Disabled section as opposed to deleting them. Why? Two reasons. First, your Site Revision option may still need these blocks if you ever roll your content back to an earlier save point, and second, you may find a purpose for a system block that previously you never used before.

To disable a block:

  1. Click the downward arrow next to the corresponding Configure button under the Operations column. Select the Disable option.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of your page and click Save to finish.

Tags