Forum App Update

The Forum app has been updated today with enhancements that a lot of your have been requesting.  New updates include:

– Editing of posts and topics for moderators and site owners
– Editing and deleting of posts and topics for site members (with a 10 minute time limit)
– Locking of Categories
– Moving topics – by editing and changing their category
– General enhancements and performance improvements

These changes were applied automatically to everyone’s forums. Since all the changes are brand new, would love to hear your thoughts.



Today we launched a brand new update. This widely requested update enables you to post useful widgets in sidebars without using any code.

How to add widgets to your sidebar?

1. In the Sidebar Manager, click on the “Widget Module” Button
2. The next screen will show you the Sidebar WidgetBank where you can choose from a number of categories to find widgets that suit your needs (like badges, clocks, countdowns, weather feeds, news feeds, rss feeds, and more).
3. Customize your chosen widget (if needed) and click ‘Insert.’


A lot of what we’ve been doing of late here at revolves around an idea of  Websites as Community. Beginning with the Members App, and continuing with Forums and Guestbooks, among others, we’ve been making it easier than ever to nurture and grow a website –once a dead, static repository for data and information –into a thriving, dynamic hub of activity.

We at *love* Websites as Community because of the benefits of self-sufficiency and relevance that come with giving control of your website to your audience. Once you’ve laid the foundations and the focus of your site, and attracted the right visitors, the old practices of site maintenance and updates transform into a fun, engaging dialogue. As you give your community a voice, your community gives your site interesting and relevant content to help it grow in a virtuous cycle.


There are two types of users that visit a website. The first group consists of the informed users. These individuals already know what it is that they’re looking for on a given page, and are visiting to obtain something specific. The second group is the curious users. They reach your site through a search engine or a series of links from another page, and want to see what you’ve got going on. It’s important to optimize your site in such a way that you tailor to the needs of both groups without making it difficult to move around.

When the informed user loads the page, their eyes will more than likely go straight to your navigation bar. Oftentimes this leads to the idea that everything should be placed in the menu for easy location, but in reality it’s much more difficult to find what you’re looking for in a sea of links. Assume we visit the website of a dog breeder, and we want to get information about poodles. (Fig. 1)

Example Website

We’ve now read through all of those poorly organized links only to discover that there are no poodles. It would be much easier for the informed user if we had our navigation sorted out in a much easier to read manner and slimmed down to make important information easy to find.


The Guestbook page has been completely upgraded to better work with the social features your sites have. Here’s a brief outline of what’s new:

– Entries which your site members post are now tied to their profiles
– Users can reply to previous guestbook comments
– Settings are available for you to decide who can post entries
– Rich text is included
– Ability to edit and delete comments
– A newer and better look and feel

Best of all, you can migrate all of your old guestbook entries over to the new Guestbook with a click of just one button!



Now that we’ve established how to format our text in a way that pleases the reader, we can move on to planning and implementing color styles. Color can be either a powerful tool or a crippling weakness. The important thing to remember is that having a hammer does not make everything into a nail.

The example above seems to be very simple in terms of color, using 3-4 colors at most. The color palette consists mostly of different shades of brown, and the entire page follows that trend. By not throwing a plethora of different colors onto the page we can keep the readers focused on what we want them to see as they follow the natural flow of the page. Empty space also plays a larger role in defining areas of importance (such as the navigation menu).


At the Web 2.0 Summit in November 2006, Marissa Mayer of Google gave a talk on an internal study which indicated that a half-second delay in terms of page loading can cause up to a 20% drop in site traffic (a more in-depth description of her presentation can be found here for those interested). Since then, there’s been a swarm of development over tools related to trimming down websites, and subsequently decreasing load times, all without taking away from the desired user experience.


Text Example

There are a lot of different things one must consider when making a website. Many of these are specific to the sites purpose, but a number of general practices can go a long way towards making your page more accessible and easy to comprehend for your users. This post will focus on the styling and formatting of text to make it easy to read and enjoyable to look at.

For a few of these points, we’ll use the following image as an example:

Let’s start by looking at the title (“What Is Lorem Ipsum?”). It immediately draws attention because it’s larger than the body text and uses a Serif Font. Simply from looking at it we can infer its meaning and importance, and it manages to do this without breaking the flow of the page. The text remains aligned to the left, and feels consistent with the following content.



Hey all, Haroon here.  Just wanted to give you an update on a few things that are now available and several other things we are working on.

First off, as you know, we have launched our new Blog App.  If you are still using the old blog, we highly recommend migrating to the new one as we will no longer be supporting that product after March.  The new blogs have several advantageous features including Categories for your blog entries, sidebar support, and site member support (for commenting and posting).  To migrate your blog, simply edit your current blog and click the link to copy your entries and comments to the new blog.  (Don’t worry, this will not delete your old blog so you can try it without risk).



Layout Style

Header Style

Accent Color