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Managing successful online communities


4.3: Welcome to the future, blog!

Good news!

We've taken Invision Community's Blog app by the scruff of the neck and dragged it into 2018!

There has been a growing trend for imagery to play a very important part of a blog entry. This update reflects that.

Introducing Grid View
We have added a new view that shows your blog entries as cards with space for a cover photo.

We've very visual creatures, and a good photograph can entice readers into your blogs to read more. 

As you would expect, you can disable this mode from the Admin CP for purists that prefer the traditional list format.

Settings.thumb.jpg.d04e68d18d60f86b92c9a4ac851a6208.jpg

 

For those who's sense of adventure runs deep, the new grid mode allows you to show a list of latest blog entries as the blog home page.

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This puts valuable and engaging content right in front of your audience.

This list view persists when you view a blog's entries giving a consistent feel.

Entry_list.thumb.jpg.6e1d1e7daed4635f932cf0510e5561aa.jpg

 

Viewing an entry
We've given the blog entry page a little make-over by featuring the cover photo above the content. The slimmed down blog details bar allows your audience to focus on the content.

Blog_entry.thumb.jpg.7fd00c2716e9a37706df90092f0ad30a.jpg

 

Default Cover Photos
You may have spotted that entries without a cover photo have a rather fetching geometric pattern in different colors.

Blog_list.thumb.jpg.ef9002b2125ac4a827d68437ae3f227b.jpg

 

This is a new micro-feature of Invision Community 4.3. Currently, if you do not have a cover photo on a blog, profile or event, the bar is a rather sad shade of black.

The new default cover photo feature makes it much more cheerful. Here's what a profile looks like.

Profile.thumb.jpg.0d9fb7697c12c64c77b74fd84a7a9868.jpg

 

Much better.

Here's a few technical details for those that love to know all the things.

  • The grid view feature can be turned off in the ACP (but doing so will make me very sad)
  • You can choose the default home page view: Latest Entries or List of Blogs.
  • You can still view a list of blogs when you're on the latest entries page. This choice is stored in a little cookie (GDPR friendly, it doesn't contain any identifying data) so navigating back gets you the last view you chose.

Let us know what you think! We love it, and hope you do too.

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Default Cover Photos
You may have spotted that entries without a cover photo have a rather fetching geometric pattern in different colors.

Is there a option like in profiles where we can upload our own profile design as default image?
Can we turn fetching off?

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7 hours ago, Stuart Silvester said:

The pattern is a theme resource, so it can be changed if you would rather use a different pattern.

The pattern is a theme resource yes, but can the random coloring of that fetched image be changed or made to not show multiple colors that do not match most themes? In profiles we can turn that feature off and use our image in it's place. This is an issue in profiles as I'd like to use the letter feature without the multitude of horrendous ugly colors and can't. So I was wondering of we were stuck with that also in this feature.

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9 hours ago, DesignzShop said:

The pattern is a theme resource yes, but can the random coloring of that fetched image be changed or made to not show multiple colors that do not match most themes? In profiles we can turn that feature off and use our image in it's place. This is an issue in profiles as I'd like to use the letter feature without the multitude of horrendous ugly colors and can't. So I was wondering of we were stuck with that also in this feature.

Due to the way it's layered, colors are muted by the pattern image so that they're not bright or in your face. You could easily disable this with a plugin or most likely with CSS if you desire. I think it looks really good though!

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4 hours ago, Stuart Silvester said:

Due to the way it's layered, colors are muted by the pattern image so that they're not bright or in your face. You could easily disable this with a plugin or most likely with CSS if you desire. I think it looks really good though!

Unfortunately I doubt this function can be changed in the css. A plugin shouldn't be needed imo to change this either as far as getting the choice to use a default image of our own and one that doesn't change colors not matching a theme or personal design. A default custom setting option to use and change 3 selected colors would be great too and give most of the people  who can't code a usable, easy alternative.

A option to use our own default image, or a option to not use a default image that doesn't change colors and to turn color masking off, if this doesn't already have that, I'm suggesting to consider adding this. Regards

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hey lets quickly do something to blogs so we can show that we still kinda care about it....

I'm sorry but the blog entry page design is still awful and most other popular platforms offer far nicer layouts, far better readability. Heck even this custom IPS.Pages blog is heaps better than the design of blogs. Sure I can make it look far better with custom CSS and it looks like I'll have to.

The fact that IPS chooses Pages to make a blog with over their own blog app, tells you a bit about the state of this product.

/myopinontakeitwithabarrelofsaltifyouwish

Edited by Cyrem
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On ‎1‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 4:56 AM, Stuart Silvester said:

Due to the way it's layered, colors are muted by the pattern image so that they're not bright or in your face. You could easily disable this with a plugin or most likely with CSS if you desire. I think it looks really good though!

Then in my most humble opinion this should be left alone. Editing a gray box to flow with a theme is better than dealing with images that need to be replaced resources and css

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19 hours ago, Cyrem said:

hey lets quickly do something to blogs so we can show that we still kinda care about it....

I'm sorry but the blog entry page design is still awful and most other popular platforms offer far nicer layouts, far better readability. Heck even this custom IPS.Pages blog is heaps better than the design of blogs. Sure I can make it look far better with custom CSS and it looks like I'll have to.

The fact that IPS chooses Pages to make a blog with over their own blog app, tells you a bit about the state of this product.

/myopinontakeitwithabarrelofsaltifyouwish

Wow... never realized that the official IPS blog was actually Pages. I think he has a valid point here, design opinions notwithstanding.

Any reason why Pages is used instead of Blogs? Surely there's nothing so highly custom that Blogs couldn't handle it, no?

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17 hours ago, Joy Rex said:

Wow... never realized that the official IPS blog was actually Pages. I think he has a valid point here, design opinions notwithstanding.

Any reason why Pages is used instead of Blogs? Surely there's nothing so highly custom that Blogs couldn't handle it, no?

 

Well, for one thing, the blog add-on doesn't support categories(!), which IPS use here.

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Exciting improvements! :thumbsup:

One additional possible blog improvement to put out there and suggest is on the main blog page with the loading behavior. When a reader browses to the main blog page, instead of loading a preview of each blog post the system appears to fully load every single post, then "hides" the full content from view. This is very slow and takes a long time - for instance if you have 5 images in each blog post and 10 blog posts on a page, the browser is loading 50 images at once. In addition to speed I'm sure this isn't the best for SEO. 

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1 hour ago, IP15.5 said:

Exciting improvements! :thumbsup:

One additional possible blog improvement to put out there and suggest is on the main blog page with the loading behavior. When a reader browses to the main blog page, instead of loading a preview of each blog post the system appears to fully load every single post, then "hides" the full content from view. This is very slow and takes a long time - for instance if you have 5 images in each blog post and 10 blog posts on a page, the browser is loading 50 images at once. In addition to speed I'm sure this isn't the best for SEO. 

Yes this, please! This also happens in the Activity stream which is really annoying, especially when it bugs out and doesn't hide the full post...

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This looks good, an option for us to choose how many entries to show in the grid view would help. Currently it's displaying 23 blog entries and that's affecting page loading speed.

Also, when sharing a blog post on social media, it's showing the cover photo of the blog instead the featured image of the blog post... this makes no sense.

Edited by Fawk
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