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IP.Board 3.3: What to expect

IP.Board 3.2 was a major new version boasting a new sleek skin with a major overhaul to the user interface. We also added in long requested features such as tagging, the shared media panel, and a brand new moderators control panel along with many more improvements.

We have been thrilled with the overwhelmingly good feedback since 3.2's release and we are ready to take IP.Board to the next step by targeting specific needs with laser-like precision.

The next version of IP.Board will be 3.3.0. But what is in a number really? Do not worry, we are revising our version numbering so that a major increment reflects any added functionality. The development cycle between 3.1 and 3.2 was lengthy because of the massive changes we made. This cycle will be much quicker.

We want you to think of IP.Board 3.3 as improving and refining what we already do - not as a huge update that will require extensive changes. In fact, unlike the 3.2 update, the 3.3 update will not have a new default skin or sweeping code-base changes that impact existing hooks/apps. So lets look at the areas we are targeting.

Search Engine Optimization
We have had lots of feedback about this area of the software. We have made huge strides in the past by ensuring the correct headers are sent and the HTML is as clean as possible. We even have our free-to-customers product IP.SEO.

We are taking this a step further in IP.Board 3.3. We set up a small focus group earlier this year and asked them directly where we can improve and we received some great responses which we will work on.

Key to running your community efficiently is good moderation tools. IP.Board has tons of functionality but sometimes there is a little overlap or areas that are not crystal clear. We will be working on some of the moderation tools to improve that and we are also introducing a major overhaul to a popular moderation feature!

Admin CP
Our admin control panel is incredibly comprehensive but we are looking to make it a little smoother and easier to use in common areas. We have some specific ideas on how to speed up common tasks which we will implement in 3.3.

Large Boards
Many of our customers have grown with us and taken their small community into new territory with millions of posts. Other customers have converted to us from a large established community. Either way, there are some specific needs that larger community owners have that we are working on for 3.3. We have an innovative cool new feature currently being written that we know large community admins will love!

As always we continue to refine existing areas of the software. Our development staff continually works through our bug tracker and support tickets to fix reported bugs. Beyond bugs we often make little changes that make a big difference. Simply rewording the text of a button or moving a link to a more logical location can make things work more smoothly. All those little changes add up to the overall polish of the software.

We are happy to say that IP.Board 3.3 will not mean a complete new skin and neither should your custom skin need reworking from scratch. Existing modifications and hooks should operate just fine too.

Everyone at IPS is very excited about this release and cannot wait to start blogging about the new features and improvements we have implemented. We are shooting for an late first/early second quarter 2012 release date (a release date from IPS!). Keep an eye on our blog for more news soon!

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