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Our forums are languishing because our members say there's no easy way to tell what conversations are active. We need a search function at the top of the forum that includes things like:

-recent posts

-active topics

-unanswered posts

Basically, the forums need a major upgrade in order to be useful. The only reason we haven't moved to a different forum software is because we want to maintain one login for our members.

Thanks.

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    VestaVesta shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    24 comments

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      • OlegOleg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have finished analysis of this thread and starting design.

        The focus is to highlight forum topics with updates since last visit.

        There are also a number of other topics, mentioned in this discussion, but NOT included in scope of current issue - Adding documents http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825731-uploading-documents-in-forum-posts-5178 and images http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826838-insert-images-into-forum-posts-15570 to forum posts - another thread, part of our current roadmap.- Moving and merging http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308920-archive/suggestions/8833660-moving-and-merging-forum-posts-6464 forum posts - is planned for release 5.3. currently- Forum search - keyword search will be covered in more general issue of Website text search http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308920-archive/suggestions/8831329-website-text-search-1481 also planned for 5.3, forums search http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8827375-forum-search-15596-1481 itself will be revised after gathering more feedback.- Finding most active forum topics - I've started a special thread http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8827843-find-most-active-forum-topics on this to gather more opinions
        Please see most recent news on these issues in their respective threads.We will post any updates on highlighting new forum posts as we make more progress

      • mhextermhexter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dmitry & WA team: Please advise on the status of upgrading the forums and what feature enhancements we will gain for our membership.

        I agree with the others that the forums are severely lacking in user functionality. Just the fact that we can't even sort messages by date makes finding posts excruciatingly difficult, especially since the forums act as the primary communications hub for our membership.

      • nick.chambers@sts-cs.comnick.chambers@sts-cs.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I know there are multiple threads regarding "Searching Forums" but I will start on this one. There are third party tools that can be installed such as google widget and freefind.com, however none of the solutions I have seen posted on Wild Apricot's site are able to search the password protected "Members Only" forums and that is what the main need is.

        Dmitry has even posted in one of the threads that Wild Apricot does not use their own forums for this "Support" section of their website, but instead they use CommunityServer. The request/need for having the ability to search the forum has been going on since 2008, and it doesn't seem to be any close or more of a priority. If that is the case, instead of saying what CANNOT be done, can you find a way to post a solution as to what CAN be done.

        If it is a matter of incorporating a third party solution that is fine, but WA...you have the keys. You need to give us or provide us the access to be able to use this third party solution if you are not going to step up to the plate and offer it. We all pay some sort of fees to WA, and it is useful in many aspects.

        Should we really have to choose whether to search for a third party solution that might work with Wild Apricot or simply replace Wild Apricot with an entirely different solution? Keep us as customers by helping us find the solution that is needed.

      • TerryMTerryM commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is an older thread on this forum, but I want to chime in and endorse it.

        My site supports mental health therapists in private practice. Members want to be able to search for a topic, not just scroll through page after page of posts to find a resource that was mentioned weeks ago.

        What would it take to make that happen? I recently submitted a support ticket to find out if I could link in FreeFind.com - but was told that third party search tools cannot be configured to search 'members only' part of a site.

        Rats!

      • pstewart.mnpstewart.mn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        we have been a user of Wild Apricot for several years now, and have requested a forum search feature for years.

        Your comments on how you select features to add to Wild Apricot say that it is determined by the popularity of requests in the forums.

        This feature is way overdue. It is common, it is needed, and it has been requested many times. I have been told ".. But we are working on it :) " so many times over the years, I wont believe it until I see it.

        Its time to step up, Wild Apricot, and build in a forum search feature. We hear from our users weekly about the lack of this common forum function. It impacts our ability to support our community, which ultimately impacts you.

        To create a comprehensive web solution like Wild Apricot, but to be told a forum search feature is too much, too complicate or you don't want to overload the users... c'mon. Really?

        Enough of the dodging and side stepping - build the forum search feature already. Please.

      • BillMBillM commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please tell me the status on having a FORUM search function in WA? It really is not a forum if you can't search for anything. This isn't a wishlist thing..it's a HUGE thing. Any updates on when it will come? I read somewhere that WA bought or outsourced the forums. Is that true.? If you can't put in a search function can you ask the forum vendor to do it?

        Regards,

        BMartin

      • Jay BietzJay Bietz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was hoping to see some changes in the last update but sadly the only changes were to areas that I don't need or can't find...

        My members also need to post pictures but even that is impossible for MAC users and the work around for PC's is to hard for many members to figure out - so they give up.

        If members were allowed to at least post a picture that they put in their album that would be nice - but I don't see the picture icon as a user that the admins see.

        Further, I can't move forum topics or combine topics (like the admins on this forum can) for my users.

        I agree that the rest of the iste works as advertised but the forum is very limited in usability .

        Jay

      • Clive GarawayClive Garaway commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I too would like a revamp of the forum module. What about the feature that you have here to allow sorting newest to oldest, aswell as a count on the times a post is accessed, as well as the search. We have moved everything to WA and love it for all of the features, but the forum is sadly, behind what we had.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Richard, sorry, there is no way to do this now. This is being considered but we have to be careful due to risk of overloading users.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Richard, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree, our current forum functionality is quite basic and something that we need and will enhance in future releases. However, we need to deal with some other foundational pieces first, specifically rolling out the new CMS UI in version 5.0 - CMS is the #1 used aspect of Wild Apricot. Also, quite a few enhancements and changes are due related to payments in the next 3 releases - they are used widely and are the biggest reason people sign up for an integrated system like ours. So we will certainly improve forums but it will be at least a year before we can do much there (though we will try to fit a few small items in-between).

      • Richard GaspaRichard Gaspa commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is there a way to turn on ALL the member's forum subscriptions so that the automatically get them once they become members? I would like to do this so that they get to read some of the posting and decide to turn it off themselves if they want to rather than to force them to turn it on. Most of my members are elderly and don't know how to turn them on and won't ask for help.

      • Jay BietzJay Bietz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The payment options are OK but are also linked to the events -- ie I can't shut off the paypal options in events w/o shutting off the paypal membership payment also.

      • Richard GaspaRichard Gaspa commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        [quote user="jay_bietz"]

        I and the association continue to be "beaten" up over the forum lack of features.

        Posting images easily, a real search engine for the forum and new message flags all need to happen - very soon or we are gone. See http://www.westsail.org/newwebsiteforum?mode=MessageList&eid=666421&tpg=0&mlpg=2&rid=671095 for the members comments.

        Jay

        [/quote]

        I understand your frustration. I am the web administrator for a homeowners association website, and the forums are the number one feature on our site. Communication is the main reason the site exists. The lack of a good feature forum would be the number one reason for us to move to a new hosting company. The forums are lacking ALL the main features that have been around for years in other fourm software The forum software used here is just plain outdated. We do not use the payment site of your software. Our priority is communication. - The forums and the blogs, the directories of members, the events, membership levels are all great. I bet a lot of your clients don't use the payment end of your software also. Please look at your priorities once again.

      • Richard GaspaRichard Gaspa commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. The forum software that we are using with Wild Apricot is about five years behind. All the requested changes are in all the other forum or discussion software out there. I am surprised, we are so backward in times. All the requested changes are not only nice to have but a MUST HAVE.

      • fbaronfbaron commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is what I said we'd want in "Forum--search function" thread. I'll repeat it here.

        In addition to the three search options Vesta suggests (above), also please include "New Comments since last login". They could all be flagged or marked when the forum Topics open.

        We'd really like to be able to search by username and by keyword so we can locate previous conversations.

        We want what Jay above wants.

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