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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: 2873
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

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Show Your Support

  • To receive notifications regarding updates -> Click to Mark as Installed.
  • If you like this modification support the author by donating.
  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
  #406  
Old 03 Nov 2011, 13:56
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
@ Moof

Tried it but didn't work... when i look where the sprite is supposed to be in the sprite file its not there..is there a size limit on how may sprites it can put in the file...thanks
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  #407  
Old 03 Nov 2011, 19:24
tmiland's Avatar
tmiland tmiland is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Real name: Tommy
Originally Posted by Mooff View Post
@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_ )
I get a this error message: "vB4 Default Style
Error occurred: Your sprite folder uses an URL. Sprites cannot be saved via URLs. Please use an local filepath on your system for the stylevar imgdir_sprite."

I am serving all my images from images.mydomain.net, obviously that is not working :P
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  #408  
Old 08 Nov 2011, 14:28
TeknoSounds TeknoSounds is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Originally Posted by tmiland View Post
I get a this error message: "vB4 Default Style
Error occurred: Your sprite folder uses an URL. Sprites cannot be saved via URLs. Please use an local filepath on your system for the stylevar imgdir_sprite."

I am serving all my images from images.mydomain.net, obviously that is not working :P
has to be from a local filepath, NOT a URL. As it states... images.mydomain.net should be pointing to a filepath on your system done via DNS. find the actual filepath to your images and put that (linux would be something like /var/www/html/mysite/images or windows c:\xampp\docs\html\mysite\images)
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  #409  
Old 08 Nov 2011, 15:01
tmiland's Avatar
tmiland tmiland is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Real name: Tommy
Originally Posted by TeknoSounds View Post
has to be from a local filepath, NOT a URL. As it states... images.mydomain.net should be pointing to a filepath on your system done via DNS. find the actual filepath to your images and put that (linux would be something like /var/www/html/mysite/images or windows c:\xampp\docs\html\mysite\images)
Where do i change that? :-)

~Tommy
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  #410  
Old 14 Nov 2011, 06:55
rjmjr69's Avatar
rjmjr69 rjmjr69 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
I lost all my images????

http://forums.acsyndicate.net/forum.php

Database error in vBulletin 4.1.7:

Invalid SQL:
SELECT styleid FROM `style` WHERE styleid > LIMIT 1;

MySQL Error : You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'LIMIT 1' at line 1
Error Number : 1064
Request Date : Monday, November 14th 2011 @ 03:16:21 AM
Error Date : Monday, November 14th 2011 @ 03:16:21 AM
Script : http://forums.acsyndicate.net/adminc...resh&startat=0
Referrer : http://forums.acsyndicate.net/adminc...php?do=refresh
IP Address : 98.229.57.189
Username : rjmjr69
Classname : vB_Database
MySQL Version : 5.1.56

Last edited by rjmjr69; 14 Nov 2011 at 07:17.
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  #411  
Old 14 Nov 2011, 12:25
Johan Hiemstra Johan Hiemstra is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
First let me thank you for the awesome mod! Great work so far, I'm almost back at pre-vB4 performance. I'm looking forward to the showthread update.

I'm trying to add custom images to the sprite sheet and I'm not able to add more than 1 for some reason. I used the instructions and created 2 plugins for 2 icons. When running Refresh (should be named "Regenerate" or "Rebuild") it does show Custom icons: 2, but it only adds one to the sheet and throws a path error for the second. For some reason it adds the local server path "twice" to the second icon. I'm using the full and same url in both cases, just the image file names are different. Any ideas?

Also let me know how I can make a donation (edit: duh..., must have logged out or something and missed the option.)


On a similar note, and I'm sure there are plenty of other good ones, I'm using http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/ to analyze the results online.

Last edited by Johan Hiemstra; 17 Nov 2011 at 13:27.
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  #412  
Old 14 Nov 2011, 15:39
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
I'm trying to add custom images to the sprite sheet and I'm not able to add more than 1 for some reason
I have the same problem...
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  #413  
Old 14 Nov 2011, 16:35
Johan Hiemstra Johan Hiemstra is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by doctorsexy View Post
I have the same problem...
Shared misery then

However, I read your post and you seem to get an error message complaining about an URL, while mine just claims the image is not at the path it constructed, for example, the path for the second custom icon as it appears in the error when running Refresh is:

/var/www/virtualhosts/example.com/httpdocs/var/www/virtualhosts/example.com/httpdocs/images/customicon1.png

Notice how it repeats a portion of the server path.
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  #414  
Old 14 Nov 2011, 18:04
nichi nichi is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
work whit vb 4.0.4?
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  #415  
Old 14 Nov 2011, 18:13
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
It will only make one custom sprite image in the folder..the second one it says its there when its not....funny
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  #416  
Old 15 Nov 2011, 15:19
Johan Hiemstra Johan Hiemstra is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by doctorsexy View Post
It will only make one custom sprite image in the folder..the second one it says its there when its not....funny
I must be getting blind... didn't notice you already posted your plugin code per Moof's request.

Originally Posted by doctorsexy
doesnt work ..but does when i disable the first one
Right, that's exactly the same behavior I get. Hopefully it will be resolved in a future beta. This is probably said about tons of mods, but I really think this shouldn't be a mod but a feature of vB itself.
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  #417  
Old 19 Nov 2011, 10:09
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
Also after the 4.1.8 update it dosent sprite the sub forums speech bubble image either
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  #418  
Old 19 Nov 2011, 12:10
Johan Hiemstra Johan Hiemstra is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Thanks for the info, not going to Refresh it on 4.1.8 unless Mooff posts an update. I decided to extend the sprite sheet manually by using the blank space on the sheet for now.
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  #419  
Old 21 Nov 2011, 22:04
addamroy addamroy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Is this thing stable or not?

I wanted to add this to my 4.0.7 forum, but it has since become in 'beta stage' which is a bit disappointing.

If I install this mod on my forum will it work or not?

Also, if I do install this mod as instructed, and it breaks my forum, can I just uninstall it and delete the files and all will be back to normal?

I just don't want to put my forum at risk by using an add-on that's not working properly, but would love to use it if someone can assure me it's going to work and what to do if it doesn't work properly.
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  #420  
Old 21 Nov 2011, 23:26
Johan Hiemstra Johan Hiemstra is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
It's working fine for me, I can't confirm 4.0.7 specifically but the beta seems to refer more to it being unfinished rather than unstable.

I suggest creating a child style of your own and make the template modifications there (if you're going to make those manually), but if if you revert those you can easily change back. It's more a cosmetic thing.

The main thing it does is give you an additional option in the admin panel, which you can use to generate the sprite image.

There seems to be a problem with adding more than one custom icon but with just the standard icons it includes by default it's still a very useful mod.

That said, you should always create a backup before making changes like this.
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