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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: 2878
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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ID:	131572  

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  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
  #61  
Old 23 Jul 2011, 10:48
giorgino giorgino is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Thank you Sebastian, I given a look in TMS plugin, but is in german language...
Do you know if exist in english also?

P.s.: Thank you very much!
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  #62  
Old 23 Jul 2011, 10:59
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
There is an Version on vbulletin.org:
http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=152931
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  #63  
Old 23 Jul 2011, 11:01
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
English version is here:
http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showt...152931&page=42
(it says vb3.8 mod, but on page 42 users are reporting it is working with 4.1.x)

Though, if you are german i would use this one:
http://www.vbulletin-germany.org/sho...System/page114
(version number is higher)

P.S.: If you need support regarding the TMS Addon please ask in those threads, much higher chance someone can help you.
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  #64  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 06:19
8thos's Avatar
8thos 8thos is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Real name: DRE
Truly one of the worst modifications I've ever installed.

Not your fault though. Using a custom skin. Disabled for now.
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  #65  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 08:26
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
If you are talking about the link on your signature, that board is not that custom, i really do not see why the addon shouldn't work. At first glance i dare to say we are not at fault, neither is your custom skin.

That aside on your FORUMHOME (as a guest) it should get your http requests down to ~30 from ~40


But well, since you are using a map for the flags at the bottom i would have guessed you would appreciate a sprite addon. Techniques are very similar and both are meant to do the same thing. Reduce http requests, speed up loading time.
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  #66  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 08:37
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Hello Octavius.

to just describe it as "worst addon" without any describtion of your error is really sad for me.

If you can describe me your problem, i am sure that i can help you to get it working

There are a lot other forums with custom styles out there, where this addon works perfect. I have also visit your site just now and since you are using the elementary way vbulletin adresses the images etc. it should work


Please check, that you have changed the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite für every style. If you didn't do this, the Sprite will be overwritten by every style, what will cause your problem.

In the next version this behavior is changed, so that there is no need anymore to change this StyleVar, since causes some mistakes from time to time.

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #67  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 10:04
8thos's Avatar
8thos 8thos is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Real name: DRE
Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Hello Octavius.

to just describe it as "worst addon" without any describtion of your error is really sad for me.

If you can describe me your problem, i am sure that i can help you to get it working

There are a lot other forums with custom styles out there, where this addon works perfect. I have also visit your site just now and since you are using the elementary way vbulletin adresses the images etc. it should work


Please check, that you have changed the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite für every style. If you didn't do this, the Sprite will be overwritten by every style, what will cause your problem.

In the next version this behavior is changed, so that there is no need anymore to change this StyleVar, since causes some mistakes from time to time.

Best regards
Sebastian
I didn't really mean that. I got excited and when it didn't work, I was let down. Like I said, not your fault. I did no stylevar edits all whatsoever. Therein lies my problem. I didn't understand this part of the directions and skipped it:

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!

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  #68  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 11:12
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Hello Octavius.

i have uploaded a new Version (0.6.3a). Please use this

With this you do not need to change the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite anymore. This should simplify the installation process.

To avoid additional errors, please make sure, that the default vbulletin sprite directory (just look into the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite to see which is this), is writeable, so this addon can save the sprites in this folder.

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #69  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 17:29
8thos's Avatar
8thos 8thos is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Real name: DRE
Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Hello Octavius.

i have uploaded a new Version (0.6.3a). Please use this

With this you do not need to change the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite anymore. This should simplify the installation process.

To avoid additional errors, please make sure, that the default vbulletin sprite directory (just look into the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite to see which is this), is writeable, so this addon can save the sprites in this folder.

Best regards
Sebastian
Sprites folder is 755. Does it need to be 777?
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  #70  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 18:09
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Depends on your server settings.

Your webserver needs write access in order to write and save the sprite. If your webserver is owner of the folder it would work, if your webserver isn't 755 won't be enough.

Just try it out, if it doesn't work try 777.
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  #71  
Old 25 Jul 2011, 18:31
8thos's Avatar
8thos 8thos is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Real name: DRE
755 is enough, thanks. I'll try again.
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  #72  
Old 26 Jul 2011, 02:35
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Juggernaut Juggernaut is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Installed, I think everything went right this time, although my costum skin doesn't use the legend.png icon.
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  #73  
Old 27 Jul 2011, 18:34
Crotan's Avatar
Crotan Crotan is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Hello Octavius.

i have uploaded a new Version (0.6.3a). Please use this

With this you do not need to change the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite anymore. This should simplify the installation process.

To avoid additional errors, please make sure, that the default vbulletin sprite directory (just look into the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite to see which is this), is writeable, so this addon can save the sprites in this folder.

Best regards
Sebastian
Just to double check? with version 0.6.3a I do not need to change the StlyeVar imgdir_sprite for custom styles?
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  #74  
Old 27 Jul 2011, 19:02
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Hello Crotan,

yes, with 0.6.3a this isn't needed anymore.

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #75  
Old 28 Jul 2011, 01:01
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Crotan Crotan is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Hello Crotan,

yes, with 0.6.3a this isn't needed anymore.

Best regards
Sebastian
Thanks, mod seems to be working alright. Still have a lot of gradients left

But mostly everything else seems to be covered by the CSS sprites
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