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Invision Community Blog


Managing successful online communities

Rikki
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Streamlining our website and community

Many of the regular visitors to our community won't have failed to notice the new look we launched last week. Now that the dust has settled, I thought it was a good time to explain why we've made the change.

Streamlined access to everything we offer

Ever since IPS was founded in 2002, our community has been distinct from our website. The community is also where we kept all kinds of resources, from guides to the Marketplace. For those customers who know us well and enjoy hanging out in our community (and we have many who have been with us since that day in 2002!), this is no problem. Unfortunately, the downside is many new and potential customers didn't see everything we have to offer: all the wonderful addons our contributors offer, additional support resources, plentiful advice from other community administrators, and more.

In addition, we've always used the default theme that our software ships with, but with our self-service demo system now being the primary way new customers get to try out our software, this has become less important.

So, we took the decision to move some parts of the community to the website for more exposure and easier discovery by new visitors. We made some tweaks to our navigation so that finding these areas is easier than before. And, of course, we've brought the website header over to the community, giving it a fresher look and more consistent navigation, wherever you happen to be on our website.

Of course, all of our website is built in IPS4, as you would expect. Whereas before our website existed on a separate installation, as part of the update we merged our community and website together. This means you can sign in from anywhere, see your notifications and so on.

This is just the first step we've taken on improving what we offer and how we offer it. We have many plans in progress. You may have seen the theme tip we posted this week, which is the first in a series of regular tips we'll be sharing to help you get the most out of the IPS Community Suite. We'll also be highlighting some of the incredible work our customers do, whether it's a unique use of our software, or something in our Marketplace that adds a great feature.

Stay tuned!

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