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gamingforums.net - Feedback Please

Discussion in 'Forum Showcase and Critiques' started by Robust, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    Hey,

    Just looking for feedback on my forum. What do you think so far? I've focused partly and mainly on optimisation without having to pay, so server side etc and I've only gotten up to basic optimisations and our site is quite fast, 400ms load time when I last checked it on Pingdom. My main focus now is user experience, so I'd like some feedback. This isn't an advertisement thread though, but I'll leave our forum body for forums we advertise on just to show you some of what we had planned back when we had MyBB.

    Let me know please.

    [align=center][​IMG][/align]

    [align=center]Gaming Forums -==- https://www.gamingforums.net[/align]

    [hr]

    Latest Updates:
    27 August 2014
    - We have moved over to XenForo. We also now use FULL STRICT SSL. That means that you pass on data over to CloudFlare in a secure connection, and CloudFlare passes it to us in a secure connection. CloudFlare will only accept a valid SSL certificate. We use organisation level SSL certificates for this.

    Due to moving to XenForo we lose functionality like awards, but honestly that's not a worry! I'm quite glad actually. I'm sick of forums trying to pull off a HF, usergroups, awards, all that stuff, make a few bucks and close down. Considering that, I'm glad we have what a forum board should be, not some bloated piece of software covered with layers of useless features. We are a forum, a place for gamers to interact, and we want members in general, whether gamers or not, to have fun communicating. They shouldn't aim to have the most decked out profile. In my opinion that's not right, and I don't see other big forums doing that.

    30/08/2014 - A successful move! We have moved over to a new host, with more power and resources to make sure the site runs smoothly. With better connectivity too, this site is much faster off the bat, and with our own optimisations we have insanely fast pagespeeds.

    [hr]

    We have some general discussion forums for just relaxing and having fun.

    About Us
    Gaming Forums is a forum made by gamers, for gamers. Gaming Forums is here for people to have a chill time, to relax, to make new friends, to game with others and discuss on a variety of other topics. After you come home from a tiring day of work or school you'll want something to relax, lots of people talk to friends, go out, play on their console or PC, and our mission is to bring all of these things together. A community where you can meet gamers, interact with gamers and have a fun time. And hey, not interested in gaming? We have other forums too for a bit of chit chat, and we won't hesitate to make more if that's what people want to do.

    Mission Statement
    Our objective isn't to bring any other forum down, so don't make that out of my statement, but it's a fact that lots of boards start and end very quickly. Sometimes the members make excellent contributions, and one morning you're just trying to find something but you're greeted by a nice "Cannot connect to remote server" message by your browser, and that sucks because either that data was something you needed, or someone you wanted to talk to or whatever the reason is. And that sucks for me too, it happens so many times. We are a board here to stay. We've invested almost two thousand USD into this forum already, and won't hesitate to invest more. We aren't here for profit, if we were we'd probably just buy some normal domain, go ahead and use some free theme and launch, and that setup doesn't say anything about the community, nor how much fun you'll have there, that simply states that the forum may not have the backing to stay around. We have the money to make sure this forum isn't going anywhere, we want to make sure the site is fast, and hence we are optimised at blazing fast speeds and working hard to make sure we continue getting those quick speeds. We want to have a warm community, a community that can have a fun time, because at the end of the day this is all a way to seek entertainment. All the statistics of mine you see, post count and the lot, that's all because I was entertained by content and felt like participating in it, having a nice discussion and so on. We invest more money into R1Soft and a backup server than anything else to make sure your data is always there, and always there for a backup if there are ever any issues, we won't be going down any time soon. Surely we can't expect to make all our investments back soon enough (financially anyway). I've had a few concerns about people getting engaged into the board and the owner closing it down, that won't happen, my personal seal is on that.

    None of our staff team will be standing on the other side of the path acting like they're any bigger than anyone else, including me. We want to be in the action and have fun ourselves, we chose gaming as our topic for that reason :) Please feel free to interact with us, have fun talking to us, and if need be act the same with us as you would anyone else, because quite frankly everyone can express their opinion to anyone else, as long as it's displayed in a mature way, no-threatening and abides by forum rules, and on that topic, we don't want to restrict anyone with a large chunky wall of text, we just want to make sure everyone has a safe and fun time, and acknowledge that we have a variety of different age groups and personalities, we are tweaked to suit everyone.

    We've invested weeks into this, I've had this domain for two months or so now, and we've been wanting to make this for about three or so. That's quite a long time. We don't want to bust out with something half completed. We're here with the full experience we can provide.

    What do we want?
    What's the catch eh? Why are you telling us this? Bragging or something? Nope, I just want to assure you that we are going to stay, and stay in a way that isn't serious. Our boards remain professional, all official, permanent content is written to the best of our ability, professionally and the lot, but that doesn't mean that that's what we want from a forum. We want a chill time, we are loose people ourselves. I'm not here looking for mature people, perfect posts, picture perfect robots, we have enough bot spam for that (two spam threads every minute for the past month of board installation, eventually I got fed up and coded myself some ways to protect against it :p, nothing has gotten through since). We just want the following
    • A nice community
    • Active discussion on a variety of topics
    • A chill community, be yourself, relax, take some time to have a blast, go wild :p
    • Feedback, we'd love to know where we can improve and what you think about us

    What can we offer you?
    • Friendly, fun atmosphere
    • Fun, involved staff team
    • A beautiful theme
    • Security and reliability
    • Every single one of our awards are achievable awards
    • Custom modules i.e Marketplace system
    • A growing community

    Why Us
    A thing I get told a lot is "gaming is a terrible niche", "saturated market". I really hate it when people call my idea a niche or a market. I'm not here to profit a great deal, and I don't consider that. I've made a couple of gaming suggestion threads here, some of which have been implemented and others died in the wave of suggestions, I really love gaming, I love discussing gaming just as much and honestly I think there are improvements that can be made as to how it sums up, and that's what I'd like to do here, an easy way to discuss games, organised and the lot but the main priority is simply fun.

    We've been in planning for months, had the domain for two months. We've waited until we are sure the backend is secure enough, until we have a safe environment and are able to offer you our very best. We've started a short while ago and already got a growing community.

    Our promise. We will not sell this forum. We will not give up. We will not sell our board to be merged. We will not employ new leadership teams, staff or so on for money. We will never be crazy money oriented. You will not find your efforts wasted.

    [align=center]Gaming Forums -==- http://gamingforums.net[/align]
     
  2. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Very. Good. Domain.

    Excellent work on that! :)

    You might want to get a skin for the site; I'd wait for 1.4 before getting the skin.

    Otherwise, good luck on the site. Must. Have.
     
  3. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    So many forums....and almost all are empty. I'd work on dwindling that down until there is more activity.
     
  4. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    Thanks, it cost us quite a lot of money.

    Regarding the style, my partner quite likes the default one and I don't mind it. Boards like digitalpoint use the default too, so yeah.

    They shut down very quickly, some try to make some quick profit, others do it as a hobby. We do it professionally, and I'll keep at it, because it's a hobby as well. Quite fun and lots to learn from it. Dwindling what down by the way?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  5. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    I wasn't referring to people creating forums, I'm referring to all of YOUR forum (categories). And that is what I'm talking about dwindling down.
     
    Adham.M likes this.
  6. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    Ah, alright, I might narrow them down heavily.
     
  7. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    The number of forums have been significantly reduced. Thank you.
     
  8. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Another person who bought a domain for a premium price! :D
    Your users might mind it, potential visitors might mind it.
     
  9. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    I dunno, themes are expensive and I don't want to invest too much and if the forum doesn't work out despite our attempts then we're leaving with a big fat hole in our pockets, so I don't want to fork out a standard 2.5k or something on a theme by Audentio for example.
     
  10. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about design at the start. If there is a free one you like, you may choose to use it. Otherwise, I'd wait to get established. I've seen huge sites through the years that have stuck with defaults (whether it was on vb, ipb, or other platforms).
     
  11. Spawne32

    Spawne32 Active Member

    What plugin is that highlighting the posts on the main page?
     
  12. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    @Jaxel's xenPorta.

    But if you only want a portal like that, you might [also] want to look at @Brogan's Featured Threads/Portal plugin.
     
    Robust likes this.
  13. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    I was considering UI.X but it's heavily overused. Perhaps one of its sub styles. I don't want to dish out about a thousand on a completely custom style just to please people who look more at the fact the site is using something private than how the theme actually looks and functions regardless of how many use it. Been asked for a different theme a lot, so I'd like some suggestions. Preference right now is a theme under $100.
     
  14. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    You asked about UI.Flex. It's a nice skin, the problem with the idea is that one of your members didn't like one of the yellow hues for quotes. So, my suggestion (since you heavily talk about Minecraft and similar franchises), get Tactical by @Audentio. I'm currently looking at it as a Call of Duty skin.
     
  15. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    There will always be someone who dislikes something, naturally everyone likes something else. I don't think the majority will mind the quotes. Trying to find something generally attractive.
     
  16. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I don't mind the quotes, either... but I don't think you understand what I meant. UI.Flex's category strips has the same yellow hues as the quotes, so if he doesn't particularly like the quotes, then he won't like the skin. Unless you modify the category strips.

    Thing is, you need to cater to your first 5-10 members, or something like that. Then from there, you can expand the community because your current members already like it. Word of mouth.
     
  17. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    I don't want to have to keep replacing it simply because one of the members doesn't like it, I'll try to work with the majority but at the end of the day I need a solution to last a good month or two nicely.
     
  18. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    Can I get some more feedback please? :)
     
  19. Optic

    Optic Well-Known Member

    Please fix the BBCode within your spoiler tag in your OP, I clicked on your link and it took me to a broken page.

    Aesthetically it looks nice. Just need more content to compel visitors to stay, noticed you're testing Vaultwiki. Look forward to seeing what Wiki pages you come up with. :)

    You need to address the grammar in your welcome text:
    Finally, I have mixed feelings about the Battlefield 4 image you've chosen for your welcome notice box. I think you should consider a montage of various different gaming titles, or perhaps a montage of all the different consoles out there as it seems your forum is more about general gaming discussion as opposed to discussing a specific title.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  20. Robust

    Robust Well-Known Member

    @Optic Fixed a lot of that. Thanks :)

    I agree, but I don't want clutter. Like I'd rather have something general gaming once I get an idea of what to use. Battlefield is definitely too specific, it's there temporarily, and since our audience is gaming in general we shouldn't be aiming for one game in official things like that. I might do consoles, but again, that might be cluttered. I can do a general image like a blue pattern, but I need something to stick out and grab the attention, that's why we have that notice. So I'm not sure on what image to use there.
     

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