👋 Hey, PeerBoard community!
In October, we implemented some important SEO changes, introduced a greeting unit and a request access flow, allowed a simple storage of post drafts, and moved forward with our community app for Thinkific.
In this update:
- October updates:
- Greeting unit for private and public communities
- New request access flow for private communities
- SEO rework
- Simple local drafts
- Become an early adopter of our Thinkific app!
- Coming soon...
- Share with us!
🌟 Introduce Your Community to Visitors 🌟
When you visit a community page for the first time, it might not be obvious right away what it's all about. Regardless of your intentions to keep community public or private, you can welcome visitors with a short introduction and (optionally) prompt them to visit your external registration (more on that further below).
This unit is enabled to everybody by default. To disable it or customize the info, go to Customization, choose Greeting and hit the Show greeting content checkbox. On the same page, you can customize the title of your community, the main welcome text, and the login button.
If you want to use the same community description in the greeting unit as you've already specified earlier in the Branding, leave the body text field empty.
Here's how a greeting unit is displayed in a public community — BYKidO, community for parents who like planning family activity. Note that in this case the unit is shown only if you are not registered yet.
Note: we already got some early feedback about the placement and are making the banner smaller and moving above all the content, including the categories. The new design will go live in the next weeks!
And here's what visitors of private content communities see when they access the page, an example is from our favorite Naturally Healthy Pets Community.
Note, to see how it looks now for your community, you need to be logged out, pretending to be a visitor. Or use your browser incognito mode. We also show you the live preview in our Customization -> Greeting page.
🔓 External Request Access Flow 🔓
Previously, if you tried to access an invite-only community, we would simply return an error and there would be no guidance what to do next. Now if you have an external registration process like a form or a membership service, you can link to it from your community. To enable it, we added another messaging piece and a request button to the greeting unit on your homepage and also login page and error page units.
The flow for you as admins is as follows:
- Go to Settings and choose General in the dropdown menu.
- Add a registration URL under the External request access flow to allow visitors request access directly from the community's main page, login screen, and access denied screens.
Once the URL is specified, community visitors will see a call-to-action (CTA) on the mentioned screens prompting them to register at the URL before they can get access to the space.
To customize the CTA and messaging:
- Go to Customization and choose Greeting in the dropdown menu.
- Edit the Request Access main text and button texts.
However, if you wish to keep inviting members through other membership systems without making registration available to visitors, you can leave the external request access flow disabled.
Here's how it looks for private content communities and similarly extend our greeting unit for public content communities.
Cool hack: you can put
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org into External request access flow url in your Settings -> General and it would show "Request Access" button to your members prompting them to send an email to you.
⚡ Reap Better SEO Benefits ⚡
Happy communities are all alike, but they may have different goals. Some prefer having all-exclusive content for selected members while others want their content to be discovered by search engines. For the second scenario, we keep revisiting our SEO settings to better the experience.
With the last round of SEO rework, you should expect more accurate search results for the main page, posts, and member pages, with us:
- Improving our indexation, skipping low quality (no content) pages via no-index tag
- Adding SSR rendering, see more on how to get the most of it below
- Adding header and meta tags to all our pages
- Doing a whole bunch of smaller fixes
On getting some of those benefits
- For communities hosted on peerboard.com or custom domain, you get all of that out of the box and don't need to do anything. See how it looks now in search for our community.
- For WordPress, we have added OpenGraph and Twitter tags support to enable better social sharing. You also don't need to do anything here except to update to our latest plugin in your WordPress.
- For Shopify, unfortunately they don't provide many ways to enhance their default SEO, but we're looking at what we can do on top of the basics we implemented.
- For SDK setups, we have added API so you can implement the same on your side. We wrote a separate guide on how to do that and recommend to implement it so your public content is better indexed and previewed when sharing.
Please note that it may take some time (months) for Google to index new or updated content. For more information, watch this episode of AskGooglebot.
Check out our Recommendations on SEO to ensure your community is properly set up to get all the benefits.
And if you find that we missed something, please file a separate feature request post! This is not the end of this effort and we plan to get back to it shortly after shipping a couple other large updates. One big item we plan to add this winter is human-readable post, category and profile urls. Stay tuned!
🥳 Never Lose Your Posts in Progress! 🥳
Fear no more low battery or accidental tab closure, your content will be safe! If you close the browser without publishing the content, don't panic. The next time you decide to write a post, the editor will restore the last draft from a local storage, and you can pick up where you left off. Note, this happens only locally since we store drafts locally for now.
Recruiting Early Adopters for the Thinkific App!
We're putting final touches to our Thinkific community and forum app and are looking to get some feedback from our community before we launch it to a wider public.
If you run courses on Thinkific or know someone who does, this is a great chance to get a 50% discount for six months on any paid plans of our app! Fill out this form, and we'll get back to you with details.
- Fixed and optimized redirect back to community after login in Shopify. Also made it much faster. For new registrations we're still exploring our options.
- Missing badges fix along with a bunch of smaller badges improvements. We'll add a few more soon!
- CSV export crashing in some rare cases.
- Problems with custom domains and JWT tokens affecting a portion of customers.
- And a whole bunch more. Please keep reporting!
- Digest configuration options for both admins and members, already testing
- New set of APIs (categories, posting)
And working on a whole bunch of new important things and expanding our product and engineering team - we're hiring for a bunch of roles!
Share With Us
👂 How's your experience with PeerBoard?
We heavily rely on our users feedback and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Keep track of our Roadmap here or leave a new feature request.