Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

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Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Wesley » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:31 am

TL;DR: A responsive theme is on its way to Chatty Christians and should be ready by the weekend. Mobile users rejoice!!

The long winded version:

Many of you have already asked for a more mobile friendly means of accessing the site. Furthermore, as I look at the site's analytics, I'm stunned by how many people use a phone to browse it! Doubly furthermore, as I do general topic research in the arena of websites and web design, the trend for sites to cater to mobile devices is skyrocketing in the last twelve months. Even more so than previous years, which was already considerable. Quantcast is measuring a startling rise in mobile devices that are access sites, and if you don't make the experience pleasant for mobile phone users, you are a bad person. Or something.

The best idea when making a site for mobile users is to make a design that is "adaptive" or "responsive." Meaning the site is in essence one theme / style but the CSS involved will expand and contract appropriately no matter what the resolution is of the viewing device. No dealing with dual themes, user agent detection, or mobile / tablet apps. As a result, I've found a theme that is awesome and will also supply some other design features I've been wanting. Namely a sidebar on the home page to put some information, and also better footers. If you want to see what the theme will look like in about a week, check it out here. Check it out on your phones and tablets too!

I've got some customizing to do yet, and also some backtracking to do on some current customizations that were made for the current theme. All in all I'm happy with what I see. I should note that there is a very, very small pool of phpBB themes and theme designers out there to choose from. This theme is, IMO, the best one there is right now. RocketTheme has quite a selection, but they are lacking in a few areas that surprises me for a design house that normally puts out stellar products.

Questions:

Will I be able to use the current theme as an option?
I'm leaning towards "No." I'm planning on removing this current theme (known as Prosilver2). Keeping it would mean maintaining two themes (technically called "Styles" in phpBB parlance), preserving customizations through updates, and supporting differences between the two. I'm already doing that for mobile devices which are given a totally separate theme right now. A theme which frankly stinks. Using this new theme "Metro" will mean there is only one theme to maintain for all devices. Less work, more happy. In theory.

Will you still have app support?
Yes! Albeit In the kinda distant future; perhaps the early fall. I'm leaning towards TapATalk for app support and the first step will be to simply add the site to their directory which is a free process for ChattyChristians. There is an iDevice version and an Android version. The trouble is that you have to pay for the app, but in so doing you get access to every single forum that TapATalk has in their catalog which I believe is in the thousands. You'll then search for ChattyChristians.com and be able to interact with the site that way.

Wait, what's the different between all the versions of TapATalk?!
I don't know. There's TapATalk Community Reader, but then there's also TapATalk 4 for Android, but TapATalk 2 for iTunes, but then different TapATalks that have different colors... it's kind of weird and I'm not really certain what it's all about. Rest assured, when I get us registered with them, I'll learn about it all and explain it so that no one gets something they don't want. But of course, with the new responsive theme, you won't have to use a paid app to talk on the forum if you don't want to. This is just for those users who prefer to use TapATalk as a matter of preference.

Can we make our own app?
In the future, future, future, it would be cool to license TapATalk to have our very own self-branded version that is unique to our site. It's on my radar and would be quite an amazing way to draw in more users just by millions of people searching the iTunes and Google Play app stores for Christian stuff. Many forums have their own app licensed through TapATalk, but it's not in our financial future right now. :D

I don't like the new look!
I... I... :cry:

When will it go live?
I'm hoping around the weekend. I've got some code to tweak and test to make it all our own and have our own flavor (flavour for all you Canadians and Europeans). I'll warn you before I flip the switch. Stay tuned! :shock:
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Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Wesley » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:23 am

So I've been using this new style as my default theme, testing it out before I unleash it on everyone. "Eating my own dog food" as the saying goes. All I can say is: I feel sorry for everyone that isn't using it yet and am totally spoiled. :D
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Deacon » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:36 am

I want to use it....jerk...:(
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby little_tigress » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:57 am

I've seen it. Its so lovely. You people will fall in love with it.
❥ ~❥~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥
Qu'ils sont beaux sur les montagnes, Les pieds de celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, Qui publie la paix! De celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, Qui publie le salut! De celui qui dit à Sion: ton Dieu règne!
Ésaïe 52:7
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Amber » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:09 pm

Wesley wrote:So I've been using this new style as my default theme, testing it out before I unleash it on everyone. "Eating my own dog food" as the saying goes. All I can say is: I feel sorry for everyone that isn't using it yet and am totally spoiled. :D


little_tigress wrote:I've seen it. Its so lovely. You people will fall in love with it.



ELITEISM AND PLAYING FAVORITES!!!!

I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW! (*^%^*&^(*&)(**)(*)(*(

Image

Actually, no, no I don't. I like anticipation too much to get instant gratification.
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Edwards1984 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:23 pm

Yay!
"And how the Lord has a little left me, how weak do I find myself! O, let it teach me to depend less on myself, to be more humble, and to give more of the praise of my ability to Jesus Christ." Jonathan Edwards (from his journal)
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Deacon » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:01 am

Wesley, just so you know, I couldn't reply to your PM...I think you have PMs for us registered users off....
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Sara » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:24 am

C'mon and let us have it!! :D
Love always wins.
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby Wesley » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:22 am

Deacon wrote:Wesley, just so you know, I couldn't reply to your PM...I think you have PMs for us registered users off....

Yikes! Sorry! I think I fixed it now.

Sara wrote:C'mon and let us have it!! :D
Sara wrote:C'mon and let us have it!! :D

It's coming! I'm trying! :lol:
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Re: Changes are on their way! A new visual style cometh.

Postby r035198x » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:01 am

I don't suppose there are Bootstrap based themes on phpBB yet?
I think you will find Bootstrap based themes easier to maintain going forward especially if you use font-awesome and less with them.
Best I've seen (didn't look closely myself though) is http://shibulijack.github.io/proBoot/ which is boasting
HTML5
CSS3
Responsive
Fluid Layout and more..


Kind regards

r035198x(<------washes mouth for saying "php", washes mouth again for saying ...
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