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Everything posted by GTServices

  1. Version 1.0.0


    Sharing the love 💖 ... FREE apps/plugins provided by GT Services. This simple plugin helps your Staff get things done FASTER. There's no more guessing. When a Report comes in they now know why it's being reported. This plugin requires your users to leave a message whenever submitting a REPORT. For those not aware - IPS doesn't require a message when reporting content. Personally, I think this is a crazy move. They gave us the option to create Report Types but not require a message. 😕 Getting members to report content is a great feature to have. But... it becomes problematic when the reason for reporting is not clear. As you can imagine Big Board sites get many Reports. Many are confusing - it's a big waste of time for Staff when no explanation (message) is available. (I personally know this because I'm on the receiving end when something doesn't work right.) Staff get things done FASTER. Staff are happy. Staff can focus on other important things. To install... Download the file Go to Admincp > Site Features (Plugins) [Click Install New Plugin] More FREE apps/plugins coming... (The more LIKES we get the more free apps we will make available.)
  2. I think in 3-5 years, there will be less successful forums on the Web. It's just not enough these days. That's the key right there! We can't continue doing the same thing. We NEED to change. We NEED to make the whole "community experience" better. We need to... Focus on members. Focus on your diamonds ... build them up. Focus on Community Management. Focus on other content types (instead of sending them away why not point internally to your content) eg. videos, whitepapers, etc Focus on directories and landing pages (Pages). If you find that your members are constantly directing readers to XYZ site then why not create a directory out of it? For example, if your target are students you can have a Scholarship Directory or a School Directory. Heck, I can go on... how about a Videos Directory (of all the Youtube videos you are working on 😜), Articles, etc Focus on User Experience. Make sure there is nothing that turns people off. Test. Test. Test. Focus on Speed. Focus on ALL devices. Focus on quality content. Any other ideas?
  3. @Ford Doctor One of the sites I work on has over 150 forums. (Yeah, that's a lot.) The best way I found to edit permissions is to do it via Groups > Permission. If you are the opposite - have more Groups than forums then your best bet is to do it via Forums > Permissions.
  4. Version 1.0.0


    Sharing the love 💖 ... This is the first of many FREE apps provided by GT Services. Troubleshooting member's account is what we do on a daily basis. Oftentimes, you Sign in as member to see what they are seeing. To do this, you normally log in to your Admin Control Panel and run a search for the member. Open their account and click Account Actions > Sign In as That's a lot of steps. What's worse is that sometimes the search feature in Admin Control Panel is not successful (eg. special characters in username). All of this takes up a lot of time. Time is money. I'm a strong believer that Admins should be focused on building relationships and/or new content. Because of this we created an easier way for Admins to "LogIn as XYZ User". It's a simple link provided to Admins with the proper permissions so they can Sign In As XYZ User via a member's Profile page. Not available anywhere else - just in Profiles. No settings. Just install. More FREE apps coming soon... (The more LIKES we get the more free apps we will make available.)
  5. Depending on audience, I stay away from using the term "forum". I don't even use it on the site.
  6. Love this... I think I'll share it with my team. Deep... on point...
  7. 2 decades as vbulletin big board admin/programmer A few things to be aware of... With every major conversion there will be a loss in traffic. If done correctly, you should see traffic levels close to normal in a few months. Prepare for the worse and you will come out on top. This will happen regardless of platform you select. Create a test site and run conversion. I recommend you do this a few times. This will give you an idea of how long the process will take. You will end up making mistakes so I recommend duplicating your test database first. eg, on one you can prune all private messages and see if that will speed up conversion ... if you have millions and millions of posts you definitely need to have a plan of action Start changing your old site so that it starts looking like the new. This decreases the shock in change. For example, I changed posts style on old site so that it looks similar to the new theme that I will be using. I also changed main page and directories so that it looks the same. If you haven't done so switch to HTTPS. Attachments (images) is a big generator of traffic for many sites - especially if you've been around for years. Although attachments are converted over without issues they are not redirected (old to new url). On a personal note, I literally lost thousands and thousands of Google image placements because of this oversight. This hurts backlinks. SEO. If you use vbseo/dbseo, if forum friendly urls include forum id then no issues redirecting old urls to new. If in the form of /forum-name/ then these will not be redirected properly. Topic urls will redirect regardless of type. Learn everything you can on how to use IPS Pages app. It's a very powerful system. You can create any type of directory or custom page with it. For search, use IPS built in elasticsearch feature if possible. You won't regret it. For cache method, use Redis for everything if possible. Finally, be smart with number of plugins you install. IPS is fast but when you start adding a lot of plugins you could hurt performance.
  8. Thank you Stuart. Can you tell me what table the converted/old attachment ids are saved?
  9. There are reasons why Staff hierarchies exist. Each group is treated differently for specific reasons. Many Big Boards/Enterprise sites pay tons of money on legal fees to reduce liability. (They now have to look into this. eg. TOS rewrite, etc) ---- I have a vbulletin background... I'm a developer myself but... This was a complete surprise. Now, the only way around this is... Site owners must remove REPORTS access from Moderators. (Basically, their responsibilities are diminished.) Or, Create app/plugin My point to all of this... I'm aware that it's called 'Personal Conversations' here on IPS. But for Big Boards migrating over (and their members), it's still private messages. I know there's a big focus on Big Boards/Enterprise these days ... I can see that with the development of the software ... Unlike smaller boards, Big Boards/Enterprise actually do their homework. They review EVERYTHING before deciding who to go with. It was a surprise to me so others in similar shoes will be just as surprised/disappointed. (The difference is that I can actually do something while many will have to rely on 3rd-parties to fix.)
  10. I was surprised this wasn't an option. Maybe vbulletin is ingrained in me. Anyway, I think this should be available by default. There should be a Moderator permission option for reading Private Messages. Right now, if they have access to Reports they also have access to private messages. (Link available to read entire private message in Report.)
  11. This is great. I'm glad you put it together. Something like this would have helped me months ago. You want to convert more people over to IPS? Create more videos, articles, and better guides and show how easy it is to use. Think of small AND big board admins when creating these. Each group want to hear something specific ... something that helps them make a decision. Something that helps them take that first step. I can tell you this... Big Board admins would love to hear that IPS conversion script saves old topicids for mapping purposes (to redirect old urls to new). The more info you provide the better. (It was hard to find this info last year.) One question that bugs me but haven't checked... Does the conversion script save old attachment ids?? (Specifically images.) To redirect old attachment image URLs to new. I'm only asking because I know a lot of vbulletin sites that have accumulated many many images over the years. (Thinking SEO here.)
  12. I love this ... I hope something is done sooner rather than later. I want to make sure we maximize every opportunity to increase traffic. The fact is having an alt value will help index/rank your images. At the same time, it will improve ranking signals for your page.
  13. Another great article Joel! You should have your own column by now. 😁 This is the type of content I love reading about. I love that I can find it here. I love that IPS finds it useful enough to post here. Being an admin/owner of a board is hard enough. It's time consuming. The more time you put in the more ROI right? That's not the case with most admins. What I recommend... You don't have to do this alone. It's impossible to know everything that is going on. Every board admin has a team. They could be paid or volunteer staff. It doesn't matter. Start having weekly/monthyly team meetings. Each team member has their own task. Talk about them ... What is the progress? What news do you have to share? How is the project coming along? Etc. By doing this.. You will find that you will learn from your staff. You will find that you are getting things done on time. You will start creating new opportunities. More importantly, you will start reacting opportunistically to changes that you may not have been aware of. (Yeah, that's often the case for many admins - they didn't know about ABC/XYZ until it's too late.) For small board admins, ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. I've been doing this for 20 years, I still ask stupid questions. I still make mistakes. I'm still learning.
  14. Steve, A good image could generate more traffic than some topics. So, it makes sense to optimize for organic traffic wherever you can. On top of that, every hit to image cost you money. Until something is done... I recommend the following... (This is a manual task but it's better than ignoring it.) Go into ACP > Files report ... sort by images Review each image and update the ones you believe are worth your time. Click the magnify icon ... click link to topic ... Click Edit post ... double click on image ... edit Image Title ... Save Do that to each of your most popular images.
  15. The good news is that brands are now more aware of the importance in having a "community". The bad news is they are still learning. 😏 ------- The sharing of knowledge is a powerful thing. These articles make a big difference to customers. Some of the topics, may not affect them directly but as a whole they do. All these services (forum software companies), all talk the same. There's a strong focus on the software/service. They seldom go outside of this box. When you start talking about other areas that affect the success of communities, you start changing brand perception. People start seeing you as something other than a "forum software" company. Please continue sharing articles outside the scope of your software. I would love to see more advance topics such as SEO, marketing, retention, analytics, etc. I would also love to see real-world examples of how your customers are using specific apps such as Pages, Commerce, Calendar/Events, Downloads, etc. IPS is just the engine. You still need a driver. The more knowledgeable they are the more successful they become. In turn, you help create loyal customers.
  16. This is a GREAT READ. You seldom find board admins talking about these issues. I'm a developer for some big board sites and I can say that I have seen a growing number of communities focusing more and more in protecting their member's anonymity. In today's landscape, we ALL need to understand that the actions of others (ie. fake news, hackers breached..., privacy breach) have a huge affect on us. It may not affect you today, but in time it will. Being aware of these issues today better prepares you for changes in user behavior. At the same time we are focused on anonymity, there is a sense that we may not have enough "credibility factors" to come across as authenticate or authoritative in certain niche sites. (Referring to posters not site) These days it's hard to trust anything online. When there's a lack of trust factors (along with content) it makes it harder to connect with the reader. So we have to work harder ... come up with ideas that create a sense of trust or comfort. When you create such an environment it's easier to grow. Any ideas on how to create this sense of trust/comfort?
  17. Big Board admin/developer ... longtime lurker ... becoming bigger fan these days. I just have to post... Email banner ads? Outstanding! (I haven't read about that one before.) Lazy loading? SEO improvements? WTF PWA? Holy COW! Letter avatar - I thought was a great idea ... But now, SVG letter avatar? Yeeeesssss!! Letter avatars are a great way to personalize each account with little effort. Bravo 👏 I've been impressed with the 4 series and it keeps getting better. I think I will finally take the plunge and purchase a license. All this is just icing on the cake. What I love about IPS these days is that they are thinking of the admins.... GEOlocation free Social Login free ( At one point, I was paying close to $6000 a year for similar ser'vice) Built in Advertisement System free (Less work to develop in-house system) Store Commerce (Woocomerce alone cost over $200 with some basic extensions) amazon S3 Integration free Security Enhancements such as Google Authenticator free (previously paid for DUO) etc EXCELLENT JOB!!!!
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