Improve Customization Options
We are planning a single overhaul to customization options including greater control of major blocks, fonts, page backgrounds, etc. To that end we have merged feedback related into this single item.
I think my biggest want is the ability to add border boxes around the widgets to make them separate out on the layout. Right now everything is too blended. Being able to tick them on or off, or change the width or color of border boxes around the widgets would be great, and would make the pages look neater.
It would be nice if the headers would auto resize on all template styles to however your browser is setup. I love the separated areas in the rook template but the header doesn't auto resize like in the pawn template. Nor does the header show on mobile devices when in rook format but does in pawn format. Having the ability to mix and match styles would be nice. Ie for us, use the rook layout for the clean separation of areas and widgets and the pawn layout so our header resizes and shows on mobile devices.
Could I also suggest that, in the customisation menu, where you choose which template to change, there are some additional options somewhere? For example, being able to rename one of my "templates" (ie, the whole thing I've made - template, colours, css, etc). My current live site is based on a template I've put together, named "test" :p
I'd also like to be able to "copy" my active site, in order to make a secondary version of it, so that I can fiddle with it over the course of days if necessary, until I get it right and ready for public use.
I do like that now we get to play around with the live site and preview the site prior to making it live, but in order to save those changes, we have to save them and make them live, or discard them.
Currently, as far as I can tell, the only way to do this is to create a new "copy" of the current live site from scratch .. basically rebuild a second version, before tweaking it.
Looking forward to this being realised. I think if you look at those active sites (including mine www.darkwolves.eu) that are still on V4 you might get some idea of the type of look we're wanting on V5. I keep checking, but so far even some of the basics aren't there unfortunately, because I'd love to make the switch.
Sylen Thunder commented
The one thing holding me back for switching to V5 is the extreme limitation to the site editor. I am completely unable to style the site so that it looks remotely similar to my current V4 site. (Well, technically I could spend hours writing custom css, but I don't know if that will actually work, and it's not worth wasting the time if it doesn't)
I'm pretty surprised that you guys have had the beta going this long without a focus on site customization.
You have a lovely setup for subforums that allows you to add the description just as if they were forum main level forums. Then when you look at the completed structure, not only is the description not on the forum list, but clicking through to the subforum, there is no description there.
This doesn't "work as expected." Would love to see it included.
Dwayne K commented
a suggestion... or rather a question first... I know that xhtml fonts are defaulted to the most basic ones if a viewer doesnt have that specific custom font used in their computer, but is there any way that we can upload custom fonts somewhere (server side) that would allow all viewers of our sites to be able to see the custom fonts without each site viewer having to download it? As it is right now, I just will upload images with the custom font I want for every header and button, but it sure would be nice to not have to do all that...
Dwayne K commented
I tried the beta and notice that it had none of the custimization options even as an option yet, but overall, the beta version does look better
I really hope to see some kind of improvement in the customization. I just started a site and by default it was V5. I thought it looked good although very plain. Then I switched to V4 and had so much fun customizing our site. I was able to get the look that I wanted. I felt like my vision was clearer on V4. If you can provide more options like that in V5 then I will be on board. I understand that V5 is optional but I wouldn't mind using it.
Compared to the old sites V5 are very very plain. They do well on mobile, but damn, give us some ability to customize.
Thanks for the response Stephen.
I wanted to clarify something:
I did not intend to demean any of the work that you folks have put into V5, I was pointing out the lack of customization options that I see upon first use (on a test site).
Specific feedback on the "customization confusion" issue that others have mentioned:
In my view, the confusion primarily comes from the lack of a uniform naming convention and the general disorganization of the "Site Style" section of V4.
Example: Forum Only: Table Styling > Table Top Right Header option states:
"This is the top right Table Header for the Forum Index. It sits behind the words 'Last Post' on the Forum Index page."
The end user questions are: "What the heck does that mean?" ; "Why are there text format options, when none of the text is changed based on these settings?" ; and "Why can't I just change the date format?"
This option only seems to change the background behind the text, when what I am really looking for is descriptive customization options like:
Forum Column 6 (Last post) > Date format > (pulldown for format options)
Forum Column 6 (Last post) > Column width > (simply grab the side of the column in the preview window and drag into position)
Either of these two options would allow me to get rid of, or adjust for, the current misalignment of the Last Post column, when comparing Forums Vs. Subforums.
In V4, this misalignment currently affects the row height, depending on the date format applied.
This all comes off as very specific, but the point is:
The confusion comes from the lack of a user friendly naming convention with descriptive customization options based on common terminology, such as columns, rows, etc.
I hope this helps you folks to nail it down.
nice one .. really looking forward to seeing more customization options .. I'd love to be able to make the switch to V5 :-)
I don't have a specific date, but I've been working on the advanced editing and it is nearly ready.
Speaking of which .. is there any idea of when another build is going to be released?
GTech_1, no one is planning to force any sort of downgrade. The V5 initial release comprised 5 months of work and included massive improvements to mobile, forums, roster flows, adjustments to nearly every widget, an improved profile design and a whole lot more minor tweaks.
A few customization features were left out of the initial release, partly because we wanted feedback on what had been completed and partly because we wanted to be more selective as opposed to throwing the kitchen sink at people. We have received lots of feedback that the old customization was confusing and we want to re-add that functionality judiciously.
We are perfectly happy for you to stay on V4, that is why V5 is an optional update and it will never be a forced update. Please check back soon though as I'm sure V5 will have more of what you love over time.
Why would you tie our hands with things like nasty "Color themes" and a lack of transparency?
Admin dashboard > Site Style ... This Admin category no longer exists to customize even simple things like text and link colors?
I expected *more* customization from V5, not less.
Almost everything in the dashboard is the same as V4, except you took a massive amount of site customization options *away*? ... That doesn't make any sense at all.
We will be staying with V4 until this is fixed.
If you force us to "downgrade" to V5, and it doesn't allow me to create the site that me and my guildies want, I will cancel and go elsewhere.
We are paid in full until October 2016.
I will be really bent out of shape if you don't give me the service that we already paid for.
cant use background editing. cant put guild name in header. Cant customize look at all. is this going to be fixed?
It would be nice to see a preview pane for signature eiting.
Are you referring to HTML widgets or some other area? Just trying to get a bit of clarification.
All of this things are customizable via CSS. We're not putting anything in the way of that. It may require some specific CSS but we aren't doing anything particularly crazy.
We will be adding more customization options, but in the beta we're building, testing and making sure the foundation is rock solid. Then when we add new options we're going to be making sure each room and embellishment we add is awesome and well thought out.