We've been on a little journey together since we announced the first Invision Community 4.5 feature way back in November 2019.
The first feature we announced was a revamped Admin Control Panel interface which created more visual space and brightened it up. Actually, we made it so bright that the first feature request was to add a dark mode (which we did).
In the space of three short months, we had spoken about Club improvements, invites and referrals, RSS feed improvements, blog categories, the simple stock photo picker, search insights, security enhancements, user interface updates, new statistic views, and notification improvements.
Most will agree that March and April seemed to last months, thanks to a global pandemic. We used these extra days to talk about marking posts as a solution, topic view summary, Zapier integration, forum view updates, post-installation onboarding, private staff notes, page builder widgets, theme designer improvements, a new default theme, language system updates and everything else we missed.
We have also revamped the front end user interface to modernise the look and feel but also to introduce new CSS frameworks, variables and other time-saving features our design team have been eager to implement.
On the subject of modernisation, we've deprecated some legacy functionality. We've given up trying to make anything look good with IE11 which last saw an update in 2013. We've also deprecated older caching engines like Memcache, APC and Wincache and recommend using Redis instead. The web hosting and domain management features of Commerce are also deprecated as is BBCode. BBCode has its roots in the earliest bulletin-board systems long before rich text editors were common use. It's 2020; we should no longer be asked to type in special codes in square brackets to format text. BBCode is still functional in Invision Community 4.5, but it is likely to be removed in a future version.
Now that primary development has finished, we move onto the beta testing stage. This is where you get to try it out and evaluate the new features before scheduling your own upgrades.
As always, we do recommend that you only test early betas on staging sites or simple test sites. Many a weekend has been ruined by over-enthusiastic upgrading of live sites; so we don't recommend that.
You'll also notice that we're running Invision Community 4.5 on our own site. If you do spot an issue, please let us know in the bug tracker.
I've been creating and releasing products for close to twenty years now, and I still get a real buzz out of hitting the release button. It's always a pleasure to see the result of hundreds of hours of coding, dozens of meetings and numerous passionate exchanges among the team.
You can access the beta in your client area.
We hope you enjoy Invision Community 4.5!