Incorporating Google Authorship

Google now focuses more on the Authority aspects of websites when they determine rankings. Google wants to recognize sites that publish real useful info and rank them higher.
In short, the more useful a site is, the more authority it has in Google's eye.
In a recent video (May 2013), Matt Cutts of Google talked about new algorithms being able to detect medical and travel authority sites (beginning 4:36)

FAQ for APG vNext (V5)

Can you tell me what this new version is about?

What's new in APG vNext is its unique Content Publishing capabilities that can help you build your online community:
  1. Integrated Blogging makes it easy for you to publish and re-purpose expert & community content (guest blogging) in your forum;
  2. Content Slider & Featured Articles gives you the ability to visually grab users' attention by highlighting interesting activities & discussions in the community;
  3. Dynamic page creation (simple CMS) allows you to create pages for special purposes. You can create:
    1. sign-up pages for people from different traffic sources (typically called landing pages),
    2. about us page,
    3. thank you page,
    4. ... and have them show up on unique URLs as well as under the forum menu.
  4. Feature embedding in posts makes it easy to:
    1. increase member sign-up with a short registration form embedded in the forum posts.
    2. generate and embed a survey from multiple polls in a post to collect opinions from your community
Click here to see a short Content Publishing guide. And you can test these features on the demo forum.

What are improved in this new version?

The whole User Experience (UX). APG vNext's interface is redesigned and streamlined for better UX over the last versions. Everything was tested to ensure the final product is very easy to use and understand.

The most noticeable improvements are found in:
  1. General UI - better styles for buttons, fonts (golden ratio) & layout spacing to improve readability & draw attention;
  2. WYSIWYG - enhanced formatting tools, auto save draft, drag 'n drop, multi-file uploads & attaching photos from the gallery;
  3. Social Media Accounts Integration - One-click login support for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (and a host of openID providers);
  4. Search functionality - feature rich results filtering and sorting, and you can search right where you are without leaving the current page;
  5. Top Navigation - easy to access menu lets you access important features from any page (like the latest posts and search) without leaving the current page;
  6. Private Messaging - messages are now grouped in threads that makes reading the entire conversation easy. Quick reply enabled too;
  7. Full Read Tracking - keeps visitor's read history across devices making it easy to pick up where you left off from any place.
  8. Built-in Mobile Web App - a lightweight mobile web app compatible with all modern mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows... phones and tablets) are included. See the next section for more info.
Take a look at this Top Community Feature Presentation and see why you should choose APG vNext for your community needs.

Does the software provide better support for Mobile Devices?

Yes, APG vNext now has a lightweight, auto-detecting mobile web app built in. It is based on the jQuery Mobile framework which means the web app supports nearly all A & B level devices jQuery Mobile supports (the list cover all smart phones that have market share). It is not just for iOS, but Android phones and Blackberry too.
Check out the Mobile Web App.

Do Photos and Videos show correctly on Mobile Devices?

Yes. If you embed photos or videos from Youtube, they show correctly without distortion. APG vNext Mobile Web App displays responsive content to ensure readability.

Does the software support file attachments for iOS 6+ devices?

Yes, both iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and Android users can upload photos directly from their devices.

Can I upgrade my existing V3 or V2 license?

Yes. The upgrading process is streamlined and takes only a few minutes to complete for Version 3 users. It is similar for version 2, but a little longer because of the database structure change involved.
Take a look at our upgrade benefits page for new the improvements and pricing.

If I upgrade, will my current message URLs from V3 continue to work?

Yes, the URL structure is the same as the previous version. Nothing is changed in this area other than we are support an additional URL structure. You won't lose traffic during the V3-> vNext transition.

What are the new System Requirements?

  • Web Server: Windows 2003, 2008, 2012;
  • IIS Version: IIS 6, 7, 7.5;
  • ASP.NET Version: 4.0, 4.5;
  • SQL Server Version: 2005, 2008, 2012;
    • Minimum Edition: SQL Express w/ Advanced Services (for Full-Text Search)
We no longer support ASP.NET 3.5 and below.
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Documentation for Administrators

Once you are logged in as an Admin,
  1. For APG vNext (version 4): you'll see an item that says Admin Control Panel when you click on the top right menu;
  2. For version 3.x: you will see on the top menu an item that says Admin Control Panel. Mouseover it and you will see the basic sections of the admin control panel;
  3. For version 2.x: scroll down the the bottom of the page to see a graphic that says "Admin". Click on it to go to the admin control panel.
Once you are in the admin control panel, you will see a list of sections on the left. Click on the one you want to configure, and the desired section will appear on the right.
  1. For APG vNext (version 4):
  2. For version 3.x: At the very top of the admin page, you will see a link that indicates the Help file location
  3. For version 2.x: At the top of the right frame, you should see a link with a ? mark.
Click on it and a small window will popup with detailed descriptions for the current section (context-sensitive help file).
document, admincp, admin

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APG vNext 5.1 - Akismet + improved 3rd party API

What's new in 5.1?

Version 5.1 is a major release with one major focus - to help you beat spammers with ease. For this, we introduced Akismet into the software.
With Akismet fully integrated, you can have a peace of mind, knowing that the most powerful web spam filter is watching over your forums for you. It's also highly configurable, letting you change the filter behaviour on a per-forum basis.
In addition, the 3rd party API call is improved as well, letting you make RESTful / RPC calls (in the background) when users' group membership expires or gets reinstated. In 5.0 and before, you could only make these remote API calls when you manually add / remove users from a group. This improvement makes integrating with other services much easier.
For all fixes and improvements included in this version, please see the following for details:

Fixes , Improvements & Additions

  1. New Features and Software Behavior Changes:
    1. Aksimet Integration - Automated Spam Filtering now available
    2. 3rd party API calls now expanded to include membership expiration and reinstating
    3. Page Creation in AdminCP now has a box to put content at the end of body - easier to add JavaScript code
    4. Tagging: several improvements:
      1. You can now convert user defined tags to Smart Tags
      2. You can also edit / delete user defined tags
      3. User defined tag list now allows filtering for easy management
  2. UI Presentation Improvements:
    1. Several AdminCP pages revamped for consistency and usability, and make some options easier to understand. The pages that got improved are:
      1. Report Tickets
      2. Post Flagging
      3. Forum Management
      4. User Group Management
  3. Enhancements:
    1. You can now disable server messages by leaving the subject / body blank (previously users will receive blank messages)
    2. RSS feeds for forum and threads now show relevant channel link
    3. Auto detect incorrect unread count for Private Message
    4. Avatar upload post count restriction now applies to users who don't belong to any user group
    5. Request Validation turned off for Basic Maintenance in AdminCP to allow HTML in message
  4. Bug Fixes:
    1. Android browser cannot upload via the mobile web app
    2. Upload permission checkbox in the forum management interface has no effects
    3. Mobile PM doesn't work when file attachment for PM is disabled
    4. Unread threads listing doesn't show threads you mark as unread manually
    5. Notification link to mobile web app issue due to page count difference between desktop and mobile version
    6. Scheduled background tasks not executed on time due to a bug in thread pool management
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What's next - Akismet auto spam filtering coming to APG vNext

The worst enemy of popular forums

The most frustrating problem that plagues many forums today is Web Spam - unsolicited ads (often with links to spam sites with malicious intent) pretend to be genuine forum posts, preying on your members.
And these Web Spammers are difficult to deal with. Sometimes spam posts are created by spam bots (computer program), which can be more easily defeated using things like Captcha. In this case spam posts will be rejected before they land on your forum.
Other times spammers hire people to register multiple forum accounts and post ads on their behalf. In this case Spam can be very hard to prevent as there are no reliable ways to differentiate human spammers from regular members, until they post something on your forum.
In the past, forum owners rely on 2 basic methods to try dealing with these spammers:
  1. Asking members to report or flag spam posts - hoping the community members will self-regulate by identifying and removing spam themselves. Software like APG vNext has the ability to automatically remove posts that are flagged as spam by forum members.
  2. Screening every new post and approve each manually - employing trusted members as moderators to read and approve posts before they show up on the system.
The problems with the above methods are they only work short-term, or they don't work at all. Many people won't even bother reporting / flagging posts and would just leave feeling frustrated seeing spam posts everywhere.
And moderators aren't as reliable either - people could get busy or simply become lazy and reluctant because the work (filtering spam) feel like chores and unrewarding.
So here comes the solution for these issues:

Entering Akismet Integration - the automated spam fighter


vNext 5.0 Android Upload Fixed

Some users reported the new mobile upload feature didn't work with Android phones after the initial release of vNext 5.0. After working with the users and a 3rd party dev tools provider, I'm happy to report the problem with Android native browser upload has been fixed.
The problem was caused by a limitation and a browser bug in Android:
  1. Limitation: Android browsers cannot fire click event on a hidden element (CSS; display:none)
  2. Bug: Android browsers reported size = 0 for files uploaded via the HTML 5.0 FileAPI
I released a hotfix yesterday that works around this limitation and bug, and Android phone users can now upload without any issue. It's just that they can only upload one file at a time, instead of multiple at once as they can with iOS based devices.
The hotfixes are available for download in the private download forum.
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