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  #1  
Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:09
james-76's Avatar
james-76 james-76 is offline
 
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BirdieChance.co.uk - Golf Forum

It would be nice for your opinions on my new golf forum BirdieChance.co.uk

I have a few bits to do and a few images to alter but this is it for now.
I will be adding an option where you can either have the option of full screen or have the forums the same width as the banner in the near future.

Thanks to everybody who has contributed especially in the graphics and mods part of the site.

I look forward to your feedback but please go easy on me

www.birdiechance.co.uk

A sample of the A6 flyers made and downloadable as well as different size flyers and business style cards.
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  #2  
Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:56
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Shelley_c Shelley_c is offline
 
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Too much green, Far too much. Try breaking the colours out. For starters, change the colours of the alt areas. This will go along way from ridding the dominating green. when I hover over a link it rolls to a very bright green which makes it difficult to read the text link. Try opting for another colour if your insisting in keep this green look.

The forum status icons have white matting showing around them they were never designed to go on a green coloured background. Maybe if you ask that lazy +++++ shelley to modify them she might get off her lazy arse and make the alterations so they look seamless on your background if you insist in keeping the alt areas that colour.


I noticed you have the default navbits.gif and navbits_finallink_ltr.gif present and I can tell you the vbulletin stock blue and your custom green just don't look visually acceptable. If you have any other vbulletin stock images/icons I suggest in changing them for something more suitable.

To be honest, I don't like the style, it's too green and the custom graphics used don't really fit the niche your in. It needs a lot more work doing and more importantly planning in the way of using the visually complementing colours.
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  #3  
Old 12 Feb 2009, 14:49
jlew24asu jlew24asu is offline
 
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I agree with shelley, too much green. but good start. I've considered starting a golf board. I like yours, but definitely needs the recommended changes.

something doesnt really site right with the logo either. its a nice picture of some hole, but the center icon is just out of place.
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  #4  
Old 12 Feb 2009, 15:57
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james-76 james-76 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Shelley_c View Post
Too much green, Far too much. Try breaking the colours out. For starters, change the colours of the alt areas. This will go along way from ridding the dominating green. when I hover over a link it rolls to a very bright green which makes it difficult to read the text link. Try opting for another colour if your insisting in keep this green look.
I will give some more colours a try but do agree on altering the bright green when you hover over ive been meaning to alter that for a few a while but theres loads to do so not got around to it yet.

Originally Posted by Shelley_c View Post
The forum status icons have white matting showing around them they were never designed to go on a green coloured background. Maybe if you ask that lazy +++++ shelley to modify them she might get off her lazy arse and make the alterations so they look seamless on your background if you insist in keeping the alt areas that colour.
I thought the status icons looked really good even on the green maybe my eyes need testing. No need to trouble yourself in altering your icons because although very good they will eventually be replaced by some that are more golf themed like the rest of the buttons etc.

Originally Posted by Shelley_c View Post

To be honest, I don't like the style, it's too green and the custom graphics used don't really fit the niche your in. It needs a lot more work doing and more importantly planning in the way of using the visually complementing colours.
Its early days and hope to improve things as we go I have owned forums before but always had somebody on hand who can make great skins etc. this is my first effort and only at a basic level to open and please remember I am a long way off your standards.

Originally Posted by jlew24asu View Post
I agree with shelley, too much green. but good start. I've considered starting a golf board. I like yours, but definitely needs the recommended changes.

something doesnt really site right with the logo either. its a nice picture of some hole, but the center icon is just out of place.
I am not sure on the banner either and working on a few alernatives some days i like it others I dont and prefered when the middle bit was the top left corner of the banner.

I will revive this thread in a few weeks thanks for your input.
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  #5  
Old 12 Feb 2009, 21:06
jlew24asu jlew24asu is offline
 
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Originally Posted by james-76 View Post

I am not sure on the banner either and working on a few alernatives some days i like it others I dont and prefered when the middle bit was the top left corner of the banner.

I will revive this thread in a few weeks thanks for your input.
have you consulted a professional designer?
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  #6  
Old 14 Feb 2009, 14:04
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james-76 james-76 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jlew24asu View Post
have you consulted a professional designer?
No ive not and although i know a number of people who would do a great job I would also like to learn myself I am sticking with a green theme because it fits the sport. Changed the background and banner but not got alot of time this weekend so will continue with changes soon.
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  #7  
Old 18 Feb 2009, 11:46
jlew24asu jlew24asu is offline
 
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Originally Posted by james-76 View Post
No ive not and although i know a number of people who would do a great job I would also like to learn myself I am sticking with a green theme because it fits the sport. Changed the background and banner but not got alot of time this weekend so will continue with changes soon.
I see you've made some changes? I like it, nice job.
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  #8  
Old 25 Feb 2009, 19:30
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james-76 james-76 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jlew24asu View Post
I see you've made some changes? I like it, nice job.
Yes I have made a number of changes to make it not so green. I am working on a much nicer banner and got a list as long as my arm so will work on it when I have time. Got to find the best way to advertise now other than word of mouth which I have not got around to yet either. Thanks for saying its better than it was Lots to do and lots to learn.
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  #9  
Old 25 Feb 2009, 20:00
dooch dooch is offline
 
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logo image size is way too big in my opinion, it takes ages to load.
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  #10  
Old 28 Feb 2009, 21:13
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james-76 james-76 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by dooch View Post
logo image size is way too big in my opinion, it takes ages to load.

Had a bit of trouble with keeping the quality when saving as a GIF but have now managed to do it with photoshop and its a 3rd of its original size
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  #11  
Old 01 Mar 2009, 06:47
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That's a nice forum!
I like your custom forum icons, they work really well. And so does the background image!

I'd personally change your forum title, at the moment your site is called "BirdieChance.co.uk/forums", which is a URL rather than a proper title.

What about calling your forum simply "Birdie Chance"? (Or "BirdieChance" if you prefer).

I like your concept for the logo, but it still doesn't quite do it for me. It's tough work, logo's are what I've always struggled with. I have no idea how to use Photoshop, so I create all my graphics in Fireworks, which works alright for me.

I wonder if there's a way to do something about the header image. You want your logo to be instantly recognizable by people, so you can develop a bit of a "brand". The only thing I can come up with right now (after 2 days with no sleep that is :P) is to find a photo similar to the middle one in the header, one that shows a real flag on a golf course. And then put your logo over the top of it, with the text to the side. It's a little hard to explain, I can see the image in my head but I can't quite describe it :P

If I get a chance I might knock something together for you, just a quick 2 minute proof of concept. And I also place a strong emphasis on how fast the page loads, nothing worse than a forum with a 200KB header image!

The guys at vBSEO.com wrote this awesome article on boosting your site's search engine optimization:
http://www.vbseo.com/f45/your-site-r...o-first-23762/
Obviously ignore the section on "vBSEO Tweaks" and "Supporting Software", those don't apply (not worth spending the money on vBSEO just yet).

I'd recommend reading:
Forum Design
Forum Template Edits / Navigation
Keyword Improvement
Help From Google

Those will be extremely useful to you. Not all of them will apply, but you might be able to boost your traffic. Especially running Google Analytics, which may be the coolest free software ever released :P
I wanted to find out if I would have any trouble switching my site from an 800x600 to 1024x768 resolution based design. So I logged into Analytics and created a report, and I found out only 3% of my visitors were using 800x600 resolution still. And then I narrowed it down, most of those people were not members.
It's also great if you're putting links to your forum around the place and you want to be able to track where everyone's coming from, what countries, what browsers, what search engine keywords etc.

I've just spent 2 months learning about all these things, and my visitors have gone from 600 to 1000 a day now, it's obvious you really want your forum to succeed and I'd love to see you make it happen

Edit: Well it didn't really turn out too well, but I think it shows what I want it to:
birdiechance_output.gif

I'm really not that good when it comes to graphics, I'm more of a programming guy :P
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  #12  
Old 01 Mar 2009, 06:54
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Brandon Sheley Brandon Sheley is offline
 
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I would like to see a little less green still. I like the idea, but still to much green.
I would like to see the welcome message made into an image while splitting up that text with more golfing images.
I would like to see longer forum descriptions. Right now, you have them around 90 for the longer ones. I like to get the descriptions up around 250 characters. The forumdisplay pages get well indexed in search engines, the forum description is a great place to add valuable keywords. Which brings me to my next tip, remove the "powered by vBulletin" from your title tag. This is perfectly legal and recommended.

Good luck with the site
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  #13  
Old 02 Mar 2009, 02:10
jlew24asu jlew24asu is offline
 
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I really dont understand why people always suggest taking "powered by vbulletin" out of the tag.

sometimes I actually google (for example) "sports board vbulletin"


I intentionally look for vbulletin boards....and really like the fact that my boards are vbulletin and want it to be known.
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  #14  
Old 02 Mar 2009, 06:39
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Originally Posted by jlew24asu View Post
I really dont understand why people always suggest taking "powered by vbulletin" out of the tag.

sometimes I actually google (for example) "sports board vbulletin"


I intentionally look for vbulletin boards....and really like the fact that my boards are vbulletin and want it to be known.
Won't the results still appear in Google because of the copyright text in the footer?
Here's my website results:
googleresults.gif

Here's a relevant discussion on it:
http://www.vbseo.com/f28/how-remove-...e-titles-4677/

Both viewpoints are posted there, but the end agreement is that it's best to remove it.

Of course I guess it depends who your clients/target audience are. If they're tech-savvy people who refuse to use a forum unless it's based on vBulletin, then absolutely keep it, it would be silly not to!
But for 99.9% of people they won't care. When I search for something, I don't care what software is used to run it. I'd pick a 10,000 post forum run by **shudder** phpBB over a 300 post vBulletin forum anyday. It's about the content and quality of content rather than whether it's run by vBulletin, phpBB, IBP, Wordpress, blogger, or whatever software package.

If I was building a blog, I would not put "Powered by Wordpress" in my title. I would think "why should I give up half my Title just to promote some software that 99% of my members don't give a damn about? That should go in the footer".
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Old 02 Mar 2009, 12:20
jlew24asu jlew24asu is offline
 
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Originally Posted by bbcentral View Post
Won't the results still appear in Google because of the copyright text in the footer?
Here's my website results:
Attachment 95722

Here's a relevant discussion on it:
http://www.vbseo.com/f28/how-remove-...e-titles-4677/

Both viewpoints are posted there, but the end agreement is that it's best to remove it.

Of course I guess it depends who your clients/target audience are. If they're tech-savvy people who refuse to use a forum unless it's based on vBulletin, then absolutely keep it, it would be silly not to!
But for 99.9% of people they won't care. When I search for something, I don't care what software is used to run it. I'd pick a 10,000 post forum run by **shudder** phpBB over a 300 post vBulletin forum anyday. It's about the content and quality of content rather than whether it's run by vBulletin, phpBB, IBP, Wordpress, blogger, or whatever software package.

If I was building a blog, I would not put "Powered by Wordpress" in my title. I would think "why should I give up half my Title just to promote some software that 99% of my members don't give a damn about? That should go in the footer".
those are good points and I certainly agree with you. I guess its a matter of preference. I would not post on a phpbb board over vbulletin, simply because I cant stand them. chances are there is a vbull board out there with the same amount of content somewhere.
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