since the errors we faced on the forum, the forum has been updated with the latest updates and releases. To avoid this occuring again some changes have bveen made such as; not installing any BETA packages that are for rtrsting purposes only. Also we made a backup of the whole forum from our FTP site were we hosted the website, this again to ensure if error occurs we can retirve our work through our backed up one.
We wanted to install a package to our forum that will welcome users to the forum with a nice greeting depending upon the time. This is when we came across this package “Custom Greeting Depending Upon Time”. This mod will change “Hello Name” to a custom greeting, depending on what time it is.
so for example:
12:00am – 5:59am will display “Up Late Aren’t We”
6:00am – 6:59am will display “Are you the early bird”
7:00 – 11:59am will display “Good Morning”
12:00pm – 5:59pm will display “Good Afternoon”
6:00pm – 9:59pm will display “Good Evening”
10:00pm – 11:59pm will display “Souldn’t You Be Going To Bed Soon”
when installing the package, the package installed successfully, however afterward it was a catastrophe. We were unable to login to the forum because of an error with the package conflicting with something.
To overcome this we did try removing the package from the forum by accessing the adminstrator area, but that failed as it did not allow ius any access. This then led us to having to delete it manually by accesessing the root folder in the main FTP directories. We made a backup of the forum file were are forum was installed. We then downloaded a new version of our forum and replaced the old one to see wether it had reset the forum to its orginal state.But after we find out it was still showing an error message as shown on below screenshot:
So after this serious error we then did some debugging to trace the error located on the “index.php on line 164”. We then edtied it manually and replaced it to see if it makes any different
below shows a screenshot of it:
on line 164-166 variables were commented out so that they do not interfere with the forum. This was successful and the forum was back on form.
We have installed this package called “Google Verification META Tag” This modification helps us verify our website with Google Webmaster Tools by adding their verification META tag to our forum’s pages. Once verified this will allow us to be able to access Google’s comprehensive statistics and error information about our forum.
Information on Google Webmaster Tools: provides detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. It will help us with crawling and indexing questions, introduce you to offerings that can enhance and increase traffic to your site, and connect you with your visitors.
We wanted to get the messages posted on the forum to be viewable by twitter. So we installed a Twitter mod. This automatically published topic names of the forum onto Twitter. The published posts can be customized via template. The long URLs get automatically replaced with the short, easy-to-read ones. There is an option for each board to enable or disable topic publication on Twitter. This mod is a wonderful way to bring more targeted traffic to out site without buying any ads.
Below is the screenshot of the setting we installed on the twitter mod and how its post linked to twitter:
The forum was first designed to have different sections according to the universities campuses, and within them have relevant topics that suit that campus. So for example Harrow Campus —> computer science could have a topic called Programming and under this users could post questions. However after some serious considerations we realised that it will be easier to not have separate sections as it will over complicate the forum and just make the forum more congested.
To overcome this issue we made the forum have overall topics throughout the uni oppose to having topics according to the campuses. So instead the sections would just show relevant topics that whole university campuses would go to rather than selecting their campuses and thens selecting a topic.
Prototype design 1:
Prototype design 2:
Protype Design 3:
After some valuable constructive criticism and feedback we found the following issues:
- The Westminster logo should not be used as it not official university product and will be against the marketing department.
- The colours scheme of the forum should not mimic the universities colours as otherwise it will make students avoid using it
- Realised that the forum needed a makeover. So we changed the theme to give a more upbeat look and this is the progress of the new forum interface so far…
NEW DESIGN SO FAR: