XF 2.2 Search forums, SEO improvements and dev team news

Screenshot 2020-08-03 at 10.47.31.pngA new way to surface content

Forums are usually devoted to a single subject matter and the threads they contain relate to that subject matter, unless it's all gone wrong and your users are wandering off topic. Threads belong to their parent forums, so if your board separates posts about kittens from posts about puppies into separate forums, you are never going to see a kitten thread and a puppy thread sitting next to each other within your forum hierarchy. This is how it has always been, it's the basic nature of the discussion forum paradigm.

But what if you want to have a forum that contains all threads from across your entire board that were posted in the week before last, or all threads started by moderators, or all threads that have no replies or... we could go on here.

Of course, we already have a mechanism to find those threads that meet those criteria in the form of the search system, but wouldn't it be great to be able to simply click on a named forum and get those matching threads returned as though they actually belonged to that forum? Well, with XenForo 2.2, you can.

Introducing Search Forums

forum-search-list.png


Search forums are a brand new type of node, which aggregate threads from your entire installation based on criteria of your choosing. This allows your members to browse a more diverse selection of threads as though they were all posted in the same forum.

forum-search-view.png
The simplest use of search forums might be to display threads from a handful of different forums, but the same comprehensive criteria system available in the 'Batch update threads' tool is at your fingertips.

forum-search-add.pngAdd-on developers, as ever, are able to extend this system to provide new options.

To ensure this feature performs as well as possible, results are cached for each user. You can set how long the cache lasts to make the appropriate trade-off between accuracy and performance.




tl;dr

 
Last edited by a moderator:

drastic

Well-known member
Hey @beerForo - I think what you want is something that takes all the latest content, packages it nicely (like how blogs do) and maybe gives us a homepage that's focused on the content presentation.

If so, me too!

Widgets are nice, but it splits things up a bit. I'd like a center column of fresh content, whether it's media, threads, articles, etc... I just think it would be super easy for the readers - especially those who are not used to the older forum style indexes.
 

l3ta

Well-known member
You mean...like a forum?
lol. I think it is obvious based on all the requests to have a legacy forum software function like social media, that this format is not cutting it anymore, at least for some. However, I really don't know if XF wants to preserve legacy forum software perpetually, which they are very good at, or gradually phase it out by modifying it in ways never seen before :)
 

beerForo

Well-known member
Wut XF needs to do is create a new type of social media software. I think they can do it :cool:
You mean...like a forum?
It's the best forum software available and I wholly support it as such. It just needs to shake off a few cobwebs from yesteryear to become more "social," and by social I simply mean streamlining the content types in a manner that makes sense for XF. The "add-ons" feel added on. And I want them to feel incorporated. But XF is still the best. :)
 

Serpius

Member
It's the best forum software available and I wholly support it as such. It just needs to shake off a few cobwebs from yesteryear to become more "social," and by social I simply mean streamlining the content types in a manner that makes sense for XF. The "add-ons" feel added on. And I want them to feel incorporated. But XF is still the best. :)

I have to second this post.

I did check out other forum software prior to getting Xenforo.

Before that, I was using MyBB forum software, while it's great for free and open-source forum software, MyBB would have never "made the grade' in terms of the future direction of my website.

Xenforo and the XF Media Gallery meets the needs for the future direction of my website.

I do have a number of add-ons necessary for the revamping of my website, but most of those add-ons are 'behind the scenes" kind of stuff, and users will never know that I'm using those add-ons.

Just saying...
 

trapped_soul

Well-known member
A new way to surface content

Forums are usually devoted to a single subject matter and the threads they contain relate to that subject matter, unless it's all gone wrong and your users are wandering off topic. Threads belong to their parent forums, so if your board separates posts about kittens from posts about puppies into separate forums, you are never going to see a kitten thread and a puppy thread sitting next to each other within your forum hierarchy. This is how it has always been, it's the basic nature of the discussion forum paradigm.

But what if you want to have a forum that contains all threads from across your entire board that were posted in the week before last, or all threads started by moderators, or all threads that have no replies or... we could go on here.

Of course, we already have a mechanism to find those threads that meet those criteria in the form of the search system, but wouldn't it be great to be able to simply click on a named forum and get those matching threads returned as though they actually belonged to that forum? Well, with XenForo 2.2, you can.

Introducing Search Forums

View attachment 226838

Search forums are a brand new type of node, which aggregate threads from your entire installation based on criteria of your choosing. This allows your members to browse a more diverse selection of threads as though they were all posted in the same forum.

View attachment 226839The simplest use of search forums might be to display threads from a handful of different forums, but the same comprehensive criteria system available in the 'Batch update threads' tool is at your fingertips.

View attachment 226837Add-on developers, as ever, are able to extend this system to provide new options.

To ensure this feature performs as well as possible, results are cached for each user. You can set how long the cache lasts to make the appropriate trade-off between accuracy and performance.
SEO improvements

When it comes to SEO, XenForo already makes extensive use of best practices. Of course, there is always room for improvement. That’s why we’re making a handful of changes to help take things to the next level.

Forum index controls

There are situations where you may want more control over how threads in a particular forum are indexed by search engines. New forum options let you do just that.

View attachment 226840You will be able to choose whether search engines can index all threads, no threads, or only a set of threads meeting certain criteria on a per-forum basis. This HYS is brought to you by the word ‘criteria’. Criteria.








Outbound link adjustments

XenForo has always set the nofollow attribute on outbound links posted by members, with the notable exception of those posted by staff. A new permission gives you more granular control over designating exactly which users’ links should be trusted.


Last year, Google updated their recommendation for how to best attribute links in user-generated content. Accordingly, we now set the ugc attribute on links posted by untrusted users, in addition to the nofollow attribute for backwards compatibility with search engines which do not yet support the new attribute.

View attachment 226841

Finally, we also work around the 'gotcha' of quoting messages containing links, and set the appropriate ugc and nofollow attributes on quoted links, regardless of whether or not the quote came from a trusted user.
There's a LOT of stuff I have missed in this thread but it's good to see Jeremy back so @Jeremy P - Congrats. Also I see congratulations are due to @NixFifty too who is a wicked dev.. well done lads. (y) (y)
 

Robust

Well-known member
Introducing Search Forums
Very cool feature from the looks of it.

What happens when a user clicks the "Post thread" button in a search forum? Same as if they're posting from the forum index? Or is it contextualised (eg only post for that specific forum, if the search forum is filter params on only 1 forum)? Or some other behaviour?
 

cdub

Well-known member
A new way to surface content

Forums are usually devoted to a single subject matter and the threads they contain relate to that subject matter, unless it's all gone wrong and your users are wandering off topic. Threads belong to their parent forums, so if your board separates posts about kittens from posts about puppies into separate forums, you are never going to see a kitten thread and a puppy thread sitting next to each other within your forum hierarchy. This is how it has always been, it's the basic nature of the discussion forum paradigm.

But what if you want to have a forum that contains all threads from across your entire board that were posted in the week before last, or all threads started by moderators, or all threads that have no replies or... we could go on here.

Of course, we already have a mechanism to find those threads that meet those criteria in the form of the search system, but wouldn't it be great to be able to simply click on a named forum and get those matching threads returned as though they actually belonged to that forum? Well, with XenForo 2.2, you can.

Introducing Search Forums

View attachment 226838

Search forums are a brand new type of node, which aggregate threads from your entire installation based on criteria of your choosing. This allows your members to browse a more diverse selection of threads as though they were all posted in the same forum.

View attachment 226839The simplest use of search forums might be to display threads from a handful of different forums, but the same comprehensive criteria system available in the 'Batch update threads' tool is at your fingertips.

View attachment 226837Add-on developers, as ever, are able to extend this system to provide new options.

To ensure this feature performs as well as possible, results are cached for each user. You can set how long the cache lasts to make the appropriate trade-off between accuracy and performance.
@Kier can we get a tldr video for this feature too! :)
 

drastic

Well-known member
lol. I think it is obvious based on all the requests to have a legacy forum software function like social media, that this format is not cutting it anymore, at least for some. However, I really don't know if XF wants to preserve legacy forum software perpetually, which they are very good at, or gradually phase it out by modifying it in ways never seen before :)

I think keeping legacy format is great for those who have thriving communities.

But if someone created an add-on or style that displayed content like social media, it would certainly be a hit.

Legacy format shows the center of the page blank - where everyone is used to looking. Now if social media users come over, and they're used to looking in the center of the page for content, they get lost.

It's been a major struggle converting social users to forum members.

Anything that can bring that gap to a close is in our benefit.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
If you think XF should be more "social media" and less "legacy" you should post exactly what you want in Suggestions, otherwise you are just throwing around generic buzz terms in the HYS threads that will get overlooked.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
lol. I think it is obvious based on all the requests to have a legacy forum software function like social media, that this format is not cutting it anymore, at least for some. However, I really don't know if XF wants to preserve legacy forum software perpetually, which they are very good at, or gradually phase it out by modifying it in ways never seen before :)

I'm a bit confused here.

What is legacy forum software function?

And isn't forum software a type of social media?
 
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