WebEden is today (hopefully) catapulting itself into the world of Social Media, Social Networking, and Web 2.0. Whilst we’ve talked before about how to best make use of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your site, with our latest update we’re trying to put your WebEden site at the heart of your Social Networking activities.
What are we talking about?
Want to know how to grow your website with more members and advocates? How to interact, manage and develop a better relationship with your visitors? Want to create members-only/client-only pages or sections? Want to post information or updates from your website to Facebook/Twitter? Build a collaborative website with edit rights for different people?
Well then, the membership release is what you’ve been waiting for! After many months of development it has finally arrived, jam packed with new features and a lot of improvement. Read on for more detail…
This release sees a whole new membership section with a number of improvements to make it easier for site owners to attract, manage and communicate with their members.
In particular, the main areas of improvement are:
a) to make it easier to invite members to join;
b) to ensure members become members of the site only and no longer have to create a SiteMaker account;
c) to replace ‘SiteMaker’ branding in the join process with the site owner’s own look and feel;
d) to allow site owners to create site administrators;
e) to make managing page permissions easier; and finally,
f) to enable integration with some Facebook and Twitter services.
More detail on these features is provided below. While there are over 100 new FAQs in the Help section covering the various new features, we will aslo be publishing some specific articles over the coming weeks. These will highlight more of what’s new, what’s improved and how you can make the most of it.
Getting new members
It’s now possible to invite new members using your Windows Live or Gmail address books. Alternatively, you can also just copy and paste a list of emails addresses if you want to transfer them from an offline address book. The content of the invite email can also be customised by you. As a site owner, it is now possible to create a member yourself, while in edit mode. Previously, the site owner would have to ask the new member to come to his or her site and create an account before being able to assign any access/edit rights.
Site Level Membership
Previously visitors to a WebEden site who wanted to join as a member were required to complete a two-stage sign up process: firstly, they had to create a SiteMaker account; secondly, they then had to join the site. Now, all new sites will be built with Site Level Membership, which means that visitors join the site in a one step process. It also means that the members are free to choose a username that is unique to that site alone. Previously, usernames had to be unique across all usernames for all members of the sites built by the partner.
Sites built before the launch will be able to upgrade their site to site level membership, therefore getting access to all the new features provided under site level membership. However, this is not mandatory and in fact some sites use the WebEden wide membership so that they can run a number of sites with shared logins.
The join up process now involves setting up a join page which contains a new customisable login/join widget where the site owner can create a branded experience explaining the benefits of joining their site. Previously, the join process took place in a SiteMaker editor style popup window Emails from the site now refer to the site’s name and come from the site email address. Previously, some account emails were from the SiteMaker Team and mentioned SiteMaker.
A new role of Site Administrator has been created. A site admin has access to all the toolbar functions, but any information regarding the site owner, such as billing details, are not accessible. This feature is particularly useful for website resellers.
Managing members and page permissions
It is now possible to set up permissions for multiple pages at once. The interface on the settings panel has been improved to make it much simpler to understand what permissions have been given to individual members as well as each group.
You can now create groups and drag and drop members into those groups from a single panel. Site owners can now view and update members’ email addresses and send them an email that allows the member to reset their password (as long as the site is using site level membership)
Integration with Facebook and Twitter
It is now possible to allow visitors to become a member of your site using their Facebook login credentials, therefore making it easier for users to register as they won’t have to create another username and password.
You can also link your site with your Facebook account enabling you to post notes and updates on your wall about your website so that your friend network on Facebook can hear about your site or be updated with any changes.
It is also possible to send updates to an associated Twitter account to communicate with your twitter followers about your site.
NB. If you have your own domain name you’ll have to get a Facebook Application key to use the Facebook features. You can do this in the new ‘People’ section on the ‘Settings’ tab and we’ll talk you through the process. It’s quite simple.
And that as they say is that. It’s taken a while for us to get our heads around it all, but we’re sure you’ll get to grips with it much faster. Let us know what you think and we hope you enjoy the new tools!
To give you a helping hand we’ve put together a video tutorial that shows you how to add members to your website.
And here’s one that shows you how to send membership invitations.
And finally, here’s how to send updates to Facebook and Twitter.