New Site Feedback.

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Kurto, Dec 6, 2016.

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  1. Kurto

    Kurto Very Well-Known Member

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    Hey just wanted to give you some feedback on your recent upgrade...

    The ease of which everyone could navigate APS is now gone. I feel as if youve made the upgrade to this new format more for yourself than for the thousands of users that used to frequent here.

    Google search results that link back to APS no longer work! If you google anything reptile related and get an APS answer the links lead to the main page. The site map that took over a decade to build is now useless. All youve done is lost more users. It really is a shame. There is a wealth of information buried in the DB and its now even harder to get to.

    PLEASE PUT THE SITE BACK TO THE ARCHIVED VERSION FFS! All your doing is pushing users away.

    I will happily buy the old site from you and resurrect it on a different domain name and fix the google site map to that new address. That way you can set up a new version of vBulletin under this domain name and create your vision of APS without ruining the data.

    I know this sounds a little harsh.
     
  2. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi @Kurto ,

    Harsh as your feedback may be, thank you for it. I can't please everyone all the time and can only do what I can to try keep the site going however in turn I would hope for constructive criticism rather than an outright rant with substantiations....

    To address a couple of your points,
    1. At no stage did I do this for myself, I was trying to improve the site as well as keep it going.. To be perfectly honest, I have footed the cost of hosting and managing APS to the tune of a few thousand dollars myself with only a small subscription base to help here and there so I can keep it up for the Herp Community. This upgrade alone cost me close to $1k after licensing, testing and other bits and bobs. I did not ask for any assistance nor recognition however continually asked for ideas on improvements.
    2. No one told me the google links don't work and after a few checks I have only found a handful that look out of date. As you may know, Google doesn't update the sitemap overnight but I will see what I can do to fix it. Site search function in the forums work fine however I will agree this in not best practise.
    3. I am not interested in selling the site however welcome assistance in making it work.
    4. Member input was dwindling before the upgrade as well.

    In a nutshell, if you guys want the old forum back, just say so and I'll do it, however coming back after lurking for a number of years and spewing crap over an attempt at making things better and future proofing the site because you don't like the change is, IMO, unwarranted. If I stuffed up and made a bad call upgrading the site, then I'll take that on my shoulders and see what I can do to sort it.

    So on that note, I'll open up to the rest of the forum, do you guys want to old forum back?
     
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  3. Prof_Moreliarty

    Prof_Moreliarty Well-Known Member

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    To me it doesnt really matter mate obviously hasnt made everyone happy but i do like the new feature where you can see whos replied to what thread if it go's back keep that :)
     
  4. hilly

    hilly Active Member

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    Is tapatalk no longer supported?
     
  5. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    I will look into it hilly, you are the second person to have mentioned it
     
  6. apprenticegnome

    apprenticegnome Active Member

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    I'm with Kurto, I preferred the old site before the upgrade. The improvements needed were more in the behavior and attitudes between users and certain Mods. Although the site was already in decline due to differing reasons I feel the constant upgrades and changing of software are delivering the final death blows. The wheel didn't need re-inventing just better treatment. I previously worked for a person who constantly liked to upgrade software because it was allegedly more user friendly and had this and that function added but in the end the software they used originally worked well and turned out to be less plagued with problems. The original APS web format was not the issue in the decline.
     
  7. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks for that @apprenticegnome.

    I know you have mentioned the Mods vs Members before and I thought we had come a long way on that front however that's just my opinion, I am happy to shown where we could continue to fix this though. In terms of the "decline" as mentioned, apart from attitudes, what else (apart from good old facebook) is contributing do you think?

    I still think we have a way to go before "the death blow" however that again is subject to personal opinion as like I said to Kurto, I can't aim to please everyone, I can only hope to improve. However if the member base doesn't provide feedback, I can only guess.
     
  8. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Google issues now sorted with a redirect in place. It wasn't working as designed which was an error on my end sorry.
     
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  9. apprenticegnome

    apprenticegnome Active Member

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    My opinions might be contradictory to those who are left but I had no problem with the previous owner. I believe the wheels feel off through sabotage for self gain from some of the previous Mods, largely to favour friends. In my opinion this resulted in the decline in membership (don't think we can take an accurate poll on this now as the majority of members before this are no longer here). As I have pointed out previously the secrecy in the sale of the site and delayed explanation to members left people in the dark for too long (can't change that now). And then the constant upgrades now followed by changing web software has strangled the site further. It's hard to take a poll now as those who are left are either committed to trying to help the site or like myself pop in from time to time out of curiosity. The numbers pale in significance compared to when I first joined. I have posted a couple of questions here that struggled for a reply and as could be seen from my snake I.D request mainly attracted moronic responses from people who feel they are more knowledgable than others (no offence aimed at those who contributed a valid I.D).
     
  10. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks for that mate, thats some decent feedback and I appreciate the honesty. I agree that a poll is useless now due to numbers but if it helps, while the posts have declined, the site visits have only marginally slowed.

    Something I can be honest about, there was no "sale" of the site, there was just a change of ownership to keep it online. I won't attempt to sit back and justify the hows and whys of my decision as it would just insult the intelligence of multiple members and the works of the previous owners.

    Thanks again for the input.

    Regards
    Stu
     
  11. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi Stuart, I noticed as well that Google links would redirect to the home page. But looks like it's fixed now.

    I too prefer the old design. This design to me looks a bit plain and simple. Don't particularly like the default green either, I think the darker green would make a better default. Some of the photos still seem to show up as thumbnails and, for me anyway, it's just a hassle having to click on them to view the photo at full size. I much preferred it when you could just scroll down the page and the photos were already full sized and I didn't have to fiddle about trying to get a proper view. What I do like about the new design is that the avatar pictures come up much clearer now. I also like the alerts we get for replies to threads or likes. But we don't seem to get email notifications for personal messages, mentions and likes anymore?

    This is all just my opinion anyway, but whatever design you go with, it's more than likely I'll stick around. Appreciate all the effort you've put in thus far.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  12. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Personally, I don't mind the new format (after finding my feet of course). I think the issues from the "old" APS are long gone, with a lot of the nastier members having drifted away. And the Mod nazis are no longer as well, thankfully.
    To me, the biggest threat to all online forums is Facebook. I don't use it, but my wife has showed me the number of reptile groups on there. And judging by some of the groups, I would suggest the old APS nastiness is alive and well over on the dark side.
    Get tapatalk happening, and I'll be a happy camper.
    Keep up the good work, Stuart. Love your openness and honesty.
     
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  13. Stompsy

    Stompsy Subscriber Subscriber

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    I like the new format. And don't mind not having tapatalk at all as it was such a horrible app to deal with!
     
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  14. vampstorso

    vampstorso Very Well-Known Member

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    When I first saw a forum change from vbulletin to xenforo, I remember not loving it initially, however over a few months I quickly came to prefer xenforo as it became familiar.

    I think the new site looks great and it's a matter of people not liking change.
     
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  15. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    One thing I've noticed that I like is when you click on a thread you've posted on it takes you straight to the new posts.
     
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  16. Wally

    Wally Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    I prefer the look of the vBulletin forum we had but I guess I'm not here for the look of the place, only the content.
     
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  17. billygt

    billygt Not so new Member

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    would like am extra tab or easier access to herps for sale in your area or something;););):p:p
     
  18. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    I know there's another thread somewhere, but here can't hurt. Are we able to have place, or at least state, shown with each member's avatar? This would make it much easier to offer help and advice.
     
  19. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Let me look into that @pinefamily , thats a good idea
     
  20. StunningMorelia

    StunningMorelia Not so new Member

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    After a little time getting acquainted with the new system, I personally believe it to be a great upgrade. So far:

    Likes
    • Larger and clearer avatars
    • The openness, generosity and helpfulness of the Admin (greatly underappreciated)
    • APS Shoutbox; convenient and quick
    • The clean up of personal settings, the drop down menu from profile name is better in my opinion
    • Inbox and alert tabs, hover to drop down
    • Newsfeed from people you follow, great potential
    • As above, thread takes you to latest post now
    Dislikes
    • Old threads' photos often do not appear (even more than the old format), hope they are not lost
    • The white text in tabs of Shoutbox
     
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