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IP.Board 3.1.1 - What's New?


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  • Management

With the release of 3.1.1 scheduled for next week, I thought I'd take a moment and outline some of the bigger changes.

We're very pleased with how well IP.Board 3.1.0 has been received and how stable it has been. We've been working hard to iron out some common issues and we've been reading a lot of your feedback. Based on that, we've made the following changes for IP.Board 3.1.1:

The new Facebook APIs have been very successful in allowing registered Facebook users to log into your own forums and start contributing right away. The "like" button has also been very popular and great for driving traffic to your board. There's been a lot of feedback on these features so we've improved upon this functionality.

First of all, you can now set your own 'locale' for the Facebook social widgets. We prefer to use Facebook's javascript rather than the iFrame methods directly as the javascript methods are easier to maintain.

You can now also choose how you want to handle importing the user's 'real name'

You can automatically generate a display name based on the user's Facebook real name and suggest this as the display name:

Alternatively, you can enforce the user's real name if you have a trusted community:

This provides a more seamless experience when logging in via Facebook

You can also now choose to disable new accounts from being created via Facebook and Twitter when you disable registrations globally:

This is the error screen shown when trying to create a new account via Facebook or Twitter when new accounts have been disabled:

Merge Center
The merge center has been a great starting point for updating your custom skins but many people found it confusing. We've taken that feedback on board and made the following changes.

First up, we've reworked the feature labelling, improved the work flow and added text box prompts.

The first screen you see after the processing has finished is this one. Note, all the items that do not need your attention are hidden by default which makes it very clear what you need to do to finish the process. The box at the top briefly explains the next step you should take.

We've removed the "Select all checkboxes" from the drop down menu and placed it as a global checkbox which should be very familiar as IP.Board uses this method elsewhere:

We've redesigned the view options box to allow you to filter out what you don't want to see rather than it be 'all or nothing'. This is the default filter:

We've also update the labelling in the drop down box to make it clearer what each option does:

Once you have merged and resolved your templates, you'll see this screen which again prompts you what the next step is:

Finally, when you have saved all your changes, you'll see this screen:

SEO Updates
In Dan's previous blog entry he wrote about correcting our board index "canonical" meta tag, to ensure that search engine spiders correctly recognised "http://www.myforums.com/" as your board index and not "http://www.myforums.com/index". This was an important step, but users could still view and link to that page. More importantly, it also served a "200 OK" HTTP header, meaning search engines would also still index it as a page in its own right - causing potential duplicate content issues. The same problem applied to accessing /index.php and the IPB 2.x style: /index.php?act=idx.

We've now made a change that will automatically redirect you back to just "/" if you (or a search engine) try to access any of those URLs. The search engines should quickly drop any duplicate pages they have in their index and your "real" board index page will begin to carry the weight it should.

We've also gone through IP.Board and all of the applications and standardized the page title format. All page titles now use the format "{Content Title} - {Board Name}", meaning that your most relevant keywords are at the beginning of your title tag, whilst still carrying your board name for easy user recognition in the search results.

These updates are an example of just how much we value your feedback. Please keep it coming!

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