Welcome to the new design website and forum

We are pleased to announce the upgrade of our website and forum! The last upgrade to the website was over seven years ago, on 5 March 2011. Back then we were just about to release the Lidas/Manimal Rosters v3.1 and we hadn’t yet created the Custom Start Date Patch. How things have changed in that time!

The new design sees the website being split into two parts: First, we now have a dedicated news/front-end section powered by WordPress. Second, we have the forum which has been, and will continue to be, the focal point of The Blue Line. We also continue to have our Wiki section which will be updated to the latest Wikimedia software very soon.

In the past, our news page has been a simple extension of our forum. The old news page and the header navigation menu required regular re-coding in order to expand them to cover additional online leagues and other features. The news pages, header menu, Challenge pages and various other parts were largely bespoke code written by me which involved heavy modification of the forum software. This prevented us from being able to upgrade our forum software (as we would lose all of the bespoke sections) and this is why we have been using a seven year old version of the forum software. The introduction of the WordPress-powered front-end allows us to easily add new pages and features to the site with minimal effort. In conjunction with a re-coded Challenge section, navigation header and certain other re-coded bespoke sections, we are now free to continuously update our forum as and when new versions become available.

It is worth noting that the new website and forum are works in progress. I think the news section could look a little less plain and include more information. Similarly, I would like to add more sections such as hockey game reviews. I thought it best to upload the new website as a work in progress as otherwise it would never be uploaded. I had started a project to redesign the site in late 2012 but it never saw the light of day (aside from a minor facelift of the home page) because it is hard to find the time in between life, working on the rosters and coding the EHM Editor. Whilst the new website might be a little rough around the edges, I think it is better than waiting another seven years to upgrade!

So, what’s new? Here is a rough idea:

  1. A new responsive design which will adapt to your device. I.e. the entirety of the website is mobile and tablet friendly;
  2. Countless new forum improvements including:
    1. Improved notifications system with live notifications;
    2. A new improved quoting system which links to the quoted post;
    3. Improved anti-spam measures;
    4. Improved navigation;
    5. Better icons which are more suited to higher resolution displays;
    6. Spoiler and Youtube tags are working once again; and
    7. Support for emojis posted via mobile devices;
  3. New header images which change approximately every three weeks;
  4. Re-coded Challenge system with easier access and a cleaner Challenge listings page; and
  5. Upgraded from PHP v5.6 to PHP v7.1 which brings various speed and security improvements.

More is to come, including:

  1. Additional content pages (such as game reviews);
  2. Another EHM online league;
  3. Additional improvements to the Challenge pages; and
  4. A forum rules section.

As part of the switch to the dedicated news page, we will be retiring the old Site News and Challenge News sections of the forum.

This is of course a work-in-progress and further work is needed in order to finesse and expand the website. Please do post any constructive comments, queries or bugs/issues HERE.

Whilst the new version of the forum is similar to our previous forum, I appreciate it might take a little getting used to. It is worth noting that many of the common features users tend to use  – e.g. uploading and viewing Challenge statistics and viewing a list of all unread posts – can be found near the top left corner of each page of the forum like so:

archibalduk

Founder and webmaster of The Blue Line