Natea reacted to bfarber for an entry, Health Dashboard
The support tool has served us well for many years. You can identify, at a glance, potential issues with your community both presently and down the road, right from the comfort of your AdminCP, and you can often resolve those issues with just a few clicks.
But what if we could do better? What if we could make this useful administrative area of the software even more useful?
The next version of Invision Community introduces a new "Health Dashboard" which replaces the previous support tool and helps you get a better overview of potential issues within your community while retaining all of the functionality you've come to know and rely on to resolve issues with your community.
When you launch the new health dashboard, the first thing you will notice is that the previous "Wizard" process is now gone, in favor of a single page giving you access to everything you might want or need.
Central to the page are blocks that identify specific areas of your community, server, and configuration which could be problematic now or in the future. Invision Community will check for available updates, modified source files, server software configuration issues, whether your server is running required and/or recommended versions of important software and more.
Additional checks and recommendations have been added to this page, to help identify other adjustments that could benefit or prevent harm to your community. Issues are color coded and classified as informational, recommended, or critical and a summary is provided at the top of the page with an easy "check again" button which will do so without taking you away from the screen.
If we become aware of an issue, we can quickly notify communities through a bulletin which will be displayed in the "Known Issues" block on this page. These bulletins can also trigger AdminCP notifications, however they will continue to show on the Health Dashboard so long as they are relevant, even when the AdminCP notification is dismissed.
A graph showing system, error and email error log activity has been added to the page to help you identify spikes in logged issues. Commonly, if an issue begins to surface on your community there will be an increase in these types of error logs, so the graph here is intended to allow you to identify an increase in these logs, allowing you to investigate and react quicker.
The right-hand sidebar surfaces common tools you may need to access.
The first block allows you to see our most recently featured guides, as well as search our documentation. While this functionality was available in the existing support tool, we found that it was rarely used because people more often visited the tool to allow the software to check for common issues, and the ability to search the documentation required a separate work flow through the support wizard. With the block always available (and searches performed "live" via AJAX), we expect users will find the ability to search our documentation from the AdminCP much more useful now.
Next up, the Tools and Diagnostics block gives you access to common tools you may need to use. You can quickly clear your system caches, as well as access phpinfo, the SQL toolbox (for self-hosted clients only), and disable all third party customizations. The process and behavior for disabling customizations is very similar to the existing process within the support tool, with the list of customizations disabled opening in a modal window and the ability to re-enable all customizations, or selectively re-enable individual customizations, still available.
Disabling customizations is still simple
Finally, the ability to submit a support ticket is still available right from this screen. Upon clicking the button to submit a support ticket, you will be presented with a form inside a modal dialog that behaves very similarly to the existing form with one minor but useful addition: if there are any patches not yet installed on the community, you will be alerted to this right on the form before submitting your ticket. Think of this as one last reminder that your issue may already be solved by installing any available patches before reaching out to us for official technical support.
Submitting a support ticket is still just a few clicks away
We believe the improved workflow and user experience will help administrators and support technicians alike more quickly identify any issues that need addressing on the community.
Natea reacted to Matt for an entry, Test drive Invision Community 4.4 now!
Do you want to take our latest release for a test drive?
You already are!
We've upgraded our own community for wider testing.
A big focus has been on page speed, so you will notice that our community is significantly faster that it was on 4.3
If you need a recap of what was added, take a look at our product updates blog which takes you through the highlights.
As this is a pre-beta release, expect some funkiness as we scurry around and tidy up our custom theme wrapper and other areas as we spot them.
If you you find a bug, we'd love for you to report it with as much detail as you can muster in the bug report area.
We'd love to know what you think, let us know below.
Natea reacted to Stuart Silvester for an entry, 4.3: Announcements
We have a very important announcement to make!
There are times where you need to get the attention of your visitors. You might be closed on certain days of the year, performing server maintenance (if you are consider our Cloud Plans, they're excellent) or running a competition.
Invision Community has always had an announcements feature baked in, but we felt it could be improved.
Okay, maybe this feature isn't as flashy as some of the others we're introducing in 4.3, but these useful features should make managing your community easier.
The new look announcement feature replaces the old widgets enabling you to display customisable announcements in any of the following locations;
Top of the page Above the page content In the sidebar
The three new announcement locations
Each location has some slightly different features; the page top banner is dismissible by the member if they no longer want to see it, whereas the banner above the content and the sidebar announcements cannot be dismissed.
Most of the original customisable features are still available, including the ability to select which applications and pages show certain announcements and which member groups can see them. Combining this with the three new locations gives you much more flexibility for different types of announcements and we've also included the option to customise the color of the announcement.
New customisable options
The announcements have also been improved to contain more information. Rather than showing an unformatted snippet along side the title, announcements can now be tapped to open a modal showing any further details.
Modal showing announcement content
We hope you'll enjoy these useful improvements in Invision Community 4.3. Stay tuned for further announcements (pun intended)!
Natea reacted to bfarber for an entry, New: Letter Profile Photos
This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release
IPS Community Suite comes with a default profile photo which is used when members have not set a profile photo for their account. While this model has served the software well for years, we felt it was time for an update to the software to keep pace with current internet trends. This has led to one of the latest changes you can expect to see with version 4.2: letter profile photos
When upgrading you will be asked if you wish to use letter profile photos, or if you wish to stick with the generic per-theme default profile photo that is used presently. You can change your mind any time after upgrading by adjusting the setting in the AdminCP as well.
AdminCP members list
We have tested many languages to ensure maximum compatibility. The font used in the image is automatically selected based upon the characters to be written to the image, so sites that have more than one language will see compatibility for all of the profile photos that are created automatically.
The colors are not set for each letter. You will notice in the screenshot that each "A" letter photo has a different color. They are chosen randomly when generated.
Letter photos in a sidebar widget
We hope that this change helps bring your communities to life with a little more style, flair, and uniqueness for each new user on your site.
The code is structured in such a manner that third party developers can further extend the feature with plugins. The methods for writing text to images are exposed through our central \IPS\Image class introducing new possibilities in your own custom code.
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, New: SEO Improvements
This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
Improving your SEO can be a complex undertaking with many different approaches but there are things that everyone knows are good practice and also more modern approaches to SEO that have changed since we first started developing IPS Community Suite. So it was time for a review and update.
Unfortunately no pretty screenshots on this one as this is all behind the scenes stuff but still quite useful to know . Also, some of this may sound a bit technical and dry but feel free to search some of these technologies if you are curious.
Move from HTML structured data to JSON-LD and enhance our existing markup with sensible additions. Calendar, blog, forum and pages (articles) data marked up for rich snippets. General review of our schema.org markup and enhance where appropriate. Use sitelinks search and other sensible markup such as the website and logo markup. Allow administrators to specify social profile links in the AdminCP which we then show links to in the footer and also make available in schema.org markup. Fix many duplicate page title issues. Review and ensure nofollow/noindex tags are used in appropriate areas. Add item tags as HTML meta tags Adding <link rel="next" value="next page url"> helps search engines know next/previous page.
Nothing like a bulleted list of items to get you excited! But really these should be welcome improvements to all.
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, Coming Soon in 4.1.17
Version 4.1.17 is in the final stages of development and will be released soon!
Check out the release notes for the full list of what's new and our preview articles for details on some of the most interesting changes:
Better Analytics Integration Tag Quick Edit Default Warning Notes Custom RSS Feeds Word and Link Filters Leaderboard Moderation Improvements Security and Privacy Embeds and Integration We hope you enjoy all these new additions coming in 4.1.17 and be sure to read the release notes for many smaller changes. The big feature in 4.1.17 is the new Leaderboard which we really think will enhance your community.
If you like using pre-release beta versions, the public beta of 4.1.17 will be available in the client area on 28 November. We support betas on live installs with some exceptions so give it a try if you like to be first to try the new features!
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Leaderboard
We are excited to announce the Leaderboard as the latest all new feature of IPS Community Suite. The new Leaderboard is designed to better highlight your most active members and content based on reputation and other metrics. The Leaderboard will greatly enhance both member and content discovery on your community.
First you will notice the new feature of member leaders based on a specific time frame. In the example above it is set to All Time showing those members with the most reputation overall on your community. It also shows the content with the most reputation for the same timeframe so you get a snapshot of both popular members and popular content in one view.
The Past Leaders tab shows the "winners" of each day in a history. The system counts all reputation made each day and logs the members who had the top reputation counts that day. Using reputation rather than post count encourages your members to post quality of quantity which is really important to any site.
Winner Profile Badge
Those who win the day also get a badge on their profile page to highlight that they were the member with the most reputation for a particular day.
Top Members shows you a list of all members sorted by various metrics. By default you will see members sorted by reputation but you can also easily sort by total post content Suite-wide or per-app. All of these views can be linked directly to so if you wanted a menu item to show members who post the most files in Downloads you can just directly link to that sort view.
There are various settings to control the default behavior of the Leaderboard. You can define the default view and how many members to show which is helpful to tailor it to your needs.
We hope you enjoy this initial launch of the new Leaderboard feature. We are excited about the new content and member discovery abilities this offers and look forward to adding new options to the Leaderboard as we continue to develop!
This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Tag Quick Edit
Tags are a powerful feature in IPS Community Suite 4 and we have seen clients using them in many ways to enhance content discovery on their site. Adding tags to an item is quite easy but modifying them after the fact requires you to edit the root content item. Not only is this tedious but it also then shows an edited-by line for that item even if all you did was change a tag.
To make this process more user friendly we now have the ability to quickly edit tags when viewing any content item. When you view an item that has tags enabled and you have permission to edit then you will see a link to edit tags.
Tag Quick Edit
That brings up an input box where you can manage your item tags without leaving the page to a full edit screen.
Tag Quick Edit Input
We have been testing the feature for a few weeks internally and it has already saved us time as we tag our discussions. But beyond that, and I think more important, is the fact that we find we are using tags more often. More use means more organization and filter possibilities of your content which is a great thing for busy, data-drive communities.
So we hope that not only will controlling your tags be faster an easier but you too find you use the tagging feature more often with this small but useful change.
This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, Post Color Highlight
Often when you are reading a topic, comments, or other posts, you will see team members replying. Although IPS Community Suite already allows groups to set up custom images and member titles, these replies can get lost in the noise.
Version 4.1.13 now allows you to switch on post highlighting per member group. This makes sure the reply stands out from the rest of the replies.
Of course, this feature works everywhere; from calendar comments to article replies.
The feature is switched on via the Group form in the ACP.
You can edit the look of the highlighting via the theme’s settings which allows for different color schemed per-theme.
We have also ensured that theme designers can get the most out of the system by embedding a data attribute noting the group of the author. This means that you can add custom CSS to use different colours per member group.
We think post highlighting will be a simple way to bring attention to member posts in groups that you define.
Natea reacted to Rikki for an entry, New in 4.1.12: Round up
Last week we introduced you to a couple of key new improvements in IPS Community Suite 4.1.12, the new post preview and enhanced activity streams and search. However, this is a packed release, so I wanted to quickly review what else you can expect to find when it is released this week.
4.0 introduced mentions, and since then a frequently-requested feature is the ability to ignore notifications triggered by particular members. In 4.1.12, we enhanced the Ignore Users functionality to also allow you to block mention notifications. They will still be able to mention you in posts, but you will no longer be notified about it.
As of 4.1.12, ratings will now display half-stars in order to be more accurate. Users will still rate whole stars out of 5 (or 10 if configured so), but the aggregated ratings displayed alongside content will be more fine-grained.
Custom date formatting
We have used built-in, automatic locale formats for dates since 4.0, but it became increasingly clear that this did not offer the flexibility that some community administrators desired. As a result, 4.1.12 re-introduces the ability to provide custom formats for dates.
Amongst the handful of new features, there's over 400 other bug fixes and improvements that contribute towards the overall stability of the IPS Community Suite, as we start working towards the next major release, IPS Community Suite 4.2 which will be available later this year. Further fixes for stability in the 4.1 line will come before 4.2 is available.
Please check our release notes to read more about other smaller changes and fixes in 4.1.12.
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, IPS Community Suite 4.1.10 Available
This is a maintenance and security release to fix reported issues and add refinement to existing features. In addition to bug fixes and performance improvements, it includes following new/changed features:
Instant notifications are now dismissible. The sidebar has been added back to the stream pages. You can now sort by most downloaded in Downloads app. The ModeratorCP and AdminCP IP Address Tools now allow you to track the IP addresses used to vote in polls. A new setting has been added to disable the RSS feed for activity streams. A new setting has been added to specify the minimum display name length. Adds a new "can unban" moderator permission separate to the "can edit profiles" permission being used previously. IP addresses now show in reports. There is now a constant-level setting to disable the ACP IP address check in case of being locked out of the ACP. Several improvements to Commerce to make some features clearer: the Shipping Rates configuration pages now indicate to the admin if a potential mistake has been made, the front-end indicates to admins if no support departments have been set up, and the renewal settings wording has been clarified. Check our Release Notes for full information and to keep up with releases in development. To be notified of updates as soon as they are available you can add an email address in your AdminCP under General Configuration.
Natea reacted to Charles for an entry, Coming soon in 4.1.10
We are wrapping up testing in preparation of version 4.1.10 release. This is a follow up to 4.1.9 which introduced a lot of great enhancements.
Changes in 4.1.10 include:
Instant notifications are now dismissible. The sidebar has been added back to the Activity Stream pages. You can now sort by most downloaded in Downloads app. The ModeratorCP and AdminCP IP Address Tools now allow you to track the IP addresses used to vote in polls. A new setting has been added to disable the RSS feed for activity streams. A new setting has been added to specify the minimum display name length. Adds a new "can unban" moderator permission separate to the "can edit profiles" permission being used previously. IP addresses now show in reports. There is now a constant-level setting to disable the ACP IP address check in case of being locked out of the ACP. Several improvements to Commerce to make some features clearer: the Shipping Rates configuration pages now indicate to the admin if a potential mistake has been made, the front-end indicates to admins if no support departments have been set up, and the renewal settings wording has been clarified. And of course countless bugs fixed and performance enhancements. View our full release notes for more details.
If you are an existing IPS client and enjoy testing pre-release software, a beta release of 4.1.10 is available. We always appreciate help testing upcoming releases.
We are already well into development on 4.1.11 which include some larger feature changes and additions.