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Guides

Welcome

  1. Invision Community

    Everyone here at Invision Power Services, Inc., (IPS), the company that makes Invision Community, is happy you have chosen our system to power your Community! We are very proud of what we do and enjoy helping our clients grow their Community. Let's first go over general terms and concepts in Invision Community. General Terms No one wants to read a glossary of terms so we will keep this short but it's important to know what we are talking about when we use a term or abbreviation. AdminCP/ACP = Administration Control Panel which is the backend control area of your Suite Member = Any user account in the system Member Group = Control permissions and settings for members assigned to that group. All members are part of one or more member groups. Guest = Someone who is browsing your community but is not logged in Admin = A member who is in a group or otherwise has permission to access the AdminCP Moderator = A member who has permission to perform any sort of control over other member's posts on the front end Permissions = Throughout the Suite you will see permission options and be presented with a huge selection of checkboxes: Permission Matrix These permission checkboxes define what each member group can see or do within the area of the Suite you are working with at the time. The columns define the various options. Applications You will often hear us refer to the applications or apps in Invision Community. This may be referring to our primary applications (Forums, Blogs, Gallery, Pages, Commerce, or Downloads) or the ability for you to add third-party applications. Cloud vs. Self-Hosted We offer both a hosted, cloud-based service for Invision Community or a downloadable, self-hosted license you can run on your own server. There are some more advanced functionality and server-level requirements that may not apply if you are using our cloud services. When something does not apply to cloud it will show like this in our documentation:
      Applies to self-hosted customers only Example text that only applies to self-hosted licenses. So when you see that text you can safely ignore all the technical requirements there when you are on our cloud services.
  2. Getting Support

    We provide self-help, private ticket, and community based support to ensure your Community runs as well as it can. If you ever have any issues just ask. We are here to help! Support Area The first step to obtaining support should always be from your AdminCP. If you log into your AdminCP and visit the Support location, this will take you to our self diagnosing support area. There are 3 areas of note on this page, which can help you in diagnosing, and ultimately resolving issues that you may encounter on your system.  Support Area   Applies to self-hosted customers only 1. System Check - This will give a quick overview of the system requirements and whether or not they have been met, along with any recommendations. This can be helpful if you have changed hosts, as it may be that your server needs additional components which have been overlooked. 2. Support tools - Depending on which option you choose, you can find information from our guides directly from here, or tell the system that something is not working correctly. When choosing the latter option, the system will try to determine what the issue is, and give you hints on how you may be able to resolve the problem. These can be helpful if you have an error which you are unsure on how to resolve, and is discussed further below. 
      3. Diagnostic logs - There are 2 types of logs here. Error, and system.

    Error logs are items which are expected, but still shown to the user. An example of this may be a permission error, or notice that an item is unavailable. You will find extra settings in this area also, to choose how robustly you would like to log these types of errors.

    System Logs are those in which would not happen in normal use. So for example if you had a database connection issue, an unexpected coding issue, or anything else which is outside the normal parameters of the softwares intentions. 

    Both of the above, can be helpful when members report that there has been an issue somewhere, and gives you little information. You can view these to see what error they experienced. Support Tools The support tools section mentioned above is what you will generally use to try and overcome problems on your system. This is a set of diagnostic tools, procedures, and advise from the system to help you to resolve the problem yourself.
      Selecting "Something isn't working correctly." When selecting "Something isn't working correctly" it will do various things such as clear caches on the system, scan for incorrect files, and more. Once this has run and you see the screen above, you should always open another tab to see if the issue you were experiencing has been resolved. Also, the system may flag areas of concern and prompt you to resolve them. Disable Customizations An important part of this is the "Disable Customisations" section. The majority of issues you will see in Invision Community are caused by customizations (themes, plugins, apps) that are not part of our default set. You should disable all customisations using the button provided and check on a new tab in your browser to see if this issue is resolved. If it has, then you know it is a 3rd party issue, and you should enable items one at a time until you find the cause. Once the cause is found, this should be reported to the developer of that 3rd party item. Submitting a ticket If you cannot find the issue using the built in tools, there is then an option to submit a ticket to our support team who will be happy to assist you in getting to the bottom of your problem. Provide a much information about the issue as possible. Including how to replicate the problem, and examples if possible.
      Applies to self-hosted customers only Often we will need access to your system to diagnose the cause of an issue. In this case, we will need some login details, and may at times require file system access. You can provide these securely from within your client area. To do this, log into your client area, select your license, then select "Review my details". Ensuring these are up to date, can often speed up the time taken to resolve your issue. Anything you have already attempted to resolve the issue yourself is worth noting within the ticket.  If you are not able to access your AdminCP or have a non-technical question, you can always submit a ticket directly in the client area as well. Manually Checking Logs If you cannot get to the AdminCP at all, you can access the system logs from within uploads/logs on your file system. It is always worth checking these. It may be for example that your MySQL instance has crashed or some other item in which you know how to resolve. Recovery Mode (Self hosted only) If you get to the point in which you cannot get to the admin CP, nor the front end, you can try using our new recovery mode function. In order to use this, you would add the following line to a constants.php file within your installations main directory <?php define('RECOVERY_MODE',True); Once this is set, you can visit your ACP location and log in. On login you will see something similar to the below, which will be disabling 3rd party items, resetting default themes, and attempting to get you to a stock position so you can log in (it will not be deleting anything, don't worry) On login after enabling recovery After this is complete, you will be shown a list of all items which have been disabled, and you will be informed to remove the line from your constants file. It is important that you do this, as you will not be able to navigate to any area of the admin CP until you have done so. Recovery Complete You will then be able to enable items one at a time until the system breaks, in order to determine which of these items is causing your system not to function.
  3. Install and Upgrade

    Installing Note that on our cloud services we install Invision Community for you so this entire section on installing may be skipped.   Applies to self-hosted customers only Installing Invision Community on your server is very easy. Just follow these steps: Ensure your server meets the system requirements. Download our compatibility checker. Download the latest version from the client area by selecting Manage Purchases then your purchased license. Unzip the download and upload the contents to your server in the directory where you want your Community to run. Simple visit /admin/install in your browser from that directory where you uploaded. At this point the installer will make sure all your directory permissions are correct and prompt you to correct any issues. You will then be asked for your MySQL database issues and various other information the system may need to proceed. Your license key can be found on the same page in the client area where you downloaded the software. Test Install Your self-hosted license allows you to have one live installation (your actual community) and one test installation. We also allow an unlimited number of installations on "localhost" domains so you can test locally without restriction. If you are installing on a test install, enter your license key with -TESTINSTALL on the end. If you are installing on localhost (it must be "localhost" specifically, not "127.0.0.1" or any other alias), this will not count towards either of your installations, however, if you are installing on any other domain, it will count as your test installation. This means that if you already have a test installation at a different URL, you will receive an error message that says "A test installation has already been activated for this license key. Your license key entitles you to one test installation only." There are three ways to overcome this: 1. You can delete your current test installation and reinstall at the same URL. For example, if your Test URL (as shown in the client area) is "example.com/test", you can install at example.com/test (meaning of course you'll have to delete whatever is there first) and you will not get the error message.
     
    2. You can install on a localhost installation: localhost installations do not count towards your allowed usages.
     
    3. You can reset the licensed URL associated with your license.  The test url is a one time url, so use something you can retain for future testing. To prevent abuse, we only allow this to be done once every 6 months, so do not use this option unless for example, you no longer have access to the domain where your test installation was previously. To do this, click "reset URL" on the same page in the client area. Automatic Upgrade When you see an upgrade is available you can simple follow the steps in the AdminCP to initiate an automatic upgrade. Always be sure to read the release notes so you are aware what has changed in the new version. The basic steps of an automatic upgrade are as follows: When you see an alert that an upgrade is available click to proceed to upgrade system. Enter the email and password you use for the client area on our site (where you purchased your service) not your AdminCP login. The system will then fetch needed files, scan your install for any issues, and redirect you to the upgrade system. From there just follow through the upgrade prompts until it confirms upgrade is complete. During the upgrade process your Community will show an offline message stating that an upgrade is in progress.
      Applies to self-hosted customers only The automatic upgrade process assumes that it can write files to your local system. If it cannot it may prompt you for FTP/SCP logins to attempt a remote upload of files. Sometimes both of these automated methods may fail for various, technical reasons and you will need to use the manual upgrade process. Manual Upgrade Simply login to the client area and download a full package of software much like you would if doing a fresh install. Unzip and upload the contents to your server overwriting all files with the fresh files for the new version. You will then go to your site and /admin/upgrade such as example.com/admin/upgrade and login with your AdminCP credentials. The upgrade system will scan you install to confirm that all files are up to date before proceeding. If it reports any are wrong then be sure you uploaded all files properly.  In 4.3 and higher, when logging into the upgrader, you will need to use an email address / display name and password using the standard, internal login handler. If you normally use a different method for logging into your community, you can bypass logging into the upgrader by adding this line to constants.php: define( 'BYPASS_UPGRADER_LOGIN', TRUE ); Install Apps and Plugins You can download third party applications from our Marketplace or other source and install them your community. Just visit Applications or Plugins to do this. You can also upload new versions and upgrade if the author provides updates.
      Applies to self-hosted customers only Adding an Invision Community Application Does not apply to cloud Community as all apps are automatically installed. You may decide to add on new Invision Community applications after you initially setup your Community to expand the capabilities. To do this, simply download the full zip from the client area, upload all files, and then go to Applications. At the bottom of that page you will see a list of available but not installed applications. Just click the application you want to install. Upgrading from IP.Board 3 to Invision Community 4 If you are upgrading from IP.Board 3 to Invision Community 4, there are special considerations you should take. 3.x items that are not compatible with 4.x: Skins Skin images Third party hooks Third party applications Languages All base data, including: members, forums, topics, posts, etc. will remain intact and upgrade to Invision Community Backups
    Please ensure that you have a full backup of your database and file system your community prior to upgrading.  Requirements for Invision Community
    You may wish to use our requirements checker to be sure your server supports our software before proceeding. UTF8 Requirements Invision Community requires UTF8 when upgrading, if your current database is not UTF8, during the first steps of the upgrade process, you will be prompted to run a UTF8 conversion, this is all built into the upgrader and works very well. Once this step is completed, you will be taken back to the upgrade routine. Checking URL's and storage paths prior to upgrading
    It's important to check your urls and upload paths in your admincp on 3.x prior to upgrading, for example if you have more than one url parked on your hosting configuration, the upload paths and urls should only match your current url of the site. User / Display Names
    Usernames and display names have been merged in Invision Community. As the administrator, you may select which to keep during the upgrade process. Please note that this field will be the publicly displayed field for the user.  Friends / Followers
    Instead of friends, Invision Community features followers. A member now has the ability to follow another member without that being automatically reciprocal. You have the option of converting friends to followers. Question and Answer Forums
    Previous versions of the software allowed enabling of "Mark as Solved" on a per-forum basis. Invision Community enhances this functionality by allowing members to ask questions and rate their answers.  Validating Group
    When upgrading to Invision Community, the validating group is merged into the members group with a "Validating Flag" these users will be prompted to validate their account or continue as a guest on the forum until they do so, using the guest group permission set. IP.content > Pages
    Upgrading ip.content to pages will upgrade your ip.content database, and content to the new Pages Application, however all blocks and templates will need to be re-created in IPS4 after the upgrade. Moderator CP - Deleted Content
    If you have any items in the deleted content before upgrading, these items will be removed on upgrading to Invision Community, so in some cases you may have this set to a long period before it's actually deleted, if so, and you need these items, restore them before upgrading. This is not common and in Invision Community when you delete an item, it's deleted instantly, so there is no "removed content" section in the modcp anymore.
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