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IPB4 & the new Server

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As I mentioned before, we will soon be moving to a new server (much faster) and we are going to explore the possibility of upgrading our forum software (IPB - Invision Power Board). There are several new features in IPB4 and I want to outline some of them here and get some feedback. We will set up a test site with the new software so we can get even more feedback. Once we see how it looks and confirm that it is faster\better etc, we can look into upgrading the live site.


Some features:




The design is responsive meaning it looks great whether you’re on a desktop or a mobile phone, or anything in between (and we do that the right way: we don’t just remove things on smaller screens).
  • The editor supports drag-and-drop uploading, automatic media embedding, auto-saving and mentions.
  • Precise Searching: Includes a comprehensive search engine, enabling users to easily find content.



  • Users can add tags when creating content, making it easy for others to find more content on the same subject. Tagging can be open (meaning users choose their own tags), or closed (where they choose from a predefined list), to suit the community's individual needs. 



  • It's a highly capable, extensible, "What You See Is What You Get" editing environment that helps users create the best content.

    Use rich formatting you're used to in your word processor, and see it identically in the editor and in your post.

  • Mentions

    Notify other members by typing their name to mention them - the perfect way to ensure a member sees something they might otherwise miss.

  • Automatic Embedding

    Links from services like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram will automatically embed a rich preview in the post. 

  • Drag'n'drop Uploading

    Attach images and files simply by dragging them into the editor upload area. Images will appear right in the post while files will show as a download link.






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Profiles are the home for user content

Users can upload gorgeous cover photos to customize their profile area.

Easily switch between the user's profile and a stream of everything they've contributed.

Status updates gives users a personal area to share their thoughts.

The user's community reputation and any badge they've earned is shown prominently.

See who follows whom easily, and find new members to follow too.


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Notifications ensure new content is never missed

  • Weekly & Daily Digests: Users can choose to receive digests of new content posted in their followed areas - a convenient way of getting an overview without being overloaded by email.
  • Notification Options: Users choose exactly what kinds of notifications they receive, and how - on the community or via email. Admins can also configure the default options for new users.


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Reputation identifies key contributors


With the powerful Reputation system in the IPS Community Suite, users can award points for content they like, giving recognition to the original poster.


Award badges: Automatically award badges to a user when they reach certain reputation levels.


Highlight users: Call out the top community contributors with the Top Contributors sidebar block.


Popular content visibility: Highlight posts in forum topics when they reach a defined number of points.


Two reputation methods: Choose between the "Like this" or up/down rating reputation systems.

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Mobile-friendly by default


The IPS Community Suite uses responsive design, meaning it automatically adjusts to look and work great on any device, whether it's a desktop, tablet or phone. Don't expect a crippled experience - everything works the same regardless of the device you use.

It's not just for members either - our AdminCP is also fully responsive, letting you manage your community while on the go.




Add photo and media sharing to your community. Gallery is a fully-featured photo and multimedia sharing app for the IPS Community Suite. Create albums, upload photos, discuss the hottest shots and much more.


Feature Highlights User Albums

Choose whether to allow users to create their own image albums to group photos. Albums can be public, or private and restricted only to the members the author chooses.


Images & Video

Gallery supports video media as well as the standard image formats. Videos exist in albums just like images.


Image Protection

Gallery has multiple ways to protect your community's content, including copyright fields and customizable watermarks, embedded automatically in all uploaded photos.



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There are more features than that, but those are some of the highlights. Once we move the server and have something for you to look at we want to hear from you!


Thanks everyone.


I belong to several other forums going in this direction and while its nice that forum owners want to try to combat Facebook and Twitter by adding imitation Facebook and Twitter into their forums, they sometimes do this at the expense of the base forum experience and that's a bad thing.  So, have at it, but please don't choose a template and a feature set that compromises the core functionality that we've all grown accustomed to since 1994. 


As an example, one refreshed forum I belong to decided that no one needed a "back" button to respond to a series of posts in the same thread.  You know, respond to the first post, hit 'back', takes you to the next post, respond to that, etc.  Instead, the back button takes you to the root of the forum, makes you navigate your way back into Page 5 or wherever you were.  Another refreshed forum decided to alert us every time someone posted something new in a thread we posted in as well as the responses to our exact posts, sometimes I had 30 alerts an hour after posting something benign.  Another forum decided that even though having two different font sizes for mobile and desktop is best for each platform, it was best for spiders if they used one consistent font for both and that made reading each a bad compromise.  Oh, but we're generating more clicks and that's supposed to mean better rankings and better revenue.  It doesn't.  It just frustrates.


You will find that very few people will use these Facebook and Twitter features.  Sharing photos, writing blogs, all these attempts to generate incremental content aren't what's important in a forum.  We just want to talk Jets without all the distractions of social media.  That's why we do it here and not on Facebook.  Do it incorrectly, make some basic errors to good ol' forum functionality, you can accidentally make things worse, not better.


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