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View Full Version : Board Style Options -- Can we have this ((please))


Marc
12-18-2007, 04:04 PM
Could you please make some different board style options available to us in our user control panel? I am thinking that maybe the current one displayed could be the default and maybe we could have an option to choose something like "classic" which would look more like the original board design. The current Black background design makes some of the text hard to read for some of us. The style currently being used also has resizing issues (where the minimum screen width is larger than some of our computers so it runs off the page.)

Even if you just allow us to view the board in the standard VBulletin style (that blue design that most VBulletin boards have) that would give us some choices.

This is what the classic VBulletin design looks like for those that are not familiar:

http://driveaccord.net/forums/

It is the basic design that all VBulletin boards look like if you don't apply a custom design to it like the greenish one that has been applied here at carspyshots. A much cleaner and more professional looking style in my opinion.

Cozz
12-18-2007, 06:13 PM
I agree. I'm having a hard time staying on this site for more that 15 minutes. Eyes start hurting.

driven by design
12-18-2007, 07:46 PM
Yeah, try mentioning this to "the powers that be" and get ready for a lecture on how ungrateful you are to even have a board at all. I did this in the Forum News section and got told that unless I want to pay all the costs for hosting and operation I should basically sit down and shut up. :rolleyes: Obviously, I'm not the only one who thinks the site design could use some attention. It isn't set in stone and there are more than a few people offering suggestions for improvement.

It's as though the fact they were forced to move to a new system is some kind of excuse for a substandard color scheme and/or unconventional site layout, and anyone who questions that will be summarily reprimanded as an ingrate. I know plenty of free forums that that look wonderful and aren't difficult to read or painful on the eyes at all ... Marc's link to the Drive Accord forum is just one example. It also has better framing and sectioning of Google Ads so they don't visually intrude on the interface.

Just because this site is free doesn't mean we have to go blind reading it, resize our browsers, or make extra efforts to find links on the busy interface menus. There's a reason so many forums adhere to a certain standard.

Marc
12-18-2007, 08:16 PM
Yeah, try mentioning this to "the powers that be" and get ready for a lecture on how ungrateful you are to even have a board at all. I did this in the Forum News section and got told that unless I want to pay all the costs for hosting and operation I should basically sit down and shut up. :rolleyes: Obviously, I'm not the only one who thinks the site design could use some attention. It isn't set in stone and there are more than a few people offering suggestions for improvement. .


But it would not cost one cent for them to just enable the default vBulletin design. That design comes standard with the vBulletin board purchase. (For us not to be able to view the board using that design means that in the control panel of the board the moderators have selected to block that design.) It is this modified Black/yellow/green theme (the one that they are using here) that takes time to create. Why not just enable the ability for us to view the board using the default basic view? That is all that I am asking. I know that it can get personal, and that someone took the time and stress to develop this design, but It is hard to read this format (and sorry but it is kind of ugly). Sorry guys, we appreciate all the work you do (I sincerely do!) but the original default design that is provided to you for free when you purchased a vBulletin license is a better design.

driven by design
12-18-2007, 10:09 PM
But it would not cost one cent for them to just enable the default vBulletin design. That design comes standard with the vBulletin board purchase.This I know. That's why I thought it interesting that the notion of simplifying the design (or even using the default design) is looked upon as some kind of slight against design taste or a sign of disrespect for those overseeing the site's operation. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and don't assume when users say that a clashing color scheme is making their eyes hurt that they're idiots who can either cope with it or get lost. As you said, there should be a user option to implement a default vBulletin view.

DoMiNo
12-18-2007, 10:20 PM
I don't know how we can possibly stress this further: the design is out of our hands. I am not an expert and don't know the intricacies of this software, but the fact of the matter is that WCF, whose servers we occupy and who has graciously agreed to host us, has design oversight and for whatever reason they've made it clear that the design stays for now. It's not that we don't understand (or empathize) with your concerns--we have to look at it, too, you know--just that we're not in any position to do anything about it, and no amount of nagging can change that. You can keep bringing it up and blaming the mods/administrators if you want to, but it is what it is.

friends_forever
12-19-2007, 07:44 PM
i assume CSS was essentially "sold" to WCF. why else would they be so "fortunate" as to accept this clearly inferior interface? if this indeed was the case, i have no problem with it. I mean, the founders of this community are entitled to profit from something they created.

but please, don't act like this was the only option. there are many free forums that have a MUCH simpler and more pleasing interface - and have less ads. i am part of another forum that gets around 20,000 hits a day. we have the same problem over there - it's expensive to keep it ad free. the solution: we have two forums that look identical. when our subscription with one comes up, we switch to the other and pay the minimum yearly "ad free" fee. they're both with ezboard. to raise money for the fee, a paypal account is set up which accepts donations. with about 6000 users, it doesn't take long before we have more than enough.

this is only one solution. there are many. vanilla, is another free, vastly superior option.

this board sucks, you know it sucks, and someone needs to do something. this forum is successful because people use it and enjoy using it. but now, the product has been drastically tampered with. without even noticing, i've decreased my use of this place from several times a day to a couple times a week.

i think CSS will probably fail if something isn't done soon.

clinton
12-20-2007, 02:29 PM
CSS has not been "sold" to worldcarfans, it has been financed by WCF for quite some time and at what would be considered a large financial loss - but due to our respect for the quality of this site and its administrators/moderators we have continued to finance it. The change in design was purely an attempt to make this forum self sufficient.

CSS is and will always remain a free site and we won't ask for or expect any users to donate for the continual running of the site.

Ascariss
12-20-2007, 05:36 PM
I'd reply to this thread more specifically, but I'll just observe what people say first.

and for everyone's information, there is no selling out, never has been, and never will be. So unless you know the facts, best not to say anything.

Cozz
12-21-2007, 01:47 AM
OK, I'll give in. I was never shy of speaking my mind and don't plan on changing now. This site sucks. No one please take it personally. I think it's mostly the black on white deal. I help develop sites and I keep away from displays like this. white vs. a cool blue would look a lot better.

I may be wrong but I think I've offered to donate to CSS before. I think it would be a great idea to offer a paypal option to donate. Nothing crazy, not really even mentioning on the board it but just offer it.

I'm a member of SMF (hxxp://www.simplemachines.org/) which is a totally free forum that runs on MySQL/Linux. Real easy and free forums with great support. I use servers from godaddy which start at $8 a month.

Just look at the list of down loadable themes.
hxxp://custom.simplemachines.org/themes/

I remember the last forum change and some people didn't like it but they also said it's just a matter of getting used to. This may be a bit different. The layout is all wrong.

Three things that strike me and would change...
1. black vs. while, it's a no-no. Change it to cooler shaded colors
2. small fonts. change it to slightly bigger fonts.
3. would like to see the forum on the left and ads on the right.

While I'm at it LOL, how does someone go back to the main forum list? You have to go to the bottom of the page yet all the links of the boards and child boards are on top except for the main page. Odd. It should read this...

Car Spy Shots > Forum News > Feedback and Suggestions > Board Style Options -- Can we have this ((please))

but it doesn't

Quattro
12-21-2007, 05:23 AM
as much as i love CSS i think the new colour scheme isnt as good as the old one, i think maybe change the colours to a pale blue like the old one would be good, is the new colours do hurt my eyes

friends_forever
12-21-2007, 07:39 PM
alright, so WCF has been financing the site for a while. that's fine - thank you. but there is obviously a reason you did/are doing this and i'm sure you have some how profited from the partnership (financially or otherwise).

all i'm saying is be careful. don't come here and say your hands are tied and there is nothing you can do. it is obvious to all that this forum is brutal compared to other options - many of which are free. the internet is a competitive place where change happens fast. i know CSS is currently enjoying a certain degree of success, but overnight, a superior product could take over.

just don't lie to the people that make this board.

kid
12-21-2007, 08:19 PM
i have yet to have a problem with this board...color or otherwise. the mods are strong and forceful but lenient. the admins are always helpful but also command respect.

Sure, it is a complete change from the former forum but isn't that what car companies do all the time to their model line? They always change it up because if something becomes too familiarized then it becomes the norm. Car companies are forced to break the norm. Same goes with this forum. I support the decisions and think it looks sharp. Black and white is very formal. Would I hope for other options? Sure, bring 'em on but I for one do not mind this new change.

AM2K
12-21-2007, 08:59 PM
alright, so WCF has been financing the site for a while. that's fine - thank you. but there is obviously a reason you did/are doing this and i'm sure you have some how profited from the partnership (financially or otherwise).

all i'm saying is be careful. don't come here and say your hands are tied and there is nothing you can do. it is obvious to all that this forum is brutal compared to other options - many of which are free. the internet is a competitive place where change happens fast. i know CSS is currently enjoying a certain degree of success, but overnight, a superior product could take over.

just don't lie to the people that make this board.



There's no lie about it, so I don't know why you're spinning these accusations. In the end, this move was made with the honest intention of making it a better experience for the most important people: the site members.

The full fact and truth is that the old site, whilst it might have been nice and ideal for a lot of people, was not financially feasible. For a site like CSS, the forum costs on Proboards were reaching a few hundred dollars a month. And unfortunately, the figures were not quite adding up and it was costing too much to keep CSS going in it's current capacity.

So then we had 2 choices.:

1) We could either shut down CSS all together,
2) Try and make a go of things on another forum.

All the staff unanimously said they wanted the site to continue, and wanted to continue providing a service to you guys. So we decided that the next step was that we had to find a new home. A lot of options were looked at, but then ALL of the Admins and Moderators agreed that a VBulletin forum would be best. It provides us with the right software to keep the forum at it's current capacity, and has all the features staff and members need. Also, it was a lot more cost effective. Simply put, it was a step forward, and any other option we looked at was a step back.

At the same time, the WCF guys said that they could organise a transfer onto the VBulletin software for us, and sort out the transfer. And they did this without charge, and it's something we all appreciate. Ascariss and the rest of us staff are all busy with our lives, and simply wouldn't have been able to do such a big transfer without WCF helping us. So they done us a big favour. At the same time, they showed us the potential schemes for the site and both WCF and all the CSS staff agreed that this was the best layout. The adverts you see now on the site are there to pay for the hosting of this new site, and for that purpose only. And the new colour scheme was something that we thought would give the site a nice new makeover and take us forward.

All i've said above is the honest truth. In the end guys, we're all trying our best for all of you lot. We know you all make the site, and without the members there would be no reason for CSS to exist. But hopefully you guys can get past something small like a background colour, and get on with enjoying the website and keep this community going, because it would be sad for it to die now :(

Ascariss
12-21-2007, 09:27 PM
alright, so WCF has been financing the site for a while. that's fine - thank you. but there is obviously a reason you did/are doing this and i'm sure you have some how profited from the partnership (financially or otherwise).

all i'm saying is be careful. don't come here and say your hands are tied and there is nothing you can do. it is obvious to all that this forum is brutal compared to other options - many of which are free. the internet is a competitive place where change happens fast. i know CSS is currently enjoying a certain degree of success, but overnight, a superior product could take over.

just don't lie to the people that make this board.

Never have I ever asked for money from the site or the ads, never has brian paid me for running this site and I've never asked for money in return for my services at germancarfans either. I started the site not for money, if I would, it would have been sold off long ago.

the site began as a small hobby for passion of new cars and spy pics, and that is what it remains for me to this day. This site was never meant to be a major player nor is it in the forum field of cars or whatever. It's just a small forum for enjoyment of new cars.

phaeton
12-23-2007, 12:16 AM
I said when I first came on here I did not like the black still don't its rather depressing.

If you could just change the black to navy or pale blue I think you would not have many complaints.

Other than the colour I'm happy with the VB software ;)

phaeton :)

Quattro
12-23-2007, 09:47 AM
I said when I first came on here I did not like the black still don't its rather depressing.

If you could just change the black to navy or pale blue I think you would not have many complaints.

Other than the colour I'm happy with the VB software ;)

phaeton :)

i agree, the software is great but the colour isnt as nice

friends_forever
12-24-2007, 09:04 AM
first. above two posters: learn to read - they say the color will not be changed. why do you keep asking? personally, i don't really have a problem with the color... it's more the interface that is poor.

anyways, admins, i appreciate your honesty... maybe you have someplace that i didn't see, but why didn't you just say that in the first place? i understand that you have lives outside of this board (frankly, i would be concerned if you didn't) and allowing WCF in was an easy option. that said, i feel you were slightly rash in your decision and would have benefitted from some feedback and discussion among the CSS community. the situation should have been spelled out clearly and proposed solutions should have been invited (ie: donations, free boards, more cost effective boards, etc.). you may have found a few people who would be happy to donate, or someone who would donate their and tech expertise to broker a "transfer" to a new, free, board... or some other creative solution no one had considered. this course of action would have made a lot more sense - i think you will agree.

fin.

Ascariss
12-24-2007, 09:55 AM
All options were discussed before the move. free boards were not included in the discussion due to a few problems.

1. some rarely get updated
2. some are option limited
3. I want someone I know personally who have control over the server CSS is on, not some other free hosting place.
4. Some free forums have limited customization where as once the ads pay enough we can have any design here.
5. people rarely donate to remove ads or pay for servers.

we had arborwood and proboards, proboards took forever to be updated. Zeroforum was great expensive they charged our of the a s s for hosting. The reason we had a board there is because GCF had one and it would have been cheaper to host 2 boards on one server than both alone on 2 zf servers, in hindsight, perhaps moving to a vbullutin board right away from probards would have been a better idea, but that's hindsight.

I never gave this site away or sold it. the decision was not rash, I've known Brian for a few good years now from gcf and even working a bit for the site. I would never give the site to anyone I couldn't trust.

I would want to thank Brian and Clinton again for their hard work on the move. :)

In the end, it doesn't matter how the site looks, the people posting on it matter.

Cozz
12-24-2007, 01:01 PM
first. above two posters: learn to read - they say the color will not be changed. why do you keep asking?

They didn't ask. One said that by changing the color would stop a lot of complaints while the other guy agreed : learn to read

friends_forever
12-24-2007, 07:51 PM
perhaps "asking" was a poor choice of words. what i meant to say was why even bother discussing it. it's not going to change. but thanks for taking the time to call me out on that........

ascariss, thanks for your explanation. i still don't completely agree with you, but that's cool.

happy holidays everyone.

Cozz
12-24-2007, 10:14 PM
perhaps "asking" was a poor choice of words. what i meant to say was why even bother discussing it. it's not going to change. but thanks for taking the time to call me out on that........

no prob bob

Mr. Fusion
12-26-2007, 04:35 PM
I'm liking the new forum colour, layout and its not hurting my eyes. although the previous colour combination was easy on my eyes. I tend to go onto other websites every 2 - 5 minutes so my eyes don't hurt.

Marc
01-09-2008, 11:40 PM
There's no lie about it, so I don't know why you're spinning these accusations. In the end, this move was made with the honest intention of making it a better experience for the most important people: the site members.

The full fact and truth is that the old site, whilst it might have been nice and ideal for a lot of people, was not financially feasible. For a site like CSS, the forum costs on Proboards were reaching a few hundred dollars a month. And unfortunately, the figures were not quite adding up and it was costing too much to keep CSS going in it's current capacity.

So then we had 2 choices.:

1) We could either shut down CSS all together,
2) Try and make a go of things on another forum.

All the staff unanimously said they wanted the site to continue, and wanted to continue providing a service to you guys. So we decided that the next step was that we had to find a new home. A lot of options were looked at, but then ALL of the Admins and Moderators agreed that a VBulletin forum would be best. It provides us with the right software to keep the forum at it's current capacity, and has all the features staff and members need. Also, it was a lot more cost effective. Simply put, it was a step forward, and any other option we looked at was a step back.

At the same time, the WCF guys said that they could organise a transfer onto the VBulletin software for us, and sort out the transfer. And they did this without charge, and it's something we all appreciate. Ascariss and the rest of us staff are all busy with our lives, and simply wouldn't have been able to do such a big transfer without WCF helping us. So they done us a big favour. At the same time, they showed us the potential schemes for the site and both WCF and all the CSS staff agreed that this was the best layout. The adverts you see now on the site are there to pay for the hosting of this new site, and for that purpose only. And the new colour scheme was something that we thought would give the site a nice new makeover and take us forward.

All i've said above is the honest truth. ...

Thank you for the reply. :) And I don't doubt that all that you have said above is true. But, noting the highlighted statement, it appears that you guys optionally decided that these were the best colors and style to go with. Is this true also? It appears to be true in reading the words in your statement. Were you guys allowed to have input on the colors showing? The basic (no charge, no additional work necessary) vBulletin style is much better than this. Is it true that you guys selected these colors because as you state "the new colour scheme was something that we thought would give the site a nice new makeover and take us forward". That statement makes the color choices seem like they were your choices and that they were not forced onto you guys. As you can see from the replies in this thread, most of us disagree with the choice. Did the WCF guys specifically say to you guys
"No, you can not and must not use the vBulletin default colors on this board.
We do not want you to use that."
Did they ever say that to you? Thanks.