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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: 267
Released: 12 Jul 2011 Last Update: 06 Aug 2011 Downloads: 2877
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:

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 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
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'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.

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]

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  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
Old 22 Mar 2012, 09:17
sarangan sarangan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Originally Posted by stevectaylor View Post
I assume you are running 4.1.11?
Yes, I do.
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Old 22 Mar 2012, 12:18
stevectaylor stevectaylor is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Originally Posted by sarangan View Post
Yes, I do.
I knew that we was various forum on differing versions all are fine except the latest 4.1.11 forums
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Old 22 Mar 2012, 12:22
stevectaylor stevectaylor is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
TBH not sure why they are not charging for this mod. or at least a donate function.
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Old 23 Mar 2012, 23:50
John Lester's Avatar
John Lester John Lester is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
I haven't actually tried this yet, but I'm wondering if I can use the hook to include my smilies into the sprite? Or is there another mod that does this?
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Old 25 Mar 2012, 23:26
Webrunner's Avatar
Webrunner Webrunner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Netherlands
Is this compatible with this mod?
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Old 27 Mar 2012, 19:06
michelle86 michelle86 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010

But my Page Speed results still say I should sprite these images:

The following images served from ****.com should be combined into as few images as possible using CSS sprites.


Did I do anything wrong? My page speed score on google did go up 5 points after installing this.
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Old 28 Mar 2012, 10:57
TeamSempoi's Avatar
TeamSempoi TeamSempoi is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
i use this plugin on vb4.1.11
but when i hit refresh i got error pages
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Old 28 Mar 2012, 22:12
Webrunner's Avatar
Webrunner Webrunner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Netherlands
is this mod supported at all?
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Old 29 Mar 2012, 08:49
MikaN MikaN is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
I'm wondering that as well. I think this feature (and the benefits of that) is such an essential thing that in general functionality like this should be included in Vbulletin's core.
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Old 29 Mar 2012, 13:29
majjed2008 majjed2008 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
i dont know how to install it , can you help me , is there any payed service for that ?
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Old 16 Apr 2012, 11:31
doctorsexy's Avatar
doctorsexy doctorsexy is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Real name: Chris
I dont think its supported anymore
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Old 16 Apr 2012, 16:37
visageiii visageiii is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
the coder is still around, I'm able to get it working on my board, however, the status icons are having an issue on forumhome... any answer as to why they aren't showing up? using 4.1.11
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Old 16 Apr 2012, 18:25
fai99al99 fai99al99 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
waiting for some updates for 4.1.11
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Old 16 Apr 2012, 19:22
Webrunner's Avatar
Webrunner Webrunner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Netherlands

I would really like this mod to be updated, even if i have to pay for it...
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Old 20 Apr 2012, 11:50
Fabikus Fabikus is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Double click read marker doesn't work with this mod on 4.1.12. Is possible to fix it?
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