This page explains how to create your own dashboard for your platform.
Note: This feature is not part of the default Open Social product (basic/distro), but can be ordered as an extension module.
With dashboards, you can create pages which help your members navigate through the community. They function similarly to Landing Pages but provide more flexible options, helping you create the ideal page for your needs.
Create a Dashboard
You can create a dashboard either in the Content Overview or via your “add content” button in the toolbar:
Choose your Dashboard Settings
You’ll need to choose a title for your dashboard. Remember that this will also appear in the URL of the final dashboard, although you can change that by expanding the “Settings”
You can also set who the dashboard is visible to. For example, you might want the dashboard to be publicly visible, limited to community members or even just to people with content/site manager permissions.
Designing your Dashboard
When creating/editing the layout of your dashboard, you will use various Blocks to display content, provide information, link to other parts of the site and so forth. These blocks need a home, which is why you first need to create Sections.
Click add a section > choose a block layout > name the section
Different sections can have different blocks and sizes, such as shown below.
Now you’ve created a section, you can begin to create Blocks!
When you select “Add Block” you’ll see a popup appear on the right hand side. This gives you various options for pre-made blocks. You can also create custom blocks (see below).
List (Views): These are blocks which update automatically depending on community activity, such as community streams, latest topics and events etc.
- Explore Stream: This shows users all activity (content, posts, events etc.) across the community, regardless of content visibility permissions.
- Homepage Stream (with post form): This is similar to the above but the stream is personalised for each user, only displaying content that is visible to them (i.e. content visible for the wider community or for any groups they’re part of).
This also includes the option for users to post to the stream
- Homepage Stream: This is the same as the above but does not include the option for users to post
Community Events/Latest Topic/Newest groups/users:
- These are blocks which list the most recent of each type of content. Within each you will have the option to choose how many items should be shown
KPI Analytics are also auto-update blocks, which can be used if you are creating an internal dashboard for Content / Site Managers to monitor the performance of the community. However, for more in depth analysis of community metrics, check out our Matomo and Google Analytics Extensions.
The pre-made blocks give you a good starting point, but in many cases you are likely to want to the freedom to create your own blocks. In which case, you can select “Create custom block” at the top.
With the custom block, you have various options. You will notice that different block options can fulfil similar functions, but have different design possibilities, so it’s all about choosing whichever works best for you!
- Basic Block: This is a simple, text block.
- Custom Content List: This allows you to display a list of certain content, which you select based on a number of filters & sorting options:
- For example, you could choose: List the 5 most recent Topics which are of the “Announcement” type
- To adjust your different content types, see Taxonomy
- Featured Content: These blocks allow you to call attention to specific pieces of content within the community, such as blogs, books, events, groups etc!
- Featured Items: These blocks fulfil a similar function to “Featured Content” but also allow you to link to external content or materials. The design options are also slightly different, so choose whichever you prefer!
- Hero call to action block: These blocks include a hero image as well as 1-2 buttons to direct your community to different sections of the site
- KPI Analytics Block: Similar to the “KPI Analytics” above, this block gives you some options for reporting on community statistics.
- Platform Introduction: For introducing your platform, using various text formatting options.
These different block options are displayed and colour-coded in the dashboard below:
Full Dashboard Example
The Dashboard possibilities are endless! They can be linked and placed on your platform to your advantage.