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Twenty years of Invision Community

Twenty years ago today, Invision Community was founded and within months the first version of Invision Community was released. Little did we know, this would be the start of a remarkable journey spanning several decades.

Our first version appeared shortly after we founded the company. It might be hard to imagine a time before social media and YouTube, but when we started out, the web looked very different.


The first version of Invision Community was called Invision Board, reflecting the popular term for forums back in the early 2000s. It was full featured and you may recognise some elements that persist today.

Like today, it even had a separate control panel where you could create new areas of discussion and customise the theme.


Twenty years is a long time and we've continued to adapt with the ever-changing needs of community managers. We've seen the rise of social media impact how people consume content and found ways to compliment Twitter and Facebook by offering a place for long-form permanent discussion.

Several elements remain from those early days but the concepts behind the theme have change significantly. New workflows, UI elements and views have helped the platform stay fresh and we've certainly innovated a few features that have since become industry standard over that time.

I can't express how proud I am of what we've built together. From those humble beginnings working until 2am to growing a creative and talented team around our passion for community.

I'm still as excited today as I was back in 2002. This year will see us build and release new tools to help guide and inform community managers. Our community platform continues to go from strength to strength.

Of course, the platform is only one part of Invision Community. Over the last twenty years I've been grateful to get to know many of you and watch your lives unfold.

This is as pure as community can get and I'm privileged to be part of it.

We have a few other surprises to celebrate our twentieth anniversary. We can't wait to share them!

I'd love to hear your memories of Invision Community! When did you first use our products and what was your community for? Please let me know in the comments below.


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I started out in '96 with a cgi script every post / reply was a file on the server. Then switched to UBBTreads that uses sql and php. Then there was an upset in that community and several devs left and started FusionBB was on there till it floundered in '09 and I found my way home here. 

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On 2/12/2022 at 6:14 PM, AlexJ said:
We have a few other surprises to celebrate our twentieth anniversary. We can't wait to share them!


Can't wait to see those! Congrats to you and your team for being successful. 

The new packages will benefit from new features like Smart Community.

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11 hours ago, SeNioR- said:

The new packages will benefit from new features like Smart Community.

Sorry not following your comment. Can you please elaborate? Are you hinting towards 'automation' ? 

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11 minutes ago, AlexJ said:

Sorry not following your comment. Can you please elaborate? Are you hinting towards 'automation' ? 

We don’t know yet.  Charles hinted to it in an interview earlier in a video interview with Jordan.  There has been some minor teasing, but overall I don’t expect there to be much more said until they fully take the lid off of it and start making blog posts about it.  So make sure you subscribe to watching those. 🙂 

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My brother and I ran some gaming forums a long, long time ago. We started with Ikonboard and switched over to IPB when it first released.

My account here was created November 2002! 😉 I haven't run a forum in a very long time, but I'm thinking of spinning one up soon. I've kept up with Invision all these years and it's exciting to see how far IPB has come.

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What a fantastic coincidence....it just so happens to be our twentieth birthday a little later this year as an Invision client! Although I'm not sure how early we were as adopters, we were certainly one of the small numbers. What's most amazing to me is that compared to other forums I have administrated, the IPB suite has always been the most robust and supported. Others, yep, data got lost...."tough". Not IPB. External image links might have rotted, but those first posts feel eternal now. Crazy.

Congratulations guys, and what a twenty years its been.

Edited by Carl Maltby
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It was informed that there are many new features planned ahead, among the new features are improvements in SEO and changes in the Cloud community such as increasing Page Impressions for example?

I am sorry for my english.

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It has been a long time... Have I really gotten that old?

It was just last year in summer of 2003 I was on a poetry board when the owner asked to create a skin for it and gave me the first look at a real Admin Control Center.

I found my first IPB free version about the same time in my cPanel a couple of years before it became purchase only. A few days after my Birthday in 2005 I purchased my board. A few months after that I purchased the Blog and before I knew it the IDM and Gallery were in my possession.

As I recall in late 2006 there (back then IPB had phone support). Well, I acquired a serious issue and for whatever reason I could get through. A few hours later I received a phone call from (98% sure) a lady by the name of Debbie who worked with me and found the issue my license key was compromised, and she had to send me a new one.

The only reason I brought this up is because back then the techs could take the time. Like Mat said How were they to know what 20 years would bring. Well, here is to another 20 my friends. I may not be here then to celebrate in the physical form, but may be in the Spiritual form.

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On 2/14/2022 at 6:52 AM, Matt said:

The short version is that I built another platform called Ikonboard, got overwhelmed, sold it to someone who made promises and then broke those promises. This someone had also bought something Charles built. Charles and I decided it was time to move on so started "IBForums/Invision Power Services" together. From that time, I think only Rikki was involved in Ikonboard although most of the team have been with is for 10-15+ years.

Interesting. My Board is celebrating its 20th Anniversary next month as well. I launched Ikonboard software in 2002 almost as a whim, and as a section to website I had created. I stuck with Ikonboard way too long, and past when it was no longer supported. When server costs soared due the strain Perl demanded I was thinking of throwing in the towel. But Member input and that I found that IPB could do a Conversion of my Board saved it, and in 2016 the IPB Support staff successfully (or as close as possible) Converted my Board to IPB. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. Congratulations to the owners and staff of IPB. 

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Happy to have been running a forum with IPB since February 2003 (and we're still going). Version 1.1.1 was our first (live) iteration - never regretted the decision to go with Matt and the Invision folk - noble creatures all!

Our first skin (apologies):



And our version number - the newest member name doesn't reflect the content of the site...


Edited by Steve E
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I think I bought Invision Board (Wasn't it called Invision Power Board)? in that first year.

I intended to create the number one websites and communities about the Republic of Turkey. And I didn't want to go with one of the free boards. I wanted The Cadillac of forums. Even in that first year I could see that Invision Power Board was the best. So I bought it and installed it and have been using it ever since.

It didn't have the capacity for articles. Or for a directory like Yahoo. So I created them myself. They didn't talk to Invision Board. My site was kind of a mess. Then Invision added Content. Which solved my problem. I bought that and transferred all of my articles into Invision Content.

Then Facebook came along. It was killing me.

But Facebook has a profound weakness. It doesn't handle complex content. Invision Community does. So instead of Facebook ruining my life, I now exploit it. Often there are questions on Facebook requiring a complex answer. I reply, but then link to my Invision Community article which explains everything.

I now have a separate site about Turkish residence permits. Lots of articles and a forum, among other things.

Looking back I think buying and installing Invision Board was one of the best decisions I've made.

Your support is fantastic. Very polite and professional. Even if I have what I later find was a dumb question, your support staff helps me, even walks me through things.

I was with you from the beginning and I will be with you to the end.

Thanks to all of you at Invision Community. You are still the "Cadillac" of communities.

Ken Grubb


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17 hours ago, Shehi said:

Noone is reminiscing about poor IkonBoard 😄 

I did sorta….back in the very early 2000’s, Ikonboard was the best choice for Board/Discussion Forum software…for me…IMO. I used it from 2002-2015. Of course I was pigheaded, and hate change, and hung on WAY TOO long.

Edited by Allen Bradford
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