Category Archives: Developers

Keeping Your Online Community Safe

Online community safe protect

People join online communities for a number of reasons. Whether they’re looking to interact with a brand, proclaim support for a political or social cause, or connect with individuals who share a common hobby. Part of a community manager’s (CM) job is to ensure that the forum is a safe and enjoyable place for members to interact. Continue reading

[Product Post] Adding A Custom Font to Your Vanilla Community

Every Friday, we discuss one of the many Vanilla features that you can utilize in building and perfecting your forum. An important one is the ability to add your own custom font. Very similar to Google Fonts, the following article will give you the steps to allow you to add your favourite web fonts to your forum.

Selecting the font you want

To start adding custom fonts, head over to Google Fonts and use the filters on the right to choose the best font from over 800 different types.

Once you find the font you like, select it by clicking on the “+” sign, which will turn into a “-” sign.

There will also be a context menu made available to you as well, which you will want to click on. This will give you details on the code you need to use the font.

For the simplest implementation, the standard info here is exactly what you need. Copy the information from embed font section.

Open your Vanilla Forums dashboard and head to Customize HTML tab. Paste the code just before the code.

Now the next step is to tell your forum to use this new font. To do this you’ll need to add some custom CSS. Google Font provides you the essential code on their website.

They also provide a handy guide here for more details on some of the more complex things you can do.
For our needs, to have your whole forum use the same font, apply it via the body tag in CSS. You will add something like the following:

body {
font-family: ‘Lato’, sans-serif;
}

Place this code in the Customize CSS tab in your Vanilla Forums dashboard.

Make sure you click “Apply” to save your changes. That’s it!

Of course, you can add as many different fonts you want and to whatever elements you want, but these are the basics.

So that’s it for adding your fave font to Vanilla, if you’d like to learn other cool tricks, click here to check out the rest of our Friday Tips.

Our New Vanilla Documentation Center Refresh

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 3.46.03 PM

We’ve refreshed our technical, help and training documentation. Here’s a quick recap of what we have done. http://docs.vanillaforums.com/

As Vanilla evolves and grows, so does the need for better ways to help our customers get more out of their online community forum. We’re also in the process of adding a mountain of new content to this site, which is scheduled to take place over the next 4 months.

We’ve segmented the documentation for our two core audiences:

  • End-user help and training – this section focuses on the perspective of members, moderators, and administrators in their day-to-day use of Vanilla. Here you’ll find lots of step-by-step tutorials, in-depth feature documentation, helpful blogs, and tips on how to get the most out of your community.
    http://docs.vanillaforums.com/help/
  • Open source technical documentation – This is for developers using our Open Source product and that have a functional understanding of PHP, HTML, CSS and Javascript and that are hosting their own community. It can be found here: http://docs.vanillaforums.com/developer/

The section devoted to API documentation for our commercial version (hosted Vanilla Forums) can be found here. http://docs.vanillaforums.com/api/

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our technical team and we’d be glad to help you!

 

The Hidden Cost of a Self-Hosted Community Forum

The Hidden Cost of a Self-HostedWhen your business is looking at vendors, there’s nothing better than hearing someone on your team say “I can do this for free”. In the context of building a community, it’s something you’re likely to hear from your sysadmin. “There’s no need to pay for forum hosting” the cry goes out “I can install us a self-hosted one for free”. Boom, you now have a budget for that branded robot dog. You also just gained a huge, invisible expense.

It’s true that installing a self-hosted forum isn’t a big deal. Vanilla is based on an open-source framework, and anyone can download a version to self-host at vanillaforums.org. It’s a great solution for smaller enthusiast sites and private communities. For businesses and other purposes however, self-hosted forums can cause a host (I’m so funny) of problems.

Continue reading