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Marc Stridgen

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  1. This guide has been put together to give a general direction on how to improve the performance of your site on a self-hosted environment. However, while we make continuous performance improvements at a software level with each release, most issues such as this are the result of an underperforming, overloaded or misconfigured server. As a software manufacturer, our ability to troubleshoot this is limited and your host has the best tools and access to the most resources to troubleshoot the issue for you. We would recommend that you consult with your host and if they identify an issue with the software such as a particular query that seems to be posing an issue, please pass along such information and we will be happy to investigate the concern further at that time. Please also note, IPS provides turnkey Community in the Cloud services. Please see https://www.invisionpower.com/buy/cloud for more information. General Performance The first thing you should look at when it comes to performance, is that you are utilizing the latest versions of items such as PHP and MySQL, that your hosting company provides. This can often provide a performance benefit in of itself. In addition to the above, ensure you are using any recommended items shown in your admin CP, and ensure you have applied any patches. To check this, go to System>Support>Support, select "Something isnt working correctly" and click on next. If there are any items showing here to be addressed, you should do this before any other item. MySQL and INNODB MySQL on a lot of servers will tend to use the old MyISAM table engine. While this may be fine for many applications, we recommend that you use INNODB as your table engine for the Invision Suite applications. This can improve performance on applications that have a lot of both read and write actions, such as the Invision Community Suite. This is due to the way in which locking is handled by the MySQL instance, as INNODB supports row level locking, rather than only table level locking. If you are unsure how to switch to INNODB, you should contact your hosting company on this. The general syntax for changing a table to INNODB is as follows ALTER TABLE table_name ENGINE=InnoDB; You can see more information about converting to INNODB in the MySQL documentation at the link below https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/converting-tables-to-innodb.html Site Caching Caching is an important function of the Invision Community Suite, that allows for some information to be stored in an easy to access format, which has already been processed ready for viewing. These are items such as blocks, and guest viewing of pages, whereby items do not have to be up to date to the second or minute. By caching information on your site, you speed up the view of that information. In addition, you free up resources for those tasks which do need up to date information. So for example, if you cache all pages for guests, so they see a cached version of each page, your members will benefit from this, as resources will not be hogged by guest users. The software allows for various methods to store cached information, such as Redis and Memcached. You can also determine how long items are cached for within your admin CP, in System>Settings>Advanced Configuration . For more information on caching, please see the following guide Forums Archiving Archiving, is a way of taking the data away from your topics and posts tables on the forums application, and moving it to a set of archived table. By doing this, you can improve the performance of your main tables. It is very important to note, that this will have negligible benefit on sites other than those that are very large. There is also the trade-off that these items are not searchable, and cannot be interacted with (only viewed) once they are archived. If you do believe that archiving may benefit your site, you can read more about this function in the following guide Running Tasks Within the Invision Community platform, there are tasks that are performed by your site on a periodic bases. These can be everything from updating views, to creating cache items, or deleting logs. Your sites performance can be affected if these tasks are not run properly, at the times it needs to. By default the task system runs 'With Traffic'. This means that a little bit of the tasks will be run each time a user does something on your site, or even views a page. We recommend that this is switched to use cron on your server. cronis a scheduled task system available on most servers, which can run the tasks for you. This means it is then no longer running with traffic on the site. You can read more about tasks, and how to change methods, including cron and Webservice methods, in the following guide External Services It is possible to configure external services, in order to support the performance of your site. This may be that you offload your search facility, or move some of your stored files to another location to gain a performance benefit. Elastic Search Elastic search allows you to offload searching to a dedicated elastic search instance, either on your own server, or a server elsewhere. Being a dedicated platform for this, the performance is greatly improved, and affects many other areas of the site such as activity streams. Setting up of elastic search itself is not something that is within the scope of this guide. You should contact your hosting company, or an external provider of elasticsearch, in order to use this service. Once you have this set up, you switch to elastic search by selecting this option, and adding your elastic server details, in the following location System -> Settings -> Search Storage Methods The Invision Community platform allows you to move the location of stored items, to another location should you wish to do so. This means you can take load off your own server in some cases such as S3, or even moving items to other drives on your own server. The methods allowed are File System - Default option which is sufficient for most environments. Amazon S3 - Remote storage system recommended for very busy sites. Database - Use if you do not have much file storage space available or file writes are undesirable for your server environment. Will require more server resources to display a file. You can read more about these methods in our guides below
  2. As Azure AD uses OAuth 2.0 for its connectivity, we can set this up as a login method using our generic OAuth 2.0 setup. The below guide shows a basic setup of Azure AD, with a standard Invision Community setup. Before you continue, this guide assumes that you already have an Azure account and organisation already set up. If you do not yet have this, you should go ahead and ensure you have this set up first. Setting up permissions The first thing we will need to do in order to get our oauth setup working, is to create the relevant permissions within Azure. Within your Azure services screen, select the "Azure Active Directory" link as shown. Account Services Now we are in the Active Directory area of your Azure setup, select "App Registrations" from the left so we can register a new application App Registration Menu Option Click on New Registration, to register a new application New App Registration You can give the user facing display name of the application anything you wish. You can change this later if you decide you want to name it something differently, so we have just used Azure OAuth Test for the time being. Select the "Supported account types" option that relates to how you want your login setup. The Redirect URI can be found within your admin CP if needed, by visiting the following location to start setting up the admin CP side System -> Settings -> Login & Registration ->Create new -> Other Oauth 2.0 By default the URL to enter will be as follows. Replacing the yourURL with your own sites URL - https://yourURL/oauth/callback Callback URL Example How this is set up, we can add the API Permissions. Go back to the overview screen, and select "View API permissions" View API Permissions You may find that there is already the User.Read permissions set up, as shown below. If there is, you can skip the next step. Example Permissions If this is not already set up, select "Add a permission". This will then ask what type of permission you wish to add. For the purpose of our setup, we will be selecting "Microsoft Graph" Permission Type Selection You will then be asked which type of permissions you require. You need to select "Delegated permissions" Select Delegate Permissions Then select the following permissions User->User.Read User Permission Options The Client Secret Now we have the permissions set up, we need to create the client secret. This secret will then be used for the setup in your admin CP. Select "Certificated & secrets" from the menu on the left. Client Secret Menu Item Once you are in this area, you need to Select the "New client secret" button Select "Never" on the expiry Add a name for your secret (can be anything you wish) Client Secret Setup Click on Add, and you will then see the secret at the bottom of the page. You need to copy this secret for use in subsequent sections of this guide. Copy Secret Key The Admin Side Now we have the Azure side set up, we can set up the Auth setup within the admin CP. If you have not done so already, visit the following area in the Admin CP to start the setup System -> Settings -> Login & Registration ->Create new -> Other Oauth 2.0 The first thing we will enter, will be a the basic settings. It doesnt matter what you call the login method, as long as its something you can recognise in the ACP, should you need to revisit this area in the future. Leave the other 2 items as default Basic Settings The next section is "Application Settings". This is where you will add the relevant information for your azure setup. All items should be left as default unless stated here. Your client and tenant ID locations are shown in the image below for when needed Client ID and Tenant ID Client Identifier - This is the "Application (client) ID" that you will see at the top of the overview page. Client Secret - This is the secret key that was copied out in the previous section of this guide Scopes to Request - Enter "user.read" (without the quotes) Authorization Endpoint - This should be the following URL. However replace where it states "tenant_id_here" with your tenant ID. This can be found on the overview page of azure active directory named "Directory (tenant) ID" https://login.microsoftonline.com/tenant_id_here/oauth2/authorize?resource=https://graph.microsoft.com/ Token Endpoint - This should be the following URL. Again you should replace where its states "tenant_id_here" with your own tenant id https://login.microsoftonline.com/tenant_id_here/oauth2/token?resource=https://graph.microsoft.com/ User Information Endpoint - Please ensure the following URL https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/me User ID Parameter - Enter "ID" (without the quotes) Display Name Parameter - Enter "displayName" (without the quotes) Email Address Parameter - Enter "mail" (without the quotes) Profile Photo URL Parameter - Leave blank Application Settings The final part is to fill in the 'Appearance Settings', and 'Account Management' settings. What you add for these would be your own preference, depending on how you wish for the login button to be displayed, and the action to be taken in various scenarios with user accounts. Appearance and Account Settings This now concludes the azure setup. You can test this by logging into the site on the front end from a valid account
  3. A great way in which to monetize your community, can often be to sell subscriptions to your members, in exchange for Benefits around the site (or indeed off the site). The commerce application allows for this with a simple subscriptions system. It is important to know, this is meant as a walk through to show example of use. More extensive guides on commerce, and its features, can be found under the Suite Applications section on the left of this guides area. Introduction In this guide we will be creating a subscription system for our fictional site, that will allow our members to pay to increase their attachment storage space, gain access to a new forum, and create private/restricted gallery items. There will be 3 tiers, of which offer more features the higher the subscription that is purchased Bronze Subscription Silver Subscription Gold Subscription Creating Groups The first thing we wish to do is to create some new member groups. We will create groups corresponding to the subscriptions we will also set up. So therefore as Bronze, Silver, and Gold group. For more information on the creation of member groups, please refer to the following guide On the creation of these groups, they will have the same basic settings of the member group, with the exception of the following items. Bronze - Set "Total Maximum Storage" to 1000kb (Content Tab). Switch on "Can create private albums?" (Gallery Tab - Requires the gallery application) Silver - Set "Total Maximum Storage" to 5000kb (Content Tab). Switch on "Can create private albums?" (Gallery Tab - Requires the gallery application) Gold - Set "Total Maximum Storage" to 5000kb (Content Tab). Switch on "Can create private albums?", and also "Can create restricted access albums?" (Gallery Tab - Requires the gallery application). Sorting Permissions Now we have created the groups, create a new forum for Subscribers. We have named this "Subscriber", but you can name the forum anything you wish. Please see the following guide on how to create new forums When creating the forums, you will need to set up permissions so that only members of Bronze, Silver, or Gold have access to this new forum. You can read more about permissions in the following guide Creating Subscriptions We are now going to create some subscriptions for the new groups. Here we want to achieve the following Allow someone to purchase a subscription for Bronze, Silver or Gold Promote to the relevant group on purchase To create our first subscription, we go to the following location within our AdminCP Commerce -> Subscriptions -> Subscription Plans Here, we click to create a new subscription plan in the top right. In the box provided, give it the name "Bronze Subscription". We are going to create monthly subscriptions. So we want to set an initial charge for this of $5, and then $5 every month afterward. For this you need to switch on "Renews". You should have something set up as the following so far. Name and Price Setup Now we have the name and price set up, we need to tell the system what to do when someone purchases the item. We set up here that we want these users to be moved into the Bronze Group, when they purchase this item. In addition, we want them to be moved back to their original group if they stop paying for the item. Once done, add a cover image if you wish, and a description for your new subscription. The final part of your setup should look like this. Subscription benefits Complete these steps for a silver and gold subscriber set, and you will then have a set of subscriptions. The subscription system automatically allows users to upgrade/downgrade between subscriptions, if allowed to do so within subscription settings. You can read more about that in our full subscriptions guide Further Reading Our full subscriptions guide can be found in the following location of our guides area For information on setting up payment methods for your users to use, please see the following guide If you have not yet purchased our Commerce application for your site, you can add this on simply and easily, by following the instructions in the guide below. If you are a cloud hosted customer, you already have this product, so you are good to go!
  4. While the Invision Community suite allows for many popular login systems such as facebook, google, twitter and more, there will be times you need to integrate with another platform which is not on the list by default. If the system in which you wish to connect to supports OAuth 2.0, then you can integrate simply by adding the relevant details into your AdminCP. Setting Up In order to set up set up a new OAuth 2.0 login, you would simply visit the following area within your AdminCP. System -> Settings -> Login & Registration -> Method From here, select the "Create new", the "Other OAuth 2.0" Selection, and click continue. From here you would need to enter your preferences such as name, color of buttons, icons etc. Along with the relevant application settings which have been provided by your OAuth 2.0 provider. Basic Settings - Here are your most basic setting such as the name of the login method and what you would like for it to do. Application Settings - This is the OAuth 2.0 application settings provided by your OAuth provider. Appearance Settings - These relate to the way the button looks, which is used for logging in. You can choose the text to use, color, and logo. Account Management - These are preferences related to how logins act when it encounters things such as display names changing, emails changing, and whether or not to show the login method within your members account settings.
  5. Selling advertisement space on websites, is one of the oldest methods of generating revenue for your site. However this can still be one of the most effective in many cases. Our commerce application allows you to sell specific locations on your site to advertisers for periods of your own choosing. Selling Advertising Selling advertisement space to your visitors can easily achieved within Commerce by adding a new product within Products. See the Commerce products article for more information. You will be able to set an expiration period for the product as well as the maximum dimensions for any banners which are uploaded when a visitor buys an ad space. This allows you control over the size and period that a banner is shown for. You can see more information on this within our commerce guide. Any ad purchases will show up within Advertisements as a pending advertisement. This enables you to ensure that the ads are suitable for your site before showing them. You can also add an email to your created product to notify you of any new purchases, should you wish to be notified of these immediately. When a clicks to purchase advertising space, they will be prompted to upload their advertisement image to be used, along with the URL this will lead to. Purchasing ads Optionally, the user can select to upload smaller versions of the advertisement image. These would then be used for devices such as tablets and mobile devices Tablet and Mobile Ads
  6. Hello, This is a different issue, as you are on your own site there. If you submit a ticket, we can certainly advise.
  7. Your client area on our site, is your area in which to manage your client licences, interact with support, make any payments, and generally manage your account on the platform. Below is an overview of the various functions of your client area. Client Area Overview Manage Purchases (1) On first logging into the client area, you will see the "Manage Purchases" section. From the screenshot above, you can see there are 2 items present (one cloud and one self hosted license). You can manage any of these items by selecting the button on the right. Once you have clicked to manage an item you will be able see information about that purchase, and manage items such as access information, licensed URLs and keys. In addition, if you would like to add any items to your packages, you can do this from the same location, by selecting the "Manage your community" tab. Orders (2) From the orders tab, you can see every order you have had on our system. Items such as new purchases, renewals, and other items. Orders List If click on the View Details button next to any of the order numbers, you can see more details about that order, including the ability to print your invoice or add a PO number. Order Details Support (3) Clicking on the support tab will give you the ability to submit a support ticket, or view any existing support tickets. For more details on obtaining support, please see the following guide My Details (4) The "My Details" drop down menu contains many items where you can change/add details. These are detailed in brief below Personal Information - This is where you can add a telephone number and company name if needed Addresses - You can change your billing address within this area, and add any other addresses required to use for your licenses. Payment Methods - You can add payment methods here, which you can then use to make purchases and process renewals on your items. If a valid payment method is on file, this would automatically be used for any renewals. Account Credit - You can add credit to your account here, which can be used for purchases of IPS products. It is important to note that this cannot be used in the marketplace. For this you must add to marketplace credit on the community. Alternative Contacts - Here you can add other people who are allowed to contact us on your behalf, either for billing, support, or both. You can also select which purchases to allow them to view. Referrals - Here you can find your personal referral links for the invision platform. Change Email/Password - Links for to change each of these corresponding items.
  8. When starting a new community, one of the first questions that is often asked, is how to get the site to look the way you wish. Below we discuss the various tools you can use in order to achieve this. It should be noted that this guide is intended as a brief overview. Links are provided to guides with further information. However you can find more in depth topics in the "Themes and Customizations" section, on the left menu. Themes First of all, we need to know what a theme is. A theme is a set of colors, fonts, layouts and more, that changes the overall design of your site. Changing theme can by uploading one created by a 3rd party, or creating one yourself in one of 2 'modes'. 3rd Party Themes The easiest way in which to change the look of your site, is to pick a theme from a 3rd party author. Many 3rd party authors will offer themes within our marketplace, which you can find in the following location of our site https://invisioncommunity.com/files/category/162-themes/ These may be free or paid solutions. Once you have found a 3rd party theme you wish to use, you would then upload this to your site within the AdminCP, at the following location Customization -> Appearance -> Themes Once in this location, click on "Add theme" to upload the theme you have downloaded from the market place Add New Theme Select the Upload tab on the popup. You will notice that when creating a theme yourself using easy mode or manual, you also do this from the same place Select Upload Tab Click to select the xml theme you downloaded, and click next to add the theme Choose the Theme You Wish To Upload Once the theme is uploaded, you can set this as the default by clicking the edit button (Pencil icon) at the side of your new theme Easy Mode Easy Mode, is the simplest method in which to create your own theme. This allows for the changing of colors and settings, without the need for coding knowledge. You can then select colors for each element of the site, as you see in the screenshot below. Easy Mode Theme Creation You can see more about how to do this, in our Easy mode guide Design Your Own For some, you will wish to create more complex themes using html/css/javascript. If you are looking to completely write your own themes in this matter, take a look at our guides on the left, under the "Themes and Customisations" section Theme Guides Blocks 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 Languages 3rd Party Languages For most people who require a language pack, outside of the default, the simplest method would be to obtain a 3rd party language pack. This is a pack which has already been created by someone else. You can find many 3rd party language packs, within the translations category of our marketplace Once you have a language pack, you would then upload in the following location, by clicking on "Create New>Upload" Customization -> Localization -> Languages Visual Translation Within the languages section of our suite, we provide a way of quick translation, through the front end of the site. Which allows you to see what you are editing. This can be handy if you are changing just a few select phrases, or need to quickly find where to edit a word or phrase. To see more about how to use these features, please see our guide in the following location Full Translation For some, only full manual translation will do. It may be that you are translating to a language that nobody has done before, or you wish to create one of your own to share within our marketplace. We provide a range of guides for this, which you can find in the menu, at the left of our guide area Language Guides
  9. This guide covers the various areas of our billing system, within our client area. Answering various common questions we are asked about purchasing items, and managing billing items such as addresses, credit, and payments. Orders Section Once you have logged into the client area, you will see there is an order tab in the menu, as shown in the screenshot below. Orders Every order/invoice that has ever been on your account, can be seen in this area. As you can see at the top, there is an order that has not yet been paid for a renewal. These can be paid by selecting the "Pay Now" option provided. Clicking on the "view details" button on any order, will show you all the details related to that order. From here you can add a PO number in the top right if needed, and print the invoice. Order Details Payment Methods If you would like for your renewals to be paid automatically, you can add a payment method to the system, which will then be charged automatically when an invoice is generated. In order to add a new payment method, you would do this from the following location in the menu 'My Details->Payment Methods' If you have any existing payment methods, you will see them listed here. To add a new payment method, select the 'Add New' button Payment Methods Once you select to add a new method, simply add your card details that you wish to be saved securely for future payments Add New Account Credit In addition to adding a new payment method, you can also add credit to your account for future invoices. Therefore if you wish to pay for items up front, you can do so by pre-paying on your account. To add credit to your account, visit the following location 'My Details->Account Credit' From here, simply click the 'Add Credit' button, and enter the amount you wish to add. You will then be taken through the checkout process to pay the amount. Any future invoices would draw from this credit automatically. Account Credit Managing Addresses When purchasing your suite, you will be asked for your address details. Should you need to change these details, or add new details for new purchases, you can do this from the following location. 'My Details->Addresses' Once a new address is added, you can, if you choose, change they default addresses using the buttons provided under any of the 'Other Addresses' Addresses
  10. Applies to self-hosted customers only This guide on changing of URL, is related to self hosted customers. If you have your own domain, and you are looking to use this on our cloud platform, please see the following guide Licensed URLs Before we continue through this guide, a brief explanation of how URLs work may be beneficial. Each license entitles you to installation on one URL only. On installation of the platform, your licensed URL is set, and will show within your client area, next to your license. Set URL In addition to the main live URL, you are allowed also one test instance. Your test instance should use the same license key, but suffixed with -TESTINSTALL . For example if your license key is 000-0000-000 then your test key would be 000-0000-000-TESTINSTALL. IMPORTANT:- Test installations must be protected by htpasswd protection, and must not be accessible to the public. Installation change First of all, we need to change the URL on the installation itself. To do this, you simply do the following Open your conf_global.php file, which can be found at the root of your installation. Here you need to change any references to your URL, to show the new URL Log into your admin control panel and run through the support tools by visiting System>Support>Support, and selecting "something isnt working correctly". You will need to select next only until it states cache has been cleared. Client Area change Once this has been done, log into the client area, and select "Manage this Purchase". Purchases Scroll to the "Licensed URLs" section and click on "Change URL". This will wipe the URL on your license, allowing the new URL to be picked up automatically from your install again. Change URL Option
  11. Within the IPS Community Suite, there are several routine maintenance tasks, which need to be performed at regular intervals. You can see these by looking in the following location of your AdminCP. System->Settings->Advanced Configuration Here you will see a "View Tasks" button just below the task method selection. As you can see, various tasks are run at different intervals, and are important to keeping your site running as designed. Items such as sending out digest emails, updating your leaderboard, and general cleanup tasks, are all tended to through this system. Tasks can be run in one of 3 ways. This can be set within System->Settings->Advanced Configuration, each of which are described below. Applies to cloud customers only If you are running on the cloud platform, the way in which tasks are run is taken care of automatically by our cloud team. Therefore the changing of methods is not something you need to worry about. Run with Traffic This is the default option within the IPS Community Suite, when your product is installed. The system will automatically run tasks as members browse the site. This is fine for most sites, but if your site does not receive much member traffic, tasks could become backlogged. Tasks will only be triggered by regular members, not guests. If it looks like a backlog is being generated, an error will display on the AdminCP dashboard. Traffic warning If this message is seen, then you would need to look at one of the below 2 methods, should it continue to occur. Cron The Cron option is our recommend option. Cron is a task service which is available on most web servers. You may be able to set these up yourself, or may need to speak to your hosting company to set these up for you. If you are unsure you should contact your hosting company. When selecting this option, you will be shown what command to run. This must be run once per minute, and should be run in full, including the alphanumeric key, Cron Setup Web Service While unusual, there are some hosting companies which will not allow for the use of cron jobs. In these circumstances, if you cannot run automatically with traffic, you can use a web service such as EasyCron to remotely trigger these tasks. Once you have an EasyCron Account, add the URL given in the description of that setting Web Service Setup
  12. Introduction In this tutorial, we are going to run through the basics of creating your own calendar sections of your community. Note that this tutorial is intentionally basic in nature, and intended as a guide to "Get you going". More guides can be found in Suite Applications -> Calendar, within the guides area. First Open When you first install the software, there is 1 calendar create by default. This is the community calendar, which your members can enter into. Stock Install Deleting Existing Calendars First of all, lets get rid of the community calendar that is there by default, so we can set things up in a manner of our choosing. We first need to log into the AdminCP, where we can start building. To do this, sign in on the top right, then click on your name. You will see a link to the AdminCP here. Click this and log in. Now we are in the admin CP, we need to get to the forums section. Point at the 'community' section on the left, which is the chat bubble icon, then select Calendar as shown. Getting to Calendars Now you are in here, you will see the Community Calendar, which is added on a default install. Click on the menu on the right, and select "Delete", to remove that default item The Sports Calendar Our Aims For the purpose of this guide, we are going to create a set of calendars suitable for our sports site. Here is our plan for our sports calendar. You can of course create any calendars you wish. General Football Season Baseball Season Creating Calendars Now we know what we want to see, we can go ahead and get our 3 main categories of General, Hobbies, and Staff Area created. To do this, click on the "Create New" button in the top right Create New Give the new calendar a name of General, which is our first category. We're happy with the default settings here. Note that the color item you see, is the color that your calendar items will show in, when you are viewing all calendar items together. New Calendar When we click on save, we are asked to set permissions. On the left you see each user group, and the permissions you can set for that group along the top. Category Permissions Now we have created our first calendar, we can go ahead and create the other 2. You can use the create button as we did in the first instance, however there is also a copy option as shown below. This you will find in many areas of the suite, and can be helpful if you have categories with Calendar Copy That is now all three of your new calendars created, and ready to use by your members Rearranging Items Once you have done, you may wish to rearrange some of the items to better suit your needs. This can be easily done by clicking and holding your mouse button over the anchors on the left, then dragging to the position you wish. Drag/Drop to Rearrange Summary If you now go to the front end of the site, and select calendar you will see you now have the forum we set out to create. I have added some items here to show you what the finished product would look like, once people start to add items. Ready to Go! You will see more guides available under Suite Applications>Calendar on the left, for this application. These contain more detailed guides on specific settings, along with some more site specific examples and tips. As with all areas of our suite, if you are unsure where to find something, and cannot find how to do this in our guides, please feel free to submit a ticket to our support team. We are always happy to advise you on how to get the best from your Invision Community Suite.
  13. Introduction In this guide, we aim to give you a jump start on using the blogs application, within your invision commuinity suite. We will go through the basics of how blogs work, and just how easy it can be to tweak settings for you and your members. First Open On first installing blogs, the blog tab is empty of any blogs/content. By default, all members of the site have the ability to create basic blogs. Therefore they can create their own blog, and create their own blog entries within them. Empty Blogs Area One or more blogs can be set up by a user, for adding entries into. For example, someone may have a blog for their chosen sports team, and a blog for their training in that sport, and another for their physical fitness. Each of these can then have entries on a periodic basis, relating to those items. Creating a blog Members create a blog, simply by selecting the "Create a blog" button. They will then be asked for a name, description, and whether or not they wish for people to be able to use an RSS feed reader from your blog. Creating a blog Adding Entries Once you have created a new blog, you can add entries into it, using the button provided in the top right of that blog Inside a blog When creating a new entry, you can choose a feature photo for that entry, polls, and even link the blog entry to an album within your gallery if you have the gallery application installed. Blog Entry Screen Our example blog Our Aims As we have just installed our community suite, we have the blog application installed and our members can use this. For our example blog however, we would like to change some setting, and make this more suitable for our site. Our aim here is to do 2 things. Create a blog in which all staff can post. This will serve as a site blog related to things happening in and around the site. Any member of staff may want to make an entry here We would like for people within our members group to be able to create blogs just for select friends to view. So we are going to allow them to create private blogs for this purpose. Group Blogs As a group blog is a blog that does not belong to any individual, we will create this from the admin CP. To do this, log into your admin CP and visit the following location Community -> Blogs ->Blogs Once we are here, we will click the "Add Blog" button in the top right Add Blog Now we are in the creation screen, we want to click on "Group" rather than "Single author" and select all of our staff groups to post in. Hold cmd/ctrl on your keyboard, and select each of the groups whos members will be allowed to post within it. You can then give the blog a name and description. Add Group Blog Once you have saved this, all members of staff will be able to add entries into that blog. Private Blogs Now we have sorted out the staff blog, lets give our members group access to allow only certain members to see their blog. To do this, go to the following area and click on the pencil icon on the side of the "members" group. Members -> Members -> Groups Member Group Settings Once you are in here, select the blog tab, and you will see settings relating to that group of members. As we want to allow the member group to create blogs only their friends can see, we are going to allow them to set up private blogs. Private Blogs Now we have set this, our members will have an extra setting when creating blogs, where they can select who can view the blog entries. Choosing who can see Summary As you can see, blogs are easy for your members to use, and can be handy for a great number of things within your site. Example Blogs You will see more guides available under Suite Applications>Blogs on the left, for this application. These contain more detailed guides on specific settings, along with some more site specific examples and tips. As with all areas of our suite, if you are unsure where to find something, and cannot find how to do this in our guides, please feel free to submit a ticket to our support team. We are always happy to advise you on how to get the best from your Invision Community Suite.
  14. Introduction In this guide, we are going to show you just how easy it is to get up and running, with your own downloads section, using the downloads application on the IPS application. This guide is intentionally built to show you only the basics of how to get up and running. You will see further guides within the 'Suite Applications>Downloads', which show more in-depth detail. First Open On first installing the software, the downloads area will show with no categories, and look blank similar to the below image. The first thing we are going to want to do here, is to decide on what categories we need for our downloads area, and get them created ready for our users. First Install Our PSD Area Our Aims For our downloads area, we are going to set up the "Our PSD Area", as our site is related to digital artists. Our aim will be to add sections for the following items Funny Art Wallpapers Misc Art Creating Categories Now we know what we want to see, we can go ahead and get the 3 main downloads categories created. To do this, we need to first head over to the following location in our AdminCP Community -> Downloads -> Categories Click on the "Create New" button in the top right to create our first category Create New Add the name of the category, and a simple description, then click on save to create your category. New Category Screen Once you have done this, you can create the rest of the categories we discussed in the same manner. On clicking save of each category, we are shown the permissions that can be applied. We are happy with the defaults for now, but you can change these to suite your own needs. Category Permissions If you have changed any other settings, and don't wish to have to change those settings every time, you can copy the category you just created, to save duplicating work. To so this, you would select the copy option from the drop down, at the side of any existing category Copy Category Rearranging Items Once you have done, you may wish to rearrange some of the items to better suit your needs. This can be easily done by clicking and holding your mouse button over the anchors on the left, then dragging to the position you wish. Moving Categories Summary If you now go to the front end of the site, you will see you now have the downloads area we set out to create. Ready to Go! You will see more guides available under Suite Applications>Downloads on the left, for this application. These contain more detailed guides on specific settings, along with some more site specific examples and tips. As with all areas of our suite, if you are unsure where to find something, and cannot find how to do this in our guides, please feel free to submit a ticket to our support team. We are always happy to advise you on how to get the best from your Invision Community Suite.
  15. Introduction In this guide, we are going to show you how to get started with using the gallery application. Unlike other guides, this is intentionally basic in nature, and gives you enough information to get you started in exploring the possibility for your own site. Further guides on specifics of gallery settings, can be found in the Suite Applications>Gallery section of the guides area. First Look As we have first installed the software, the gallery area will look something like the following image. Containing a single "Member Albums" category. The default category does not have to be kept. This is simply a demo category which can be replaced, or renamed if needed. Stock Install Gallery Deleting Content / Categories Before we begin, lets get rid of any existing content and categories. To do this, we need to visit the AdminCP, which is where we can start building our new site. To do this, sign in on the top right, then click on your name. You will see a link to the AdminCP here. Click this and log in. Now we are in the admin CP, we need to get to the gallery categories section. Point at the 'community' section on the left, which is the chat bubble icon, then select gallery>Categories, as shown. Gallery Section Here you will see a list of gallery categories. Of course at present, there is just one. The "Members Albums" category that we saw above. Lets go ahead and delete this. Do do so, we select the dropdown, at the side of that category, then hit delete Menu Options You will note there is also a "Move / Delete Content" option here. This can be helpful to mass move the content of these categories, from one category to another, or even delete them entirely. Our Computer Gallery Our Aims We advise first of all, you get together what categories you want to see on within your new gallery. For our first gallery, we are going to set up a gallery for computer related items. We will create a few new categories as follows Full Setups - We want people to create an album for their own setups here. Monitors Peripherals Other Tech Creating Categories Now we have organised what we would like to see, we can go ahead and start creating our categories. Click on the "Create New" button in the top right, to add your first category. Create New Category The first category we are setting up, is our "Full Setups" category. For this, we want to ensure our members create new albums, so we will add a name, but also change the "Albums" setting to "Require albums". This way our users will be forced to create a new album, or select an album they have already created. They cannot upload images directly to the category. Create Category with Albums Required It is worth a note here regarding the differences between categories and albums. Categories are a way of organizing areas for upload, that are set up by the administrators of the site. Albums are also a way of organizing, however belong within a category, and are set up by the users of the gallery themselves. Once you have done, click on save. The system will then ask you to choose permissions for that category. We are happy with the default permissions here, however you can see you could create categories only for specific groups of people, should you wish to do so. Gallery Permissions Now you have added your first category, go ahead and add the other categories discussed above. Unlike the one above item, we may choose that albums are optional in other areas, or indeed not allowed if needed. If creating categories with the same setup, you can actually copy a previously created item, by selecting copy in the menu at the side of any existing category. This can be helpful in ensuring you are not duplicating the work of setting up category settings. Copy a Category Once completed, you should see something like the below. Example Category List Allow groups to add albums In order to ensure our members can create albums, we need to add the permission for this within our members group. To do this, visit Members -> Groups within the admin CP, and then select the pencil icon at the side of the members group to edit. Edit Member Group Once here, we need to select the Gallery tab, and then add permission to create albums. You can see there area a few other options in here, but for now its only albums we need. Once done select save. Album Permission Rearranging Items Once you have done, you may wish to rearrange some of the items to better suit your needs. This can be easily done by clicking and holding your mouse button over the anchors on the left, then dragging to the position you wish. Rearranging Categories Summary As you can see, its quite easy to get a simple gallery set up. Your members can now submit images to your gallery in the categories you have set up Gallery Example You will see more guides available under Suite Applications>Gallery on the left, for this application. These contain more detailed guides on specific settings, along with some more site specific examples and tips. As with all areas of our suite, if you are unsure where to find something, and cannot find how to do this in our guides, please feel free to submit a ticket to our support team. We are always happy to advise you on how to get the best from your Invision Community Suite.
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