Blog Entries
Membership Subscription Improvements!

Today we have published our new revamp to the member subscription module. The focus of this update was to update the look, add expanded currency options, and allow for new billing terms!

Our Subscription Module Features:

  1. Setup of page and feature access for people that have purchased a subscription
  2. Integration with PayPal payment processing that only requires you to have a verified PayPal Account to accept payments
  3. Support for setting up subscriptions using Days, Weeks, Months and Years
  4. Currency Support for US, Canada, Euro, Pounds Sterling and AUD
  5. Automatic permission assignment; once a member subscribes they will be granted subscription level access to your site within 5 minutes
  6. Customizable Subscription Description and Title
  7. Subscriber report to see all your active and expired subscribers
  8. Free Trial support to offer subscribers a way to try your service before payment; this requires the subscriber to cancel if they do not want to be billed further

We have also posted 2 new Wiki pages to help you further with configuring Membership Subscriptions.

What is the member subscription module?

Setting up Member Subscriptions

Also included with this update;

  • We revamped the profile comment element to change some of the structure, to include the persons name next to the photo, and to offer previews of the first 30 words of a post in activity feeds. If a profile is marked as private, activity will not be posted to the main site activity feed.
  • Plus, a number of user reported bugs have been fixed.

So you are aware, we have a number of cool new improvements in the works to finish off this year! Remember, if you have issues or problems please open a support request at


Group Invite Features and Other Improvements

We have applied a new update today that improves the group invite functions, allows you to turn off the friends feature and more!

Here is a list of features and improvements this update brings to the platform;

  •  Group admins can set who can invite new members to the group, (Admins Only or Members)
  • When someone starts an Invite they can ether invite their friends from within your website or send out an email to all their contacts
  • Invited people automatically join the group regardless of the Approval option for the group.
  • Group Invite Messages are fully customizable.
  • Improved Group Box Element, before we used the same element that was used for the Groups page, however we now have a dedicated Group Box element you can place on other pages with it's own set of options.
  • The site setting page that controls the features of profiles has been renamed from Member Profile Settings to Profile and Group Settings
  • A new option has been added to the site group settings that allows you to set the viewing level for groups separately from profiles. Thus you could setup your groups to require a subscription and leave the profiles open for everyone.
  • The Friends Profile Feature checkbox on the Profile and Groups Setting page now turns off all friend related features. Thus if you wanted to have a network were everyone is each others friend you can do so.
  • We have added a captcha box on the Join site page for a member that is already registered on the Spruz Platform but has not joined with your website
  • The Profile Settings page have been improved by add Change Email, and Change Display name to that area. Thus all profile related functions have been added to a structured account settings page, this is handy if you wanted a one click account link rather then a drop down list.
  • You can now add a captcha code to the Email Form Element by using #draw_captcha()# anywhere in the editor for customizing your form.
  • New Blog Options to turn off comments and sharing on a blog post. You will see a new option block when you add or edit your blog entries.
  • TinyChat Now supports seeing admins as moderators.
  • We have applied a number of adjustments to the platform for the upcoming Member Subscription Module update that will be released Friday afternoon.
  • We completed the adjustments needed so that users in Ireland and Australia will not see a message that requires them to upgrade their free site. As part of our updates to phase our free services in countries outside the US, Canada, Great Brittan, Belgium, Ireland, and Australia. Read the full post

As mentioned earlier we do have a number of improvements coming to the Member Subscription Module, some improvements include ability to set a range of payment terms and support for other currencies. We are completing the changes for the improvements to that system, plus new Comment Box settings for release by this weekend!

With the large number of adjustments, please report bugs and issues via support tickets, if you have comments about our changes to free please post go to our blog post about it.

Performance Improvements and Upcoming updates
Category: Community News

At Spruz we have been hard at work fixing bugs, improving page load time, and developing some cool new improvements that are less than a week away from release.

First we hope you have noticed a pickup in page load times over the last week or so, we have had a few reports of slow page load times and as a result made serveral adjustments. Our goal is to maintain an average page load time of 3 seconds or less.

As part of our future plans to improve and maintain stable performance for everyone, we must free up more resources by adding new limitations to our free service. As you can imagine we only have the resources in place that our revenue can justify, this leaves us with X number of servers and so much bandwidth to spread around for FREE and PREMIUM accounts alike. As we have said in the past we plan to always offer Free Service as it helps us and our future premium accounts to grow. However  effective Friday November 5th we plan to only offer Free Websites to users in the US, Canada, and Most UK markets. All other world regions will be able to use our Free Solution for 3 days before deciding to upgrade to a premium plan.

We have elected to focus only on the US, Canada, and Most UK markets (Great Britain) because;

  •  These markets have the quality of traffic we need to see for our advertisers and to refer new website creators. Yes, we will be displaying more advertisements on free websites.
  • A higher percentage of people upgrade their plans from these markets (Premium Accounts Pay the Bills)
  • This will free up about 30% of our server resources for everyone else.
  • Plus the majority of users that abuse our free offering come from outside these markets, thus putting less strain on our resources over all.

Remember if you are in these markets you can use our free service for as long as you need it or until you are ready to upgrade to a premium plan. Current FREE users not in the US, Canada, and Most UK markets (Great Britain) have 30 days from today to upgrade their website or locate other free hosting to move to, you will also notice a message in your website information pane telling you how many days you have left to upgrade.

Some improvements that will be in place next week:

  • Group Inviting: We will have improved features that make it easier to invite friends to groups within your website, plus a new feature to manually add members to a group if you are the site administrator.
  • Member Subscription Module: This whole feature is being overhauled, 2 key improvements include; being about to set the term (Days, Monthly or Yearly) of plans and settings for the currency to USD, CAD, or EURO.
  • New Service Plans: You will notice new plans next week, we want to make understanding our plans easier and will offer more for higher plan levels. For example we will no longer include items like the member subscription module in our lowest priced plan. Remember we grandfather all users into their current plan. So while the price or features of our plans may change. We do our best to keep your price and features the same for the life of your current package!

Remember if you have problems, issues or just some private feedback open a support request with us! 


We wanted to take a moment to address some of the most common asked questions so new people reading this post won't have to dig to find answers to items we already gave answers to.

Q. ONLY 30 DAYS! What happens after that?

A. Really it is 60 days,  After 30 days we lock your management area with an upgrade to continue message, but your main website that visitors and members see will be unaffected for 30 more days, after that point the site is deleted. This is to allow more time to ether upgrade or display a message of how to move.

Q. I can't pay to upgrade, how do you expect me to upgrade

A. There are 4 or more ways you can generate the cash needed to pay for your upgrade.

  1. Donations - We offer a site fund element that allows people to pay directly towards your upgrade, have everyone chip in a few dollars. Plus we cover all processing fees! Something you don't get with placing a Paypal Button
  2. Advertisements - Upgrade and find advertisers, if you have the traffic then you should be able be able to cover our upgrade costs by placing run of site advertisements or using a service like commision junction.
  3. Member Subscriptions - We have a member subscription module that is part of our upgrade plans, setup areas of your site that require people to pay a small monthly or yearly fee
  4. Sponsorship - Ask a business in your area to sponsor your upgrade and give them a dedicated spot that says Sponsored by BUSINESS NAME
  5. Cafe' Press - is easy to setup on any website using there embeddable store, people buy items from you that you create. Plus it is FREE for you to sign up and start selling your wares.

If you can't put together resources using any of the options above, then what are you really trying to save anyway?

Q. Why are you doing this to us?

Regarding our focus on specific markets for our free offering; I would like to point out a few things.

We are able to justify the cost of the free sites we provide by treating it as a marketing expense. Free sites are a good way to advertise our paid service, in the form of an unlimited trial for perspective customers and for visitors seeing that we power those sites. As with any marketing effort, it is important evaluate what markets are actually providing a positive return on the investment. If a company fails to do this, the company will ultimately fail completely.

All successful companies use similar strategies to continue to provide quality service. For example Microsoft may choose to only release products and/or market in specific regions to remain profitable and continue serving its customers effectively. Hulu only provides service to very specific regions because their advertisers will only pay to have their ads shown in those areas. The same goes for UK based media companies, which restrict online media from playing when accessed from the United States.

We are continually working to provide the best service possible to our customers.


Group improvements and usability adjustments

Recently we have made a number of improvements to the groups to make them easier for you and your members to use.

For starters we have made some adjustments in the way of usability, these adjustments include;

  • In the group menu we have relabeled the tabs as follows: Home to Group Home, Members to Group Members and we replaced the My Groups with Join or Leave Group to make it easier for the member to tell if they are a member of that group or not.
  • On Profiles the My Groups element has been expanded with new customization options that allow a member to set how many groups to display that they are a member of, change the sort order of the groups and includes a new View more link at the bottom that does a search on your site groups page of all groups that person is a member of.
  • In your Profile and Registration Settings you have 2 new navigation options you can add to Profiles that includes a Blogs and Groups link, by enabling these options will add 2 new links to a members profile menu that does a search for the Blogs they have created or Groups they are a member of.

By popular demand you can now message all group members if your are the creator of the group! This is a good example of how the Idea Room Forum here on the Owners Community works for you. This was one of our popular idea room posts that made sense for us to add. You will find this option in the Group Options on any group you created.


Other minor changes include;

  • We change the label of the Management Bar Appearance Menu option Choose a Theme to Load a Theme, because you can load a theme you saved or from the theme library. Thanks to your feedback Choose just did not make sense
  • The Anywhere uploader icon you see in most places were a single photo or file can be uploaded has been changed from an Arrow pointing up to the word Upload. Many users did not know clicking that is how you upload a photo, instead of using an URL.

We hope you enjoy these changes, we have a number of other items in development based on demand from the Idea Room Forum.

As always, if you encounter problems, or issues please open a ticket on it via Support Tickets. If you have a suggestion on something that will make the platform easier to use or can enhance its features take it to the idea room!

Community of the Week: Knight Rider Radio

This week's Community of the Week is Knight Rider Radio, created by DJ KNIGHTMAN.

If you'd like to see your site featured as a Community of the Week please post an introduction following our guidelines.

Knight Rider Radio


1. Could you explain what your site is about for those that aren't familiar with it?   

This site is a internet radio station site!


2. What gave you the idea to create a site? Was it a natural extension of a hobby or passion you already had?

Well I came to Spruz when Ning was starting to charge there members and it's a hobby and a passion for music. I want to help promote artist who can't get there music heard on a FM or AM station and to be able to give my listeners a wide choice in music and entertainment to listen to!


3. Is your site a join effort between you and other co-creators, or did you create it by yourself?

 I created everything myself!


4. How did you hear about Spruz?

Surfing the web!


5. What feature has your community found most useful?

To be able to embed features!


6. Do you have any tips or suggestions for other site owners? Was there anything you wish you had known when you created your community that you know today?

[Spruz] is a great tool to promote a business or whatever your passion is.


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