Back in December, Odhran announced that there were going to be some changes at Boards. If you missed that announcement, you can read it again here.
We’re delighted to announce that one of those changes, namely moving to a new platform, is going to happen very soon. We have been working on this in the background for a number of months now and are almost ready to go live.
When is this happening?
This is all due to happen next week! In order to migrate all of our many years of content across to the new platform, we will need to put the site into READ-ONLY mode for a couple of days. This is scheduled to take place on 8th & 9th June, next Tuesday and Wednesday. So it’s two days off for mods and admins
What is going to change?
From a user experience point of view, very little will change initially. Although we’ll be on a new platform, we have themed it to look very like the Boards you are using now. The homepage will be almost identical and the forum and thread views will mirror the ones you see in the Talk To forums now. We’ll be able to share some screenshots of how they will look with you soon. We have access to lots of new features and gadgets that can be added to the site but our first focus is to get Boards migrated across to the new platform. We can start playing with adding features and buttons after that is done properly
New features for users
- Images: Images can be directly uploaded from your device and embedded into a post without any of the faffing about with copying links we currently have. From third party hosting sites, again you will be able to just insert the link using an Insert Media button. This includes the likes of Twitter and Instagram posts.
- Videos: Can be simply embedded with just the share link from Youtube or Vimeo. No wraparound tags required as they are now and it will not be limited to YouTube only.
- Save as Draft: if you start writing a post but aren’t ready to post it, you can save it as a draft to come back to later. It’s a feature that lots of users have asked for over the years (and would have been useful writing this post!)
- Q&A: A user can mark their post as a Question rather than a Discussion and can officially accept one or more of the replies as the answer.
- Tags: the ability to tag a new thread is something that users have asked for and that will be available, it also helps with search.
- Badges for profiles, for various achievements, first post, first ten posts, amount of time on the site and others. While there is a basic set of badges available to us, we can also create our own Boards badges which will be fun. Badges will be displayed on a user's profile. Badges won't be available on the initial rollout but will be implemented at a later stage.
- Reactions: We can add various reactions to posts aside from just Thanks, e.g. agree, disagree, like, LOL, Promote but initially we’ll just have Thanks.
- Swear Filter: the swear filter has migrated our banned words across, however these will all just be replaced with **** regardless of the length of the word typed.
- Signatures: you can hide sigs entirely or just strip out images and see text-only signatures. Images in sigs will be automatically resized to the allowed size so you won’t need to resize images yourself.
Prefixes are not available yet except in the Talk To Forums but can be replaced by Tags on the OP. We will start with a preset list of tags that reflect our current prefixes. If any of you have any suggestions as to other sensible tags to add with that would be great too, we can start adding them once the migration is finished.
All tags will be available to all users across the site and not just in specific forums. Creation of tags will not be open to all users at least to begin with - we've been going through the list of old tags from before, it's a mess so we’ll clean that up first and then see about more new tags.
Anonymous posting is sadly not possible on the new platform, at least not immediately. This is one of the bigger disappointments with it and one we will try to rectify. We know this will make it difficult for forums that rely on anon/guest posting such as PI and RI (there are a good few more that use it, these are just the busiest of them). We suggest that users set up a throwaway account for posting an issue in the interim until we find a solution that will allow users to guest post/post anonymously. Some users do this already when they don’t want to wait for a post to be approved.
PMs are treated like a chat rather than an email conversation but otherwise are very similar to what we have now except that PMs cannot be reported in the same way they are at the moment. An Admin can be added as a participant to a PM discussion where they can then see all of the conversation or a screenshot of a message can also be sent in a separate PM to Admin/staff if there is an issue with it.
Private or restricted access forums
On the new platform these are set up as 'Groups' so that we can alter who has access to them other than the default of everyone. They will also be in a different section to the other forums and for now, will not show on the homepage listings. It is something we will be investigating to see if there are any solutions to make them more like standard forums while retaining their access requirements.
Groups can be public, private (you can see it exists but not access it) or secret (only members of that group can see it). Myself and Mark are working on setting them all up correctly before we go live but at the moment they are all set as secret. Groups may cause some disruption while we all get to grips with the new set up, e.g. a forum that is usually read-only until you are given access to post (like Soccer) will now not be readable at all until you have been granted access.
Warnings, Infractions, Bans.
These will still operate in pretty much the same way as they do now. There is a points system whereby you will be automatically banned or denied some user privileges if you reach a specific number of points at any given time. We will let you know the details in full when we have everything finalised.
Menus may be in a list format temporarily when we move rather than the format we are used to. Any changes to the menu will be lost on migration so we’ll be doing the changes after the move. The list view includes forums where there are lots of subforums so these will look messy for a time unfortunately.
Not everything will work as it should when we have moved and we do expect there to be teething problems. We would appreciate people’s feedback and reports of any bugs or technical issues that you come across. The beauty of the new site is that any changes to design, features or tech issues should be much easier to handle than it was on vBulletin and we hope to get through all of the issues as quickly as we can.
We’re really looking forward to a new Boards.ie experience, the site was due some tlc and modernising and we hope you will enjoy it too. We're really busy finalising a lot of things this week but I will pop back here later today to answer any questions that there might be.
4/6/2021 Update posted here.