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Managing successful online communities

Matt
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What's new in 4.6.0?

Well, friends, what a journey we've been on since we started work on Invision Community 4.6.0.

With 11 developers accumulating 934 commits over 3,157 files changing 120,281 lines of code, we're ready to show it to the world.

Along with over 260 bug fixes, this new release contains some great new functionality. Let's take a look at what's new.

Achievements
Achievements, badges, ranks, rules, gamification, whatever you want to call it, this is the most significant feature for Invision Community 4.6.0. This brings a whole new level of earning and showing trust to other members while gently nudging more quality contributions to your community.

 

Zapier integration
Do you want new member registrations to magically appear in a Google spreadsheet? Perhaps you want members who opt-in for newsletters to be added to Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign. Cloud and Enterprise customers can do all this and more without writing a single line of code, thanks to Zapier.

 

Web app and push notifications
We took the time to round out our PWA (progressive web application) framework for 4.6.0 to include service workers, push notifications and more. I barely understand it, but Rikki takes you through the changes in our blog entry.

 

Anonymous posting
For some types of community, where discussion topics are particularly sensitive, community owners want to make sure that members register with their real details but are given the option to post anonymously where appropriate. For example, organisations dealing with abuse or sensitive topics might want the member to feel safe and disinhibited to post info without fear of being identified by the rest of the community.

 

Solved content
In Invision Community 4.6.0, we have rounded out our "solved" feature by allowing the feature to be enabled on a regular forum, along with notifications, statistics and more.

 

Show when a team member has replied
When you're scanning a list of topics, it's helpful to know when a community team member has replied, as these replies tend to have more authority and are more likely to resolve an issue. 4.6.0 adds a feature to show when a member of the team has replied.

 

Health dashboard
As Invision Community is a top of the line community platform with excellent developers and an amazing QA team, it's unlikely ever to go wrong. On the infrequent occasions that you need to identify potential issues within your community, the new health dashboard makes it easier to diagnose problems and request support.

 

Spam improvements
Our Enterprise customers run very visible and very busy communities. One of the pain points they had was identifying and limiting the annoyance of spam within the community. We created a new round of improvements based on that feedback to mitigate spam, and these changes are available to all Invision Community owners with 4.6.0.

Cloud and Enterprise customers will also benefit from multiple under-the-hood optimisations for our cloud platform, including better caching of resources for faster response times.

Let me know in the comments which feature you're looking forward to the most!

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On 6/1/2021 at 4:03 PM, Steve Jabba said:

What about SEO? There will soon be ranking factors in June that the forum software is currently failing - especially speed on mobile.

Will we see an announcement in our client area / ACP when the new version is available? I haven't seen anything.

 

 

Seconded - we really really really need the mobile side speeding up ASAP

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On 6/4/2021 at 4:42 PM, sobrenome said:

Number one priority!

 

On 6/4/2021 at 8:48 AM, Sheffielder said:

 

 

Seconded - we really really really need the mobile side speeding up ASAP

 

On 6/1/2021 at 4:03 PM, Steve Jabba said:

What about SEO? There will soon be ranking factors in June that the forum software is currently failing - especially speed on mobile.

Will we see an announcement in our client area / ACP when the new version is available? I haven't seen anything.

Improving PageSpeed needs a layered approach. There are many things you can do with your server configuration (Invision Community Cloud and Enterprise customers need not worry about this, our cloud platform is optimised already). Sending CSS/JS as gzip, ensuring gzip encoding is on, consider using a CDN to speed up delivery of assets, etc.

Software side, we continue to make improvements. We have a plan for re-engineering how javascript and CSS is compiled to make the file sizes smaller.

Just keep in mind that a community platform is much more complex than a simple website, or Wordpress site. A community platform deals with user generated content, which means dealing with external assets such as YouTube embeds, images, GIFs and more.

SEO remains central to our development plans.

Outside of PageSpeed, we continue to improve with JSON-LD, sitemaps and more.

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2 hours ago, Matt said:

Software side, we continue to make improvements. We have a plan for re-engineering how javascript and CSS is compiled to make the file sizes smaller.

Perfect! Even with all the server side optimization, big css and JavaScript files give IPS just regular pagespeed insight scores. With these optimizations reducing the size and the number of css and JavaScript files we will have much better user experience and scores. Nice!

And would be great to have a front end on Next.js as a paid  option for IPS. Using this most modern approach the user experience would be the best for today’s technology.

34 minutes ago, John P Costello said:

During the installation I was prompted to either use the new rankings, badges, achievements of keep the existing ranks. I chose to keep the existing ranks but it appears that it replaced them anyway. How do I revert them?

I would like to see a better explanation about keeping or replacing the current rankings. Still don’t know which one to choose, as long as my community uses customized rankings.

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18 minutes ago, sobrenome said:

I would like to see a better explanation about keeping or replacing the current rankings. Still don’t know which one to choose, as long as my community uses customized rankings.

Yeah, I'll be checking them out to see if we'd to use the new ones. Tech support got back to me very quickly and answered my question. In ACD>>Members>>Achievements>>Settings there is a big green button that says "Rebuild Members Achievements". It says that it may take days to restore....which is fine with me. 

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