Community News
Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!
Category: Community News

Well the holidays are upon us, a time to spend with your family and friends. This year has been the best ever for Spruz with an overall growth rate of 40% over last year and we have you, our users to thank for that!

We have tons of cool new features, improvements and changes right now in development for release early 2011. Here is a brief list of what we are activitly working on at this time;

  1. Editing of the Blog and Wiki System Templates with other systems to follow - This is a feature that really allows you to change the functionality of these features to change naming, form field names, and the way posts are drawn on the page.
  2. New Content Template features for System Text and Email Templates.
  3. Expanded SPL/SPI  documentation, plus completion of our API. Opening our platform up for 3rd party development is a big goal for early 2011
  4. New settings for comment boxes - To include setting like if images and HTML can be used or not.
  5. Member Points and Gifting System - This will be a premium feature and will allow you to configure points to award members for different actions on your website. Then they can spend their points in a configurable gift store.
  6. Blog improvements to include: New save as draft and post scheduling to name just 2 of the many new improvements to this system.
  7. Member Activity feed options to control what information shows on the activity feed. (Status, Group Messages, Etc)

But things don't stop there, we have tons of items on our to do list, but we need your help to prioritize it, tell us what is a features and improvements are a priority to you by taking a moment to review what features and changes our members have posted about in our Idea Room forum and post your support or post your own idea if you don't see it mentioned!

Holiday Hours

For us the Christmas Holiday is a time for our staff to spend with family and friends as well. We will have minimal support and staff starting from December 23rd until January 2nd when our offices return to normal operating conditions. We will only answer critical issues during this time, thus we encourage you to post how-to related questions on here on owners community and help each other out a little more this time of year.

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for a great year and have a very Merry Christmas! We look forward to serving you in all 2011!

- Jay, David and the rest of the Spruz Team


Owners Community Revamp
Category: Community News

We completed a few updates here on our Owners' Community to make it easier for you to connect with our community of website creators, access support requests, and information in our knowledge base.

Some changes you may notice include;

  1. A brand new look! We have elected for a left side navigation that mimics the navigation located in your site settings areas. By using this layout we can set longer labels for navigation links, making it easier for new and old users alike to find information easier.
  2. Site adapts to your screen resolution, this is great for those of you on higher then 1024X728 resolutions as you can now see more on screen then you could before.
  3. We have added several new links to give quick access to Community Activity, Different Forum Areas, Knowledge Base, and Support Tickets.
  4. The Support button on the site Management Bar has been changed to Help and directs to the owners community while still keeping your site in management mode.


Over the next few months we will be working hard to offer more how-to guides and videos on using your Spruz powered website. your ability to access help and other resources.

Happy Holidays!

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.


New Spruz Home Page
Category: Community News

We just rolled out a complete re-design of With the new design we were able to improve the content of the home page in several areas: More focus, more information, a clean and consistent look and much less scrolling to see the information.

The footer has also been completely re-worked to provide all the information you need in a very organized fashion, so content and links are easy to find.

Visit to check out the new design.


Here's the old design for comparison:


Let us know what you think of the new design in the comments.

Free website limits go into effect today!
Category: Community News

You may recall our blog post from July 6th about new restrictions coming to free websites, as stated we would wait until August 31st before we activated these new restrictions to your free website account, if you had created your website after this date your website would already be on our new free website plan. As we had mentioned we would no longer be offering unlimited free websites due to the issues we experienced finding an ad service that would take us as a publisher, which is due to the fact that we do not have direct control over the content posted on websites the advertisements would be displayed on.

To recap, the following are the restrictions and changes to free sites:

  • 5GB Monthly Transfer Limit - Once your website reaches this you will need to upgrade, if the limit is reached your admin area will be deactivated first with a message to upgrade.
  • 100MB File Storage Limit - Once over this limit you will need to delete extra files to reduce your total storage or upgrade.
  • 250 Member Limit - When you have reached your member limit your registration system will be set to approval only, you will need to upgrade or delete inactive member accounts in order to approve new members.
  • 1 Email Broadcast Per Month - Emails have a cost to them due to spam complaints and bandwidth. With each service plan you will have an increased montly email broadcast limit.
  • File uploading restrictions - We have removed the file uploader from the file manager and members of free websites can only upload photos.
  • Limited or No Advertisements - You will no longer see obtrusive advertisements on free websites, free websites can also place up to 1 advertisement per page to help build up the funds to upgrade.

We understand you may look at these restrictions and say "I can't grow network with that!", however, we have taken great measure to ensure this isn't the case. While 90% of users will not come close to reaching the restrictions we have added, the 10% that do should have a large enough user base to easily afford our $9.95/mo plan by placing your own advertisements on your site, collecting donations using our Website Funds element, or charging members a small fee.

We want to do everything in our power to help those who have reached the limits above  starting today until the end of September we have increased our yearly plan discount from 20% to 30%! At a 30% discount our $9.95 plan comes out to less than $7 bucks a month! Even if you already have a premium plan you can go to the upgrade page and change your plan to yearly and take advantage of our discount. Remember with Spruz your price is locked in for the life of your selected plan, so you never have to worry about paying more in the future.


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