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View Full Version : The road ahead


Dave
06-13-2004, 02:21 PM
This site has been up and running for 5 years now. It was being held together by dozens of programs working indepedently of one another. There was one program for polls; one for news; one for the forum; one for contests; one for feedback; one for image of the day; and so on. This was normal 5 years ago, but the trend now is to have the site in a single, complete database. While technically there are still dozens of programs running, they are all connected to one another. The new system I've installed on the site does exactly this. It's called vbPortal and it's a Content Management System. It works in conjunction with the vBulletin software to provide a complete and unified site.

There were so many features in the past that I wanted to implement on the site, but never could due to technical issues. For example, I wanted to have a system that would allow people to comment on news postings. It's easy enough to install such a system; the problem comes in with people posting comments. Do I allow anonymous people to post, which would no doubt open up the flood gates for trolls? No, that wouldn't work. The alternative is to require people signup for an account in order to post comments. But who wants to have two accounts on a single site - one for posting on the forum and one for posting news comments? It just doesn't work.

This new portal allows for comments on everything - polls, reviews, stories, etc. The only requirement is that you be a member of the forum. No signing up for separate accounts; no having to remember multiple passwords. That's not all the portal brings, however. It frees up a lot of the webmaster responsibilities from myself. You all know my time is limited. With the new portal, reviewers can post their own reviews and site admin can post news and polls. It's easier to backup the site. It's easier to create and maintain new areas of the site. There are some other areas I've been wanting to add to the site; I can now easily do that.

Not everyone likes change. I know that. With this new site, we lose a bit of the personality we had. There was definitely some nostalgia value with the old site. It served us well and in a way I'm sad to see it go. I spent a lot of the time on old design and layout. Was is perfect? Not by a long short, but it worked for the time being. Make no mistake about it, though, the old site is gone. The new site is here to stay.

What's coming next? I'm still setting up the basic layout of the new site and implementing some of the features of the portal. You'll see small enhancements here and there. Random Image will be coming back! I know many people liked it, as did I. This may take a few weeks as I'm planning on having it just randomly pluck a screen shot from one of the existing reviews, whereas before I had to do a lot of manual work on Random Image and it only covered maybe 50% of the reviews at best.

After things have stabalized, I'll finally start putting on some movie-themed skins. That's another big, big advantage to this new portal. The ENTIRE site can be skinned now. Don't like the black background? No problem! With the click of a button you can give the entire site a completely different look. It's pretty cool. This will apply for the skins added in the future as well.

For those that don't already have an account in the forum, I encourage you to do so soon. To participate, you need to have an account. The forum has been opened to everyone for viewing, but there are still a few sections that are member-only. If a section shows up as having 0 posts, it means you do not have access to view it!

Finally, the site has been moved to a new server and a new host. Our old server and host served us well, but we have outgrown them. We needed more space, more bandwidth, and more speed. Now we have it. The forum is significantly faster now, and so is the rest of the site. The new Horrordvds.com is going to be more community driven. There are a lot of features I'll be adding to the site that I think you will enjoy.

Feedback is welcome. Just keep in mind the current layout is still work in progress. But if you have any concerns, problems, or just want to share your thoughts, please do so.

Grim
06-13-2004, 04:45 PM
Yeah, I noticed everytime I try to go on to Horrordvds.com, a login message comes up. I logged in like three times and it still won't let me on the site. I can, as you can see, get to the forum fine and dandy.

Lyle Horowitz
06-13-2004, 04:48 PM
I kind of like the new look, althought it's going to take some getting used to. Good job, Dave.

Grim
06-13-2004, 04:49 PM
Nevermind. I read around the boards and I think I figured out why. :D

Dave
06-13-2004, 05:04 PM
It will take some getting used to. But my goal is to get it somewhat similar to the old look. Navigation area is similar, and I'll be getting Random Image back soon.

Grim
06-13-2004, 05:15 PM
Wait, what new look? The forum seems pretty much the same to me.

Admin
06-13-2004, 05:23 PM
That was the goal - to keep the forum the same. You guys bitch if I change a single icon. :)

Grim
06-13-2004, 05:27 PM
Eh, no complaints here. I just hope to be reading some new reviews soon! :D

Tom Servo
06-13-2004, 06:13 PM
I think the new layout looks great. I look foward to all the new changes.

Horrorfan
06-13-2004, 06:50 PM
Dave excellent work. Although Im gona miss the old zombie logo. :(

Dave
06-13-2004, 06:52 PM
Dave excellent work. Although Im gona miss the old zombie logo. :(

I'll find a place for him. I love that graphic.

Crystal Plumage
06-13-2004, 09:01 PM
Great job,keep up the good work!

BloodMan
06-13-2004, 10:16 PM
Nice. Ya, that old zombie logo better stay on here somewhere. :)
Good job and stuff, Dave. :)

SalsaShark
06-13-2004, 10:29 PM
I'm really digging the unified look of the site, really ties everything together. I too miss the old logo, so if there's anyway you can fit it in somewhere, that would be cool. Keep up the good work, I've purchased many DVDs based on the recommendations from this site and haven't been disppointed yet!

mcchrist
06-14-2004, 01:04 AM
I'm not sure I'm keen on the idea, I'm not really fond of portals and the like, but wherever you want to take it go for it.

betterdan
06-14-2004, 01:33 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here. People are saying they love the new look but the only thing that has changed that I can see is the new logo. :hum:

chrishicks
06-14-2004, 01:45 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here. People are saying they love the new look but the only thing that has changed that I can see is the new logo. :hum:

ditto.

Lyle Horowitz
06-14-2004, 02:06 AM
Dan, Chris, are you guys BLIND?! Compared to the old layout on the main page, it looks TOTALLY different.

chrishicks
06-14-2004, 02:15 AM
the main page of the site or the forum? I have yet to see the main page of the site since all I get is "HTTP 404 Not Found" messages.

edit: if I try to access the main page at www.horrordvds.com all I get is the above posted message. I have to launch my compuserve software and use the browser for that in order to get the forum. if I just try to use my normal browser I can't get anything.

when I use my compuserve software I get a login message telling me to login that just keeps returning after I login. it just keeps looping.

Genrewriter
06-14-2004, 02:37 AM
I like the changes, definitely gives a more organised feel to the site (not that it wasn't before mind you). Are you planning on redoing the multimedia section?

betterdan
06-14-2004, 03:03 AM
I just keep getting the looping log on message at the main page also. Yea I guess it does look different since the main page doesn't show up except for a log on page that keeps telling me to log on although I already am. Other than that I see no "big" changes.

hell ya!
06-14-2004, 04:14 AM
Ya i get the same page.

Grim
06-14-2004, 04:24 AM
Same here. That's why I seemed so confused in the first couple posts.

chrishicks
06-14-2004, 04:38 AM
have you seen the mainpage that I get when I come to the site?
there's a post over in testing with a pic.

thrashard76
06-14-2004, 07:31 AM
I get the same log in loop. No dice here.

Horrorfan
06-14-2004, 07:46 AM
I have adopted the old horrordvd logo as my avatar. The Legacy will live on!!!!!!!! :banana: :banana: :banana:

RyanPC
06-14-2004, 08:19 AM
I love this new design and the whole idea of it. Way to go Dave! :)

thrashard76
06-14-2004, 08:26 AM
I am missing the letters A and part of c in the phrase Active Threads From The Forums on the front page. There is a slide bar on the bottom of the page but it doesn't uncover it....and the right side of the page is hidden but sliding the bottom bar uncovers it. Can this be readjusted to fit without the bottom bar?

Other than that, the page looks good.

Dusk
06-14-2004, 12:27 PM
I was skeptical at first - I really hate websites that are basically just forums - they're usually just excuses for the webmasters to be lazy and leave it to the fans to create content. But after seeing what Dave has done with the horrordvds.com site, I was blown away.

Dave
06-14-2004, 03:22 PM
I was skeptical at first - I really hate websites that are basically just forums - they're usually just excuses for the webmasters to be lazy and leave it to the fans to create content. But after seeing what Dave has done with the horrordvds.com site, I was blown away.

I can understand that. Some of the sites I've seen can make you think just that. They basically are just plain pages of the portal. But with what I'm doing, with what I will be doing, well, it's going to be a lot of working. If I wanted to be lazy, I would have stayed on the old design. I'm going to be doing a lot of custom hacking to get this site working the way I want. I'll be integrating a lot of features not part of the portal. And, perhaps most importantly, I'll be creating skins for the entire site.

CAPTainJRacine
06-17-2004, 07:59 PM
Its been several months since I came here, and I have to say I'm really impressed with the new layout.