Quick Start Guide

Follow these step-by-step instructions. For ease of reference and to not lose your place looking at them, all links inside of each step will open in a new tab.

Categories are typically a way to group and are typically controlled by your business, meaning users can't or should not be able to create categories. This is because categories a business uses could drive or influence the way the business responds to ideas as well as get a different view of reporting. See tags in the next step as a way to let users identify or group ideas in meaningful ways.

Enter a few meaningful idea categories. You don't have to think too hard about this because categories can always be changed and any ideas that have the categories changed will also have those changes. For the moment, just think high level such as product family, major services or high-level groupings.

See Plugin Guide > Dashboard > Idea Categories to add categories.

We supply Uncategorized as a category and set that as the category when a new idea is created. Keep it that way for the moment because you want to be able to easily see and then change the category to one or more of the meaningful categories you just defined when a new idea is created. If you feel this needs to be something different right at the start, by all means go ahead and change it. The default for when a new idea is created will be the changed name and any ideas previously created will also have the changed category name.

Tags are typically a way to also group like categories, but they differ in that users can typically create or edit tags on ideas they created. This is something you want to encourage your users to do in a sensible fashion. Note that at present, it is not possible for a user to add or change tags created by another user. The user who created an idea (the Author) and Administrators are the only users who can add, change or remove tags in an idea created. Also, in our premium version you can add Moderators who can also add, change or remove tags in an idea created.

Enter a few meaningful idea tags. You don't have to think too hard about this because tags can always be changed and any ideas that have the tags changed will also have those changes. For the moment, just think about a few common words or phrases that would be helpful to your business or your customers to quickly find an idea(s).

See Plugin Guide > Dashboard > Idea Tags to add tags.

At a bare bones minimum, you need to let your users create an idea and see ideas. So here, we need to create a Create An Idea page. Please note that a fair amount of space is needed for Create An Idea to look good since it has an editor for the user to express their idea.

In a widget:

If you have a page building plugin such as SiteOrigin Page Builder, Elementor or Beaver (to name a few), or, if you have page building capabilities in a theme such as what is found in Divi and Avada, then you can simply use these tools to insert the Ideas: Create An Idea widget in the desired place on the page. To see all the options of this widget, see Plugin Guide > Widgets > Create An Idea.

Using shortcodes in a page:

From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Pages > Add New and enter the short code 

. If your page is not named "Create An Idea", you can add a title to this page by adding a title in the above short code: 

Add Your Great Idea!

. To see all possible options for the shortcodes (which mirror the options in a widget), from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Ideas > Shortcodes.

If your theme has the ability to display this page as a full page (most do, but not all), we recommend you do so. Otherwise your side bar, likely with blog reference sections such as Recent Blogs, Archive Blogs, etc. will appear on the right and the mix of ideas and blogs could confuse your users. To see if your theme can display a "full width", on the right of creating or editing a page, there will be a widget called Page Attributes and in that widget there will be a Template option with a pull-down of the possible templates.

If your theme does not have an entry for full width or described as something else that will result in a full width, there are WordPress plugins that can add this capability to your theme (just search "page templates" and you will see quite a few).

Note: When you do not specify a title in the short code or widget, we leave the title intentionally blank because in this case of creating an idea, it is likely the name of the page will be the same or something that comes close thus a title is likely to be redundant.

At a bare bones minimum, you need to let your users create an idea and see ideas. So here, we need to create a Browse Idea page. Please note that a fair amount of space is needed for Browse Ideas to look good as it is packed with a lot of information.

In a widget:

If you have a page building plugin such as SiteOrigin Page Builder, Elementor or Beaver (to name a few), or, if you have page building capabilities in a theme such as what is found in Divi and Avada, then you can simply use these tools to insert the Ideas: Browse Ideas widget in the desired place on the page. To see all the options of this widget, see Plugin Guide > Widgets > Browse Ideas.

Using shortcodes in a page:

From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Pages > Add New and enter the short code 

. If your page is not named "Browse Ideas", you can add a title to this page by adding a title in the above short code: 

Your Great Ideas!

. To see all possible options for the shortcodes (which mirror the options in a widget), from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Ideas > Shortcodes.

If your theme has the ability to display this page as a full page (most do, but not all), we recommend you do so. Otherwise your side bar, likely with blog reference sections such as Recent Blogs, Archive Blogs, etc. will appear on the right and the mix of ideas and blogs could confuse your users. To see if your theme can display a "full width", on the right of creating or editing a page, there will be a widget called Page Attributes and in that widget there will be a Template option with a pull-down of the possible templates.

If your theme does not have an entry for full width or described as something else that will result in a full width, there are WordPress plugins that can add this capability to your theme (just search "page templates" and you will see quite a few).

Note: When you do not specify a title in the short code or widget, we leave the title intentionally blank because in this case of browsing ideas, it is likely the name of the page will be the same or something that comes close thus a title is likely to be redundant.

Since just a little more information about the ideas on your site can make a difference, we suggest that you optionally consider taking a few more moments to add the Recent Ideas and Tag Cloud. It's not essential and you can always do it later, but the time to do so is minimal and the result will greatly enhance your users experience.

We won't repeat here all the considerations that we discussed in having a page with Create An Idea and Browse Ideas, but rather just give you details and suggestions for using them.

Recent Ideas

  • The widget is Ideas: Recent Ideas. See Plugin Guide > Widgets > Recent Ideas for widget options.
  • The shortcode is

    Recent Ideas

    Limited voting and ideas grading

    Active
    Created on 2-May-2019 by nadav@inova.zone - Last update Commented On 5-May-2019 by nadav@inova.zone

    I think it could be great if we have an option to review ideas open for vote. Meaning that at some point I’ll be able to review all ideas, choose... Read More

    2

    Batch updating ideas to change their status and/or or open/close for voting

    Active
    Created on 1-May-2019 by nadav@inova.zone - Last update Commented On 5-May-2019 by nadav@inova.zone

    Please consider enabling the option to batch update ideas. Could be status, open/close for voting or other relevant fields. In addition, it might be useful to have the option to... Read More

    2

    Change voting icon

    Active
    Created on 17-Apr-2019 by Shapiro Cloud - Last update Voted up On 17-Apr-2019 by Shapiro Cloud

    Instead of using an Up arrow and a Down arrow when voting on an idea, use a thumbs up () to vote the idea up and a thumbs down ()... Read More

    0

    Summary Reports option for display

    Active
    Created on 10-Dec-2018 by Rob Shapiro - Last update Voted up On 1-Feb-2019 by Shapiro Cloud

    Add an option in all Summary Reports that allows the user to specify the interval for displaying the data in the range specified as one of these options: Show in... Read More

    0

    Export Browse Reports

    Fully Delivered!
    Created on 19-Nov-2018 by Rob Shapiro - Last update Status Changed On 1-May-2019 by Shapiro Cloud

    Ability to export data to a CSV file based on the current filters showing idea data in Browse Reports. This will give administrators the ability to better analyze ideas and... Read More

    1
    . To see all possible options for the shortcodes (which mirror the options in a widget), from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Ideas > Shortcodes.
  • Can be used as a sidebar or occupy a large amount of space. In either case, we limited the text it shows to 30 words followed by Read More. This yields showing more recent ideas whether in a small sidebar or in a larger central area before the user has to Load More to see the next batch.
  • It's a very nice complement to Browse Ideas where Browse Ideas occupies 70-75% of the templates central area and Recent Ideas occupies 25-30% in a sidebar either on the left or the right.

Tag Cloud

  • The widget is Ideas: Tag Cloud. See Plugin Guide > Widgets > Tag Cloud for widget options.
  • The shortcode is
    . To see all possible options for the shortcodes (which mirror the options in a widget), from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Ideas > Shortcodes.
  • Is most often used as a sidebar. That's not to say a bigger area is not nice, especially if your site has (or will have) tons of ideas with tons of associated tags!
  • It's a very nice complement to Browse Ideas where Browse Ideas occupies 70-75% of the templates central area and Recent Ideas occupies 25-30% in a sidebar either on the left or the right.

Skip this step if this is too much and too soon. You can always come back here to refresh what to do at a later time.

Yes, there are a few things you can do that will absolutely make a difference to transform your idea exchange in to the mainstream of your business! Here are some strategies and tactics to consider:

  • Read or re-read the Your Idea Counts! blog series with a focus on how to deploy the plugin in a way that makes sense for your business. To do this in a meaningful way, follow the Actions for you in each segment!
  • Call out: Seed the plugin with ideas from other sources whether that is from emails sent to you, an internal tracking system, blogs or anywhere else where customers and/or users have expressed the need for something in your product or services. These will have to be manually entered in the free version (the premium version has an import function to make this easier!), but you don't need that many to just get started. In WordPress you can change some of the meta data for each idea created, from your WordPress Dashboard, Ideas > All Ideas such as Author (user must exist, of course) or Published Date so that what you create best resembles the source of the feedback.
    Note that in our Premium version, you can import ideas which greatly helps and expedites seeding as everything can be added and reviewed in a CSV file before importing it all at once instead of manually entering each idea.
  • Call out: Decide or get agreement from company staff as to who will be active in the community to ask questions, give responses and help to drive the ideas generated to a final disposition. We call this "skin in the game" and when that element is present, it nurtures and promotes active user participation (i.e. someone is really listening, not just hearing!).

That's it, you now have an idea exchange to begin your journey with your users that will ultimately yield customer benefits, business benefits, development benefits and achieve astounding results!