Coming Changes

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Let me start this by saying, this forums success surpasses me at times, and has led to my failure towards providing robust technical solutions that stand the test of time. Computer technology is leaping forward so fast, trying to keep pace can be daunting at times. Meeting the needs of the mobile landscape, specifically.

I was hoping that the new style and earlier changes made in the year would do the trick for a year. I was naive to a degree. I sit on the fence at times between simplicity and features. Both have pro's and con's from a technological viewpoint. I've implemented feature changes and we've assessed the positives and negatives of those.

The single largest issue for me, is to provide a stable build that is 100% mobile focused. Let me put it this way, for the last 30 days our user audience has been:
  • Mobile 63%
  • Table 8%
  • Desktop 29%
That means our mobile audience is 71%. That has grown by 1% in just two months. There are various options for me to choose, but of all available options, a light as possible, responsive framework is the best. An app approach is just riddled with issues and expense, use a sub-domain running a dual network to deliver mobile traffic to one version of the site and desktop to another, well... better than an app approach, but still introduces many complexities.

So... over the past months I've been working along, testing many different approaches, learning, experimenting, and have concluded that with the sites growth and continued mobile demand for super fast content from small screens, I am going to make some -- well -- radical -- changes.

These changes range from removing some limitations currently imposed at the software level to remove certain features from everyone, or specific members, yet bloat the code loading (slowing down mobile rendering), to removing features from everyone, period, to adding features purely towards premium members. It will up moderator requirements in places, a rule or two may need to be added into site policy (we'll see), and premium members will be rewarded the most as paying members.

I know -- people often don't like change, so what I'm going to do is perform this on a test server where members can login, look around, get used to changes first, prior to rolling out here. I will post that URL and access details at a later time.

There are things that have never worked well... so they will go. The homepage article system won't change, beyond the minor change I made earlier to its navigation and I am going to disconnect its integration to the forum, which is just problematic. Only those handful of members who need access to the Wordpress system will have it, everyone else will no longer be users of it, nor see any Wordpress member area or such. Two systems, pure member focus on here. All comments will be made as guests to the homepage article system.

Think minimalism, and you're going to get close to what is coming here.
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