Major Site Update – Splitcoaststampers.com

Yesterday we updated the Splitcoaststampers.com site, the absolute best site on the net for Rubber Stamping and Card Making,  with to the latest version of vBulletin, added a left column and did a whole bunch of system integration throughout the site. The project took approximately 4 months to complete, with tremendous work by Scott Bigelow, a great backend engineer and hardware guy, and Daven Nolta, the site manager, who kept us on track and on target for the community needs.

In addition to the standard upgrade stuff, we’ve added more Social Media functionality.  Facebook Connect buttons, a Twitter Stream, a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group.  There are several other big Social Media features we’ll be unveiling over the coming weeks, but thos will be subjects for another day.  

The important point is that the site is no longer running on a horribly out of date vBulletin install, which I’d taken as my personal mission to resolve.  If you’re using systems like vBulletin, you really need to stay current.

The upgrade wasn’t without it’s problems. We did find we had several issues with formatting when we went live. In further researching them, I find they were almost universally IE6 and almost universally using 800 x 600 screen resolution. The screen shots from users were almost comical, as some had 5 or 6 malware toolbars installed in their browsers, making the vertical space in the browser window almost non-existent.

If you are using IE6, I strongly urge you to try downloading Firefox or Google Chrome, or even the latest IE version(IE8). Your current browser is close to 10 years old. Your internet experience is lacking because of your use of outdated technology.

Also, I suggest you right click on any area of the empty desktop screen and click properties. Then click settings and increase your screen resolution. It is becoming very hard for us to support people using very low screen resolutions, when we also have to be able to handle very high resolutions as we are seeing from laptops. If I cater to you, the laptop users are going to see my site at postage stamp size.  And again, you’re missing out on a lot as no one really designs for small screen resolution anymore.

Oh, one very funny thing, we began our upgrade at around 10:30 am.  At 10:45 vBulletin released an update to their system, so as I was upgrading I immediately got a message about it.  Timing, it’s all in the timing.

2 Replies to “Major Site Update – Splitcoaststampers.com”

  1. Mark, nice work. I especially like the idea of moving the navbar, worst use of space on a vBulletin site and talk about prime real estate. I am surprised you don’t have any ads in the place. So, are you ready to do it all again in a few months when 4.0 comes out?

  2. 4.0 is one of the reasons I wanted to get this thing up to date.

    The left column was supposed to have an ad, but there was a lot of concern about how the community would react.

    Had some consternation when we noticed that the vBulletin is_browser function wasn’t sorting by version, hence we had ie6 fixes getting pumped into ie7. And when I fixed that, I broke everything else. Even with that, it wasn’t as bad an upgrade process as I feared. That’s gigundo site, with massive dbs.

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