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  1. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation (EU 2016/679) that is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for EU residents from 25th May 2018. How can Invision Community help? While Invision Community enables you to collect and store information, it's important to note that you as the site owner are the data controller. If your site can collect data from EU citizens, then we recommend that you research your responsibilities. We have introduced several new tools in Invision Community 4.2.7 to help you with compliance, and we'll run through them and the relevant sections of the regulation in this blog. Individual Rights (More information) Right to be informed Invision Community has an area for you to edit your own privacy policy. This is found in the Admin CP > Settings > Terms & Privacy Policy. Guidance on what the policy should contain can be found here. Right to erasure (More information) Invision Community allows you to delete a member from the Admin CP. If the member has left posts or comments on your community, you can elect to delete the content, or keep it but remove the author's details thereby making the content anonymous. Lawful bases for processing (More information) Consent (More information) Invision Community now features a setting to not automatically opt in to administrator emails such as those sent by the bulk email system often used for newsletters when registering a new account on your community. This feature is found in the ACP > Members > Registration Settings Part of the consent regulation is to record when consent was given. The consent to opt-in for administrator emails such as bulk emails sent via the Admin CP is recorded at registration, and each time they change the setting. This record can be found in the member history log when viewing a member in the Admin CP. If you change the Terms & Conditions, or the Privacy Policy, you can request that members accept these changes when they next log in thus giving their consent for those changes. Cookies (More information) Invision Community stores a small amount of data in cookies. These are used to authorize you when you re-visit a community. Other cookies are used to provide a service at the user's request, such as changing a theme or using Commerce's cart. We have added additional features for Invision Community 4.2.7 to permit acknolwedgement that cookies will be set, and a brief page outlining the types of cookies that are set. Invision Community has a feature that shows a small message to new visitors to the community. This is found in the Admin CP > Terms & Privacy Policy page. We have pre-configured a cookie acknowledgement message using the short-tags {cookies}. This will display as follows: This links to a new page showing brief information about the types of cookies that Invision Community stores. Although at the time of writing this blog entry, the regulation states that there is no exact information that you need to show on the cookie page, you can edit it to add more detail if you wish. Summary We hope these new tools available with Invision Community 4.2.7 make it easier for you to seek compliance with GDPR if you choose to do so. It's worth pointing out that we are awesome at making community software and know a huge amount about making communities successful, but we are not experts in EU regulation. We offer this blog entry as a way to assist you in seeking compliance but you must do your own research and are responsible for your own community. Invision Community 4.2.7 is currently in beta testing. We're aiming to release it early next week. We hope this is a good starting point for you! View the full article
  2. Matt was recently invited onto the Community Signal Podcast, where he spoke with host Patrick O'Keefe. Everything from how Matt got started with online communities right up to the possibility of a post Facebook era was covered in their 45 minute chat. Matt also gives a little insight into how Invision Community works behind the scenes. From Community Signal: Check out the podcast now! View the full article
  3. Despite your best efforts, is engagement a problem for your community? You have your site promotion running well and you are seeing plenty of traffic but it doesn't convert into comments, posts or reactions? Invision Community is a powerful platform that offers layers of complexity for the many sites it powers. When you are struggling to convert page views into comments, it's worth taking a step back and evaluating your site from a new user's point of view. We'll take you through our 6 best tips to simplify your site and increase engagement using built in tools. #1 Use Social Sign In with at least Facebook and Twitter enabled. Social sign in makes it easy for causal visitors to become content contributors by creating an account. Social sign in removes the complex registration form that may put some off. It's a fact that most people visiting your site will have either a Facebook account or a Twitter account. Use that to your advantage! #2 Use Profile Completion One of the biggest reasons sites fail to convert visitors into members is because of large or complex forms. If you have many required profile fields, your potential member is likely to abandon the form. Use the Profile Completion system with fewer fields where possible for a simpler registration form. The Profile Completion system allows new members to complete their profile in their own time. Of course, you can still enforce vital fields before members can contribute. #3 Use Fluid View Traditional forums can be a little daunting to site visitors used to Facebook. The top down categorisation is a strength for separating conversations. Yet, it can be confusing for a first time visitor to navigate. Fluid view breaks down these boundaries by presenting your conversations in one simple list. By removing the need to jump between forum containers, new visitors are encourage to keep diving deeper into your conversations. An engaged visitor is more likely to contribute. #4 Keep your forum structure simple Even with fluid view enabled, complex forum structures can confuse. Consider a brand new forum with a hundred different conversation areas. Would a new user know where to go and post? Would they be put off thinking they are posting in the wrong area? The best advice is always start off with as few forum containers as possible and increase them as your community grows. #5 Use Reactions One of the simplest ways to increase engagement is to turn on Reactions. Reactions allow other members to leave feedback on a post in a few clicks. The default reactions allow one to like, give thanks, express confusion, sadness or happiness. You can add your own reactions to tailor the platform to your niche and personality. Non-verbal engagement is important for your active posters. If they receive reactions to their posts, they are more likely to reply more and return often to see what feedback they have received. #6 Use the Sign In/Sign Up widget A very simple way to increase visitor to member conversion is to just ask them to register. Invision Community ships with a drag and drop widget that you can use to outline what your site is about and encourage registration. In one very simple but prominent box, you can see what the site is about and how to join in. Summary New and existing communities should take a moment to see their site through a new visitor's eyes. Consider how easy your structure is to navigate and how many barriers to registration there are. You can streamline both registration and conversation presentation with our built in tools. The key to increasing engagement is to make it a simple as possible to join your community. Make sure your barriers or entry are set low. Not using Invision Community? We can convert you from other platforms preserving your data. Our migration page has more information on the platforms we can convert you from. View the full article
  4. It's hard to believe that we're close to wrapping up 2017 already. It seems like only yesterday we were putting the finishing touches to Clubs, Fluid View, Profile Completion and all the other new features added this year. We're not resting though, Invision Community 4.3 is well underway and we'll be releasing news of its new features soon. Our developers have been busy squashing bugs and release Invision Community 4.2.6. Regular visitors to our own community may have noticed that we've been running several search tests to improve the results search brings. Our latest community articles continue to be well received. This month's highlights are: In team talk we post a simple question that proved hard to answer. As always, we'd love to hear what you think of our articles. If there's anything you'd like covered, just let us know below! Thanks! View the full article
  5. Making security considerations a key part of your community setup and maintenance can save you from many future headaches. You've worked hard to get your community moving. Don't make yourself an easy target and undo that work. Here’s our current advice to our customers. 1. Enable HTTPS HTTPS is fast becoming the standard way to serve websites. In 2016, more than 50% of web requests were served under HTTPS for the first time. Chrome and Firefox now explicitly warn users on login forms that aren’t sending data over HTTPS, and it’s not hard to imagine that in the near future all insecure pages will receive the warning. HTTPS simply means that website data is served over a secure connection and can’t be read or tampered with by a ‘middle man’ hacker. You can identify a site using HTTPS because the address in your browser will show ‘https://’ (instead of http://), and normally a lock icon or the word ‘secure’. Invision Community supports HTTPS by default simply by changing your base URL configuration to include HTTPS. Of course your web host will need to support it as well and our Invision Community Cloud services support it by default. Contact support if you have any questions. Recommendation: Set up HTTPS for your entire community to prevent ‘man in the middle’ attacks. 2. Set up Two Factor Authentication Invision Community supports Two Factor Authentication (2FA for short), and we highly recommend making use of this feature for your users, but especially for your administrator staff. 2FA is a system that requires both a user’s password and a special code (displayed by a phone app) that changes every few seconds. The idea is simple: if a user’s password is somehow compromised, a hacker still wouldn’t be able to log in to the account because they would not have the current code number. You may already be familiar with 2FA from other services you use. Apple’s iCloud, Facebook and Google all offer it, as do thousands of banks and other security-conscious businesses. Invision Community supports 2FA via the Google Authenticator app (available for iOS and Android) or the Authy service, which is able to send codes to users via text message or phone call. You can also fall back to security questions instead of codes. You can configure which members groups can use 2FA, as well as requiring certain groups to use it. Recommendation: Require any staff with access to the Admin Control Panel or moderation functions to use 2FA, to ensure that no damage can be done should their account passwords be discovered. Allow members to use 2FA at their discretion. 3. Configure password requirements The password strength feature displays a strength meter to users as they type a new password, showing them approximately how secure it is, as well as some tips for choosing a good password. While you can leave this feature as a simple recommendation for users, it’s also possible to require them to choose a password that reaches to a certain strength on the meter. Recommendation: Require users to choose at least a ‘Strong’ password. 4. Use Admin restrictions It’s very common that many different staff members need access to the Admin Control Panel depending on the role. You may have design staff, billing staff, community managers, and so on, all with particular tasks they would like to achieve. Invision Community can help improve the security of your Admin Control Panel by allowing you to restrict the functions available to each administrator, granting them access to only the tools needed to do their job. Recommendation: Audit your community’s administrator accounts and applying restrictions where it makes sense to do so. 5. Stay up to date It’s important to ensure you’re always running the latest release of Invision Community. With each release, we add new security features, audit code and fix any issues reported through responsible disclosure. Falling behind can therefore make your community a tempting target for potential hackers. Your Invision Community Admin Control Panel will let you know when a new release is available, and you can also check out our Release page to track releases. For our Enterprise customers, we’ll automatically apply updates for you shortly after release as part of your plan. For our self-hosted and Cloud customers, you can easily apply new updates via the Admin Control Panel with a couple of clicks. Our Invision Community Cloud contains all best practices for security. However, if you are self-hosted, be sure to work with your web host to ensure your server is setup properly. Ensuring that server software, firewalls, and access controls are in place is very important as an insecure server can be your worst enemy. Recommendation: Aim to install latest updates as soon as feasible. 6. IP address restrictions For organizations where staff are centrally-based in one location, or are required to use a VPN, you can improve your community security by restricting access to the Admin Control Panel to the IP addresses your staff will be using. This is a server-level feature, so contact your IT team to have this facility set up your installation. Enterprise customers who wish to utilize IP restrictions should contact our Managed Support team, while Cloud customers can submit a support ticket to have this set up. Recommendation: Where staff all access the community from a small number of IP addresses, restrict Admin Control Panel access to those IPs. Summary Don’t leave security as an afterthought. Invision Community includes a range of tools to help you ensure your data and members protected, as well as industry-standard protections ‘under the hood’. Make use of these features, and they’ll help ensure the wellbeing of your site. As always, if you have any questions or need advice, our support team are on hand to assist you. View the full article
  6. It's that time of year again! Have you been thinking about starting your Invision Community? Or perhaps you're currently using another service and want to take advantage of our modern, mobile ready and social media equipped platform? This has been a great year for Invision Community. We've added many new features including Clubs, Fluid View, Profile Completion and more. We've been adding useful articles such as the benefits of owning your own community versus a Facebook Group, how to optimize your community's SEO, and how to stop spam. And we're already working on our next major release due out early 2018. To celebrate, we have two new coupon codes for you! 20% OFF ALL CLOUD PACKAGES Start with Invision Community today with our hassle free cloud packages. There's nothing to upload and nothing to install. You don't need to know your FTP from your MySQL. We do all that for you! Use coupon code during checkout: CICBF2017 15% OFF SELF HOSTED LICENSES Prefer to manage your own hosting? No problem. Grab your downloadable license today. Use coupon code during checkout: SHBF2017 The small print These coupons are valid from today right through to midnight Monday 27th November (EST). Note, the self hosted coupon is not valid for renewals. Thanks and happy shopping! View the full article
  7. This month we ask a very simple question that got our team thinking hard. “If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?” Now, this doesn't assume that there is a disaster, so you don't need to think about things like food and water. It also doesn't need to include humans or pets. This is also not a "Desert Island" question so survival tools are not required. This got us really thinking about what material possessions are important to us. It also made us realise how much technology has made a lot of things redundant. We might have said "CD collection and my favourite books" ten years ago, but with a phone, that's no longer the case as so much is handled on the device. Ryan (Developer & Guitar showroom owner) In terms of just packing up and moving on, I actually don't own a lot that I would consider critical / prized / irreplaceable. My dad's 50 year old acoustic guitar is all I would take with me, as it's the only thing that *isn't* directly replaceable. Maybe include iMac and iPhone to have some sort of connection to the outside world at all times, but I really don't need anything else I own. Brandon (Developer & Jet ski owner) I guess if I were to pick five things I couldn't live without I'd have to narrow down the list to my phone, my wallet, my TV (I unwind by zoning out on movies or home repair shows), my car (I can't walk to anything but the ICW here which wouldn't do me much good), and coffee (with International Delights Cold Stone Creamery creamer). Brandon neglected to mention that he owns a Jet Ski Marc S (Support technician & cycle injury enthusiast) Top 5 is hard, and makes you realise that despite living in a world of material possession, we actually rely on very few things. Albeit tending to be expensive things. So here goes. Mobile Phone - Despite the calls (which I could do without), and facebook (which I probably should do without), I have a problem with sleeping. For years now I have been using the audible app on my phone to listen to audiobooks. Usually factual stuff, so it doesnt really matter if I lose position. It helps me with my sleep, and therefore my sanity. Computer - This isn't just because I work on one. I tend to spend a lot of hours at it, even when I am not working. Whilst I do support here at IPS, I do a lot of development in my spare time, on my own projects, and quiet enjoy it. Currently working on an app for my brother which tracks horse racing points for a game that he runs, which is just something a bit different to do of an evening. Kettlebells - I'm trying to get a little fitter than I am at the moment. I spent a long time being a very unfit person, and sitting at a computer 24/7. Never a good thing to do, and it eventually starts to catch up with your wasteline (honestly. You in your 20s reading this, it does!). I joined a gym before I moved house, and got quite into working out with kettlebells, so when I moved, I bought some to use myself. I now have a PT who creates sessions for me each week. We're unsure who took the photo Bike - Whilst I havent used it half as much as I would like lately, I trained for, and completed, a 100 mile bike ride earlier this year, along with a few friends, including Andy Milne. This made be realise just how much I enjoy riding a bike. To the degree we're now planning our next bike challenge. Kettle - I'm pretty sure I would die without coffee. There is little else to say about that! Andy (Developer and Support technician) I realise I have far too much clutter in my life answering this question but I managed to come up with 4 things; Running Shoes Bike Watch Laptop Andy finishing the Reykjavik marathon, 19 August 2017 I’m going to make a conscious effort to be a bit more minimalist now and switch to a standing desk and a Paleo diet or go barefoot or whatever other healthy lifestyle choice @Matt recommends this week. Mark W (The Senior Developer) To answer this question I opened up my travel checklist - having taken off the things you said are excluded like clothes and toiletries, the only thing I have is my meditation stool, my laptop, my iPad, my phone, and my watch... so I guess that's my 5! Matt (Developer and object of ridicule) It's a hard one to answer. Years ago, before the internet, I could have listed many things but digital devices and "The Cloud" replaces so much. Here's my five. Macbook Pro. This is my daily work machine and uses iCloud to sync up my work and personal items like photos, etc. I'd have this packed first. iPhone. It's never far from my hands and with Netflix, Amazon, Audible, iTunes and Kindle contains books, music, favourite TV shows and more. I use Audible most nights to help me switch off and get to sleep. Sleepphones. I like to look really cool while sleeping, so a grey fleece headband is a must. Fortunately, they also double as bluetooth headphones designed to not dig into your ears while you sleep. I couldn't be without these. Air Pods. Yes, another pair of headphones. But these little beauties fit in my pocket and I use them when out and about. The lack of cable is a real plus although they're easy to lose. Concept 2 Rower: Ok, so it's not really going to fit in my hand luggage but I thought about which bit of fitness equipment I'd keep. It's a tough one between kettlebells, weights, the treadmill and the rower but I think the rower wins as it can be used many ways for a good workout. Mark H (Support Technician and part-time Phil) Macbook, iPhone, E-cig, suspenders, and my .357 Magnum. (Editors note: I'm genuinely not sure if this is a joke answer or not but didn't like to ask. Either way it's the best list of things I've ever seen.) Daniel (Support Technician and Developer) My five are: Phone, watch, laptop and 1000kg of headache medicine. That's it, i don't need a fifth item since it's only about "stuff" and not family. (Editors note: I'm hoping that 1000kg is just a guess. I'm starting to regret asking this question.) Jennifer (Designer) Computer - This is my work, play, entertainment, and more device. Plus it's a beast. Mobile Phone - When I'm not on my PC I'm on my phone. It keeps me connected to my communities when I'm out. Plus Zombies, Run is on it. High heels - If I had to choose a specific pair it would one of these two. Bed - It is wonderful and has all of my blankets. I couldn't live without my blankets. Dix It - Because I really couldn't think of another thing and this game is hilarious and fun. This really got us thinking about what is important to us and how much "stuff" we have. What would your five things be? View the full article
  8. We all know what a pain spam can be. We deal with it daily in our inboxes often relying on clever software to filter it out for us. Even worse, some spam is so well disguised that it can fool you into thinking it is a genuine message. You've put in the hard work with your community. You've used the built in social promotion tools and SEO features to get it noticed. Now that it's indexing well with Google, you've become a target. Invision Community has several tools in its arsenal to deal with spam leaving you free to concentrate on your members and content. We'll take a look at these tools in more detail. First, it's important to know that there are two main types of spam. Computer generated and human generated. Computer generated spam is malicious software that throws millions of messages out and hopes some sticks to high profile communities. Human generated spam is more pernicious as it can often bypass automated measures. Human spammers often register accounts and post as members on your community. The first line of defense Invision Community comes equipped with Spam Defense. This is free with all cloud and licensed plans. Spam Defense harnesses the combined knowledge of thousands of Invision Communities. It will assess the potential threat of each new user and stop them before they can cause any problems. To date, Spam Defense has blocked over 3,000,000 spam accounts. Spam Defense works by evaluating the registering member against its database. It will score the account from 1 (not a spammer) to 4 (a known spammer) allowing you to decide what to do with each level. If a spammer gets past the Spam Defense, flag them as a spammer using the built in tools. This will clear up all their posts in a single action and report back to Spam Defense that this account has spammed your site. These community led reports allow Spam Defense to learn and adapt. Preventing spammers from registering The CAPTCHA ("Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart") is a well tested and robust method to defeat computerised spammers. It is usually a small widget on a sign up form that asks you to re-enter words shown in an image. Invision Community supports Recaptcha2 by Google, meaning that in most cases your users don't even have to type in random letters. Instead, Google algorithms determine if the user is human or otherwise. Invision Community supports KeyCaptcha. This requires guests to solve a simple problem before they can contribute. The Question and Answer challenge works on its own or in conjunction with a CAPTCHA. This system allows you to create simple question and answer challenges unique to your community. As these answers are unique, computerized spammers cannot solve them. Also, human spammers not knowledable with your niche are often unable to solve them too. While the above are great for reducing the number of computerized spammers, we need to be especially clever to weed out human spammers. Dealing with human spammers Smart configuration of your community will also help in defeating spammers. Invision Community supports posting without registering. This feature allows for fast engagement but use it with caution. It works best if you only allow it for specific forums. Invision Community's membership promotion system also has tools which you can leverage. To make your site less appealing to human spammers, you can configure two membership groups. Let us look at an example which uses "New Members" and "Members". "New Members" is the default group for new registrations. In this group you can remove the ability to add a signature to each post. Often spammers use signatures to earn referrals on links. You can also define a limit for posts per day. This will throttle the number of spam posts a member can make. Now that you have your "New Members" group set up to build trust, you can promote them using Group Promotions. A good strategy is to promote them to "Members" when they have reached a certain level of reputation. This shows that they have become a trusted member of the community. You may wish to promote them a week after joining knowing that spammers usually leave after a day or so. There are many different criteria you can use allowing you to tailor it for your own needs. Summary Dealing with spam is a reality for every successful community. Invision Community has several features to mitigate its impact. Through leveraging its built in tools to smart configuration, you can make your community a fortress against spam. In addition, our exclusive Spam Defense system grows and learns every day stopping spammers from registering. To learn how to configure Invision Community's spam prevention tools, please see our help guide. Not using Invision Community? We can convert you from other platforms preserving your data. Our migration page has more information on the platforms we can convert you from. View the full article
  9. Unlike a regular website, where you write content for each page, target keywords and optimize text, a forum community's content is predominantly written by users. They don't know or care about your site's SEO and just want to interact with other users or find answers to their questions. To keep your community moving forward, Invision Community implements many best-practice SEO techniques and approaches for you automatically, without you needing to lift a finger. Even still, there are a few additional steps you can take to potentially help your site rank better. How Invision Community helps you automatically Invision Community does a lot of automatic SEO for you behind the scenes to help your site rank better or to help search engines understand your content. Some of those include: Sitemap generation A sitemap file helps search engines to locate pages within your site. This helps search engines find pages so they will be crawled quicker. Invision Community automatically generates a sitemap for you that points to all of your content URLs, and submits it to Google. JSON-LD Another way a site can help search engines is by providing metadata about a page. For example, if the page contains a review, additional data can be supplied to the search engine with rating count, average, and so on. There are dozens of items that can be described in this way, and doing so can mean your results in search engines display this additional data. This makes results more useful to users, potentially leading them to click on your result versus another. It can also help search engines understand your content better. Canonical URLs Search engines can penalize your site in situations where the same content can have multiple URLs. With software that generates pages dynamically, such as a community, this can happen frequently because there are URLs to get the last read post, the latest post, the first post and so on, all ultimately pointing to the same topic page. Invision Community takes care of this for you by setting a canonical URL for every page, telling the search engine which is the definitive URL it should use. Semantic markup The HTML markup used to generate a page is possibly the most important factor impacting SEO. Each HTML tag has a specific meaning (e.g. H1 is an important title) and allows search engines to determine the structure of the page. It's therefore important that tags are used correctly and in the appropriate context - known as semantic markup. Invision Community has been built with semantic markup principles in mind right from the start. Responsive theme Google has been transitioning to a mobile-first approach when crawling sites and it's likely this does or will factor into its PageRank system. Now more than ever it is important that your community offers a genuine mobile experience. Invision Community achieves this by supporting responsiveness - where the theme adapts depending on size of the screen being used - by default. What you can do to improve ranking Let search engines see your content One of the most important things you can do to help with SEO might seem obvious, but we've seen many people unwittingly neglect it: ensure that search engines can see your content! It's tempting to lock down your community so that users have to log in before being able to see your content, and for some communities this might be necessary. However, a search engine can only see content accessible to guests, and so by locking your community down a search engine won't be able to see very much at all, and your pages won't show in search results. Wherever possible, we suggest allowing guests to read your content, though you can require registration to reply. Enable HTTPS Even ignoring SEO this is a good idea, because it's more secure for your users and browsers are increasingly alerting users about sites that don't use HTTPS, showing them as insecure. In terms of SEO, research has shown a correlation between between sites using HTTPS and their ranking position, and in 2014 Google indicated that HTTPS would be a “ranking signal” going forward. Given the other benefits of HTTPS, it would therefore be wise to enable it across your community. Ensure your site loads fast A fast-loading site is very important for rankings, and so you should do what you can to keep your community running quickly. This includes: Enable guest caching Invision Community includes a built-in caching system for pages viewed by guests, ensuring they don't have to be re-generated for every page view. This can greatly speed up your site for guest users and therefore search engines. This is automatically configured on our Cloud services. Don't go overboard with plugins A few good plugins can set your community apart from others, but going overboard can significantly slow down your load times or clutter your interface. Be wary of image-heavy themes As with plugins, a great theme is a good thing to have, but try to avoid one with extensive use of very large images. Choose a good host Some website hosts are slower than others, so ensuring your host is up to scratch is important. Of course our Cloud services are a great solution here! Use 301 Redirects if migrating If you're migrating from another community platform, your page URLs will change to reflect Invision Community's architecture. You can greatly improve SEO retention by using special redirects (known as 301 Redirects) to send users from your old URLs to the new. Search engines understand this method and will update their records. We include redirects in our free migration packages to help you retain your SEO standings after migrating to Invision Community. Write relevant content If your site targets a particular niche, you may see benefit in writing longer-form content as articles on a site blog. This kind of content ranks well and allows you to ensure keywords are used (versus content posted by members, which can be anything). You can also encourage further discussion of the article in the wider community, amplifying its benefit. For a site news page/blog, our Pages app can be used to build an articles section for this purpose. Use social media profiles to your benefit You should register social media profiles for your site on the popular platforms and make them a part of your presence. These sites rank very highly of course, and so if your social profiles can also rank highly for your name, they can be a good way of directing traffic to your site. Use the ‘About' section of the profile to write an interesting blurb about what your site offers. Create eye-catching header images and profile photos to use on the profiles too. Cross-link each social profile to the others (and back to your site, of course). Finally, link to your social profiles from your site too. Invision Community allows you to easily do this and insert icons in your header or footer. Beyond that, you can also use social media to your advantage by cross-linking some of your best content to it. We'll go into more detail on how best to leverage social media in a future article, but the new Promote functionality in Invision Community is a great way of achieving this. Summing Up As always, content is king when it comes to ranking, and that should be your most important focus. Fostering a vibrant community that creates and shares interesting content is key. You can then use SEO methods boosted by Invision Community features to expand your community's reach in search engines. If you have any SEO tips that have helped your site, we'd love to hear them. Share them in the comments below! View the full article
  10. Theme design dla gildii

    cennik jest podany pod adresem https://lukazuki.com/custom możesz dobrać rodzaj usługi oraz cene
  11. Theme design dla gildii

    najnowsze jest 4.2.5 a 3.4.9 jest stare, dla tego dokładnie na jaką wersje potrzebuje wiedzieć
  12. Theme design dla gildii

    rozumiem że na IPB 3.4.9, zgadza się? jaki rodzaj gier przeważa w gildii, MMO RPG czy FPS?
  13. Whether you run an existing community or are taking tentative first steps into setting up an online community forum around your brand, an important choice you need to make is between social networks like Facebook or having a community you own and control. Let's take a look at the benefits of an owned community versus a Facebook group - as well as how you can still use Facebook (and other social media platforms) to your advantage. You own your data The biggest point to consider when using Facebook groups is that you do not own your own data. Facebook owns it and does not even allow you direct access to it. If you decide later to move to a different platform, need to run reports to extract meaningful insights, or otherwise work with your community data: you are out of luck. In contrast, with an Invision Community, your data is your data. You can use it in any way that makes sense for your goals; be it analyzing trends, sending promotions to users, or generating reports and statistics. We never hold your data hostage and there's no fee to get it. Beyond owning the data, you also control how it's used and presented. Facebook is notorious for changing algorithms for when (or even if) people see your posts. When you run your own community the experience for your and your users is in your control. Branding opportunities This is a big one. An owned community gives you the tools you need to make your community a seamless part of your user's interaction with your business. This naturally includes your brand styles (your logo, colors, site navigation and so on) but also your community web address (URL). With an owned community, your URL will be easy to find - customers normally opt for something like forum.yourname.com or community.yourname.com. Users will have more confidence that they're in the right place, and more closely associate your community and your message with your brand. Emails sent out by your owned community can also carry your branding, consistently reinforcing that connection between your business and your community. And, of course, when users share content from your community to Facebook and other social networks, they're sending users directly to your website where you have the opportunity to lead with your most important call to actions. More control over user experience All Facebook groups are, essentially, the same experience and yet your business needs almost certainly aren't the same as every other. One size doesn't necessarily fit all when it comes to community! When you control your own community, you have the ability to control your user's experience. Need to show specific types of data in specific places? You can do that (and more) with Invision Community's easy to use Blocks feature. Need to create a custom community application to serve as a resource center for product support? You can do that too. Another huge benefit of this control is that, unlike a Facebook Group, users won't be seeing ads and 'recommended content' from competing businesses and communities. With user attention being pulled in so many directions these days, the last thing your community needs is for users to leave because Facebook has suggested a competitor! No barriers to monetization Not all communities require a monetization strategy. In many cases, the community is part of a larger customer relationship strategy rather than a revenue-generating destination in its own right. But for those communities that do plan to monetize, options with a Facebook group are at best difficult to act upon, and at worst practically non-existent. In contrast, Invision Community gives you the opportunity to explore monetization strategies that work for you. These might include paid subscription plans (a particularly attractive option for fan club communities), traditional advertising through Google AdSense and other networks, or sponsorship deals with other businesses that might be relevant to your members. Invision Community has tools for each of these approaches built in, allowing you to start monetizing with minimum fuss. Fine-grained permission controls Facebook groups struggle to reflect the real-world roles that staff members play in your organization, limiting your choices to 'administrator' or 'moderator'. And the same is true of users, too - your options for recognizing different levels of user (such as VIPs, or brand ambassadors) are limited. Invision Community is different. Since you are creating and configuring each member group, you can precisely control who can see what, and how they are recognized within the community. You can even sync these roles via Single Sign-On (SSO) making setup and assigning users to groups painless. For staff groups, you can limit access to key community functions based on roles or responsibilities, ensuring access is granted on an as-needed basis only. For users, you can get creative and find a group structure that works best for your specific needs. For example, support communities often find that recognizing the most knowledgeable and helpful members with a new member group (complete with elevated permissions) is a great way of engaging users. And finally, with this control over access, it's very easy to create restricted areas of the community. Whether you want to create a private subforum that staff can use to coordinate tasks or a file repository that's only available to subscribers, Invision Community can achieve it. You can still reap the Facebook benefits Setting up your community within Facebook's walls might not be the best approach for you. That doesn't mean you should ignore Facebook, however. On the contrary, it's an influential platform and there's a very good chance your users are already using it. Invision Community offers a number of tools that allow you to benefit from Facebook while avoiding the drawbacks we discussed. We'll go into more detail on utilizing social media in a future article, but to summarize: Invision Community features social sign-in options, enabling users to register and log in using their existing social media accounts, substantially reducing onboarding friction. Content can promoted by staff back to your social network pages, automatically and on a schedule you decide. Invision Community supports automatic embedding of a wide number of social networks (and other services), allowing users to share their favorite Facebook and Twitter posts and spark a whole new conversation - but this time in your community. Summary When you are creating an online community for your business or hobby it is important to think about your goals and future growth by choosing a platform that is there to work for your needs. When you establish your community on Facebook, you're helping to grow someone else's business (including, potentially, your competitors!) and hoping that some of those spoils fall to you. With an owned community, the rewards of your hard work belong to you and your business alone. Invision Community has been enabling users and businesses to communicate online since 2002, and we're proud of our reputation as a platform that puts control in your hands. Contact us if you'd like to discuss how we can help you too. View the full article
  14. Our recent release of Invision Community 4.2 was the most well-received version ever! The feedback we received on new features like Clubs, Reactions, and Promotes was better than we could have hoped and we really enjoyed seeing all the creative uses as people implemented them on their own communities. We have been hard at work on version 4.3 with a goal of improving on all the great new features. It is well under way and we are happy to able to start announcing what's new over the next few weeks. Invision Community 4.3 will not only contain new features but also have a core focus on refinement from 4.2's new features. You will see many improvements to Clubs, new integration options, large application improvements, new promotional features, and more changes large and small. You can expect to see news posts about new features and changes very soon with a release date in early 2018. Follow our news section or subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates. View the full article
  15. Whatever the purpose of a community - be it customer support, fan engagement, interest-based groups and so on - there's usually a need for site staff to communicate important information to users. Of course, in some cases this information is best suited to a site announcement, which by design has a lot of visibility and authority. But it's important that day to day staff posts stand out too. As we'll discuss in future articles, a key part of engagement is that users see your organization's team interacting with the community. In many cases, users will expect and appreciate acknowledgement from your community team, and by highlighting those responses you can add a visible stamp of authority. Invision Community has a few different tools to help you highlight staff posts, so let's take a look at them in more detail. Group badges With group badges you can upload a small image that is shown beside a user's posts. It's shown alongside the user's group name, so you don't need to repeat that text. Each group can have a different badge, perfect for communities that structure their staff groups based on role type. It's common to color-code group badges for easier identification - support as green, product development as blue, and so on (and you may want to coordinate these colors with the prefix and suffix you use, which we cover later in this article). It's not just staff groups that can have badges, either; your regular member groups can too. However, a word of caution! If every group has a badge, they may lose their distinctiveness. We recommend reserving group badges for those groups you specifically want to draw attention to. Post highlights Second is a feature more explicitly designed to highlight a post rather than simply draw attention to the author. Group settings in Invision Community enable you to choose to have posts by users in each group show with a distinctive background color and border. The color is defined by your theme and so is easily configurable, too. As with group badges, it may be tempting to highlight every group's content, but we recommend not doing so as that reduces the overall impact of the feature. Keep it reserved for your key staff groups, and especially those that regularly interact with the community. Group prefix/suffix Invision Community allows you to define a custom prefix and suffix for each group. This is used in key locations, including to highlight usernames in the Active User block and to style member group names alongside content. An important part of this feature is that it accepts HTML tags, which gives you a lot of scope for customizing the display by adding an opening and closing HTML tag to the prefix and suffix settings, respectively. For example, let's say we want to add a shield icon before the name, and make the text purple. Prefix: <span style='color: #9013FE'><i class='fa fa-shield'></i> Suffix: </span> Simple! Now our staff members will display in the Active User block and elsewhere like this: Bonus feature: Staff activity streams I wanted to also mention a feature that achieves a slightly different goal to those we covered above, but nonetheless is an important way to bring additional visibility to staff content: activity streams. As well as an overall “All Activity” stream that shows everything happening in the community, Invision Community allows you to define pre-made streams that are available to all users. You can use this to build streams of content with particular tags, certain types of content - or, as in this case, content by users in specific groups. Simply create a new activity stream in the Admin Control Panel, set the configuration so that it only pulls content from members in your staff groups, and you're done. Users will now be able to visit the stream page to get a handy overview of everything staff members are doing in your community. I recommend checking out the other filter options available for streams while you're setting this up - there's a huge amount of power available! Summing up I hope this quick overview of content highlighting features has been useful. When users visit your community, they're usually looking for authoritative information and that often comes right from your own team. By utilizing the features we've discussed here, you can make that information stand out more against the other content in your community. View the full article