As you can see, we have finally upgraded the forums to vBulletin 3.5. This new version has some new features for both you the users and us the admins.
As with any new version, there may still be bugs or we may have messed up when installing the various hacks/add-ons/plug-ins, so if you see something that doesn't look right, either reply to this thread or send me or RossMAN a PM.
Besides the new overall look of the forum, there are many new features that either were a part of vB 3.5 or that we added after the fact to give you added functionality. A lot of the smaller things you'll find on your own, but here are a few of the bigger changes:
* Member Pages: in your User CP, there will now be a link to create or edit your "user page". You can use this page as a "super signature" to post whatever you want - pictures, text, etc... You can use it to list items you are trying to sell, post links to your favorite sites - whatever you want. You can browse others' pages by clicking the "Member Pages" link above on the navigation bar. Each member page also has a "shoutbox" where you can communicate about that page with each other like your own forum thread.
* New Avatars: we have added several new categories of avatars in case you don't want to find a custom avatar to use. Many of these new avatars were custom made for this board from various sources.
* Create New Thread on Forum Home Page: next to each forum title on the forum home page is a little "page" icon. Clicking this will allow you to create a new thread in that forum right from the home page. This saves a click as you don't have to go into the forum and then click the "new thread" button if you don't want to.
* Members Visited Today: at the bottom of the forum home page, in addition to the list of members currently online, there is now a list of everyone who has been to the site since midnight. Hovering over their username will show you the time they were last online.
* Expanded "Top 7" Statistics: the very popular "top 7" statistics are back, and are improved. Click on the title of that section and you will be taken to an expanded, dedicated statistics page where you can determine how many of the top/newest/most recent stats you want to see on that page.
* GottaDeal Hot Deals: at the bottom of every page will be a drop down menu where you can quickly see at a glance the latest deals posted on the main site. Just click on a deal and it will take you directly to that deal's page on the main GD site.
* Back to Top Icons: in every post in every thread, in the bottom right corner there is a little icon with an arrow pointing up. Clicking that will take you to the top of that page in case you need to see the original post.
* Inline Editing: now when you edit your posts, you can do so right on the actual thread page. The text of your post changes to an edit box where you can make changes and re-save your post. If you need more formatting controls, click the "Go Advanced" button to go to the traditional form. Also any "new post" text boxes can be expanded in height using the arrow icons in the upper right corner - try it out.
* Notification of New PMs: with the previous version, those using IE saw a flashing box when you had a new PM. It didn't work for Firefox, so for this version we will have the PM box be a neon green with a little flashing red LED. This works in both IE and FF and should be enough to catch your eye should you have new PM(s) waiting.
* GottaPoints System: this system awards you points for various things on the forum. These points will be able to be redeemed for entries into our contests, and in the future you will be able to redeem your points for things like free GD t-shirts & pens, and other items. I will be making a new thread for this system, so check for that to get much more info on this new feature.
* vBulletin Lite for PDAs/Phones: in the bottom left corner of the page you can select your "skin" for the forum. One of these skins is called "GottaDeal.com Lite" and is an extremely stripped-down version perfect for PDAs, cell phones or when you don't want the full graphical version (i.e. work, etc...). There is also a skin called "GottaDeal.com SFW" which is a more work-friendly version in greyscale with no avatars or sigs. There is also a "GottaDeal.com Classic" skin which looks very similar to the old version.
Other than these new additions, the board should work pretty much the same as it has. We tried to keep a similar look, but wanted to make it a little more "pretty" and brighten it up a little compared to the older darker blue color scheme.
If you see anything wrong, or have suggestions for how to improve the forum, please reply to this thread or let us know via PM.
So that's it, welcome to the new forum and let us know what you think