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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.

Supporters / CoAuthors

Screenshots

Click image for larger version

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

Name:	forumdisplay_sprites_070.png
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ID:	131566   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumhome_default.jpg
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ID:	131567   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumhome_sprites_070.png
Views:	1168
Size:	66.6 KB
ID:	131568  

Click image for larger version

Name:	nachher_forumdisplay.jpg
Views:	1557
Size:	96.6 KB
ID:	131570   Click image for larger version

Name:	nachher_forumhome.jpg
Views:	1173
Size:	94.1 KB
ID:	131572  

Show Your Support

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  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
  #136  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 18:21
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Hi Crotan,

how does ist the Path for icon1.png in the AdminCP defined?

Jeah, we forget the search.php and will resolve this problem within the next day (maybe tonight, but it is 20:20 in Germany)

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #137  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 18:47
Crotan's Avatar
Crotan Crotan is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Hi Crotan,

how does ist the Path for icon1.png in the AdminCP defined?

Jeah, we forget the search.php and will resolve this problem within the next day (maybe tonight, but it is 20:20 in Germany)

Best regards
Sebastian

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

Is that not the standard file path, I've never changed it for any of the default post icons.

Seems the mod is expecting /images/icons/XXXXX.png

The latest version also removed the magnification glass for the search on the navbar.
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  #138  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 19:01
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Originally Posted by Crotan View Post
/forums/images/icons/icon1.png
Thanks, i will look for a way to solve this in the next version

Originally Posted by Crotan View Post
The latest version also removed the magnification glass for the search on the navbar.
You have set an additional background:

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

The background-definition overwrites the sprite.

If you remove this, you will see the sprite.
To didnt lose your styling, you could change the http://flotgaming.net/forums/images/buttons/search.png icon accordingly and refresh the sprite

Last edited by Osbes; 01 Aug 2011 at 20:52.
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  #139  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 19:04
DNCL DNCL is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
the magnification glass for the search is there for me, no need for fix in my case.
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  #140  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 19:34
giorgino giorgino is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Originally Posted by DNCL View Post
the magnification glass for the search is there for me, no need for fix in my case.
Idem for me
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  #141  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 20:43
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Version 0.7.1 (01.08.2011)
  • added support for search.php pages including What's New
  • some minor bugfixes
@Crotan
I have also tried to fix your Problem with

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

please test the new version

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #142  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 22:37
DNCL DNCL is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Hello Osbes,

Moved thread redirect icon not appearing too in forumdisplay, white instead.

Please fix it
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  #143  
Old 01 Aug 2011, 23:27
Crotan's Avatar
Crotan Crotan is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Version 0.7.1 (01.08.2011)
  • added support for search.php pages including What's New
  • some minor bugfixes
@Crotan
I have also tried to fix your Problem with

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

please test the new version

Best regards
Sebastian
search.php status icons are now showing up.

however same thing as before but with "(with bburl_path / )" added into the mix.

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

Also thanks for the heads up, I'll look into this.

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

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  #144  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 05:25
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Originally Posted by DNCL View Post
Hello Osbes,

Moved thread redirect icon not appearing too in forumdisplay, white instead.

Please fix it
Hello DNCL,

i just doublechecked it in the sprite.php and in our liveforum and it is working for me. Can you please send me an URL to your forum where i can see this problem?

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #145  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 05:33
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Hello Crotan,
thanks for the helpful output.

I had assumed, that your Forum URL (in Site Name / URL / Contact Details in the AdminCP) looks like

http://flotgaming.net/forums/

and than the addon would use (with bburl_path /forums ), what would have resolved your problem.

Since the bburl_path is just / am i right, that your Forum URL looks like

http://flotgaming.net/

?

Whats the Content of your Forum Component URL ? Something like

http://flotgaming.net/forums/
or
forums

?


Best regards
Sebastian
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  #146  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 06:10
Crotan's Avatar
Crotan Crotan is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Osbes View Post
Hello Crotan,
thanks for the helpful output.

I had assumed, that your Forum URL (in Site Name / URL / Contact Details in the AdminCP) looks like

http://flotgaming.net/forums/

and than the addon would use (with bburl_path /forums ), what would have resolved your problem.

Since the bburl_path is just / am i right, that your Forum URL looks like

http://flotgaming.net/

?

Whats the Content of your Forum Component URL ? Something like

http://flotgaming.net/forums/
or
forums

?


Best regards
Sebastian
Forum URL (in Site Name / URL / Contact Details in the AdminCP) looks like


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

I don't have any of the component URLs for the forums/cms/blog setup since I'm not using mod rewritten urls Only Advanced friendly rewrites.

So I don't have anything specified in those component boxes, it will be what ever is vBulletin default I suppose

Thanks for the great support for your Mod!
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  #147  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 06:25
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Please try the attached sprite.php

Replace this with the sprite.php in your admincp-folder and recreate the sprite.

I have added some additional Debug (starts and ends with DEBUG). if this file doesn't resolve your problem, pls send me those

Best regards
Sebastian
Attached Files
File Type: php sprite.php (91.1 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by Osbes; 02 Aug 2011 at 06:47.
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  #148  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 15:49
tpearl5's Avatar
tpearl5 tpearl5 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Real name: John
Any plans to make this work with showthread?
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  #149  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 15:56
Osbes Osbes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Hello tpearl5,

Support for SHOWTHREAD is planned for 0.8.0.

Best regards
Sebastian
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  #150  
Old 02 Aug 2011, 15:57
Mooff Mooff is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
First Post:
Add on features

In the current released beta version 0.7.1, sprites are available for FORUMHOME and FORUMDISPLAY. Coming up next SHOWTHREAD.
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