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United-Forum CSS Sprites - ludicrous speed - NOW! Details »
United-Forum CSS Sprites - ludicrous speed - NOW!
Mod Version: 0.7.2, by Osbes (Member) Osbes is offline
Developer Last Online: Feb 2013 I like it Show Printable Version Email this Page

vB Version: 4.x.x Rating: (31 votes - 4.55 average) Installs: 268
Released: 12 Jul 2011 Last Update: 06 Aug 2011 Downloads: 2872
Not Supported Uses Plugins Auto-Template Additional Files Is in Beta Stage  

tl;dr Makes your forum faster.

Want an easy one-click installation for this addon? . Vote for this jira-entry

Add on currently is in beta stage

When visiting a website, speed is a very important factor not only for users but crawlers as well. Long loading times are a nuisance since your time is basically wasted during the waiting period. Hence, we are trying everything we can in order to speed up our site. One great way to improve loading times is by the use of css sprites. Unfortunately these are not implemented by vBulletin.

We therefore decided to develop our own css-sprite add on for vBulletin boards and want to share this code with the worldwide vBulletin community.

Live demo
The add on is permanently running in our vBulletin board ( > 2.000.000 posts), take a look:
http://www.united-forum.de

The add on will be supported via this thread. If you have any questions, issues, improvements or feedback regarding this add on, please feel free to post a comment or write us a pm at any time. We are happy to discuss

vBulletin performance using css sprites
Our tests are based on version 0.7.0. We used the analytic tools firebug network utility and the googlelabs.com page speed site

on the client side the following parameter were used:
download speed: 5.7 MBit/s
ping: 31ms




css sprites - what are they?
The intention behind css sprites is the bundling of many small graphics into one large graphic in order to decrease the number of required http requests. This shortens the loading times of the given website. In addition, the the accumulated size of all small graphics is higher than the size of the sprite due to reasons of compression.
You can find further information in a great article by Chris Coyier.
What is the gain in using css sprites?
Aside from the technical implementation, the question on how much one actually does gain by using css sprites is of the most interest. Obviously they decrease loading times - but how important are small loading times and what is the impact on vBulletin overall loading times?

A short time ago, Jasper Aguila pointed out that speed is one crucial stickiness factor in his blog on vBulletin.com.
Originally Posted by Jasper Aguila vBulletin Support
The internet has unfortunately contributed to the exponential decrease in attention span for many individuals. That's why this decade is seeing a trend in emerging technologies emphasizing the importance of speed request. It's crucial for your content to be promptly distributed in a timely manner, else bounce rate will increase - making you lose returning visitors. It's also important to note that slow sites may be penalized by search engines.

With better browsers, more powerful processors, and improved technologies constantly releasing each year, it's becoming quite difficult to provide excuses for slow loading pages. Therefore, try optimizing your server for speed. Read up and learn optimization techniques at vBulletin.com's Server Configuration forum.
In addition, the google ranking is influenced by the site speed as well.

Google Webmaster Central Blog
Originally Posted by 09.04.2010 - Google Webmaster Central Blog
You may have heard that here at Google we're obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
vBseo Webmaster Mert Gökçeimam
CSS sprites is a huge bonus for big boards , any big board owner definately should use it.
Last but not least, not only the user's loading time is reduced, but also does the server load decrease as the server will have to handle a lot less of http requests. This clears available connections and cpu time.
Add on features
In the current released beta version 0.7.2, sprites are available for FORUMHOME and FORUMDISPLAY. Coming up next SHOWTHREAD.

Sprites are created style based for all forum styles and saved in a folder which you can set via the imgdir_sprite stylevar. You have one additional button in the ACP (CSS-Sprites -> Refresh) which automatically creates all sprites, the according css definitions and includes those css definitions in the vBulletin css rollup files.
Installation

First of all, if you didnt want to change the templates manually, install the Template Modification System (TMS). Now proceed with the installation:
  • upload the contents of the upload folder into your forum home directory.
  • import the add on in the ACP
  • upon installation a new stylevar imgdir_sprite will be created. Update this stylevar based on your file structure - default value is the vbulletin sprite directory. Make sure the folder is writable, else the sprites can't be saved!
  • create the sprites via the ACP at CSS-Sprite using the Refresh option.
  • If you have installed TMS, you are done now. This was an easy gained speed up, not? If you didnt installed TMS and didnt want to do it, proceed with the next point:
  • in order to use the sprites, you then will have to edit some templates. The diffs (xou will find it in the do_not_upload folder show which parts you have to delete '<' and which parts to add '>' In addition, on top find the lines in which you will find the respective code.[/b]

Download Now

Only licensed members can download files, Click Here for more information.

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Screenshots

Click image for larger version

Name:	forumdisplay_default.jpg
Views:	2223
Size:	151.3 KB
ID:	131565   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumdisplay_sprites_070.png
Views:	1621
Size:	70.8 KB
ID:	131566   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumhome_default.jpg
Views:	1311
Size:	145.6 KB
ID:	131567   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumhome_sprites_070.png
Views:	1164
Size:	66.6 KB
ID:	131568  

Click image for larger version

Name:	nachher_forumdisplay.jpg
Views:	1553
Size:	96.6 KB
ID:	131570   Click image for larger version

Name:	nachher_forumhome.jpg
Views:	1169
Size:	94.1 KB
ID:	131572  

Show Your Support

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  • If you like this modification support the author by donating.
  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
  #391  
Old 25 Oct 2011, 14:50
universosymbian's Avatar
universosymbian universosymbian is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Angry

Originally Posted by Mooff View Post
What do you mean by not supported?

It does work with GD 2.0.34 and below. It's just that GD 2.0.34 has a grey-scale bug, which does affect like 1 out of 100 icons and can be solved by manually converting the icon to rgba.

In addition GD 2.0.34 has a security issue, therefore we advise to upgrade, but upgrading is not necessary for the addon to work.


Point is php has a GD libary included, so by far more servers will have gd than imagemagick. That's why the choice was made to go with GD.


Aside that there is a bug somewhere which causes a cutoff on some icons. But we do not know what the issue is there exactly and can't reproduce it on our server.
IF YOU MAKE A VERSION OF THIS PRODUCT THAT WORKS WELL ............... THIS PRODUCT MUST BE WITHDRAWN FROM HERE

I will report
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  #392  
Old 29 Oct 2011, 11:46
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
Hi do you think this would benefit my site . i get 69 for the front page and 50 for the forum from page speed at the moment...
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  #393  
Old 29 Oct 2011, 20:54
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
This addon has no cms support per default. The cms/frontpage will look different for every site so a default version makes no sense. But the addon does offer a hook to manually add icons into the sprite so site owners can use it to manually include their customized homepage.

That aside on forumhome and forumdisplay you can get catch many icons and speed up the site. Though on forumhome you use a modifikation for additional forumicons which we do not support (again you could add those icons manually) but i do not understand why this modifikation is used and not the build in vb4 function to customize the standard icons (which we do support).
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  #394  
Old 30 Oct 2011, 12:23
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
just had a go the forum went up 8..looking good.. thanks.. just got to get my head round it... more questions to come...
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  #395  
Old 31 Oct 2011, 19:53
temsamane temsamane is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
a great mod, if its working
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  #396  
Old 01 Nov 2011, 01:05
thecore762 thecore762 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
I am getting this error:


Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.

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  #397  
Old 01 Nov 2011, 05:15
TeknoSounds TeknoSounds is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Originally Posted by thecore762 View Post
I am getting this error:


Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.
Problem appears to be right here. Need to change permissions on the sprite folder to allow writing.
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  #398  
Old 01 Nov 2011, 07:24
thecore762 thecore762 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
It's working fine now, but still giving me the error.
Folder is 777.
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  #399  
Old 01 Nov 2011, 13:33
tmiland's Avatar
tmiland tmiland is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Real name: Tommy
Hello,

i cannot for the life of me get this mod working... It's creating the images and all that,
but it make no difference to my site, what could be wrong?

Regards.
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  #400  
Old 01 Nov 2011, 14:45
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
How would i sprite the title image and logo as it wants a url..anyone ..thanks
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  #401  
Old 02 Nov 2011, 18:28
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
is there a limit to how many custom sprites i can make ..as i get 1 working ok then make another and its not spriting the image...thanks
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  #402  
Old 02 Nov 2011, 22:06
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
@tmiland
have you made the template changes?

@doctorsexy
No limit, can you show me the exact code you are using for the custom icon right now + the names of two icons you want to add?
(i think the code changed in 0.8.0 that's why i'm asking, so i can't compare it to our version)
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  #403  
Old 02 Nov 2011, 22:24
tmiland's Avatar
tmiland tmiland is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Real name: Tommy
Originally Posted by Mooff View Post
@tmiland
have you made the template changes?
I installed the template mod. system, so yes?
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  #404  
Old 03 Nov 2011, 10:16
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
@ Moof
the code is this

$files[] = array(
'path' => $stylevars['imgdir_siteicons']['imagedir'] . '/logo.png',
'css' => 'siteicons_logo',
'rollup' => $CSS_FORUMHOME_ROLLUP,

);

<span class="sprite_custom_siteicons_logo" title=""></span>

works ok
and this..
$files[] = array(
'path' => $stylevars['imgdir_siteicons']['imagedir'] . '/whobar.png',
'css' => 'siteicons_whobar',
'rollup' => $CSS_FORUMHOME_ROLLUP,

);
<span class="sprite_custom_siteicons_whobar" title=""></span>
dosnt work ..but dose when i disable the first one
All the files are in the same folder ...siteicons....

its more than likely my interpretation of your code.. sorry but we all have to learn..
thanks for your help..
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  #405  
Old 03 Nov 2011, 13:01
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
@tmiland
Can you try to reinstall the addon and check for error messages during the installation? And can you check if the sprite changes are in your templates? (check the template code, look for css classed named sprite_ )

@doctorsexy
The last item in an php array is not supposed to have a comma, change your code to:

Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.

And it should work. =)
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