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Found 39 results

  1. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release Top Members For 4.2 we made some improvements to the Top Members section of the Leaderboard. A new overview page tab shows a selection of the top members across different criteria. Top Members Overview Page showing members with Most Reputation and Most Content The filter menu allows you to view more members in any chosen category, and a new AdminCP setting controls which categories should be available. Top Members Categories In the AdminCP you can configure which categories are shown on the overview page, the filter menu, and how many results show for each. Top Members AdminCP Settings Popular Contributors Widget Another small change is the Popular Contributors widget now contains a link to the appropriate section of the Leaderboard. Popular Contributors Widget View the full article
  2. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Richer Embeds

    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. You are probably already familiar with our content embedding feature in IPS Community Suite. When a link to content in the community is pasted into the editor (e.g. a topic, or a post, or a gallery image, etc.) it is automatically expanded into a preview of the content, usually with an accompanying image, allowing users to click through to that content if they are interested. An embedded Gallery image in IPS Community Suite 4.1 While it has proved a useful feature to members, each embed used essentially the same structure - a small thumbnail on the left, a title, and a few lines of text. This works fine for topics, but isn't ideal for other kinds of rich content that might be posted. In IPS Community Suite 4.2, we greatly improved upon our embedding handling, giving every type of content within every application its own customized embed style, allowing that content to be displayed however works best. This means larger high-res previews of Gallery images, a button to download a file right from the embed for Downloads files, showing a map for Calendar events, and so on. We worked to keep a consistent overall style between apps, but allow each to display its own relevant information. For users, things will work exactly as they do now - they simply paste a link to content, and it will continue to expand automatically. The changes are also backwards compatible. Any existing embeds in your community will automatically show the new styling you see below - no rebuilding necessary. So with that in mind, let's take a look what the new embeds look like! I won't show every single embed here because there's a huge number, but I'll try and give you a feel for how we approached the embed styles for each app. Gallery Image Comment on a Gallery Image Gallery Album Forum Topic Downloads File Review on a Downloads File Calendar Event Comment on a Calendar Event Commerce Product Record from a Pages database I hope that gives you a good overview of what to expect when your users try out the new embeds for themselves. As always, please share your feedback in the comments below! View the full article
  3. This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. The ability to automatically promote users from one group to another based on set parameters has been a staple of community software for some time. Traditionally, the most common determination of promotion has been post count. Additionally, the 4.x Community Suite supports promoting members automatically based on the time elapsed since the user joined the site and based on their total reputation count. With 4.2, we have completely overhauled and enhanced the group promotion feature bringing many new options to administrators looking to promote members through different group levels. To start with, the group promotion options have been removed from the groups configuration pages into their own area. Group promotion rules overview page You will notice that rules are no longer strictly tied to a single group, and that rules can be sorted however you desire. When you create and edit rules, you can choose which groups the rule applies to, what parameters the user needs to meet in order for the rule to be activated, and then finally, which primary and secondary groups the user will be moved in to. You can also configure the rule to remove specified secondary groups, which can be useful if one rule adds a secondary group for users, and then the next rule should change them to be part of a different secondary group (i.e. add a new secondary group, but also remove the previously awarded secondary group). The system uses the same member filters available when configuring bulk mail, and we have made some updates to the member filters area (and have introduced some new filters) in this release as well. For example, you can create a rule that only applies to members who have won the daily leaderboard at least once, or members who have created a blog. Some of the group promotion filters, which are also available when sending bulk mails Any time a member account is updated for any reason (a new visit, editing the member, the member makes a new post, etc.), the software will loop through all configured rules and the last rule in the list that matches the member will be applied. This approach allows you to create promotion levels, for instance when a member reaches 100 posted content items they will be promoted to a new group, and when they reach 1000 posted content items they will be promoted to yet a different new group. Groups can be wholly excluded from any promotion rules, which is useful when you have administrator and/or moderator groups and you want to ensure that they are never moved to a different group. These groups will be disabled from selection when configuring group promotion rules, and these groups will be ignored if "any group" is selected for a promotion rule. Finally, if a user is moved to a new primary group by Commerce because they have purchased a product which moves them to a new group, they will also be excluded from group promotion rules (however, Commerce purchases that only adjust secondary groups will not exclude users from being checked by group promotion rules). Developer note: You can add your own filters for group promotion rules (and bulk mails) by adding MemberFilter extensions in 4.2, available in the Developer Center for your application. View the full article
  4. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Fluid Forum View

    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. When you have a diverse range of topics within your community, it makes good sense to separate topics within forums and categories. This will ensure that the viewer can find relevant content by scanning the list of forums first. If you have a more focused community with fewer forums, presenting your community with a list of them can be daunting. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media. Fluid forum view allows your visitors to get right to the meat of your community; the topics. A fan site for a band is a good example of a community that will benefit with fluid view. There will likely be forums for album reviews, tour dates, general discussion and so on. Even though there are many forums, the common topic is the band. This makes fluid view ideal as your members can see all those related topics in one view. If your members wanted more specific topics, they could select a single forum to view. Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail. The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums. Of course, you can permit your members to change the view to better suit their way of working. You will notice a "grid" option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for your members to choose, if the administrator permits it. You have full control over the display options. This screenshot shows that the control panel option to choose the default view. There is also an option to control which views your members can select. You may also decide to not allow your members to switch views at all. This will ensure that they all use the view you choose. You may have spotted that forum names have a colored background in some screenshots. We added the ability to define a feature color per forum. This feature color helps the forum stand out in a more visual way. This is especially useful when you select many forums in a single view. This feature color also works on the table view. We added a feature color hint to topic view to enforce the association between the forum and its color. This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don't lose your place when you go back to the listing. The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for your audience. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. Your members will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page. We hope that fluid view is an asset to your community and your members enjoy this new functionality. Technical notes. The database stores the members' view choice. This remembers the selection across devices. Guests are not permitted to change between views. View the full article
  5. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Editor Uploading

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release IPS Community Suite has supported drag and drop uploading to the attachments area at the bottom of the editor since 4.0. In 4.2 we're pleased to add the ability to drag and drop right into the editor, so you can drop your attachment exactly where you want it to show without having to add it afterwards. Drag and drop into editor If your browser and OS supports it you can also copy and paste, either from the desktop or from other content on the web: Copy and Paste Naturally this works for ordinary files as well as images: Drag and drop a file View the full article
  6. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Authy Integration

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release In 4.1.18 we added Two Factor Authentication. Already in 4.2 we have announced a new setting to trigger 2FA when logging in from a new device, and in 4.2 we are also adding Authy as an authentication handler. Authy can send a user a text message, make a phone call, or send a push notification to a smartphone app to authenticate the user. You can enable whichever of these options you like. Set Up To set up Two Factor Authentication with Authy, the user will enter their phone number. To verify their phone number they will then enter a code shown in the Auhy app or have a code sent by text message or phone call. The system will automatically show an appropriate interface based on what options you have enabled - for example, if you don't want to enable the app as an option, it will not reference Authy. Setting up Authy with the app available as an option Setting up Authy with just phone or text message options enabled Verification with Authy When the user needs to verify their account, the system will automatically show an appropriate interface. If you allow verification with the Authy app and either it is the only option you allow, or the system knows that the user has installed the Authy app, the system will prompt them to use the app. This can either be done using Authy's OneTouch option (where the user will receive a push notification to the app, and when they click approve, the screen will automatically refresh) or their SoftToken option (where the user will be instructed to open the Authy app and enter the code they see). If you allow authentication by text message and/or phone call as well, the user will also see options for using those instead. These screenshots show the process for OneTouch authentication: The user is shown a waiting screen Simultaneously they will receive a push notification and when opening it be able to approve One the user has approved, the waiting screen will automatically refresh with the user authenticated. For SoftToken authentication, the user is prompted to enter the code shown in the Authy app: Authy SoftToken option Phone Verification If you have disabled the Authy app as an option, or the user does not have it installed, they will be prompted to choose from the available options how they want to authenticate. These screenshots show the process for authenticating by text message: The user is asked how they want to authenticate The user receives a text message or phone call with a code The user enters this code to authenticate Management If the user changes their phone number they can reconfigure the system in their account settings. The system automatically shows "Phone Verification" rather then "Authy" if the app is not available as an option. Account Settings showing Authy as Phone Verification View the full article
  7. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Authy Integration

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release In 4.1.18 we added Two Factor Authentication. Already in 4.2 we have announced a new setting to trigger 2FA when logging in from a new device, and in 4.2 we are also adding Authy as an authentication handler. Authy can send a user a text message, make a phone call, or send a push notification to a smartphone app to authenticate the user. You can enable whichever of these options you like. Set Up To set up Two Factor Authentication with Authy, the user will enter their phone number. To verify their phone number they will then enter a code shown in the Auhy app or have a code sent by text message or phone call. The system will automatically show an appropriate interface based on what options you have enabled - for example, if you don't want to enable the app as an option, it will not reference Authy. Setting up Authy with the app available as an option Setting up Authy with just phone or text message options enabled Verification with Authy When the user needs to verify their account, the system will automatically show an appropriate interface. If you allow verification with the Authy app and either it is the only option you allow, or the system knows that the user has installed the Authy app, the system will prompt them to use the app. This can either be done using Authy's OneTouch option (where the user will receive a push notification to the app, and when they click approve, the screen will automatically refresh) or their SoftToken option (where the user will be instructed to open the Authy app and enter the code they see). If you allow authentication by text message and/or phone call as well, the user will also see options for using those instead. These screenshots show the process for OneTouch authentication: The user is shown a waiting screen Simultaneously they will receive a push notification and when opening it be able to approve One the user has approved, the waiting screen will automatically refresh with the user authenticated. For SoftToken authentication, the user is prompted to enter the code shown in the Authy app: Authy SoftToken option Phone Verification If you have disabled the Authy app as an option, or the user does not have it installed, they will be prompted to choose from the available options how they want to authenticate. These screenshots show the process for authenticating by text message: The user is asked how they want to authenticate The user receives a text message or phone call with a code The user enters this code to authenticate Management If the user changes their phone number they can reconfigure the system in their account settings. The system automatically shows "Phone Verification" rather then "Authy" if the app is not available as an option. Account Settings showing Authy as Phone Verification View the full article
  8. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Authy Integration

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release In 4.1.18 we added Two Factor Authentication. Already in 4.2 we have announced a new setting to trigger 2FA when logging in from a new device, and in 4.2 we are also adding Authy as an authentication handler. Authy can send a user a text message, make a phone call, or send a push notification to a smartphone app to authenticate the user. You can enable whichever of these options you like. Set Up To set up Two Factor Authentication with Authy, the user will enter their phone number. To verify their phone number they will then enter a code shown in the Auhy app or have a code sent by text message or phone call. The system will automatically show an appropriate interface based on what options you have enabled - for example, if you don't want to enable the app as an option, it will not reference Authy. Setting up Authy with the app available as an option Setting up Authy with just phone or text message options enabled Verification with Authy When the user needs to verify their account, the system will automatically show an appropriate interface. If you allow verification with the Authy app and either it is the only option you allow, or the system knows that the user has installed the Authy app, the system will prompt them to use the app. This can either be done using Authy's OneTouch option (where the user will receive a push notification to the app, and when they click approve, the screen will automatically refresh) or their SoftToken option (where the user will be instructed to open the Authy app and enter the code they see). If you allow authentication by text message and/or phone call as well, the user will also see options for using those instead. These screenshots show the process for OneTouch authentication: The user is shown a waiting screen Simultaneously they will receive a push notification and when opening it be able to approve Once the user has approved, the waiting screen will automatically refresh with the user authenticated. For SoftToken authentication, the user is prompted to enter the code shown in the Authy app: Authy SoftToken option Phone Verification If you have disabled the Authy app as an option, or the user does not have it installed, they will be prompted to choose from the available options how they want to authenticate. These screenshots show the process for authenticating by text message: The user is asked how they want to authenticate The user receives a text message or phone call with a code The user enters this code to authenticate Management If the user changes their phone number they can reconfigure the system in their account settings. The system automatically shows "Phone Verification" rather then "Authy" if the app is not available as an option. Account Settings showing Authy as Phone Verification View the full article
  9. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release Improved Stripe Integration Stripe is a popular payment gateway that supports card payments. In IPS Community Suite 4.2 we have made some improvements to our integration: When viewing a transaction in the AdminCP, it will show the last 4 digits of the card used, and the result of Stripe's risk evaluation. More information is sent to Stripe for easier cross-reference between Stripe's control panel and your AdminCP. This includes the customer's name, billing and shipping addresses, email address, associated transaction/invoice/customer IDs, and the invoice title. Stripe Transaction in the AdminCP showing risk evaluation and card details Transaction in Stripe's control panel showing customer and invoice details Anti-Fraud Improvements Anti-Fraud Rules now have some additional filters: Products being purchases includes... Account was registered more/less than [x days] ago Customer is/isn't in group Customer has previously spent more/less than Time since last purchase is more/less than [x days] ago Custom profile fields (both at member and customer level) IP address is x (exactly, contains or matches regular expression) Customer has previously made transactions that failed (opposed to "were blocked by fraud rules") Email address matches regular expression Some of the new Anti-Fraud Rule options MaxMind per gateway A new setting has been added that allows you to run MaxMind only against transactions using particular payment gateways. New MaxMind gateways setting Transaction Search You can now enter the transaction ID provided by the payment gateway in the AdminCP search box to find a transaction. Looking up a transaction by gateway ID Renewal Savings If you have a product with multiple renewal terms, a new setting allows you to show alongside each option how much is saved. This can be shown either as a monetary value, or as a percentage. Product showing savings for different renewal options View the full article
  10. This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release and features content specifically aimed towards developers. If you are not interested in developing for 4.2 you may wish to skip this entry. Don't worry we still have lots of exciting core feature announcements still to come. We are expanding on the already available REST API endpoints to include more support for nodes. This significantly increases the flexibility of the API and now allows forums, downloads categories, calendars etc. to be created programmatically via external sources. As is usual with the existing content item endpoints, access for nodes is configured via the admin control panel for each API key that is generated. Configuring API Permissions via the Admin Control Panel For those new to the REST API, documentation can be found in the developer resources section and within the admin control panel. Endpoint Documentation New endpoints in 4.2 include; GET /core/groups - Get a list of groups GET /core/groups/{id} - Get information about a specific group DELETE /core/groups/{id} - Delete a group GET /forums/forums - Get a list of forums GET /forums/forums/{id} - Get information about a specific forum POST /forums/forums - Create a forum POST /forums/forums/{id} - Edit a forum DELETE /forums/forums/{id} - Delete a forum DELETE /blog/blogs/{id} - Delete a blog GET /calendar/calendar - Get a list of calendars GET /calendar/calendar/{id} - Get information about a specific calendar POST /calendar/calendar - Create a calendar POST /calendar/calendar/{id} - Edit a calendar DELETE /calendar/calendar/{id} - Delete a calendar GET /downloads/category - Get a list of downloads categories GET /downloads/category/{id} - Get information about a specific category POST /downloads/category - Create a category POST /downloads/category/{id} - Edit a category DELETE /downloads/category/{id} - Delete a category We are continuously looking for ways to improve developer functionality so if you have any ideas for additional endpoints or suggestions for improved documentation please feel free to share them in the comments below. We are really looking forward to seeing the new and imaginative ideas 3rd party developers can create using these additional capabilities. View the full article
  11. This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release We are happy to introduce several changes to our Gallery application to both refine the existing capabilities and to introduce new useful functionality; particularly for Albums. We have clarified how to submit images directly to a category on the first step of the upload form in Gallery. Clarification for submitting directly to a category When submitting images to the Gallery, a simple "Add more images" button has been added to the wizard. While it has always been possible to add more images by dragging and dropping them on to the upload area, or by clicking the "Choose files" button again, the addition of this button should help add some clarity for users who overlooked these capabilities. A new "Add more images" button makes adding additional images easier Applying the same details to all of the images you are submitting has been made much simpler. When you begin entering the details for the first image, you can specify a template to use for the caption name leveraging a special replacement "%n". A small help icon next to the caption field label explains how to use this capability. When you are done supplying the details, you can click "Copy details to all images" and your submission will start instantly, using all of the details supplied for the image you are editing. You can quickly set tags, an image description and a caption name template (for instance "Aquarium %n") to all images using this new capability, useful when submitting 50+ images at once. Of course, you can still supply the details for each individual image as well, if you wish. Submitting a lot of images at once has been made easier In addition to improvements for submitting images, albums have been updated to include many new features, including: Commenting Reviews Reactions Messages Featuring Hiding Locking Reporting Searching A new Gallery widget (sidebar block) to show albums anywhere throughout the Community Suite has been added as well. Album overview page Going along with these changes, we've improved how groups of images that are submitted to an album are handled in searches. If you submit multiple images to an album, you will only see the album listed in activity streams, and similarly if you follow a bunch of images in an album these are grouped as well, making activity streams more useful and easier to follow. Activity streams have been updated as well The changes to albums and image submissions will simplify your users' interaction with Gallery in 4.2, and make submitting images and new albums, and working with those albums more useful and robust. View the full article
  12. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Statistics

    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release Statistics can be an important part of monitoring your site and ensuring it grows and responds to your marketing and promotion efforts effectively, and several new statistic tools have been added to the 4.2 Community Suite which we know you will be excited to learn about! A simple tool has been added that will allow you to look up and list all member accounts that have last visited the site within a specified time period. Look up members who have visited within a set time period Additionally, online user (both logged in user and guest) counts are now tracked every 15 minutes and graphed in the AdminCP for you to reference. You can view online user trends over a specified date period, view just guest counts or just member counts (or both), and view the graph in multiple different modes (such as an area chart or as a column chart). By default, the data is retained for 180 days, however you can control how often to prune this statistical data in the AdminCP. Online user trends graphed You can also view a graph of member activity on the site. Member activity is defined as any "activity" beyond simply browsing, such as submitting a new post, reacting to any content item or comment, or following any content item or node. Activity information about your member base You will also be able to define keywords that you would like to monitor and then see both a graph of usage of those keywords, as well as a table listing all usages of those keywords. You can use this to track usage of competitor names, find out if hash tags you define are trending, or learn if promotional materials are making an impact on your membership. Keyword tracking can help you closely monitor your community Along with these additions, we've cleaned up the menu and wording for the rest of the existing statistic options to make their functions more clear. We hope these additions help you better track and control your community, making the most of your time and money. Note for developers: A new chart class has been added which allows you to populate dynamic charts using callbacks, in addition to the standard methods that already exist for pulling data directly from a specified database table. View the full article
  13. This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release We have introduced a feature which will allow moderators, with permission, to copy topics from the Forums application, into any custom database in the Pages application. New Moderation Item This feature will copy the contents of the first post of a topic, and copy it as the body of the new record. The moderator copying the topic will then be given a pre-populated form which will have the Title and Content fields automatically filled with the topic title and first post contents, which then can be modified to add any additional notes (such as an editors note at the bottom). The form will also include any custom fields that can be filled in, as well as all moderation options you would normally see when creating a record. Form Input In addition to all of the normal options you would typically see, there are two additional options. The first is the ability to copy all posts in the topic as comments on the new record. The second is the ability to post the record as the original topic author, or as the moderator copying the topic. This new feature is very useful when you might see a topic in the forums that you want to copy to an article or keep in a permanent knowledge base. View the full article
  14. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release In IPS Community Suite 4.2 we have added a bunch of new settings for the Downloads Index Page. Downloads Index Page - Settings With 4.2 you'll be able to hide any of the boxes. Hidden Most Downloads Box Another often requested feature was that people want to be able to choose the categories from where the files should be fetched This way you'll be able to hide files from some very old categories. Hidden Categories View the full article
  15. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release In IPS Community Suite 4.2 we have added some additional customization options for Blogs The sidebar now features a space reserved for Blog owners to add a little further info, add links to social network sites, contact info, or anything at all they desire. The New Blog Sidebar The sidebar will show across all of the Blog pages (unlike the Blog description) and uses the standard built in text editor which supports all of the usual features such as embeds, images, links, and all other editor plugins you have enabled. Editing the sidebar is as easy as editing the Blog info via the Manage Blog menu. It's then a simple matter of toggling the sidebar on and entering the info. Editing The Sidebar The Blog sidebar content is controlled by the owner of the Blog and is only available if the administrator activates the option. If set, the content shows above any other widgets placed in the sidebar. This has been a frequently requested change and we are happy to add this to make Blogs more individual and engaging. View the full article
  16. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Promoting Content

    There are many strategies for growing your community, such as newsletters, mailing lists and advertising on other sites. IPS Community Suite 4.2 puts a new tool at your disposal: promotions. There’s no denying the popularity of social media. Worldwide, Facebook has 1.86 billion users active monthly. Every day, millions of people are using Facebook to speak with friends, to talk about their interests and to find new people to connect with. Of that 1.86 billion people, a good portion of those are actively discussing topics your forum covers. There is a huge opportunity to tap into social media to join in the discussion and to promote your community and provide a venue to carry on the discussion. For a while, we’ve had social media log in extensions, which means that your users can sign into your community simply by clicking a relevant button. We’ve also had the ability to share things to a personal Facebook account. These tools are great for your users, but how do they help you, forum owner? IPS Community Suite 4.2 introduces a way to promote your content directly to your brand’s Facebook page and your brand’s Twitter account. You can curate fun and engaging topics and share them. The workflow is simple. Simply browse your community and queue up interesting topics, comments, gallery items, blog posts or database articles for posting throughout the day to your brand’s social media accounts. You choose the schedule, the hashtags and the wording to send. Let’s look at the feature set in more detail. Your first stop is to set up the feature from the admin panel. The system will guide you through the necessary steps of connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once Facebook has been set up, you can select any page that you are an administrator of on Facebook. The admin panel also offers scheduling options and permissions. You can pre-set the times for when content will be posted. Facebook and Twitter both have analytic tools to determine when your visitors are most frequently online. A good tip here is to set the time to a slightly odd number, so 11:45am is better than 12:00pm as you are likely to catch the attention of someone waiting for lunch, or a lunchtime meeting. You have full control over who can promote items to your social media accounts. You can specify by group or pick individual members who may not be in those groups. Now that you’ve set up the backend, we can get promoting. Each item, that is a topic, gallery album, blog entry or article has its own Promote button. Each post and comment can also be shared individually, which is an easy way to share great content your visitors add to existing conversations. Clicking this brings up the sharer. This is where you can customize the text that is sent out to each social media channel. You’ll also notice space to promote this item within your own community in addition (or instead of) Facebook or Twitter, we will explore that shortly. The sharer is smart enough to pull attachments already added in the post, and you can upload your own images to be sent. Generally, shared items that have an image get better organic reach than just text alone so you’ll almost always want to choose or add an image. Twitter can use up to 4 images, and Facebook allows 1000 pictures per album, but you’ll never want to upload that many! Once you’ve filled out your content and picked your images, you can schedule the promotion. Generally, you’ll want to use the auto schedule option as this allows you to just stack up multiple items and let the auto scheduler post the items according to your pre-set schedule. You can also set a specific date and time if you are looking to run a promotion or other time sensitive event. The promoted content viewed in Facebook and Twitter It’s easy to see the status of your queued and sent items from the moderator view. This area allows you to see previous promotions and modify pending promotions. Earlier, we mentioned that the system has the ability to promote content internally. Promoting items to your own community lets you, the community manager, curate interesting items and comments and present this to your community. This is a great way to allow your visitors to explore content you think they’d enjoy. Promoting content to your community via Our Picks also allow you to promote content if you cannot or choose not to use social networks. It has the advantage that social networks do not have over a community platform like IPS Community Suite: consistency. The content on your community is always there whereas a social network is all about right here right now. Miss it and you miss out. On your community you can engage and re-engage a subject all you want. Of course, we’ve built a widget that you can drag and drop to most pages to make this curated list more visible. IPS Community Suite 4.2 gives you, the site owner and community manager the tools you need to reach out and engage new users already discussing the topics on social media your community covers. With single click sign in and the built in retention functionality the suite offers, you’ll have a powerful way of growing your user base. It furthers that goal by created a list of that promoted content for continual reference and promotion for visitors already on your site. We’ve got lots more to discuss on this subject, and in the coming months we’ll be putting together some guides on social media best practices and how to leverage Facebook’s excellent post promotion / pay per click tools to further boost your site’s visibility to social media users. We’re here to help you make a success of your community and to give social media users a venue for when they outgrow Facebook. View the full article
  17. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Clubs

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. We are happy to introduce the next major feature that will be available in IPS Community Suite 4.2 - Clubs. Clubs are a brand new way of supporting sub-communities within your site. Many people have requested social group functionality in the past and Clubs are our implementation of this concept. Let's take a look at a few screenshots, and then go over what they are capable of doing. The Club directory A Club homepage Club member listing Example of content within a club (topics, in this case) There's a lot to digest there! Let's go over the basic functionality. Club Types Four types of club are available: Public clubs Clubs that anyone can see and participate in without joining. Open club Clubs that anyone can see and join. Closed club Clubs that anyone can see in the directory, but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or Club Moderator. Non-club-members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas. Private club Clubs that do not show in public, and users must be invited by a Club Leader or Club Moderator As the site admin, you can of course configure which club types can be created and by whom. You could, for example, allow members to create public and open clubs, but allow a "VIP" group to also create Closed and Private clubs. Admin configuration option for Club creations Club Users Each club has three levels of user: Leader A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas (see below). The club owner is automatically a leader. Moderators Moderators, as the name implies, have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. As the site administrator, you can define which moderator tools can be used. You could, for example, prevent any content being deleted from clubs, but allow it to be hidden. Moderators can also remove members from a club. Users Anyone else that joins the club. Defining the moderator permissions available to club moderators Your site administrator and moderators, with the appropriate permissions, are able to moderator content in any Club regardless of whether they are a member of it. Clubs can be created by any user who has permission. As you would expect, this is controlled by our regular permission settings. For closed clubs, there's an approval process. Users can request to join and the request must be approved by a leader. Leaders get a notification when a user requests to join; the user gets a notification when their request is approved or denied. Approving and declining join requests Club Content Club Leaders can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, blogs and so on. It's important to note that these content areas are fully functional just as if they existed as a top-level admin created area. They will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content. Each content area a leader adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name. Adding content areas to a club Club Custom Fields Clubs also support custom fields. Custom fields are defined by the site administrator and can be filled in by Club Owners. The values they enter are shown (along with the club description) on the club homepage. Custom fields in a club On the Club Directory page, users can filter by the custom club fields. Filtering clubs Club Locations Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify a physical location for their club. Let's say you run a community for car enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page: Club locations And within a club, the location is shown too: Club Display We offer two ways to display club headers within the club - the standard way, shown in the screenshots you've seen up to this point, but we also have a sidebar option. This is something the admin sets globally for the site, rather than per-club. This is useful where your site design doesn't facilitate another horizontal banner taking up valuable screen real-estate; moving the club banner to the sidebar alleviates this pressure on vertical space. Sidebar club style Using Clubs in Other Ways There's a lot of scope for using clubs beyond allowing users to create their own groups. You do not even have to call them "clubs" if that does not suit your use case. For example, on a company intranet you could rename Clubs to "Departments", and create a private group for each of your main roles. This would allow each department to have its own community, with its own forums, gallery, file sharing and so on, private and separate from other departments. Similarly, they'd also work well in situations where you as the site admin want to create entire micro-communities. Take for example a video game publisher. Using Clubs, they could create a micro-community for each of their games, complete with forums, galleries and so forth, and then set the Clubs directory as their overall community homepage. Immediately, they have a setup that hasn't until now been possible out-of-the-box with IPS Community Suite. We expect our clients will come up with some really innovative uses for the new Club functionality, and we can't wait to see what you do. We'd love to hear your feedback - let us know what you think in the comments. View the full article
  18. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Reactions

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. IPS Community Suite has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down system, later updated to introduce a Likes system as an alternative. Whichever system you chose to use, it tied in with our reputation system. We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, and it's something that has been requested for quite some time: Reactions. Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see. Let's see how they work in a post, and then cover the options you'll have available. What you see above is the default setup for a site that has used the Like system in version 4.1. We include 5 reactions by default: Like Thanks Confused Sad Haha If you currently use the older style up/down reputation system, don't fret - you'll still get the new reactions on upgrade, but they'll be disabled by default and instead the new reaction UI will show up/down reactions. This gives you the flexibility to decide which of the new reactions, if any, you want to allow. So, those are the basics - but what configuration options can you expect to see? First, you can of course add your own reactions! We expect that beyond the default reactions you'd expect to find, some sites will want reaction types specific to their use-case. On an intranet, you might want to have 'agree' and 'disagree' reactions for staff to use when responding to discussions. On a gaming community, you might replace the icons to be some graphic from a video game that means something to your particular userbase. There's a wealth of possibilities. Each reaction you set up can be configured to adjust the original author's reputation count - a reaction can be positive (i.e. award a reputation point), negative (i.e. subtract a reputation point), or neutral (i.e. leave the reputation count unchanged). Our default set won't include any negative reactions, but you are free to configure these and new reactions to suit your own use-case. A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course. If you don't want to use the new reactions for whatever reason, you can disable all of them except Like, and it'll behave just the like 4.1-and-earlier system: Sites that currently use the up/down system don't show a list of names of users, and instead show an overall reputation score for the content. With the new reaction system, you can enable this even if you don't use up/down reactions. This is great if you plan to use reactions as, for example, an agree/disagree system, or where the content score is more important to your site than the individual reaction types. How the reaction UI looks with the 'count only' setting enabled As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if you enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content. This remains a permission setting that you can apply per-group. On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks like this: Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including Recommended Replies: ...and activity streams... ...and a couple of places we aren't quite ready to reveal yet We hope you're looking forward to this new feature as much as we are. It's already been a hit on our internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how clients customize it for use on their own community. Developer note: Reactions are one of two new features (the other currently unannounced) so far that make use of PHP Traits. View the full article
  19. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Calendar Venues

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. Following on from our previous news entry "Add Similar Event" we are pleased to announce another feature that will make adding and discovering new events as easy as possible. Support for geographic event locations has been in Calendar for some time now but with 4.2 we have taken this a step further with venue support. When enabled, members can set the event location from a list of pre-defined venues. Address details and maps will then be automatically shown in the event view. Event view shows the venue map and address as well as a link to other events at the venue Additionally, a link will be added so that other events occurring at this venue can be discovered. Venue view shows all events at the location Venues can be added via the admin control panel or inline when adding events (for users with permission) ACP venue management Inline adding of venues when adding events If a venue has not already been added then a fallback to the standard address form input is provided. We have a few more Calendar improvements still to reveal so be sure to follow News & Updates for further announcements. View the full article
  20. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. Social Sign In has long been a feature of the IPS Community Suite but we are always looking for ways to make interaction easier for your visitors. A small but significant improvement we are able to add for 4.2 is to include social sign in links directly at the point where your customers are ready to contribute. Hassle free inline sign in brings your customers right back where they need to be to comment Visitors are much more likely to comment when the registration process is as fluid as possible and social sign in has fast become a familiar and efficient way of doing so. After signing up via these methods users are logged in and brought right back to where they started ready to comment. Feedback from our testers has already shown that this change has an immediate effect on the volume of new registrations and we look forward to making it widely available with 4.2. View the full article
  21. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. Recurring events are not new with IPS Community Suite but often you may wish to create similar events that don't necessarily occur on a regular schedule. Previously this has meant creating a new event for each and then manually re-entering the information for event description, location, cover photo, RSVP options and so on. Often the only thing changing between the events would be the date and time. Starting with IPS Community Suite 4.2 it is now possible to create a similar event based on one you have already added with a single action. Create a copy of an event in one simple step After opting to add a similar event you will be presented with the add new event form with all of the event info already filled out for you. Just set the date and time, make any required adjustments and submit your new event. Note: This option is only presented to the author of the original event in order to reduce visual clutter for regular visitors. We will be announcing many more interface improvements such as this in the coming weeks so be sure to follow the News & Updates section for updates. View the full article
  22. This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release Improvements to our Gallery application, both in terms of new functionality and minor enhancements, are coming in 4.2. One area that was identified early on for improvement was the Gallery image view page and specifically how the lightbox feature available on this page behaved. We adjusted the buttons that overlay the main Gallery image to use icons instead of text If you click to view an alternative image size, we improved the header styling of this page as well for clarity and to allow easier downloading of the image you are viewing When viewing an image, you can open the image in a lightbox by clicking the icon at the very top far right corner. When doing so, there was previously a button at the bottom left hand corner of the lightbox if you wanted to download the image. We modernized this experience by implementing an overlay that you can click on in order to download the full size image instead. You will notice there are now left/right arrows in the lightbox view here. You can click left/right to scroll through the images in the container, just as if you clicked through the images in the photostrip immediately below the image on the main page. You can also use the left/right arrow keys on your keyboard. While this would navigate through the photostrip previously, it will now also navigate through the images in the lightbox as well. When viewing on your mobile device, the lightbox has been cleaned up allowing more image to display which is a welcome change for your mobile users. We have more changes coming to Gallery in 4.2 which we will be revealing soon but in the mean time we hope you enjoy these useful improvements. View the full article
  23. 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. Developer Note 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. View the full article
  24. ADMIN

    Ips News 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. View the full article
  25. ADMIN

    Ips News New: Device Management

    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release. One of our more technically-oriented features for 4.2, we have added more detailed logs of user logins, and the devices and IP addresses used. This brings several new features: Notification of a new device sign in If enabled, users can receive an email notification when a new device is used to log into their account: Email sent when a login from a new device is detected When a user signs in for the first time, a special key is set to recognise the browser on subsequent logins. This mean the notification email does not trigger on a new IP address, which would be annoying when travelling or if using a network where the IP address changes regularly. Instead, the notification is only triggered if someone signs into your account from a new physical device or web browser. UserCP Device Management If enabled, a new page will show in the user's settings page showing all the devices which have been used to log into their within the last 90 days (which is recent enough that could still be logged in if "Remember Me" was checked). Recently Used Devices Users can see the device, browser, physical location (obtained by a GeoIP lookup) and if applicable, how the login was processed (for example, if the sign in was with Facebook or Twitter, this will show). If they chose "Remember Me" when logging in, they can undo that (handy if you realise you accidentally left yourself signed in on a public computer). If they see anything they don't recognise, a page to walk them through the necessary steps to re-secure their account is available. Secure Account Information New Two-Factor Authentication Setting "Logging into the front-end" is one of the options of when to prompt for Two Factor Authentication. In 4.2, this has been separated into two distinct settings: Logging into the front-end from a new device Logging into the front-end from a known device If you enable the former, but not the latter, and the user has previously logged in devices, the system will automatically show an explanation to users alongside the other available recovery option. This can be useful especially if you do not want to offer other recovery options. AdminCP Device Management In the AdminCP, administrators can see all the device and IPs a member has used. They can also disable automatic login for any device. Edit member page shows most recently used device and IP address Viewing a device's details The system can also detect if another user is using the same device and will show this in the list of devices. Users sharing the same device View the full article
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