Thanks, always a pleasure to be back here (even if its in short batches ;;D)
My family issues and others have lessened but still a bit volatile. Still better than before. Anyhow good enough for me to post here :)
Yeah I have no issues with the front page for this and the old site. it is just the forum section... which currently doesn't resemble a forum. Discourse could possibly be a better alternate choice. we will see how it'll go.....
Okay so I did some surfing. I found the categories tab here (which unfortunately I missed on my first run through of this site, though did notice it instantly when browsing Discourse). Anyhow, with the category option available here as well, One of my navigation issue is cleared.
In regards to Navigation(Via Categories), there wasn't much of a difference between Discourse and Vanilla,
Over here, we still retained all the Forums and sub-forum titles from FTP-Anime, Only other issue is that they all appear to be shown in a single file.
If by some admin control, there can be some aesthetics changes to that:
Bold or underline the main category-thread titles, to differentiate between the forums and its sub-forums... that would be a great help.
As currently, like I stated, everything is stringed together without gaps, they have all been rolled out, forums and their sub-forums. (it is something like a repetition)
Another aspect that I noticed was the HIDE option.
Now I am not sure if that is available to non moderator user accounts and to what effect it brings out the changes to the site (user side only or total forum based)
If you could look into that and test out if you could hide the child\sub-forums of any of the parent-forums from the complete category list. Then that would solve the problem of congestion of threads.
If you open the category (one of the forums of FTP-Anime)
You will notice that it contains some threads, but above them are its sub-forums
navigating to the Contests sub-forum will reveal its own threads.
The main issue here is that this site (Vanilla architecture if I am not mistaken) treats both The-Creative-Corner and Contests as separate categories without any distinction in the ALL-Categories list. (And from the looks of it, It will be the same in a Discourse architecture website\blog\forum... whatever this is called)
So. Test out that hide feature and see if you could hide the sub-forums from the all-categories list. If they do get hidden server side (meaning for all users\guests) then check if they are still visible AND accessible from their parent forums.
If all goes well then we this should give somewhat of a clean-concise look\feel to the whole forum.
BUT there is another issue. Even if this method to clean the categories list does work. Could the Admin (for I as a mod did not see any option of creating categories) create future sub-categories\forums for a new main forum\category and then repeat the earlier step of hiding the sub from the all-category list, thus only showing the new main category.
If that all is possible in Vanilla and Discourse then the other issue left would be pricing plans for both hosting sites. Because right now,
$ 199 /month ~~~ $ 599 /month (Advanced ~ Corporate)
This to me seems quite a high price to pay. Especially if the only option of getting back something in return would be via donations.
Did not find the pricing plan for Discourse but the discussions I read stated that Vanilla is expensive (now that from February it was no longer a free service,. from what I understood)
Next: I do not have any complaints about the page scrolling as there seems to be an option of jumping to the last page in both hosts (though did not find a say \Load specific amount of pages\ option)
Lastly. the most important aspect of a website to me. Graphics\addons, skins and overhaul Theme support. I saw Vanilla has this but what about discourse. Will the final site have user changeable themes or server side themes or none at all.
Lots of fancy stuff here:
showing the changes that can be made:
Okay this is weird.. I was positive I saw somewhere here on this site(near the bottom of a page), a Vanilla logo.. but can not seem to find it anymore.
Anyways even if this site\forum is not based on vanilla.. we all were discussing moving to Vanilla or Discourse so my points remain valid either ways :P