GuildPortal Dev Blog

Updates from Aaron Lewis, GuildPortal Code Monkey

Posted 10/27/2012 4:38 PM by Aaron Lewis. 1382155 reads. Share:

10/27 Update - Activity Wall

The Activity Wall, a new widget, goes live today! It's like the walls you'll find commonly on social networking sites. It's what the old Status Updates widget was kind of trying to do, only it does it a lot better. It could also be looked at as a replacement for shout boxes altogether, since it supports media.

In order for people to post to it, they'll need to be granted higher than public/applicant access to your site. Here are some of the features:

Posting

The familiar WYSIWYG editor is used, only in a slimmer version. Tools available for now are: toggle full-screen edit mode, spell check, some formatting, insert link, insert image, and insert video (from either YouTube or Vimeo). You may find the area too small to work with, especially if you're inserting big images or videos, so make use of that full-screen toggle on the far left!

Adding Video

Adding video from YouTube or Vimeo is easy. Just go to the web page on YouTube or Vimeo where the video is shown, copy the address, click the blue Play icon to the far right in the wall editor, and paste the URL. Hit your tab key and you'll be presented with a preview of what it'll look like in your post, along with some options.

Most of them can be left alone. The one you want to pay attention to is "Play the video automatically on load." You'll probably want to un-check that box, else risk the wrath of guildies opening the page with the wall on it, getting hit with all kinds of videos starting to play at the same time!

The Next Thing

Sample wall postOnce you've added your text/video/images, click the post button and boom -- there you have it. Emoticons are automatically parsed based on defaults and/or any custom emoticons the guild uses. Clicking on the name of the poster displays the standard drop-down menu for doing things like viewing their profile, visiting their blog, chatting with them if they are online, and all that good stuff.

Images

Know how sometimes, you can put an image in a post or a news item and if it's too big, it'll stretch out the page, wrecking the design? Well, I think I've got that figured out now (and with all the layout possibilities there are due to customization, and the fact that IE ignores max-width unless everything's set a particular way at the parent level, it took a while -- that, and I'm dumb as a rock)! Anyway, when you post an image to the wall, it'll now do its best to fit inside the available space, without stretching things out. Notice: if your browser is way, way old, it'll probably be icky like before. So with a large image (the one shown is actually around 1200 pixels wide, in a widget that's about 700 pixels width), here's what a well-behaving browser will show (minus the purple arrows I thought were neat while putting the screens together in Fireworks):

But hey! What if the image is gigantic because there's that much going on? Easy to do with something like an in-game screenshot. And you might want to see it full size. No problem! You can click any images on the wall and they'll open up all sexy like in a gallery-type scroll view dyno-resizing nifty thingy. Stuff. Whatever you wanna call it. Hey, I'm not a writer, k? Anyway, it's got arrows (way better-looking than my purple ones up there) that you can use to move between other images on the wall.

The Morning After (after you post, I mean)

There are a few things at the bottom of each post. People can click on Comments to show comments or add their own. The date and time of the post has been sacrificed in a pagan ritual, making way for the more friendly "how long ago" display. There are tools to delete the post if you're a Super Admin or the original author, and if you're the author you can edit the post, too.

The comments are pretty simple. Not much to explain there. I thought about spinning it so they sounded all complicated and neat and shiny, but... Yeah. No. Oh, and both of those posts are from me. I talk to myself while testing, and for a reason I cannot fathom, I always revert to a despicable sub-set of the English language.

Future Enhancements

Instead of cramming the thing with everything I could think of, taking ideas from some of the major social sites out there, I decided to hold back and push it as it is now. I'm counting on feedback to direct the decision making when it comes to further enhancements for the wall. After all, there are things I found that I like which a lot of you might really not, and there were some features the big boys are sporting now that I really find... icky (who says "icky?" I do!).

So let me know what you would like to see done moving forward. Maybe WYSIWYG editing of comments instead of the simple type-and-hit-enter behavior it has now? Or automatically-entered posts by the site when people apply, add a shout, post something in the forums, add a news item, create a new raid, add an image to the gallery (all linked automatically to the source item)? Anyway, let me know!

Chat Updates

When someone requests a one-on-one chat session, you will now hear a... beeping thingy. Useful if you have more than one browser window open, are looking at a different screen, or have your head spun around facing behind you, like that girl from the Exorcist. I do that sometimes. Don't judge me!

Typical GP Chat

Also, on-demand playable sound effects have been fixed in guild chat. Type /sounds for a clickable list of the currently available ones. In addition, lots of little bugs and stuff were fixed.

Other Stuff

  • Many widgets have had their displays cleaned up a little. There will be more of this going forward, as we move to a more universally clean (and still customizable) theme format. This is primarily being done to enable us (and you) to create much higher quality themes than is now possible. We will be making use of HTML5, CSS3, and responsive design principles.
  • Quirky behaviors in some of the style editors have been un-quirkified.
  • Your hamster has been watching you with malice as you sleep.
  • The ability to add an image to a post via link instead of the image manager has been restored.
  • Many other bug fixes.

Posted 8/31/2012 2:15 PM by Aaron Lewis. 255376 reads. Share:

The following went down during this release cycle (some of the more urgent items were deployed as hotfixes):
  • Enhancement You can now customize the names of the access levels (Public, Associate, Member, Council, Officer, SuperAdmin). They appear in the forums and other places. From any guild page, click the Admin item on the Guild Bar, hover over Member Management, and then select Custom Level Names. You can also get there from Member Management in the Control Panel.
  • Enhancement The paging while reading posts has been enhanced a little.
  • Css A div has been added that wraps around quotes (previously, the quote titles and bodies were all on their own). The class name is quoteWrapper.
  • Css Widget and forum category headers now stretch their background images vertically to match the height of the container. This was done to remove the need to regenerate your images/gradients whenever you changed the font size or the padding.
  • Css The ForumCategoryHeader class had rules with !important in them, making it difficult for those who dig into CSS to customize it. The !important directives have been removed.
  • Bug When mod authors update their mods, the "details" will now save properly.
  • Bug The edit dialog for voice server status widgets has been set back to the correct one.
  • Bug For IE users, the voting poll results were sometimes not displaying. Fixed.
  • Enhancement Auto-suggest has been added to the public GuildPortal page search (along the top). It'll make it easier for people to find your guild more quickly -- it displays things like your game, server, and even more detail if they hover over / select it via arrow keys.
  • Enhancement Tooltips from GuildHead have been incorporated and will now automatically work on any GuildWars2 site.
  • Bug The new, less-intrusive widget admin "thingy" (technical term) was sometimes making IE go into convulsive fits, playing with its mind, attempting to get it to give up the location of the rebel bases. I told it that IE does not know the location of the rebel bases, so now it's all better.
  • Enhancement Member admin tools have been added to the Guild Bar.
  • Enhancement The shout box was displaying uglier than a dirty monkey at a fancy dinner party. Well, I've never been to a fancy dinner party, but I imagine a dirty monkey would look pretty ugly at one. Anyway, it's been cleaned up (pretty much to spec with what Pinstripesc suggested). Thanks!
  • Bug The ability to disable paging, and to select page size when it's enabled, has been restored to the admin member editor grid. Now if too many of you guilds with over 1000 members disable paging and refresh the grid a whole bunch, I'm going to know about it and I'm going to do something really mean. I'm not sure what  yet, but you're not going to like it one bit!
  • Maint Some enhanced debugging tools have been added, so it'll make problem resolution faster and all that.
Thanks for choosing GuildPortal! We am u!

Posted 7/30/2012 4:22 PM by Aaron Lewis. 134404 reads. Share:

What was done:
  • The password reset e-mail was made to include the account names.
  • Header elements (H1, H2, etc) were set to no padding, causing them to appear flush with the sides of the widget body. Padding was added so it's not so ugry.
  • A bug causing the "additional options available" prompt to vanish when adding a new widget has been fixed.
  • A global guild bar (aka GloBar) has been added, which shows the count of members in the guild chat room, provides a list of everyone online, and shows how many unread web-mail items you have. You can disable it in your Profile settings if you don't dig it. Customization options are on the way!
  • Guild chat room UI bits are all expando-flexy now, so you can resize it to your liking.
  • The admin command /roomname in guild chat now works.
  • Apparently, Verizon is mysteriously cutting off e-mail-to-text service for random subscribers, making it impossible for our notifications to get through. If you're a Verizon subscriber and your texts from GuildPortal are not working, head over here for information on how to make sure the e-mail-to-text service is activated: http://support.verizonwireless.com/faqs/TXT%20messaging/faq_vtext_website.html
  • The news category selection drop-down, which appears when editing or adding a new news item, now sorts and also shows the associated image that will be automatically placed within the new item's body, if there is one configured for the category.
  • A bug causing the shout box to behave like a brat in certain situations has been fixed.
  • Several of the third-party components we use have been updated to their latest versions.
  • The alert window, which appears when a guild mate logs in, has been fixed so that it never shows white text on the light gray background.
  • Shouts were caching too long, so you wouldn't see them if you refreshed the page immediately after adding one. This has been fixed.
  • Member titles, set in member admin, have had their allowed length increased to 1,000 characters (5x what it was before).

Posted 5/4/2012 5:38 PM by Aaron Lewis. 126181 reads. Share:

Today's update included mostly bug squishes. Here's some of what went live:
  • Tera game news is now up and running with a feed.
  • Tera Server Status, a new widget, is available.
  • You can now post drafts to your blog, and come back to finish/publish them later.
  • Welcome letters are now sent out when they should be.
  • Some didn't like the in-frame windows when editing content, instead preferring actual pop-ups instead. There is now an option in the Control Panel's dashboard, under a new tab called "Preferences," to enable pop-ups.
  • Blog links under recent entries will now take you where they should.

Posted 4/7/2012 4:15 PM by Aaron Lewis. 26307 reads. Share:

GuildPortal has just been dramatically improved when it comes to using custom HTML + CSS. First, we've added a "Navigation" selection in the Control Panel (under Custom HTML). Clicking that takes you to three editors. You can modify the code that is output before navigation items (pages on your site), the code that is output for navigation items, and the code that is output after navigation items.

Once you specify the code, you can then use the Full Page custom HTML editor's new tag, $block[nav=html], and your pages will be rendered as the page loads, using your mark-up.

Also, three more tags have been added to the Full Page HTML: leftwidgets, centerwidgets, and rightwidgets. You no longer have to stick with designs that render the main widget body in a tabular format, and can control exactly where your widgets appear.

A new option has been added that prevents GuildPortal from rendering any style information based on your point-and-click settings in the Style Tools area of the Control Panel. This makes it so the only style info comes from your custom CSS, without any interference from GP, except for a few helper rules for margins and the like. You can enable this option in the Control Panel by expanding Custom HTML, selecting Custom CSS, selecting the Full Custom CSS tab, and checking the box at the bottom that says "Disable all GuildPortal CSS Output".

Finally, editors for all of the custom HTML, custom CSS and custom Javascript selections in the Control Panel have been enhanced with the CodeMirror editor, which provides syntax hilighting and automatic tag completion.

These enhancements, in combination with the already existing Banner, Footer, Widgets, and Full Page custom HTML and Custom CSS, provide complete control over how your site looks. Now you can bring your favorite templates from anywhere -- and there are a lot of free template sites out there. Oh, hey, and if you find any really great ones and port them to your GuildPortal site, share them, it's easy! Just open the Control Panel, expand Style Tools, and then click Share Theme.

Here's a snap of a theme developed using custom HTML and CSS from a freely-available one meant for a completely different system:

Posted 3/30/2012 5:43 PM by Aaron Lewis. 25937 reads. Share:

Big enhancements to the calendar system have been made over the past couple of weeks! Here's what's been done:

Event Submissions : Associate-level and higher members of your site are now able to submit events for approval by events admins. When they view the calendar, they have a new button in the top right-hand corner:



When they submit the event, event admins are notified via web mail. When they go to the calendar, if there are any submissions pending, they see the following:



Clicking the button shows them the details of the event, and gives them the option to Approve, Approve and Edit, or Reject the submission.

Simplified Sign-Up: Signing up to an event no longer requires multiple steps. Members can now sign up directly while viewing the event:


In-Line Sign-Up Admin: Like the sign-ups, administrating status and role of sign-ups by event admins has been simplified to a couple of drop-down boxes that appear in-line while viewing the event:


Enter Loot Drops from the Event: Entering drops for an event used to require several steps. Now, it's right there in the event view and much more efficient:


Enter / select the item that dropped. If you start typing the name of the item, a drop-down appears with matching items that have dropped for your guild previously. You can then use your arrow keys or mouse to select any match, or just type in the name of the item if it's something that hasn't dropped before:



Selection of the person who received the item works in the same way. You begin typing, and a list appears with matches:



Here's a partial list of the rest of what's been done over the past couple weeks:
  • New topics default to "subscribed."
  • E-mail notification is sent out when you receive web-based mail.
  • Users can delete their own posts unless the admin disallows it by clicking Edit under their forums, Options, and then checking "Disallow users from deleting their own posts."
  • Ventrilo server status was fixed.
  • The calendar now lets you choose between Monday or Sunday as the first day of the week (click Edit under the calendar, go to Display Options, and select the day from the "First Day of Week").
  • Fixed duplicate characters appearing on the default roster.
  • Added two new widgets: Rift Addons: Hottest and Rift Addons: Newest.
  • Event categories now support a background image, which appears on the large calendar display. To configure event categories, click Edit under your calendar, and then Event Categories.
  • Multiple events may now be deleted at once from the calendar editor by checking the boxes and clicking "Delete Selected."
  • The EverQuest 2 auto-roster has been fixed.
  • The forum icon legend now shows if you have custom forum icons, but can be disabled by clicking Edit under your forums, clicking Options, and checking the "Disable forum/topic icon legends" box.
  • Selected character fields now show up in event sign-ups.
  • An asterisk is displayed next to events that you have signed up for in the main calendar view.
  • If there are applicants awaiting approval, the member admin link flashes.
  • Many Web Fonts have been added and can be selected for your widget titles and widget body areas by going to the Control Panel > Style Tools > Content Boxes (Widgets). Not all of the fonts work with Internet Explorer.
  • Other miscellaneous bug fixes. =)

Posted 1/27/2012 7:45 AM by Aaron Lewis. 130062 reads. Share:

Two new widgets go live today! The first, Raid/Op Groups, lets you group individual characters that are associated with your guild into groups for raiding, with the ability to specify role. For example, you could have "Monday Night Group 1" as a raid/op group and it could have five characters, each with their roles ("DPS", "Tank", "Heals", etc) specified.

The second is the EQ2 Server Status widget, which displays the status of the server your EQ2 guild plays on.

Posted 12/16/2011 8:09 AM by Aaron Lewis. 17294 reads. Share:

  • Multiple choice voting is now available! When creating a new poll, just click the checkbox at the bottom to indicate that it is multiple choice.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic Server Status widget is now available to ST:TOR guilds. It displays your server name, up/down status, and current population.
  • The most recent posts count to display has been split out from the regular forum and most recent posts stand-alone widgets, so they can each have their own values.
  • When browsing Site Mods, you now have the option to display only those that are installed on your site.
  • 30 signature backgrounds were added to the signature generator background gallery specifically for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • The crafting marketplace now requires explicit selection of the tradeskill required to make the requested item.
  • The crafting marketplace now displays orders from all approved alliance guilds!
  • The needs list widget now has a new field for "days/times available."
  • The event signup texting reminder is now firing.
  • Section wrapper opacity now allows for more fine-grained selection.
  • There is a new "mailbox" in your mail widgets, called "GuildPortal Updates." It displays these entries, and is there in an effort to better communicate changes to the service to our members.
  • Spaghetti is good with or without meatballs, but better with.

Posted 12/9/2011 7:10 AM by Aaron Lewis. 18975 reads. Share:

  • Widgets sometimes only adding to the home page (regardless of what page you select) has been fixed.
  • Newest Members widget displaying incorrect data has been fixed.
  • You can now specify a custom favicon (the icon that appears in the browser when people are visiting your site) to be used instead of the default GuildPortal ones. The place to specify the icon to use is in Control Panel > Style Tools > General > Layout.
  • Story chapters will now display in order of chapter number instead of the order in which they were entered.
  • New widget: Torhead Search goes live! For those using the Mod, you no longer need to (but you still can).
  • In the forum display options, you may now specify that the most recent posts to show should be 0. If you do, the most recent posts will not be displayed at all. Some may find this useful, especially if used in combination with the Most Recent Topics widget.
  • Bank items with "Display to Members" un-checked no longer show in the bank widget.
  • Guilds with subscriptions expiring soon will now receive a more informative e-mail reminder.
  • Guild Events/Raids can now be set to "Block Signups" when entering them. Doing so prevents members from signing up to the event.
  • Application Questions may now be edited, although once the type is saved (multiple choice vs. text entry), that cannot be changed.
  • The maximum number of Recent Posts to Show in the forums has been raised from 20 to 50.
  • The signature generator should now always update your profile with the new image.
  • A new page in the Control Panel, called Raid Points Tools (under Member Management), provides quick and easy ways to mass adjust everyone's raid points/DKP by a set amount (either deducting or adding), reset everyone's DKP to 0, and individually edit member DKP without having to enter an adjustment.
  • ATT/AP were dropped from the Raid Points Standings widget. The data was essentially meaningless, and became only moreso over time.

Posted 11/4/2011 9:19 AM by Aaron Lewis. 11941 reads. Share:

A new widget called "Rally the Guild" goes live today! This beta widget operates much like a shout box, except instead of just adding a line of text to your site, it will send the text to members via either their cell phone or e-mail. For cell phone delivery, members will need to configure texting in their Profile (the widget itself provides a direct link to configure it, as well). Only those with officer level or higher access to your site may send out rallies, and only those marked as associate or higher receive them.

Also, images uploaded since the new file storage system was brought online (images that show as being located on a path that begins with /GuildImages) now show an Edit link next to them in the File Manager. Clicking it brings up a new web-based image editor that gives you the ability to crop, add text to, and otherwise manipulate images. The functionality of this editor already has planned enhancements, coming soon. It is also available from the Gallery widgets upon upload of new images, if the uploader has Images Admin rights on the site.

Over the past couple days, we ran across a hardware problem with one of the drives on our database server, causing some downtime. We apologize for this. The good news is, however, that we have replaced the drive with a mirrored array that has twice the space. Also, while they had the system open at the data center, we had them double the RAM as well, which should have a positive impact on performance.

To make things run even better, we have also brought in a company that specializes in the optimization of databases specific to the platform that GuildPortal runs on. They have completed their initial monitoring phase, and we will be working closely with them to implement their recommendations.

Other stuff addressed in this push:
  • Aion armory tooltips are fixed.
  • LoTRO Integration now allows manual entry of your guild name, in case your actual guild name was already taken for your server and you had to use a different one when creating your site.
  • Approving/denying item requests in the bank now visually updates the visibility of the approve/deny links, giving a better indicator that the command was performed.
  • A bug causing only one item to show when viewing item requests has been squished.
  • SuperAdmins can now delete crafting orders from the main display of the Crafting Marketplace.
  • Spotter's Order was nerfed in Rift. (Okay, so we had nothing to do with that -- we're just very, very angry about it)

Posted 10/7/2011 1:45 PM by Aaron Lewis. 16880 reads. Share:

On Monday, the following updates will be deployed to live:
  • XML/XSL Transforms where either the XML or XSL files are being loaded from guild storage will work properly.
  • Text filters will function correctly.
  • Voice server purchasing will be fixed for a few guilds that were having trouble with it.
  • The main GP page login control will now correctly say that it's an invalid login if no user name and password are provided, instead of providing no feedback at all (just sitting there, staring back at you).
  • Announcements will now be shown directly on the calendar widgets, instead of being their own listing before the calendar.
In addition, many updates have been made over the past couple weeks that have already been pushed to live:
  • Performance enhancements have been made to the forums and news widgets.
  • Cache duration of guild data has been reduced, causing less of a delay between saving some changes in the control panel and being able to see them appear on your site.
  • Text Messaging functionality has been made available for open beta. Check your Profile settings to see what it's all about!
  • Registration and application completion have been merged into a single page, so that people applying to your site won't think they're done after completing the registration part, and exiting prematurely.
  • New CSS classes have been added to the forums, mostly to facilitate alternating item displays in the post listing.
  • Maximum individual file upload size has been increased from 5 MB to 7 MB.
  • The ability to enter a custom color code, instead of being limited to the drop-down choices provided by the picker, has been enabled for section wrappers.
  • Section wrappers! A new set of options are available in the Control Panel, underneath Style Tools > General Style Settings > Section Wrappers. These enable containers that wrap around elements on your site, such as the navigation bar (if you use it), the content table (where all the widgets are contained), and the footer. While they're attractive in old browsers, they look especially good in CSS3-compliant browsers (most of the latest browsers are CSS3-compliant).
  • By default, signatures will not show in forum posts when the post is by a guest user (non-associate or higher access level). In order to override this behavior, click Edit under your forums widget, then Options, and then "Show non-associate (guest) signatures and thumbnails."

Posted 8/26/2011 2:04 PM by Aaron Lewis. 121032 reads. Share:

The new Site Mods system goes live with today's update! From the Control Panel, select Site Mods. From there, you can install them on your site, or even author new mods for others to use. A mod is any combination of HTML, Javascript, and CSS code that come together to enhance the functionality of a site it's installed on. They can be full-blown widgets, or code that makes snow fall down the screen during the holidays. They can even have configurable code so that authors can provide variables that an admin installing a mod on their site can change in order to customize how it behaves.

Widget authors can create widgets, and when they make changes, they create new revisions. Each mod (and further revision of the mod) will be reviewed by GuildPortal staff before being made available for installation (although the author of the mod may always install the latest revision, even if it's not approved, in order to test). Mods can also be given star ratings and comments by the community! After many years of awesome admins providing guides and help when it comes to extending the functionality of GuildPortal, we're offering this in hopes of making that development (and deployment) process much easier -- we're looking at you, Mottie!

Of course, for the scripters out there, the jQuery library is already available, and you can easily use it from your javascript code in your mod! Also, we look forward to providing service end-points that return JSON or XML guild data that can be easily consumed by a mod using simple jQuery get requests, and sample code to go along with it. Think of it as a light-weight API for writing your own widgets or extending GuildPortal to your specific needs, and then getting massive kudos for doing so.

Now, aside from that excitement (can you tell we're excited? huh??), we also pushed the following changes with the update:
  • Sign-ups may now be deleted by event admins directly from the sign-ups listing when viewing an event's details.
  • Aion integrated rosters are now working again.
  • Buncha other stuff for support tickets.

Posted 12/10/2010 2:00 PM by Aaron Lewis. 10048 reads. Share:

Today's update brings the ability to add voting polls directly to topics, as well as a new Guild Rules feature. When posting a topic, you'll see the editor now contained in a tab, and the second tab is where adding or editing a poll happens. As with the normal poll widgets, only voting admins will be able to do it. Voting polls added to topics way are also available through the normal voting polls widgets.

Guild Rules have been added, and can be accessed through the Control Panel > Guild Rules. It's a good place to enter your charter, bylaws, etc.. When a new user applies to your site, they will be required to agree to the rules set forth (if you have entered anything) before they can proceed to the application questions.

Posted 12/7/2010 12:43 PM by Aaron Lewis. 6673 reads. Share:

The World of Warcraft armory roster was re-enabled a week or so ago, making hands-free synchronization with in-game character data and your web site possible. Now, with the release of Cataclysm, the addresses (URLs) of guild roster data on Blizzard's site have changed over to their Blizzard.net domain. For those of you using the directly integrated roster, you will need to update the URL to point to the new site. Instructions on how to do so are in the Control Panel, under WoW Integration.

Many guild sites are not currently loading on the new Blizzard site, but it just went live, so give them some time. In one of their forum posts they mentioned lots of feeds in the works, so we expect to be adding more widgets as the data becomes available!

Posted 8/13/2010 4:52 PM by Aaron Lewis. 5897 reads. Share:

  • The nav bar can now be positioned above the banner. It's an increasingly popular look lately, so there you go. The option can be set through Control Panel > Style Tools > Navigation Style > Tab Bar Location. 
  • In addition, right next to the options for the location is a spinner for setting the absolute height (in pixels) of the Nav Bar. Dynamically generated gradient images (with or without gloss) will be regenerated for you to match the new height.
  • You can now set the spacing between widgets using the spinner found at Control Panel > Style Tools > Content Boxes (Widgets) > Spacing Between Widgets.
  • Icons for LOTRO "Creeps" guilds, which doesn't in the least mean anything derogatory (they're monsters!) now display in the integrated roster.
  • Recurring events are back to functioning the way they should.
  • The Page Options will no longer permit the entry of non-sound files or URLs that point only at web pages.
  • An issue where a user's time zone preference would switch to something else -- seemingly at random -- has been fixed. We apologize for any temporal shifts and the appearance of any DeLoreans (no, sincerely, we're sorry if any of those have appeared).

Posted 8/11/2010 1:46 PM by Aaron Lewis. 124154 reads. Share:

For those who'd like a little more integration between their guild sites and the social networking giants out there, we have added two new widgets: Twitter Feed and Facebook Like.

The Twitter Feed widget lets you tap into any publicly-available Twitter user's feed and display it on your site, just like any other widget. It also comes with some customization options and automatic (without having to refresh the page) updates.

The Facebook Like widget displays a link to visitors which they can click to "Like" your site on Facebook, as well as see how many others have already done so. Regardless of where you place the widget, it's site-level, so place it wherever you want, and the like count will apply everywhere.

Posted 7/22/2010 2:29 PM by Aaron Lewis. 10055 reads. Share:

We've been pretty busy over the past week! Here's a list of some of the things that have either already gone live or are going live with today's code push:
  • 28 new themes have been added!
  • A problem with the signature generator import galleries redirecting to the guild home page has been fixed, and the signature generator has had some neat new features added to it.
  • Importing a theme was automatically centering the banner, even if that was not how the theme was configured. This has been fixed.
  • Auto-forum posting of applications, where an admin had previously (at any point) checked the box to disable it, remained disabled and the box wouldn't show as checked when they went back, so they were unable to re-enable it. Those who were affected will need to go back into the Application Questions area of the control panel and re-enable it by un-checking the box.
  • Integrated rosters for DAOC have been updated to work with the new XML structure that Mythic is returning, and they have been updated to have all the features of the integrated rosters of newer games (client-side filtering, sorting, and an updated appearance).
  • When applying a theme, users have the option to send a quick "thank you" note to the author of the theme. If you like their work, let them know!
  • When sharing a theme, custom HTML for the left, right and center widgets will now also be exported as part of the theme, and applied to any site that imports the theme. Previously these elements were not applied, so only simpler themes could be shared to their full effect.
  • Custom CSS additions are also now copied when sharing a theme. Keep in mind these are just for the "CSS Additions" part of your total custom CSS configuration. Total CSS replacements are not copied. CSS Additions only add on to the existing output, they do not completely replace it.
  • If you have supplied custom images for your tabs, you now have the option to have them display even when using the "Side Nav" type of navigation. Click the "Display Tab Images Inside Side Nav" checkbox in the Control Panel, under Style Tools > Navigation Style (make sure you have Side Nav selected from the drop-down list at the top). This will display the images vertically (top to bottom). Full default/current/hover functionality is supported.
  • Many, many new sets of forum icons are available. You can get to them via Control Panel > Style Tools > Forum Icons. Select from the "Available Sets" drop-down box and click Preview to check them out!
As always, thanks for choosing GuildPortal!

Posted 7/6/2010 1:54 PM by Aaron Lewis. 5961 reads. Share:

Guild newsletters are now available! As a site admin, to enable and configure your newsletter, open the Control Panel and select Newsletter from the left menu. Users who wish to receive your newsletter will need to enable Guild Newsletters in their Characters/Settings page and be associate-level or higher in your guild. Moving forward, we might change this to being enabled by default, but for the moment we're making it opt-in to avoid "spamming" a whole lot of people at the beginning.

Some might have noticed a lot of ninja-enhancements going live over the past weeks:
  • When editing a page's properties (Control Panel > Pages & Content > select a page and then click the Page Properties tab), you now have the option to specify a hover image, in addition to the previously available default and selected images.
  • The Banner Builder (Control Panel > Style Tools) has an additional effect that you can apply to the text called "perspective." It renders the text at an angle (which you can also specify using the slider).
  • "Nav Bar Builder" and "Navigation Type" have been combined into "Navigation Style" (Control Panel > Style Tools). You can now select the type of navigation you want your site to use (Nav Bar, Side Nav or Standard Tabs) and the interface will show the appropriate options.
  • The Content Boxes (Widgets) styling options now allow for an icon to be shown in the header, without the need to provide custom HTML.
  • The Forum Specific style tools now use the updated gradient generator/guild storage image picker, so if you're using images you've uploaded through the file manager, you won't need to go back and forth, copying and pasting URLs. Many image fields throughout the Control Panel have been updated to use this tool.
  • You can now provide hover state images for the following forum icons: reply, quote, edit, and delete. In addition, pre-set forum icon themes are now importing all of the images they should. Check it out in the Control Panel, under Style Tools > Forum Icons.
  • The signature generator, available in Characters/Settings, has been cleaned up, had some effects and options added, and has been given some more images that you can import from the gallery. If you have any packs of thumbnail images or backgrounds that you'd like seen added for your game, please let us know!
  • The GPHelper add-on for World of Warcraft now imports bank items into more appropriate categories.

Posted 6/24/2010 4:46 PM by Aaron Lewis. 115225 reads. Share:

Site admins will notice a new option to toggle between Preview and Edit modes on their guild pages. By default, you will be in Preview mode. Clicking on Edit mode opens a mini-menu in the top right corner of the site that stays in view when scrolling up and down the page.

The mini-menu offers quicker ways to do things that used to take more time to access via the Control Panel. You are able to swiftly add a new page, a new widget, or delete a page.

In addition, being in Edit mode makes it possible to move widgets around on the page by using drag-and-drop. Also, a delete icon appears in the title area of each widget. When finished, simply click the Preview link to return to Preview mode.

All of the above-listed operations are still available in the Control Panel, of course.

The Control Panel itself has been enhanced with a new front page that lists some helpful (we hope!) videos for site admins. It also provides the ability to search for videos and the answers to frequently asked questions. The change log is still available, it's just on the second tab.

A problem with the answers applicants gave to app questions disappearing after the original question has been deleted has been fixed, and will be no problem moving forward.

Posted 4/30/2010 3:00 PM by Aaron Lewis. 9751 reads. Share:

First, the Recent Topics Stand-Alone widget has been added.  While the forums currently have a listing of the most recently added posts (and there's a stand-alone widget for it, as well), this new one lists the most recently added topics.

Next, the Silverlight gallery that was previously only accessible by first opening the full gallery and then clicking a link is now its own widget (it's listed at Image Gallery: Silverlight).

Finally, the vast majority of pseudo pop-up windows that open when you edit content have been banished in favor of more traditional ones.  This decision was made because you couldn't edit content and then refresh the page you were working on by itself to see the changes.  With normal pop-ups, you can.

Finally, when editing widgets, you can now edit the title of the container in the same editor, instead of having to go through the Control Panel.