Well, you may have noted some changes around here!
CCG underwent a very thorough upgrade overnight last night, and there is still a lot to be done.
Color issues and layout problems will be getting worked on over the next few days, and ironed out, but we still invite anyone to make all the bug reports they are able.
(We have a new contact form right at the bottom, in the footer, which should pretty much guarantee that our staff will see the messages/suggestions/bug reports very quickly.)
In light of this 'upgrade', we thought we would fill everyone in on some of the differences.
Some are more obvious than others. We have a new color palette, which includes a new logo and branding. If you make a reply to a thread now, you'll see a semi-opaque version of the logo in your reply window.
This logo and branding has already been shared out to our Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Youtube, Discord, and Steam as well.
Some people might miss our old colors and design, but the Christian Crew has generally upgraded its look every two or three years for as far back as it has existed.
This particular color palette, (exemplified by a nice, cool blue, and white on dark grey) is paying homage to several of CC's older sites. Our first blue/dark site came around 2003 or 2004 and we had another in 2007, , followed by our 2009 site and two or three iterations of that site every couple of years until our last design, which started being used in September of 2016. As you can see, quite a few of our past sites used cooler colors to great advantage.
The list of sites that didn't, would include the first CC News Page from 2003 , our 2005 site , (lovingly known as the "brown site".) And of course, our last design.
This site has kept much of the infrastructure and some of the design elements of that site, but has returned our colors to these 'easier on the eyes' shades you see now.
Anyway, time to spare you any more CC History, and jump right in to even more of the cool new features!
- Social Logins - Most people already noticed this, since this upgrade was performed before the main upgrade. It allows you to either register for the first time on our forums using your existing accounts elsewhere, or to link your existing account with those other accounts for quicker and easier logins, etc.
- Emojis - You now have the ability to search for emojis, just like you might do on Discord, using what you might call the ":2L" method. On Discord, *and now on the forums*, when you type a colon, followed by 2 Letters or numbers, you get a handy search box full of emojis, generally starting with the first two letters or numbers you type. ':2L', See what I did there? (There are currently 881 emojis, and I believe we can create custom emojis also!) Please note that if this doesn't work for you in a Quick Reply, you should try loading the Full Editor and trying it there.)
- PM Name AutoSearch - Now, when you go to send a PM, you can go to the Add Recipient field and just type a couple of letters, and instantly, every registered forum account on CC that starts with those letters will pop up, allowing you to choose one with a single click of the mouse! Scha-weet!
- Clock - Our forum now has a clock in the top bar, which will reflect whatever time it is in the time zone you have set locally for you. It's analog, not digital. You need to know how to read an analog clock, seriously.
- Breadcrumb Menu - This one's kind of neat! If you hover your mouse over the "Board Index" link in the top OR bottom of the forums, a nice little animated series of drop-down 'breadcrumbs' will open, allowing you to navigate to other forum sections MUCH FASTER. Give it a shot!
- Applications & Forms - Pretty much every application or form that CC uses has been updated to new ones that give our staff far more control over their content. Most people might not see the use in this, but trust me when I tell you that these upgrades will make our applications much more customizable in the future! Again, our Contact Us link at the top OR bottom of our forums will actually post your message into a Staff forum where it is SURE to be seen pretty quickly.
- Our forums now make use of the Open Graph Protocol. Facebook and Discord and many others use this protocol to share pertinent 'excerpts' from websites and links. When you post or share a URL on Facebook, notice how after a few seconds, *USUALLY* a nice little 'article window pops up with a graphic, photograph, or avatar from that article or website, and a brief excerpt of the content? Our forums can do that to certain URLs now. The bigger and more likely to have 'OGP tags' built into the site, the more likely our forums will view it.
An example might be: The New York Times url simply typed into a post will produce:
Our own website has recently had Open Graph meta tags added to it, so it will create a nice result as well. (Keep in mind this is very new, and we can style it further as we progress.)
If you want to bypass OGP excerpts and still post a link, just use our handy "Url" bbcode...It's the little 'earth link' icon on the toolbar above, and any link posted this way will be ignored by Open Graph.
The database for our forums is very large, over 300mb, and is over 9 years old. Positioning new designs and/or software on top of it produces some interesting challenges that the TWO development sites didn't show. So, the site IS a work in progress.
We are 1000% okay with any bug reports, color corrections, suggestions, or otherwise as we move forward, some rather glaring ones have already been taken care of.
You are welcome to use our Contact Us form at the top and bottom of the forums to let Staff know immediately when you find things we might not have seen yet. That form actually posts your communication straight into a Staff Inbox where someone is sure to see it very quickly.