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Updates to Auszcar.com in future.


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#1 gav240z

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 10:30 PM

Hi Everyone,
I've been looking into upgrading the site in future to run on the same system as one of my other websites (www.vintagejdm.com), there are a few issues to resolve in order to do this, but my biggest concern is that all user passwords are stored in our database using MD5 encryption.

Translation, all users would need to use the "forgot my password" link to reset their passwords after migrating to the new system.

What is your opinion on this? Do you think it is a big inconvenience? Do you foresee major issues with this?

I don't want to alarm anyone yet, as I think these upgrades would be a while away.

I just wanted to get some feedback on this issue, as I think it would be the biggest issue with the upgrade.

No roadmap to the upgrade is planned yet, but it is something I will need to consider in the not too distant future, as the software I'm currently using will eventually require security upgrades that will be just as much effort as upgrading / migrating to new software.

If you have no idea what I'm on about here, feel free to let me know. :)

#2 DoctorZ

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 11:49 PM

Maybe if you have something clearly explaining what they need to do at the login screen of the new site then it shouldn't be a problem.
I've experienced that before with updated sites and it's never been a problem when the steps on what you need to do to setup or retrieve a password are right in front of you when you go to log in.

#3 sco_aus

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:10 AM

I shall trust your excellent judgement and do what is best for the site Gav.  It shouldn't be a problem and might even weed out some of the users who sighned up and didnt use it, giving a better idea of how many actuall users we have.

#4 Glen

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:58 AM

to easy ;D

#5 George

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:20 AM

drupal is an excellent platform, i use it myself. but... if you were planning on using the forums it comes with i'm against it. they're fine for a smallish community but crap for a growing one like this. smf is much more suitable and feature packed. honestly, most of the users are here for the forum and you'll be replacing that for a much more simple system. smf easily upgradable and i can see you're running 1.1.7 and to upgrade to 1.1.8 takes only a moment since you're running the default theme.

i see nothing wrong with the front page. it can use a small tidy up which will only take you a few minutes. this is what i would do.
  • get rid of the left hand modules. they're useless and doubled up. menu items are already on top. search is small and can fit on top right. rss is doubled up and sponsored links is blank...
  • let the posts expand close to the left border and increase the display word count. limit them to 5 posts on the front page
  • rename the club calendar to events and get some display uniformity on your top menus. currently they some of them don't display in certain sections of the site. they should all be visible in all sections of the site.
  • your gallery is one of the best scripts and doesn't need touching.
  • links can use a helping hand from the community.

pretty tidy site if you ask me. no need to go dilute the community by moving scripts. one last thing i would do to get some activity is select a few news/blog contributors for the front page. get someone that knows their stuff for jap z news to post that. another that's a purist and will post interesting tidbits of info about that. a racer that uses z's to post his experiences. someone to post editorial type stories. another to manage the events and links section. too easy gav. just need to let the community contribute more. no need to carry all that on your shoulders.

whatever you decide. good luck with it.


#6 gav240z

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 10:58 AM

drupal is an excellent platform, i use it myself. but... if you were planning on using the forums it comes with i'm against it. they're fine for a smallish community but crap for a growing one like this. smf is much more suitable and feature packed. honestly, most of the users are here for the forum and you'll be replacing that for a much more simple system. smf easily upgradable and i can see you're running 1.1.7 and to upgrade to 1.1.8 takes only a moment since you're running the default theme.

i see nothing wrong with the front page. it can use a small tidy up which will only take you a few minutes. this is what i would do.

  • get rid of the left hand modules. they're useless and doubled up. menu items are already on top. search is small and can fit on top right. rss is doubled up and sponsored links is blank...
  • let the posts expand close to the left border and increase the display word count. limit them to 5 posts on the front page
  • rename the club calendar to events and get some display uniformity on your top menus. currently they some of them don't display in certain sections of the site. they should all be visible in all sections of the site.
  • your gallery is one of the best scripts and doesn't need touching.
  • links can use a helping hand from the community.

pretty tidy site if you ask me. no need to go dilute the community by moving scripts. one last thing i would do to get some activity is select a few news/blog contributors for the front page. get someone that knows their stuff for jap z news to post that. another that's a purist and will post interesting tidbits of info about that. a racer that uses z's to post his experiences. someone to post editorial type stories. another to manage the events and links section. too easy gav. just need to let the community contribute more. no need to carry all that on your shoulders.

whatever you decide. good luck with it.


Hi George, thanks for the feedback. Its all really useful stuff and I agree on most parts. When I put this version of the site together there were certain things I wasn't completely happy with and as time has gone by and the site has grown I see lots of limitations.

I know what you are saying regarding SMF vs Drupal forums, but with a bit of work and some additional modules you can really improve Drupal's default set up, although it does require a fair amount of work.

To be honest I almost think that the simplicity of the Drupal forum system would favor some of our members since many of the older Zed fellows would probably find it easier without all the bells and whistles so to speak.

Front page navigation is doubled up, problem being more with Joomla and the theme I created. I have Sulio and Craig who have offered to help with front page news and events, but the CMS I'm using is not very forgiving and I really don't think its very well structured or flexible.

I want to be able to let others add events and have it automatically update and after the expiry date unpublish.

Also the featured cars section is really time consuming to put together, with Drupal I could add new feature cars in a matter of minutes. Now it takes me at least an hour or so.

I also want to give the home page more of a community feel but I agree with most of what you have said. I just think it would be easier to move everything to the 1 software system rather than use 3 like I do now. It would be more secure and easier to keep updated.

As I say though I don't have any immediate plans as I really have to find the time, but if I'm going to redesign the site and go to all the effort I figured I may as well make it possible to include lots of cool new features.

If only there were more hours in a day :).

#7 stevo_gj

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 08:31 PM

Gav we all appreciate what you do and I trust you to make these decisions. Whatever you think is best mate! :)

You're doing a terrific job.

#8 Scando

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 08:42 PM

I don't think it'd be an inconvenience at all to reset our passwords.  Keep up the good work Gav  :)

#9 Mr Camouflage

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:47 PM

Are your sure that people would need to change their passwords? Unless smf or drupal add extra stuff to the password before md5ing it, the old passwords should work.

#10 haul

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:51 PM

Go for it Gav, Should not be a problem.

#11 Lightmaster240z

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 10:41 PM

Specking as a older Z user go for it  ;D if it make your life easer then what wrong with that

#12 gav240z

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 10:54 PM

Are your sure that people would need to change their passwords? Unless smf or drupal add extra stuff to the password before md5ing it, the old passwords should work.


No I'm not sure, its just what I've been reading. I think you may have a valid point there. It might not even be necessary to change password or reset etc..

Thanks for all your feedback so far, if anything I want to expand the features available on this site, rather than take any away.

I know some admin features for this current forum are really useful, so I do have to keep researching to make sure I would be making the right decision should a change take place.

#13 gav240z

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:00 PM

smf easily upgradable and i can see you're running 1.1.7 and to upgrade to 1.1.8 takes only a moment since you're running the default theme.


Done :).

#14 stevo_gj

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:18 PM

Hey Gav just a thought. I have nearly talked a mate into buying a 2+2 but noticed when showing him what he could buy that there is a lot of clutter/incorrectly placed ads in the "Classifieds" section of the forum.

I was wondering if it would be beneficial for us to replace the current Classifieds section on the main forum page to look something like the technical side of the forums.

Currently we have:

Classifieds: (Classifieds): ((Parts for sale, Wanted, Ebay Expired Ads))

We could instead have it as:

Classifieds: (Cars for Sale, Parts for Sale, Wanted, Ebay Cars and Parts, Expired)

In other words the main forum page would show 5 headings instead of just the 1 (currently Classifieds).

The reason I think this would be better is because the current Classifieds section has a very general heading, and its easy to just put anything under it because its unspecific. People do this even though there are headings such as Wanted and Parts for Sale. I was thinking that removing the general heading would force people to use the correct section.

just my 2c mate

#15 gav240z

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:16 PM

Hey Gav just a thought. I have nearly talked a mate into buying a 2+2 but noticed when showing him what he could buy that there is a lot of clutter/incorrectly placed ads in the "Classifieds" section of the forum.

I was wondering if it would be beneficial for us to replace the current Classifieds section on the main forum page to look something like the technical side of the forums.

Currently we have:

Classifieds: (Classifieds): ((Parts for sale, Wanted, Ebay Expired Ads))

We could instead have it as:

Classifieds: (Cars for Sale, Parts for Sale, Wanted, Ebay Cars and Parts, Expired)

In other words the main forum page would show 5 headings instead of just the 1 (currently Classifieds).

The reason I think this would be better is because the current Classifieds section has a very general heading, and its easy to just put anything under it because its unspecific. People do this even though there are headings such as Wanted and Parts for Sale. I was thinking that removing the general heading would force people to use the correct section.

just my 2c mate


Interesting yes I will have and look and see if its possible to clean it up a little.

I'm actually thinking of changing the classifieds section of the site. Currently you have to be a member to list a car for sale. I get lots of emails saying I have this and that for sale and it takes up my time telling them to go to the forum and sign up.

Also the new system would automatically unpublish the old ads if they were not updated within X amount of days and send a reminder email to the seller.

I could also force people to fill in certain details before the ad would be published. So things like location / phone number / asking price would all be required fields.

There are lots of improvements I think I could make with it. I could even charge a $5 er for premium listings but I like to keep things free.

Thanks for the feedback though, I do realise it is a slight mess for the moment.

#16 stevo_gj

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:38 PM

Sounds like you're way ahead of me ;)

#17 gav240z

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 11:23 PM

What forum features do you use the most?

I've been giving more thought to moving to a new platform lately, and I've shown Sulio / Lurch and Craig some prototypes of the new system.

I think the most used features are:

1.) Quicky Reply
2.) Quote
3.) Smilies and Other Characters
4.) Signatures
5.) User Avatars
6.) Sticky Posts
7.) PM
8.) Recent Posts
9.) Online users

Most Used Moderator Functions
1.) Lock Topic
2.) Set Topic Sticky
3.) Merge / Move Topics
4.) Remove topic
5.) Edit reply

Other Functions
1.) Report post / Abuse

The new system will be able to handle all these features (if we eventually move to it). So what I need to know is if there is anything not in the list that people are using and think is essential to have if we move platform to a new system?




#18 gav240z

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 11:24 PM

Example of another forum running the same system.
http://gallery.menalto.com/forum

#19 RaceBorn

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:07 AM

I have been a member of quite a few other forums for a while now, and I found that a couple of them migrated from a "Freeware" solution to a paid one due to one reason. Security. One of them was hacked, and they had some downtime to migrate to a new platform, and the other forum followed suite once they saw the situation as well.

I realise that using a well designed freeware solution is always preferred, but I wanted to ask if you had considered using something like vBulletin (http://www.vbulletin.com/) or IPS (http://www.invisionp...oard/index.html). They offer the same things you seem to be looking for (gallery, blog, front portal page, and all the options you mentioned above that people "regularly" use), and because they are paid for, they seem to get more regular security updates, and have support (which I think is important if a community is of reasonable size)



#20 nedloh312

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:55 PM

Go with vBulletin. It's awesome, I use it on all my sites + it has vBulletins "Impex" which converts all the SMF stuff to vBulletin (Posts, Threads and users)




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