I hope everyone is well. We are delighted today to announce the release of our InstantForum 2014 BETA 2 update. This is the first BETA release we are making available for general download to existing InstantForum 2013 customers. This update is ready for use within production environments.
What's New in BETA 2
- Detect & Handle SPAM registrations
With BETA 1 we added the StopForumSpam API integration when users post new topics or replies within your forum. With the latest BETA 2 update we've now also added the StopForumSpam integration into our registration process. The goal is to provide you with an automated way to detect & deal with SPAM registrations.
If the username, email address or IP address of the user creating a new account appears within the StopForumSpam.com database and matches the minimum SPAM appearance threshold you've defined within InstantForum you can now handle the SPAM registration separately from normal registrations.
As an administrator you can customize how SPAM registrations are handled via the new "Spam Registration Action" drop down available below the StopForumSpam options on the Forum Settings page. These new options are shown below...
- Do Nothing
The spam registration will be treated the same as a normal registration.
- Admin Approval
If a registration is detected as SPAM it will require manual admin approval. No email will be generated to the admin.
- Admin Approval + Email
Same as above however this option will also send a notification email to the global email address deigned within the General Settings page with a link to approve the account.
- Require User To Confirm Account via Email
The user creating the account must click the unique activation link sent to the email address they provide during registration to fully activate the account.
- Move to Member Group
Move registrations detected as SPAM automatically to a specific member group upon registration.
- Don't Create Account & Deny Access
The account will not be created and the user will be displayed a message informing them the details they provided match those of known spammers.
The Spam Registration Action will only take effect if the details of the user creating an account match those of known spammers. For new accounts that pass all checks the standard "Registration Type" defined on the general "Login & Registration" settings page will be used.
- Toggle Registration
We've made it easy to disable registration and replace the registration page with a customization message. This can be helpful if you wish to temporarily disable your registration for SSO scenarios. When registration is disabled if your already logged into InstantForum as a moderator or administrator you will be able to access the registration page to create new accounts,
- Toggle Login
We've added an option that allows you to disable login. This is intended for SSO scenarios.
- Toggle Login Tab In User CP
We've added an option that allows you to hide the "Login" tab when users are editing there profile. This is helpful yif you handle SSO externally and don't want to allow users to update there username, email address or password via InstantForum.
- Improved Simple User Menu
It was clear from feedback in BETA 1 we added to many links to the user menu that shows when your logged in alongside your username. We've reduced the number of links as shown below...
- Improved Subscriptions
We've made it a one click process now to unsubscribe from all forums and all topics you may be subscribed to. We've also added a tab control alongside the top of the forum and topic subscription pages which allows you to quickly jump between the two pages to manage your subscriptions.
- Improved Following / Follower Page
We've added a tab strip to the top of the following and follower pages to make it easier to jump between the two pages.
- Moderation Changes
- If your a forum moderator and have permission to ban & delete members you can no longer delete or ban other moderators or administrators from the forum front-end. To delete or ban moderators or administrators you will now need direct access to the InstantForum Admin CP so only administrators can now delete or ban moderators. If you allow moderators to ban & delete members they can still delete or ban regular forum members.
- Changed Email Settings To Privacy Settings & Consolidated Options
We've renamed the Email Settings page to Privacy Settings and consolidated all direct messaging and notification options on to this single page. The Privacy link also now appears in the Users Menu as shown in the screen grab above. We want to make it really easy for your users to control the notifications they receive from your forum.
Misc Improvements & Fixes Since BETA 1
- If your a moderator or administrator the new reputation level thresholds will no longer take effect.
- Added reputation count & member group to user profile page
- Added option within Admin CP to toggle visibility of the theme roller button
- Fixed issue on Edit PM Folders page. Default folders "Edit" & "Delete" buttons not being disabled
- Wording improvements to email templates & resources.xml
We Need You
If your an existing InstantForum 2013 customer and would like to take advantage of the new SPAM protection features built into our 2014 update we would welcome you to try our BETA 2 release. We are confident the BETA 2 release is now ready for production use. We are using this release here in our own community. We've not found any major issues with this update however we are remaining in BETA currently to gather further feedback around the StopForumSpam integration.
If you would like to try our 2014 update please post below to indicate your interest, contact us or contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll work with you during the BETA to upgrade your existing installation and implement the new StopForumSpam integration.
We will be contacting our own hosted customers to see if you wish to take advantage of BETA 2. We will happily upgrade your hosted account to BETA 2 upon request.
As always we've updated the online demo to our latest BETA 2 release. You can try BETA 2 via our online demo at...
We are excited about the improvements added in 2014 and feel the SPAM improvements will make a big difference to the moderators and administrators who use our software everyday. For this reason we'll be moving quickly to make the final 2014 release available so please expecta short BETA phase. Please stay tuned for further news soon.