Blog is a reliable marketing tool that not only attracts more visitors, but also increases sales and improves SEO. Therefore, adding a blog to a Magento website is always a good idea. And today, we will draw your attention to the AheadWorks Blog extension that is available for both Magento 2 and Magento 1. By installing this module, you will get a content editor with all necessary writing/design tools, a bunch of SEO improvements (SEO-friendly URLs, XML sitemap, meta data), user-friendly content navigation on the basis of categories, tags, and sidebar blocks, and DISQUS integration for more efficient comment management.
AheadWorks Blog for Magento 2 and 1 lets you customize such parameters as the number of posts per page, post previews, sidebar composition, etc. As for the aforementioned Disqus integration, it requires your blog to be connected to Disqus service, but you will get advanced comment management features. And when it comes to post creation, AheadWorks Blog offers WYSIWYG editor, so you can easily provide your readers with stunning content.
The extension is available under Content -> Blog by AheadWorks.
All posts are gathered in a customizable grid. You can rearrange the order of columns as well as hide some of them (use Columns dropdown menu). Besides, there are 5 filters available for rapid content search. As for available columns, they are:
- Title (title of a post);
- Status (post status: draft, published, etc);
- Publish Date (date and time when post was published);
- Published Comments (quantity of published comments);
- New Comments (quantity of new comments);
- Categories (one or several categories where post is available);
- Tags (tags of each post);
- Store View (store views where post is available);
- Author (author of post);
- Last Modified (date and time of last modification);
- Created At (date and time post was created).
To create a new post, you should specify its title, URL-key, and content. Alternatively, you can add a short contend, but both fields can be edited with the help of WYSIWYG editor. Note that you can hide the editor.
Then, specify meta description. 150-160 characters is a recommended length.
Choose categories and add tags.
Note that you can schedule each post.
The same options are available when you edit each post.
As for categories, they are gathered in a grid as well. You can apply filters for each column, rearrange columns order, and arrange everything in alphabetical/ascending/descending order. Available columns are:
- Category Name;
- Status (Enabled or Disabled);
- Store View;
- Sort Order.
While creating a new category, you only have to specify its name, URL-key, status, sort order, and meta description. Each Edit Category page has the same options.
Disqus tutorial and comment management how-to are available here:
It is also necessary to describe AheadWorks Blog general settings. The configuration screen is divided into 3 sections: General, Sidebar, and SEO.
In General, you specify a route to your blog (yourdomain.com/routetoblog/), its title and the number of posts per page; choose where to display sharing buttons; set Disquis Forum Code and Secret Key.
The Sidebar section lets you specify the number of recent posts and the most popular tags to be displayed, decide whether to highlight popular tags or not, and choose a CMS block for your sidebar (the feature can be disabled).
In SEO settings you can only specify blog meta description. Note that its recommended max length is 156 characters.
Hover over Blog by aheadWorks, and you will see available categories.
The sidebar display recent posts and most popular tags. No CMS blocks are available (just like it is specified in general settings).
Each post on the main or category pages has the following elements: date when it was published, number of comments, social buttons, short content, and category it is posted in.
The same elements are available in each post.
Besides, there are tags, social buttons, categories and a Disqus section available below.
- Relevant blog posts and related products. The module allows Magento admins to create related product blocks on blog pages and vice versa. In the first case customers can easily rich additional information on the viewed extensions from blog posts, while in the second case they can promote purchases right on blog pages.
- Blog Migration Tool. The module has its own migration service that makes the transition process from a Magento 1 to Magetno more simple due to the use of Aheadworks Blog Migration Distributive.
- Recent Blog Posts widget added to sidebars
As you can see, AheadWorks offers a simple but yet powerful blog that will become a great addition for every Magento website. Note that the Magento 1 and Magento 2 extensions have different price tags. For instance, you can purchase Blog by AheadWorks for Magento 1 for just $49, but this price does not include installation, and you get only 90 days of support. If you are a Magento 2 user, then get ready to spend $349, but for this money you will get free installation, 180 days of support and personal account manager. And if you already use M1 extensions by AheadWorks, you can get a 50% discount!