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Marc Stridgen

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  1. Marc Stridgen

    Team Talk: What would you do with $1,000,000?

    With a bit of effort, I recon I could spend it in a week. 😄
  2. Marc Stridgen

    How to create a homepage

    Creating a homepage for your site has many benefits including: Showing your best content first By using the "Our Picks" blocks, you can display your best content first. This content sets the tone for the site and will encourage engagement across your site. Display multiple areas of the suite Each application has its own feed blocks that can be used to display content on the home page. If your members use Gallery heavily, then showcase those photos on the homepage. If you use Calendar a lot to schedule events, then show event feeds. By displaying feeds to content is a great way to showcase all areas of your site on a single page. Reduce confusion For those of us that grew up with forums are used to viewing a list of categories and forums. We find it easy to scan the list of forums and dip into the ones that interest us. For those that are not so familiar, a homepage displaying easily accessible content reduces the confusion and invites true content discovery. Basic Homepage While the pages application can be as complex as you would like to make it, creation of a basic homepage can be quite simple to do, even if you are a beginner in using the platform. The following video shows how to create a basic application using the block manager Whilst creating your home page, and re-organising you site, you may also find the following guides helpful in obtaining more information about some of the items discussed in this video. Databases There may be times where you wish to add your own database driven content to your homepage. For example you may want to add some articles in there, which are not driven by any other area of your site, such as forums. For this you can use the databases part of our pages application. The following 2 guides discuss databases and how to create them within your ACP. Databases are added, and connected to only one page. In this example we would be using your home page. Note, this is not to be confused with being able to add feeds from a database, which you can do in various places around the site. You would add a database to your site once created, using the block manager. Once added, you can select the database you have created, as shown below Database Selection By default this would show the categories of your database, as you can see in the background of the above image. For our purposes, we only have one category named articles, and want these to show up on the page itself, rather than showing the category name. In order to do this, you would need to edit the database you have created, and change its 'Database index' setting so 'Show as Articles'. This would the give an article layout to your database. Database in article layout More advanced options For our more advanced users, pages can be created in the 'Manual HTML' style editor, which you would select instead of using the 'Page Builder' option, when creating a page. Manual HTML One important option here for advanced users, is the 'Use suite HTML wrapper' option. If this is selected, you would be creating HTML within the suite wrapper. So you would already have the standard site header, footer, CSS, includes etc. This can be helpful if you want to add content within the page itself. If you do not choose this option, then you would be responsible for the whole page, including the doctype, head, body etc. All html content for the HTML version of a page would be added to the content tab.
  3. Marc Stridgen

    Audits & Logs

    There will be various times in which it is important to be able to find out information about how something has happened on your site. This may be related to something that has happened to a user, something that has changed on your site, or even an issue that has occurred that you need more information on. Within the Invision community suite ,we provide various methods of logging. The various areas you can find these are discussed below. Moderator/Admin Logs Front end moderation Within most content items, you can find out what moderation tasks have been performed, by using the moderator log. These can be found by selecting the 'moderator log' option within the 'Moderator Tools' menu, as shown below. Moderator Tools Clicking on this will give you a history of every moderator action which has been performed on that particular content item. Moderator History If you have full edit history switched on, you can also see a full edit history for a given item, along with what it was edited from and to. In order to see this, you need to ensure that the following option is switched on 'System -> Settings -> Posting -> Edit Log -> Log all edits made to content and what was changed' Edit History ACP Moderation Log A more overall log of moderator actions or administator actions can be found within the ACP within the following locations. Members -> staff -> Moderators -> Moderator Logs Members -> staff -> Administrators -> Administrator Logs You will note that there is a Prune settings option at the top. Clicking on this will allow you to set when these items should be removed from the system, if you wish to do so. Moderator Logs Administrator logs refer more to items that have been changed within the admin area. For example changing a setting, adding a usergroup etc. Admin CP Login Logs Within the following location in the ACP, you can see Admin CP login logs. These can be helpful if you believe someone has been logging in to do something malicious, or you beelieve someone has been attempting to access your ACP that shouldnt be. A full log of all these actions, and whether successfull or not can be found here. Members -> Staff -> Administrators -> Admin CP Login Logs ACP Login Logs Member logs There are various reasons in which you may need to know what has happened to an individual member account. It may be that you wish to know about a purchase they believe they have made, or simply what device they are using to log into the system. Whatever the reason, you will find this information within every members profile in the ACP by selecting the individual members profile Members -> Members Account History System/Error logs Whilst using the software, you will inevitably have times where you or your members experience an issue with the site. This may be related to a problem on your server, a 3rd party item you have added, or many other reasons. Often you will be given limited information from your members, and so we have made it easy to track down the error or system messages that the user has received. There are 2 different types of logs for these Error Logs These are related to items which are expected, but would be shown to a user. For example a user would recieve a permission error if they do not have permission to enter a certain area of the site. these would be logged in this area. You can find these in the ACP at the following location System -> Support -> Support -> Error logs Error logs Errors classified as being above a certain 'level' will be notified to you via email. Clicking on the settings button will allow you to set which of these you wish to recieve, or even which you whether or not you wish to log at all Error Levels System Logs System logs are those which are related to the internal system itself. If you see an error on the front end which relates to a 3rd party item crashing for example, this is where you would be likely to see it. You can find these here System -> Support -> Support -> System logs This is how you would hope to see your system log on most occasions. If there are items that are showing in here, then they likely need to be addressed. Empty System Log
  4. Marc Stridgen

    Promoting Members

    There are often rules on sites in which people will use to promote members to another group. For example, you may have a rule on your site which states when a member reaches a 1000 posts, you would add them to an advanced member group. Within the Invision Community platform, you can do this automatically, based on rules which you provide to the system. Group Promotion Rules You would set up group promotion rules within the following area of the ACP Members -> Members -> Group Promotions From here you can add any number of criteria in which to use for promoting members. In this example I have set up to move members who have done 1000 posts . Whilst the example below is quite simple, you can see from the options available, you can set up some quite complex options, should you wish to do so. Promotion Criteria Once 1000 posts is reached, it would move them to my 'Advanced Member' group Promotion Action Restrictions The rules you set up within the group promotions area apply to all members, other than the following: If a member meets the criteria for more than one rule, the last shown in the list will be used. For example, if you have a rule to promote members after they have made 10 posts, and another after 100 posts, you should make sure the 100 post rule is below the 10 post rule in this list. If a member purchases a product which moves them into a group, these rules will not apply to them. Users who are in a group which has been set up to be excluded from group promotions, would not be promoted automatically by the system.
  5. Marc Stridgen

    Profile Completion

    Completing forms can be a tedious job for anyone, however an important area when capturing data for your members. Filling in a large form to register on a site can be somewhat of a turn off to potential members. Invision Community Suite provides the facility for you to get your members signed up quickly, whilst also giving you the ability to capture any data that you need, by way of profile completion tasks. What is it? Profile completion allows potential members to sign up to your site, filling in the minimal amount of data necessary for registration on your site. It will capture only the display name, email, and password details. Any other information you need to capture from the user can then be prompted to be entered after the member has already registered, by way of 'Profile Completion'. These can be either optional, or mandatory items. So you can prevent people from using the site if you require information prior to use. Quick Registration Setting up Before setting up any profile completion sections, you need to ensure that you are using the 'Quick Registration' form. You can switch to this from the following location in your ACP System -> Settings -> Login & Registration -> Registration Once you have done this, you can create new profile completion steps from your custom profile fields. If you have not yet created the profile fields that you need, we would recommend taking a look at our custom profile fields guide before continuing. Profile completion steps are set up from the following location within your ACP Members -> Member Setting -> Profiles -> Profile Completion Clicking to 'Create New' will allow you to create a profile completion step. Each step can contain one of more profile items to be completed by the user on that step, and can also be stated to be required or not. The below example creates a simple profile completion step asking the user to tell you a little more about themselves. Profile Completion ACP You can set up as many of these steps as you would like the user to be shown on the front end. These will then be shown one per page to the user in the profile completion section User Side When there are items left to fill in on a users profile, the profile completion bar will be shown to that user, along with the percentage they have currently completed. This bar is dismissible by the user if they wish, in which case they would then need to complete any profile items from the profile itself. They can click on "Complete my profile" to continue to the next step shown, and complete each item. Profile Completion Bar Mandatory fields You will notice on the 'Complete my profile' section that there is a 'Skip this step' button at the bottom. This will only be displayed if the items are not required to be completed by the user. If there are any steps which are required, they will not have this selection, and the profile completion screen will always show until the required information is completed. The screenshot below shows that you are currently on a non-mandatory step which can be skipped. However step 2 is mandatory and has not yet been completed. Therefor you will notice there are no menu items that the user can select, and they see nothing on the site other than the profile completion section until they have populated any required elements. Profile Completion
  6. Marc Stridgen


    Donations can be a quick an easy way to generate revenue toward the running costs of your site. Within the Invision Community software, we provide the ability to create donation goals. For example, you may wish to set a goal of "Running costs" with the total running costs for your site, and people can then donate toward that goal. Donation Goals You can set up a donation goal within the following area of your ACP Commerce -> Payments -> Donations -> Goals Goal Setup Here you can set the amount of your goal along with a description to show your users on what the goal is for. You can set up as many of these as you like. These will then be listed on the main goals page Goals List Donating Your users can then donate toward these goals from the donations page on the front end of your site. This appears by default as a submenu item under the store link. Users can click to donate to any of the items they wish Main Donations Page In addition to the main donations page, we also provide a block that you can add from the block manager, making it simple to draw attention to your goals from wherever you wish on your site. Donation Blocks
  7. Marc Stridgen

    RSS feeds

    RSS feeds are a way in which people can subscribe to your site using news readers. These allow for content on your site to be promoted easily with online RSS readers, and keep users engaged that use readers to give them news and information from various sites. The IPS Community suite shows RSS links in various areas of the site by default, and also allows for easy set of your own customised feeds. Built In Feeds Within each section of your site, you will see an RSS feed link in the bottom left. This provides an RSS feed link to the content within that area, which can then be consumed by the reader. In the example below, you can see it shows the latest topics from the News Forum, which we are currently browsing. Section RSS Links In addition to the links in each section, you will also see these within each of your activity streams. Creating new streams on your site can be a simple way of showing both the content on your site, and within a feed. Activity Feed Link Custom Feeds If you wish to build your own feeds to show within the main RSS link in the bottom left, you can do this from your ACP in the following location System -> Content Discovery -> RSS Feeds When creating a new feed, you can choose which sections you wish to 'feed' into this new RSS feed. Here we have created a feed named 'Test Feed', which shows information only from a specific calendar. Feed Creation
  8. Marc Stridgen

    Using The Block Manager

    Within the IPS Community Suite, you are provided with the ability to add items to your pages by way of a 'Block Manager'. This drag/drop facility allows you to quickly add items to create a sidebar, or add items to the top and bottom of your page. This facility is also used within our pages application to facilitate the easy creation of new pages. Adding Blocks Adding blocks to your pages is a simple process. When logged in as a member of staff with the moderator permission "Can use sidebar", you will see a tab sticking out from the left of the site. Clicking on this will open the block manager, and reveal available areas of the site where you can place your blocks. This is shown in the gif image below Block Manager Usage Editing Blocks Some blocks that you add to the page will have their own configuration to them. Where this is the case, you will see an edit button where you can add further configuration. Clicking edit reveals setup options In this example, we are using the topic feed. As you can see from the image below, you can configure many of these blocks to very specific needs. For example, you may want a block named "News" which is fed from your news forum. This would easily done with the topic feed block. Topic Feed Config
  9. Marc Stridgen

    Selling Subscriptions

    The Commerce application, give you the ability to sell subscriptions to your users. This may be to give a higher status to your users, give access to more sections, change uaergroups or anything else you decide within the product. These can become an important revenue stream for your community, and promote social engagement though the ability to give multiple tiers to your community. Creating Creating a new subscription item can be done from the following location within your ACP Commerce -> Subscriptions -> Subscription Plans From here you can see any subscriptions which already exist, along with how many active and interactive subscribers are currently using that package (with revenue, of course). You can edit any of these by selecting the pencil icon, and even add a subscriber manually to that package using the + icon (note manually added members would not be paying for that subscription). Clicking on 'Create new' in the top right, will give you the setup screen for a new subscription. Here you will see a variety of options you can use for that particular subscription, including the renewal periods (if required), any benefits the subscriber gains by changing or adding to that members group, and other payment options such as the payment and tax methods to be used. Settings Within the following location in your ACP, there are various settings which apply to the subscription system over all. Commerce -> Subscriptions -> Subscription Plans -> Settings From here you can set overall options for upgrading/downgrading on the subscriptions you have set up, such as whether or not to charge a difference, prorate, or not charge at all for a change. You can also set up protected groups which would not be affected by any group changes, which can be helpful to ensure that moderators and admins groups are not amended. If you click on any of the numbers in the main Subscriptions page, you can also get a list of subscribers which are currently set up on the system. Purchasing Users can purchase a subscription from the front end, by visiting the subscriptions section. These can also be shown on registration if set up within the subscription settings, or even shown anywhere on your site with a block available within the block manager. Users can change their subscription at any time fro the upgrade/downgrade/cancel buttons provided within the subscriptions screen. They will be asked to confirm this, and also shown any changes to costs which may occur.
  10. Marc Stridgen

    Support Feedback

    Over the weekend we would only usually deal with urgent support queries, resulting in a site being offline. Whilst we will attend to some other items (I see your original ticket was actually responded to on the Saturday itself), switching over domains would only generally be done during the week. Your ticket will certainly be dealt with at some point today. It may surprise you actually that our standards of service actually state that depending on the nature of the request, can be up to 2 business days, but usually within 2 hours. During the week however, we do tend to attend to most items in less than the 2 hours, often within minutes. So please do not feel that this is the general support times in which you would come to expect during business hours, as this certainly would not be the case. Of course, if you do ever have any problems, please do shout up.
  11. Marc Stridgen

    Feedback for support staff regarding themes

    We like to be kept on our toes 😉
  12. Marc Stridgen

    Feedback for support staff regarding themes

    Hi ehren, I completely agree with what you have said there, however the process your describe is actually the process that is already in place. Of course we ourselves would like to ensure our customers receive the best possible service. The general support process with items such as these would be to test items with all 3rd party items disabled, usually through use of the support tools. In cases where it is then only happening with a specific item enabled, we would of course direct to the relevant party. With the above said however, we are of course people, and mistakes can be made. If you do find any of this nature, please feel free to drop me a message and I will take a look. I'd like to think that we get it right most of the time, but anything where we can improve, we're more than willing to do so.
  13. Marc Stridgen

    Gallery 4.3.3 - not resize big size photo

    Please submit a ticket if you have further issues, and we could take a look.
  14. Marc Stridgen

    Gallery 4.3.3 - not resize big size photo

    If you go to system>support>support, select "something isn't working correctly" and click next, you will see patches available for this issue.
  15. Marc Stridgen

    Dental Work (Mostly) Complete

    Glad to hear you found the issue with your SMTP settings there, and now have this set up correctly.