HTML Logo by World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org). Click to learn more about our commitment to accessibility and standards.

Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


ocPortal design and ocPortal website

Login / Search

 [ Join | More ]
 Add topic 
Posted
Rating:
#68840 (In Topic #14649)
Avatar

Fan in training

I'd like to add my 2c. I just found ocPortal today, it was reccommended to me by an admin friend. So here's a perspective from a total new comer. For a change I guess D:

The good - I love the feature list. What ocPortal can do really got me all excited. I am definitely giving ocPortal a try because of this.

The bad - you guys seriously need a new style. The content pages on this site looks ok, just acceptable. The forum looks so outdated. And the 2 show case website you have on your first page just chase away any potential users.

Anglo-Indian Portal
The Forest

I mean, my god, seriously, pick some better looking site please >_<;

The full editor reply page of the forum doesn't work that well for me. Often times I can't even type, and a lot of times the blinking icon just disappear and I was unable to move the cursor around. Took my 5-6 refresh on this thread just so paste my reply :(

The quick reply works. but still…

Personally I don't give a s*** about the stars on review sites. Any avid webmasters know they should experiment with any system themselves to get a hang of things and rate in their own minds. When I see people mentioning CMS names I don't know, I always will go straight to the CMS's own website, look what they can do and look at their example features/websites. Those are the area you seriously need to overhaul.It's where people's first impression is, and that's often what they rate you on.


Last edit: by jpenguin
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68843
Avatar

More detail please. What design elements are dated, and what CMS sites/designs do you consider better?


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68846
Avatar

Fan in training

My personal opinion. There are few things that are consistent in most pages.

- Squeezing contents vertically. Your home page for example looks very squeezed because of the 3 column layout.

- With all the lines and boxes, they're emphasizing the rectangular shapes of the website. Makes it feels very blocky.  Of course web layouts are rectangular but there's no reason to emphasize them even more D:

- Some minor elements are not the best choice. Like the blue stone thing in the background and the over all icon choices. I like the boxes in the center of your download page, you should compare that to other things you have.

Try take a look at some other sites, maybe you can feel it too when I say squeezed.

Unify ˇ The simple content editor that anyone can use.
Accessible Open Source Content Management System - Contao Open Source CMS (fka TYPOlight)
XenForo Community
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68847
Avatar

Okay, thanks for the feedback :). Personally I think it is a lot to do with personal taste, but I'll ask the other staff to look at this seriously (particularly the more design orientated ones) and of course people may want to discuss it here.

Regarding the editor, it's the most popular one out there, ckeditor. I did just notice now it won't let me paste and manipulate your post easily, so I'll look into that (maybe something got into it, it does seem to have picked up nested body tags for some odd reason). But it sounds more like an issue with your computer if it happens consistently with any new topic as you're the first one to bring this up here, and it's widely used out there. Nevertheless if you have a specific sequence of clicks/keypresses starting from a blank editor that do not work for you, please report as a bug and I'll certainly look into it.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68851
Avatar

Community saint

jpenguin said

… the 2 show case website you have on your first page just chase away any potential users.

Anglo-Indian Portal
The Forest

I mean, my god, seriously, pick some better looking site please >_<;

Sort of screws up one's day … !!

 :'(

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68852
Avatar

I know, I don't think he was feeling very diplomatic last night, and design-minded people can often be very spirited in their views. Your site looks great Fletch.

From our angle, we're about to make a few tweaks to our theme.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68853
Avatar

Community saint

Fletch said

jpenguin said

… the 2 show case website you have on your first page just chase away any potential users.

Anglo-Indian Portal
The Forest

I mean, my god, seriously, pick some better looking site please >_<;
Sort of screws up one's day … !!

 :'(
This is to be expected from a childish, immature and destructive person who hides behind a nickname such as jpenguin, thinking he can just disrupt an adult conversation.

I will not be as diplomatic as Chris and Fletch and tell this cartoon that his uncalled-for caustic opinion his not welcome here and that he would be better off going back to play with his Sims little friends.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68855
Avatar

I am very happy for him to stay around, because although he did not conduct himself with any tact at all and was quite insulting to yourself and Fletch, he has spurred us on to make some awesome changes to the forum here. I wouldn't take it too seriously Jean, some people just have a very particular feeling of how things should be and like to associate with particular movements. I would say all views are welcome here, but encourage jpenguin to reflect respect for people's hard work whilst giving constructive criticisms.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68960

Non-joined user

I agree with jpenguin that the style needs updating. I would add more rounded corners and shading (very similar to what you have on this page). And I don't look at star or vote counts but I do read reviews and I definitely check out demos, so you are doing the right thing.

Here is a site that might be helpful for creating themes - haven't played with it yet myself but then I just found it a few minutes ago. http://www.artisteer.com/?p=home

The best thing about this CMS is that the forum is built in and it's a great forum. Most CMS do not have forums and the few who do have mickey mouse forums with few features. Please check out your competition at oxwalland elgg. You can see how they have a modernized feel with a white background and floating modules.

The full editor worked fine for me (chrome). 
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68962
Avatar

Community saint

@Melee I certainly like the look of Elgg, although not having tried it I'm not sure whether it provides a usable default like ocPortal does, or whether it's more of a framework like Drupal.

Oxwall, on the other hand, seems like an "Open Core" model, which I'm very much against. They release their core platform as Free Software, in order to get the "open source" marketing buzz and potentially some help with development, but all of the desirable features come as proprietary plugins/services (either from them or third parties). In fact, they even mandate that anything sold for a fee on their site is released under their proprietary "Oxwall Store Commercial License". To me this is like saying "Free Software cannot be charged for", which implies "Free Software developers don't deserve to be paid".

Whilst I'm obviously far from the average Web master looking for a CMS, an example of Oxwall's open core model is that paid site subscription comes as a proprietary plugin for $20. ocPortal includes this by default, as Free Software, and ocProducts don't charge for downloads.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68968
Avatar

Thanks for the feedback Melee. There was an ocProducts team discussion about our design and we all really like it, especially that it is distinct (i.e. not bland and generic). A big redesign is a expensive distraction from the commercial work we do to be able to keep supporting ocPortal, as well as the ongoing work improving usability, etc. So for those two reasons the ocProducts team is not going to go looking at any substantial changes for the foreseeable future. However, ocPortal is open source and just because ocProducts sponsors it does not mean we have to be the only contributor. Anyone is welcome to come up with a new design and see what people think of it. Obviously if there is consensus and a design is there and ready, the chances of it getting changed rise considerably.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68977
Avatar

Community saint

Last night, I’ve downloaded and played around with the Artisteer web design automation program thanks to the tip from Melee.:thumbs:

I found the software to be intuitive, as it was both simple to use and fun. The basic theme suggestions were elegant and offered great prototyping capabilities. The suggested templates, fonts, color schemes, backgrounds, layouts, and much more from tables to hyperlink display to borders and bullets are visualized in real time from dropdown menus mouseovers.  You can select from a list of design elements to use or upload your own images, backgrounds, and logos.

The free trial can be a tremendous tool for themers and design neophytes to get a better understanding about page layouts and blueprint components necessary to create HTML and CSS templates. However; I’ve read some critiques about the inefficient template coding which can be exported with the $49.95 version.

I couldn’t help dreaming that a similar, easy-to-navigate WYSIWYG theme editor integrated into ocPortal would help promote the notion that it is the “killer” application we know it to be, but seemingly a bit difficult to grasp by those with a mind used to clicking on dropdown menus and therefore blind to what is there all along under the hood. This notion that simple, yet beautiful themes could be created on the fly would serve our beloved software well. This conclusion is purely suggestive, as I have no idea how logistically and financially it could be integrated to the present framework, but sometime it is good to dream and see where it leads us.;)
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68978
Avatar

Yeah that's a hot topic. We're progressing in that direction, but it's a much bigger challenge for something like ocPortal due to the scope of templating/CSS on the site - so much that a major theme change has to effectively touch, and so much a small stylistic tweak could potentially break (e.g. making the middle column quite thin might look great for a front page, but terrible for a forum). I've been thinking about template editing last night, in my comment on here:
0000054: New Tempcode look - ocPortal feature tracker
The aim is to simplify Comcode pages and templates into a unified framework, and provide an easier way to bring them up for editing and navigate and preview.
But we've come an enormous way since v4. v4 has the theme wizard, but the new CSS editor and the screen previews in the template editor make a huge difference, as well as the ability to theme-wizard any theme. Bundling some additional base-theme choices also would be good ;).


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68984
Avatar

Community saint

Jean said

… downloaded and played around with the Artisteer web design automation program …
I've been using the proggy, on and off, for some time now. In fact I've been a fully paid-up customer since before version 1.0 (on version 2.0 now), and I used it to create the 'blocky' theme for my site that apparently doesn't please all of the penguins all of the time!

The positives are obvious; you don't have to think too much. It is all done for you, and clicking on the relevant editable areas gives a vast amount of flexibility in 'designing' your website from scratch.

The negatives aren't that easy to spot initially, but you soon realise that trying to incorporate a bunch of HTML, CSS and JS into an already configured ocPortal site slowly leads you into a nightmare scenario.

However, I am still trying to use the programme, with a few minor tweaks, to generate an acceptable amount of HTML & CSS that will play nicely with ocP. Whether I can get away with not using the JS is yet to be seen.

I should have an example ready pretty soon, but what I am aiming for is a simple zipped package that a prospective user can download, unzip, install on his/her site via ocP tools or FTP, and hopefully have a theme that picks up where his/her current theme (custom or default) leaves off.

Ambitious? Yeah, tell me about it …..

 :'(

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#68986
Avatar

Community saint

Chris Graham said

    * so much that a major theme change has to effectively touch, and so much a small stylistic tweak could potentially break (e.g. making the middle column quite thin might look great for a front page, but terrible for a forum).

That's one thing I am finding very frustrating and very time consuming. The interdependencies of some of the elements seems more mystical then logical. Take for example tables. In the two images below you can see the highlighted double thickness lines:


Note how on the forum page it starts to appear after the first row, yet on the website feedback page is starts on the third line. This should have been a simple padding fix, yet no matter how I adjust the padding in "th, .fake_th" or
".ocf_forum_*" I get different locations of the double line, missing lines and even missing lines in catalogue tables.

Chris Graham said

The aim is to simplify Comcode pages and templates into a unified framework, and provide an easier way to bring them up for editing and navigate and preview.
And hopefully disentangle the element in such a way that we don't get unexpected side effects like above.

Chris Graham said

the new CSS editor and the screen previews in the template editor make a huge difference,
Agree they have made things a lot more efficient for me, especially when used in combination with firebug.

Chris Graham said

as well as the ability to theme-wizard any theme
While the theme-wizard is certainly useful, unfortunately in my case it was of very little benefit.

I started my custom theme with it, but quickly found the need to manually change most of the colours in the css (and a few in javascript files) manually (and unfortunately I did most of that before the new css editor was available).

(P.S. The image I attached was originally two separate images, but attaching more then 1 attachment at a time seems to be broken at the moment)

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#69205
Avatar

Fan in training

Jean said

Fletch said

jpenguin said

… the 2 show case website you have on your first page just chase away any potential users.

Anglo-Indian Portal
The Forest

I mean, my god, seriously, pick some better looking site please >_<;
 Sort of screws up one's day … !!

 :'(
 This is to be expected from a childish, immature and destructive person who hides behind a nickname such as jpenguin, thinking he can just disrupt an adult conversation.

I will not be as diplomatic as Chris and Fletch and tell this cartoon that his uncalled-for caustic opinion his not welcome here and that he would be better off going back to play with his Sims little friends.

Woa.

Jean - I apologize if my post was offensive, I didn't meant it to be. It's just an honest opinion about my first impression.  My real name is Panupat Chongstitwattana, and I live in Bangkok, Thailand. jpenguin has always been my nickname I use everywhere - not to hide anything but because I like penguins. You can see it in my facebook profile pictures

Panupat Chong | Facebook

I was in a hunt for a CMS to use on my newer projects. Joomla, drupal, concrete5 and lately typolight/contao are what I've been using for the past years. OcPortal was recommended to me by a TAZ member Brian, he spoke very highly of OcPortal. Which is why I came here to check it out.

The first thing I looked for is of course the features. But equally important to me are example of nicely designed websites in the showcase. To be honest, when I see the examples you have here, I almost discard OcPortal altogether. But Brian's positive comments encouraged me to try. My comments about the websites might had sounded too strong and I apologize, but I really felt *that* strong when I saw them.

Again I'm sorry and I ensure you I had no ill-will intended.

I haven't revisited this thread after Chris' reply, I came back because of this thread in TAZ by the way
OCPortal - Admin Zone Forums


Last edit: by jpenguin
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#69210
Avatar

Community saint

Jean said

…. and that he would be better off going back to play with his Sims little friends.

Being an avid sims player (still) … I was insulted with that… ha, ha, ha!!! Just kidding!

As far as his "site comments" go, he needs to provide more constructive criticism as to why they shouldn't be featured and such…

I for one still love that FOREST theme… and Fletch's site is always an amazement.

Eric DeMars . com
My electronic portfolio and personal site. Uses ocPortal!
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#69214
Avatar

Community saint

I agree with Eric. Fletch, your site is well done. I also like the Forest theme.

jpenguin, I understand your remarks, but do understand - everyone has different tastes themewise and such, and becareful of how you critiq what you see as there is always some living, breathing person behind that which you are critiqing. I'd suggest that while you can freely critiq how in your opinion such sites are not good example sites, you carefully word and explain why, whilas at the same time being gentle with the feelings of the site makers.

ie… you could have stated it more mlike "I don;t think site a and site b are good sites for your example sites. It would have been better to pick sites that show such and such. Site a and Site b are alright in their own regards, but they don't blah blah blah" instead of your comment you made before.

Just my two cents….

Legends of Nor'Ova: A site powered by ocPortal; home of the Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG wiki and community.

Like ocPortal? Want to thank Chris and gang somehow? Then help out in the chat room! It really needs your help! Just open it in a tab everytime you open your web browser, and when you hear a "ding", check it out!

"Those who want help should first be willing to give help."
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#69218
Avatar

Community saint

I liken the theming of ocPortal to Linux, CLI vs GUI or WYSIWYG editors for HTML. One can get away with using the GUI interfaces, however, in many cases you're not really understanding what is happening "under the hood" which can cause some problems down the road.

I too initially struggled with OCP's themeing, however, over the years, having to spend time at the "code" level (which is fairly easy given the tools that OCP has included for this task), I've now gained a huge appreciation for what OCP can do and have a much better understanding on how to do so.

Easy is not always best  ;)

"no violence, no hate, no pain, no enemies
just peace, unity, tolerance and love" - The Beloved

OCP V7 | Advocating monetary reform - FreeOurMoney

Need OCP friendly hosting? Look no further:
Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers w/cPanel - Elief! - Official hosting partner for ocPortal.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#69221
Avatar

Community saint

SoccerDad said

I too initially struggled with OCP's themeing, however, over the years, having to spend time at the "code" level (which is fairly easy given the tools that OCP has included for this task), I've now gained a huge appreciation for what OCP can do and have a much better understanding on how to do so.

Well said and in agreement!  :thumbs:

Eric DeMars . com
My electronic portfolio and personal site. Uses ocPortal!
Back to the top
 
There are too many online users to list.
Control functions:

Quick reply   Expand