Jump to content

Forum upgrade


Orioni

Recommended Posts

user posted image

 

star.gifWay back when

Our region was founded on January 9th, 2004. Four months later these forums were created. Back then the RMB didn't hold more than 10 posts, so everyone was happy to have a dedicated place to continue their conversations. Since most other regions had their own setup with Invisionfree, we decided to go the same route. 13 years ago this was a good choice. A free forum, not hosting costs, and with no limits to how much we could post.

 

Today it's 2017. Times have changed, but our technology stayed the same. Social media emerged. The internet became mobile. But these forums never really received an upgrade. People regularly mentioned about not always being able to use the forums. (I'm looking at you, Vocena, Suverina and Andalla.) This shortage of features did not go unnoticed.

 

star.gifGoodbye Invisionfree...

A few months ago, Invisionfree announced that zIFBoards is now a part of Tapatalk. The announcement included the message that Invisionfree would be phased out. Admins have the option of either: converting to ZetaBoards, or converting to Tapatalk.

 

While these two platforms are much better adapted to modern standards, I could not find any guarantees about preserving functionality. (This is my personal opinion.) Rather, the support forums seem to be receiving quite some complaints about conversions to Tapatalk. This prompted me to explore alternatives.

 

star.gifThe third way

The past summer I have been experimenting with several other forums platforms: NodeBB, phpBB, Xenforo, SMF. I also setup a short trial with InvisionPower, the original creators behind the CMS of Invisionfree. This last experiment was the most satisfying. Other testers shared this opinion.

 

I also received confirmation from InvisionPower that our current database in v1.3 could be converted and upgraded to v4.2, which is a central requirement in my selection process. For those of you who know your way around NationStates, this is the same forum system used by other regions such as Equilism.

 

star.gifGetting from here to there

To help explain what will happen, I would like to draw a little roadmap. This will give you an insights into what is going to happen steps.

  1. Export our database. I have discussed this with Invisionfree, and am close to finishing. This export will cost $90 or $1 per 1000 posts. Any new post made after the export will not be moved to the new platform. This current forum will remain open as a read-only archive.

  2. Convert database. Since Invisionfree runs on the v1.3 system of over 15 years old, we're lucky to still be able to convert our data into something modern. I am glad this option exists.

  3. Import into InvisionPower and continue. Should be done in about 2-5 days, if not sooner. Your current logins should work fine on the new system. These new features come at a price. Our (relatively) small community would fit the plan of $20/month, which is less than paying for cabletv. This is something i can take care of.
star.gifThat Europa thing

These past 13 years we have created our own style. I will work some technical magic to keep our design as it is. I will also port over our smilies and other images.

 

One nice new feature will be the option to set a custom domain name. Suggestions from the community are welcome and encouraged. Please do share your thoughts and ideas. You can use a free tool like this to check if your idea for a name is still available. Try not to suggest names that are too expensive. https://shop.gandi.net/en/domain/suggest

 

star.gifQuestions?

I am sure you are bursting with questions. I will try to answer all of them as good as I can.

Link to comment
Will the new forum be different in any particular ways?

I participated in some beta-testing and to summarise it works just the same way, it has just received a major update. You could react to posts (thumbs up, a bunch of emojis, etc.), the profile pages were heavily upgraded to resemble social media profiles, etc. Basically, the user experience gets a lot better.

Link to comment

Will the new forum be different in any particular ways?

No. I will try to make it look like home.

 

And also yes.

 

From what I experienced, these are the best additional features I look forward to using.

  1. Search. One that actually works.
  2. Mobile. For those on phone or tablet.
  3. Reputation. Activity gives points, which can be traded for something.
  4. Editor. The rich text editor is a real improvement.
  5. @mentions. Get someone's attention inside a post.
  6. Tags. To sort posts.
  7. No more ads. Isn't that great?
  8. Clubs. Like groups you can join.
  9. Custom layout. I have some nice plans for this.
  10. Custom themes. Does this need any explaining?
  11. Embed. You can easily add a video to your post.
  12. Admin. Much more features for managing.
Have a look at this for everything that's possible. https://invisioncommunity.com/features
Link to comment
One nice new feature will be the option to set a custom domain name. Suggestions from the community are welcome and encouraged. Please do share your thoughts and ideas. You can use a free tool like this to check if your idea for a name is still available. Try not to suggest names that are too expensive. https://shop.gandi.net/en/domain/suggest

All the good names with europa are sold. You can still register afropa.fr biggrin.gif

 

I have another question. Fleur de Lys explained at me how our old stories will stay online. Is this true?

 

 

Link to comment

I have another question. Fleur de Lys explained at me how our old stories will stay online. Is this true?

Yes, that's correct. I've been in touch with Invisionfree about receiving a database dump. These will be converted and re-imported. See the above part where I explain the three steps.

 

Suggestions for domain names are very welcome and encourages. Personally, I think we can look bigger than Afropa or Europa for names. wink.gif But there is nothing to keep you from registering afropa.fr if you really want it. Could be a nice touch to redirect that URL to your nation.

Link to comment

Suggestions for domain names are very welcome and encourages.

Orioni and I have spoken about domain names before, I'll give you all the TL;DR here:

  • europa-ns.net (14$)
  • europa-ns.com (9$)
  • europa-rpg.com (9$)
  • euro.pa (definitely the coolest one, but 300$)
  • nationstates.eu (.eu domains are hard to get)
Link to comment

Thanks for contributing. smile.gif

 

Just so you know: we still welcome more ideas for this domain name. The new forums will be created *this month*, maybe even next week already. So please do share your thoughts and ideas. Thanks!

 

Here are some of my own ideas.

eurpg
proxima europa
res publica

Link to comment

Just an update to explain where we are right now.

Demo IPS forum (26/Aug/2017)
 Request database from Invisionfree (26/Aug/2017)
 Announce upgrade (12/Sep/2017)
 Pay Invisionfree for database (13/Sep/2017)
 Receive database from Invisionfree (20/Sep/2017)
 Conversion to IPS (22/Sep/2017)
 Finalise domain name selection (22/Sep/2017)
 Setup custom domain name (23/Sep/2017)
 Setup Google Analytics (23/Sep/2017)
 Setup Google Search Console (23/Sep/2017)
 Open up new forums (1h)
 Setup IPS (3h)
 Read-only old forums (30m)
 Transfer any important in-between messages (2h)
 Update links on NS (30m)
 Setup design (1h)
 Setup plugins (3h)
 Tag existing posts (2h)
 Re-upload most important old flags (1h)
Setup NS RMB feed (30m)
Setup Discord feed (1h)
Organise clubs (1h)
Organise funding (2h)

Link to comment
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...