Derzhis reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.5: Page Builder Widgets
Invision Community introduced drag and drop widgets many years ago. These widgets allowed anyone to add blocks to existing views, and to build up entirely new pages.
These widgets were great for quickly adding content to a page, but they weren't incredibly customizable.
For Invision Community 4.5, we've added three new Page Builder widgets which allow you a little more control.
For an overview of this new feature, please take a look at the video below.
As you can see, these new widgets offer a lot of customization without the need to code any CSS or HTML. You can add background colours and images, adjust padding and borders and even add colour overlays right from the widget menu.
The new Page Builder widget options
Blandness be gone! Now you can let your creativity loose on your pages and all other views that have the drag and drop zones.
I'd love to know what you think of this new feature; please let me know below!
Derzhis reacted to bfarber for an entry, 4.5: New Post-Installation Onboarding
Installing Invision Community for the first time is a fun and exciting process. After all, you're about to launch a new community that is going to thrive and attract members from all over, and you want to make sure you set it up just right to facilitate a painless experience for your visitors.
If you're new to Invision Community, however, it can be a little daunting when you think about "ok what now?" immediately after installing the software.
Though experience, and researching the analytical data Invision Community installations voluntarily share with us, we identified many common settings that most communities change, and it is easy to see why. In an effort to make Invision Community more approachable to new administrators, we have devised an intuitive "new installation" onboarding process that will help you configure the community just right, and quickly.
Upon first logging in to Invision Community after installing the software, administrators are presented with a welcome screen.
Welcome to your new Invision Community!
You can obviously skip this step by clicking away to another page if you wish, and you won't be bothered again. If you click the "Skip this step" link on the page, you will be sent an email with a link to return to the page in the future should you wish to do so.
Continuing into the helpful wizard, you will be presented with a screen like so
A helpful guided wizard
You'll note that there's an explanation as to why you may wish to configure these settings, as well as guidance for where to find the same options later should you wish.
Upon clicking next, you'll see the previous step marked as completed. You can even skip around steps by clicking and expanding on them should you wish to do so.
Each step is explained in detail
If you reached this page but decide that you have to do something else first, there is a "Remind me later" option at the bottom of the page. Clicking it will allow you to resume whatever else you need to do first, but will helpfully bring you back to this onboarding step at a later time to finish your quick setup.
Finally, once you submit the form you will be presented with a confirmation page containing links to several other areas that you may wish to visit to get started. Things like setting up forums and setting up groups are common tasks, so we've consolidated links to those areas on one helpful screen as part of the new quick setup.
Confirmation that you're doing great so far!
This change is but one small way that we strive to ensure our software is easy to understand and easy to use. The next time you set up a new community, we hope these adjustments make the process smoother for you, allowing you to get the backend work done quickly so you can focus on the real goal - growing your new community.
Derzhis reacted to Matt for an entry, Invision Community: A decade in review
When the clocks strike midnight on New Year's Eve, we will enter the third decade of producing Invision Community.
A lot has changed since we set up in 2002. Our team has grown and our product matured. In a world where online startups explode and die within a few years, we're something of an anomaly.
We still have the same love and passion for creating the very best tools to build a community, and we have always ensured that Invision Community is in touch with modern demands.
This decade has seen Invision Community go from strength to strength. In 2010 we were one of many forum systems catering to smaller niche audiences. In 2019 we're powering discussion for many international and well-known brands.
Online habits may have changed in this time, and social media may have swallowed up smaller informal communities, but the need for independent community platforms remains strong.
2020 will see us release 4.5 which will bring another round of essential updates to existing features and a fresh batch of new features.
But first, let us climb inside our Delorean, rewind the clock to 2010 and start from the beginning.
As the sun rose on 2010, Bruno Mars was singing about parts of the human face in "Just the way you are", Katy Perry irritated Microsoft Word's spellchecker with "California Gurls", and CeeLo Green was trying to "Forget you" (at least in the radio edit).
Christopher Nolan's boggled all our minds with Inception, James Franco lost the ability to clap in 127 Hours, and Colin Firth stammered his way through The Kings Speech.
Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad to a collective snort, moderate derision and questions over just how useful a giant iPhone will be.
President Obama, just a year into office warns of "Snowmageddon" that eventually dumps up to 40 inches of snow on the east coast of the United States.
We lost comedy legend Leslie Nielsen (we'd never dream of calling him Shirley), and we gained a small child named Ryan who in just nine years would be earning $29,000,000 by opening boxes of toys on YouTube.
62% of us were using Internet Explorer to the chagrin of most web developers who wished that Chrome's 5% market share was more significant.
Facebook celebrated its sixth year by reaching 400 million users (a far cry from the 2.5 billion it currently has). Twitter, just four years old hits 30 million monthly active users (and none of them talked about fake news).
And how about Invision Community?
We hit 2010 running by releasing numerous updates on IP.Board v3.1, including finally using long-established web standards, and share features now that "social networking is all the craze these days" noting that "friends and colleagues often share similar interests, after all."
How innocent we all were in 2010.
Back then, each product had its own name and release cycle. IP.Gallery's new features included being able to rotate images by 90 degrees. Honestly, people used to go crazy for this stuff.
In May, we released a brand new application called "IP.Commerce". A few months later we renamed it "IP.Nexus" and years later, it was changed back to "Commerce". Naming things is hard.
The announcement contained exquisite details such as "It's hard to say when it'll be available" and "we don't know how much it will cost". We were so sure that it would be accepted positively, we removed the ability to post comments to the blog entry.
As summer turned to autumn and the end of the year loomed large, we released news about a significant update to Gallery called "IP.Gallery 4.0" which pre-dates Invision Community 4 and confused customers for years (so IP.Board 3 works with IP.Gallery 4, but IP.Board 4 works with Gallery 4?). Numbering things is hard too.
The last blog entry was about an app called 'IP.SEO' that I had utterly forgotten existed. It was written by Dan who once locked Lindy out of his own datacenter, but we don't talk about that.
I don't even remember this website
Charles opens the year by managing expectations for IP.Board 3.2 by outlining our three key goals (promotion, usability and modernization). The last one was us removing the "back to top" button and then spending the next eight years explaining why we removed it.
Our spam monitoring service processed 300,000 requests in the first two weeks of 2011. 30% of these requests were deemed to be spam and blocked (0.1% was probably an administrator registering 50 fake accounts before being banned from their own site).
I posted about "exciting new technology" in our new "WYSIWYG" editor (although what you see is sometimes close to what you get) would be more appropriate but slightly less catchy. We spent the next eight years explaining why no one uses BBCode anymore to almost everybody.
Brandon closed out the year with a blog promising "new toys" for IP.Content 2.3 (now called Pages, keep up!) which promises a "who's online" widget and a "shared media field" that was not only complicated to explain, but also use.
IP.Board 3.2 in all its glory
We start the year with news on IP.Board 3.3. This release was to feature essential updates such as the "Remember me?" checkbox on the login form and emoticons in signatures.
Despite being constantly told that we don't take SEO seriously, we round up the latest serious SEO changes including tags, soft 404s and micro schema.
We also celebrated our tenth year in business.
Something terrible must have happened to one of our competitors because we asked if you'd like to switch to IPS.
The year ends with IP.Board 3.4 being released for beta testing. This being a rare year where we release two major versions in less than 12 months.
Brandon has eight coffees and tries to explain what it's like to be a developer: "us developers are a strange bunch. We have a lot of crazy thoughts that just don't make sense to anyone else. Our brains are wired differently. We get from point A to point B by going around point Z and bouncing off point M first.", he closes the blog entry by urging you to ignore us.
The big news is that work on 4.0 is officially underway! Don't get too excited, releasing two major versions in 2012 clearly fatigued us as "IPS Community Suite 4.0" is not released until June 2015, over two years later.
4.0 was our first complete rewrite in years. We threw out all our stable and tested code and started over with an empty editor. It was a vast undertaking that consumed us completely. The result was worth it as we had a new modern framework that still serves us today. But we're getting ahead of ourselves a little.
Back in 2013, Mark talks about trees. Not the kind you find laying around in forests, but rather the programmatic type. It's just a way for Mark to show off how beautiful his code is.
IP.Board 3.4 still gets many updates (along with IP.Gallery, IP.Blog, IP.Content, IP.Downloads and IP.Address (ok that last one was made up)).
We spend the year talking about various new things in 4.0, including a new-new editor and various special features (and no one noticed we started calling it "IPS Social Suite 4.0" - it just rolls off the tongue!)
I introduce the new theme engine for 4.0, and this time, my code is not deleted by Mark (true story).
We didn't know it at the time, but 2014 was not the year that IPS Social Community Suite 4.0 (naming things is hard) will be released. Still, Rikki talks enthusiastically about "extending JS controllers and mixins" a way of coding so complex, to this day you can count the number of people who truly understand it on one of Rikki's fingers because it's only Rikki that understands it.
Determined not to be outdone in the confusing customers' stakes, I go on about how important it is to convert your database to UTF-8 when upgrading from 3.0.
As 2014 neared its inevitable end, we did manage to put up a pre-release testing site and release Beta 1 a release so unstable; it makes the current political climate look absolutely peachy.
IPS Community Suite 4.0 (Preview)
Finally, the year that 4.0 is to be released! We released six betas and a few release candidates before nervously hovering over the 'release' button (actually it's a collection of git commands and 'to the letter' instructions I ignore).
After a year of training customers to call our forthcoming release "IPS Social Suite 4.0," we release it as "IPS Community Suite 4.0". Lindy writes a lengthy blog article that sounds like a cross between a technical discussion of the Brother 8987-A printer and an award acceptance speech.
Quite frankly, after nearly two years of development, we're just relieved to have finally released it.
The year is spent refining and fixing 4.0 and culminates in the news of 4.1, where we add activity streams and a menu manager. We also talk about the new-new-new editor.
December 16th marks the time that IP.Board 3.4 officially dies as we declare it "end of life" and no longer support it. That shiny new release we were excited to talk about in 2012 is finally put out to pasture. The last we heard, IP.Board 3.4 moved to a farm and is doing well.
Now that IP.Board 3.4 is end of life; we do the sensible thing and make a few minor IP.Board 3.4 releases to improve security.
IPS Social.. sorry, Community Suite hits version 4.1.17 (confusing Lindy) before the year is done with many new improvements, including embeds, warning notes and the new leaderboard.
We're still mostly undecided what to call the product, so we avoid trying in all our blog entries.
In fact, looking back, it's quite remarkable how often we changed the name of our product. You'd be forgiven for thinking that it was a robust and well-considered attempt to prevent Google from serving up relevant search results and to confuse potential customers.
We find time to update our own website and introduce a new developer's area.
Barely 16 days into the new year, and we release news of the two-factor authentication feature added to IPS Community Social Invision IP.Board Suite 4.1.18.
When spring has sprung, Charles drops the news that we're working on 4.2, the main feature being a screenshot of the Admin CP log in. We promise that you will love it and that it will be released mid-2017.
Updates come thick and fast. Calendar event reminders, content messages, recommended replies, letter profile photos device management and delayed deletes all make the blog.
Still not convinced that people take us seriously when we say we're committed to SEO, we post about more SEO improvements.
This time, we talk about implementing JSON-LD, rich snippets, pagination tags and more.
We also squeeze another one in about the new-new-new-new editor.
We overhaul our own blog (using Pages because that's how we roll) and I start a hilarious series of blog entries where I troll our own team. Everyone including me loses interest early on in 2019.
During April, we do the sensible thing and change the name of our product once more. IPS Community/Social Suite 4.1 is out, and Invision Community 4.2 is in.
Just to recap: IBForums > IPB > IP.Board > IPS Social Suite > IPS Community Suite > Invision Community.
You're welcome search engines!
As promised, we release Invision Community 4.2 around the middle of the year. Well done, everyone! We finally hit a release date!
As is now tradition, we end the year with news of our next big release Invision Community 4.3 (and tease the new emoji feature). We also calm nerves about Europe's endless fascination with regulation (it's this kind of joke that caused Brexit you know) and wrote up a guide on GDPR.
Phew. We're almost there, dear reader. If you skimmed through most of the blog to this point and expected me to finish with a bang, you'll be disappointed.
We start 2018 at full speed releasing feature news on Invision Community 4.3 including emoji, OAuth, community moderation, REST API, subscription manager, announcements and more.
Oh and we hit our sweet sixteenth birthday in February!
We release Invision Community 4.3 in April to rapturous applause after a short beta testing period. We all agree that 4.3 was a great stable release which instantly makes the developers nervous.
Towards the end of the year, we announce that work has begun on Invision Community 4.4. We talk about new features such as GIPHY integration, AdminCP notifications, Post Before Registering, Commerce Updates and more.
Still not sure if we care about SEO? Well, how about another blog entry on SEO?
The only thing missing this year is a new update on our editor.
And we arrive back home in 2019. A week into January and I pull the massive twist that we're using Invision Community 4.4 on our own community. It's not quite up there with "Bruce Willis is a ghost" though.
In March we write up a case study on The Trevor Space, an LGBTQ charity set up to prevent suicide and to provide crisis intervention. TrevorSpace commends Invision Community for allowing anonymity online which isn't possible with social media.
Rikki drops a bombshell in September when he announces that we're actively working on native iOS and Android apps for Invision Community. Apparently mobile is a thing now.
November starts a series of blog entries talking about our new upcoming release, Invision Community 4.5. We talk about the Admin CP overhaul, Club Pages, RSS Feed Improvements and Club improvements.
And here we are. Right up to date. This decade may have only taken us from IP.Board 3.1 to Invision Community 4.5, but it really has seen a massive change in the company we are, and the industry we are in.
We have seen the inception, rise and stumble of social media. While it's true that forums are no longer the preserve of Star Trek fans obsessing over continuity errors and informal communities have been absorbed by Facebook and friends, spaces that you completely own to host discussions are still very much in demand.
Invision "Chameleon" Community in 2019
Over the past year or so we've seen a sustained rise in the demand for independent communities. Brands especially like that you own your data and can use it to gain insights into customer habits. Just this year, we've launched communities for LEGO, HTC, Sage, Mattel, Gibson Guitars, Squarespace, and many more.
We are constantly evolving Invision Community (assuming we stick with that name) to be at the very centre of your online presence. We have tools to add discussion comments to any page of your site, to embed widgets with a few lines of code. We want to showcase your community throughout your site by adding multiple touchpoints to take your customers on a journey with you. Our native apps will offer new and exciting ways to interact with a community via new interfaces.
As we move into our third decade, I can only see a resurgence for independent communities as we tire of the crushing intrusion of social media. We give away so much of our attention, time and information for very little reward.
We have never been more divisive and fiercely tribal.
It's time to come back together to discuss a topic with care and thoughtfulness. It's time to allow our personalities to take a back seat and let considered discussion live again.
And we'll be here doing what we have always done; creating the very best community platform possible.
I'd love to know when you joined us on this crazy ride. Was it before or after 2010?
Derzhis reacted to Andy Millne for an entry, 4.5: Invites and Referrals
Invision Community has supported member referrals via the Commerce app since Commerce was called Nexus all those years ago.
Community owners have been able to see at a glance who is spreading the word and members have received the kudos associated with a growing referral count in return.
When planning Invision Community 4.5 we saw that this feature had the potential to be so much more… So what have we done to improve it?
See Who Was Referred
In addition to seeing a count of referrals, it’s now possible for both admins and members to see who they referred. If Commerce is enabled admins can also see how much commission (if any) was earned.
The new referral settings page shows links, code snippets and who you've referred
Seeing a rising count of who has been referred gives members a great feeling of community involvement but wouldn’t it be great if you could reward your members in other ways too?
Referral counts now work as a member filter when using the group promotion feature.
You can now automatically promote members that have referred more than a specific number of members to another user group and give them access to exclusive content. This still works alongside paid subscriptions so be another method for members not willing or able to pay for subscriptions to get access.
Integration With Sharing
If the feature is enabled, any time a link is shared via the built-in share links, referrals will be tracked. This occurs automatically without the member needing to think about it. It’s now easier than ever to see who your superfans are and who is bringing new people to the community.
As well as the default share links we have added a new sidebar block that can be added anywhere across your community. This prominent call to action can be added on pages you think are most likely to result in recommendations.
The new "Invite a friend" widget
Given that referral capabilities have been expanded into many more areas outside of Commerce we decided that this should now be available as a core feature. Earning commission on sales as a result of referrals will still, of course, require Commerce to be installed.
We hope that these are welcome improvements and they help you encourage more members to participate in your community.
Derzhis reacted to Joel R for an entry, Responding to the Contact Form
Think about all the different touchpoints where you try to connect with members: forum discussions, blog comments, personal messages, email newsletters, weekly meetings, and perhaps offline events. You write witty and clever messages. You dedicate an entire section of your community to welcome and hello topics. You spend enormous amounts of time trying to elicit engagement from members.
What if I told you that there’s one touchpoint that you consistently overlook where members reach out to you, some for the very first time?
You receive messages every day and every week from users through the Contact Form. It’s one of the most common touchpoints that you’ll ever experience with members. Unfortunately, most admins gloss over messages through the contact form, because we think it’s secondary to the activity in the community. That’s not true! As a touchpoint to your community, the interactions through the Contact Form are as important as any other user-facing activity. In fact, because members proactively reach out – some for the very first time – this is likely one of the biggest opportunities where you consistently under-engage.
It’s time to fix this gap. Here are examples on how to effectively respond to 2 different types of messages from the Contact Form. Let’s look at some sample responses with a fictional online community “Toronto Birding Society” (Note: I know nothing of birdwatching or Toronto).
Responding to Guidance Questions
Many questions you receive through the Contact Form are “guidance” questions. These are questions that ask about function and features such as “how to?” and “how do I?” The tone is usually neutral, and the intent is positive (eg. to learn).
These questions are easy-to-answer and the responses usually involve instructions, step-by-step details, and screenshots. If you only respond to the specific inquiry, however, you miss out on all the potential of member growth: to affirm the relationship, recognize his contributions, instill community culture, and ultimately encourage the member to contribute in a more meaningful manner.
Responding to Negative Sentiment Questions
The next type of question you receive through the Contact Form are questions of “negative sentiment.” These are questions that ask to cancel, terminate, or suppress various functions because the user would like to disconnect from the community. Even though the tone is neutral, the intent is negative.
Just like before, the questions themselves are easy-to-answer. However, if you took the inquiry at face value and answered the specific question, you end up losing the member! Your goal instead should be member retention: to investigate why he wants to leave, to re-affirm the strength of the relationship, recognize his past contributions, invite the member to revisit, and ultimately deflect the original inquiry.
Busy communities receive messages through the contact form daily and weekly. They’re a recurring part of our community management that we consistently overlook. It’s one of the greatest touchpoints you will ever have with a member, since the member is actively seeking growth (or regression) with the community. Your responsibility is to nudge them in the right direction.
My recommendation is to write two templates: one for guidance questions, one for negative sentiment questions. This allows you to quickly provide a framework that can be filled in with personalized details.
Use your replies to contact form messages as a way to not only answer the specific question, but grow the member and progress them along the member lifecycle journey.
Derzhis reacted to Matt for an entry, 4.4: Animated GIFs
Communication has come a long way since those very early humans grunted at each other to determine if they wanted more mammoth for lunch.
The course of human history has seen cave paintings, hieroglyphics, the written word, emoji and now GIFs.
GIFs have been around since the dawn of the internet. Many websites proudly displayed a 'man at work' animated GIF when they were under construction.
Now, GIFs are now mostly used to express complex thoughts and emotions by showing a short animation.
Invision Community has allowed GIPHY to be used as an embed for a while now, but we craved something much more straightforward.
Behold, the GIF button!
Now your members can reply with the majesty of animation.
Of course, GIFs won't replace real and meaningful conversation, but they are a fun way to express yourself quickly and encourage more engagement.
The GIPHY functionality is enabled via the 'Community Enhancements' page in the Admin CP.
GIPHY is enabled from the enhancements page
All you need to do is grab a key from GIPHY, and you're all set!
You'll notice a "MPAA style rating" option.
This allows you to select a maximum rating for the GIFs as some will have adult themes and language that may not be suitable for your community.
For example, you can choose "G" for general audiences, "PG" or "PG-13" to limit what is shown.
Drop your favourite GIF below to show us how you feel about this new feature.
This is a blog about our upcoming Invision Community 4.4 release, due later this year.
Derzhis reacted to Matt for an entry, 7 questions you must answer before starting your community
When I started creating communities close to two decades ago, getting new members was easy. All you had to do was put up a script, create some "Chat here" forums and email your friends. It didn't take long for word to spread and you had a healthy forum buzzing with conversation.
Now, it's different. The internet is a crowded space. No matter what your niche, you will be competing with other businesses for visitors.
You need a solid strategy to succeed, and I want to help you.
Before you open the doors to your new community, consider the following questions.
What is your vision?
Your community must have a strong reason to attract visitors. Write down your community's purpose and bullet point how you will achieve it. When you configure and set up your community, keep asking yourself "does this fit my vision".
For example. Consider a fitness professional who is launching a community. The vision is to educate your audience on good nutrition and exercise. You then have subscription based packages for one-to-one coaching.
This is a very focused vision. You will create one or two forums for the public areas. You will leverage clubs for the paid memberships. You wouldn't create forums for non-fitness areas such as technology or movies.
You will strip the complexity back to encourage interaction as your target market may not be very technical.
What is your voice?
You will lead your community and set the tone. If you are handling investment portfolios then you will want the tone to be friendly, but professional.
If you are creating a forum for marathon runners, you'd want to use a lot of running "lingo" and be informal and fun.
Consider your target audience. Think about how they would like to be treated. How would they like your interactions to be?
Once you have found your voice, keep it consistent. Your members will follow your lead and keep your community positive.
How are you going to onboard new members?
If you want people to join in with your new community, you need to hold their hand and show them why they are important to you.
They will want to feel comfortable and valued in your community.
When you are starting out, take the time to welcome each new member and point them to any welcome guides you may have. You can create and pin a topic that explains how to get started. When a new member joins, link them to that topic.
You should also use profile completion to politely enforce the use of a user photo. A photo personalises a user's profile and reminds that you are speaking to a human!
Remind them to set up email notifications so they won't miss any exciting updates or new topics.
What is your promotion strategy?
No matter how great your content is, it needs promoting. There are several great ways to do this.
You can create a monthly email sent to all members. You can outline any important topics or articles. You can list upcoming events.
You can promote your articles to Facebook and Twitter. Make the headlines interesting to encourage clicks into your content.
By driving traffic back to your site, you will increase your membership.
How often are you going to contribute to your own community?
In the early days of your new community, you will have to be very active. You will want to welcome new members and keep conversations alive. You will be creating new conversations for others to contribute in. You must budget time for this and be consistent. Show up every day.
I recommend setting aside two blocks of 30 minutes each day. Use that time to reply to any new topics and to kick off a few of your own. Visit early in the morning, and again in the evening.
How are you going to reward active members?
Once you community gets going, some individuals will stand out as leaders. These leaders are well respected and encourage others to take part.
Create a special member group with better privileges such as increased storage space, or the ability to create post signatures. Give them a special badge and member title.
It will show that you respect and appreciate their contributions. Having a small number of community leaders will save you time. They will always have their fingers on the pulse and can feedback any issues before they develop into something serious.
Are you going to funnel discussion into your community?
Your community is one part of your site. If you have pages and articles up elsewhere, I recommend you encourage posting in the forums. At the end of each article, link to a related forum and ask for their thoughts.
People love sharing their thoughts and opinions.
Taking the time to create a strategy will pay dividends later. Getting into a professional and focused mindset will make you stand out from the crowd. Knowing the exact purpose of your community and how to execute it is key for success.
Thinking about the questions posed above is a great start. It should make you think about your target audience and how to serve them. It may even create more questions. I'd love to help you answer them.
Let me know what your plans are for your community.
Derzhis reacted to Charles for an entry, Invision Community 4.3
We are happy to announce the new Invision Community 4.3 is available!
Some highlights in Invision Community 4.3 include...
We now support Elasticsearch for scalable and accurate searching that MySQL alone cannot provided. There are also enhancements to the overall search interfaces based on your feedback.
Express yourself with native emoji support in all editors. You can also keep your custom emoticons as you have now.
The AdminCP interface to manage your members is all new allowing you easier control and management of your membership.
Automatic Community Moderation
You as the administrator set up rules to define how many unique member reports a piece of content needs to receive before it's automatically hidden from view and moderators notified.
The new Clubs feature has been a huge hit with Invision Community users and we are expanding it to include invite-only options, notifications, exposure on the main community pages, paid memberships, and more.
Custom Email Footers
Your community generates a lot of email and you can now include dynamic content in the footer to help drive engagement and content discovery.
New Gallery Interface
We have reworked our Gallery system with a simplified upload process and more streamlined image viewing.
The full list follows. Enjoy!
We now support Elasticsearch which is a search utility that allows for much faster and more reliable searching. The REST API now supports search functions. Both MySQL and Elasticsearch have new settings for the admin to use to set search-defaults and default content weighting to better customize search logic to your community. Visitors can now search for Content Pages and Commerce Products. When entering a search term, members now see a more clear interface so they know what areas they are searching in and the method of search. Member Engagement
Commerce can now send a customizable account welcome email after checkout. You can whitelist emails in the spam service to stop false-positives. REST API has many enhancements to mange members. Ability to join any OAuth service for login management. Invision Community can now be an OAuth endpoint. Wordpress OAuth login method built in. Support for Google's Invisible ReCaptcha. Groups can be excluded from Leaderboard (such as admins or bot groups). All emails generated by Invision Community can now contain admin-defined extra promotional text in the footer such as Our Picks, and Social Links. Admins can now define the order of Complete Your Profile to better control user experience. Clubs
Option to make a Club visible but invite-only Admins can set an option so any Club a member is part of will also show in the parent application. So if you are in a Club that has a Gallery tab then those image will show both in the Club and in the main Gallery section of the community. Club members can now follow an entire Club rather than just each content section. There is a new option on the Club directory page for a list view which is useful for communities with many Clubs. If you have Commerce you can now enable paid memberships to Clubs. Admins can set limits on number of Clubs per group. If a group has delete permission in their Club, they can now delete empty containers as well. Members can ignore invitations. Moderation and Administration
Unrestricted moderator or administrator permission sets in the AdminCP are visually flagged. This prevents administrator confusion when they cannot do something as they will be able to quickly see if their account has restrictions. You can choose to be notified with a new Club is created. Moderators can now reply to any content item with a hidden reply. Download screenshot/watermarks can now be rebuilt if you change settings. Support for Facebook Pixel to easily track visitors. Moderators can now delete Gallery albums. Automatic moderation tools with rules to define when content should auto-hide based on user reports. Totally new member management view in AdminCP. More areas are mass-selectable like comments and AdminCP functions for easier management. New Features
Commerce now has full Stripe support including fraud tools, Apple Pay, and other Stripe features. Commerce packages can now have various custom email events configured (expiring soon, purchased, expired). Full Emojii support in the editor. Complete overhaul of the Gallery upload and image views. Announcements system overhaul. Now global on all pages (not via widget) and new modes including dismissible announcements and top-header floating bar option. Many new reports on traffic and engagement in the AdminCP. Blog has new view modes to offer options for a traditional site blog or a community multi-member blog platform. The content-starter can now leave one reply to Reviews on their item. Commerce now makes it much easier to do basic account-subscriptions when there is no product attached. Useful Improvements
Forums has a new widget where you can filter by tags. If tags are not required, the tag input box now indicates this so the member knows they do not have to put in tags. Member cover photos can now be clicked to see the full image. Any item with a poll now has a symbol on the list view. Twitch.tv embed support. You can now update/overwrite media in the Pages Media Manager. Mapbox as an additional map provider to Google Maps. Technical Changes
Direct support for Sparkpost has been removed. Anyone currently using Sparkpost will automatically have their settings converted to the Sparkpost SMTP mode so your email will still work. Your cache engines (like Redis) will be checked on upgrade and in the support tool to ensure they are reachable. Third-party applications will now be visually labeled to distinguish them from Invision Community official applications. The queued tasks list in the AdminCP is now collapsed by default as queued tasks are not something people need to pay much attention to during normal operations. When upgrading from version 3 series you must convert your database to UTF8 and the system saves your original data in tables prefixed with orig. The AdminCP now alerts you these are still present and allows you to remove them to reclaim storage space. On new installs there are now reasonable defaults for upload limits to keep people from eating up storage space. Categories in all apps (forums, gallery albums, databases, etc.) no longer allow HTML in their titles. This has been a concern both in terms of security and usability so we were forced to restrict it. Large improvements to the Redis cache engine including use for sessions. The login with HTTPS option has been removed and those who were using it will be given instructions to convert their entire community to HTTPS. Images loaded through the proxy system now honor image limits for normal uploads. We now consider BBCode deprecated. We are not removing support but will not fix any future issues that may come up.
There's a lot to talk about here so we are going to lock this entry to comments so things do not get confusing. Feel free to comment on upcoming feature-specific entries or start a topic in our Feedback forum.