Jump to content
Did you know?
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
Chuck

PlanetChristmas Changes for 2018

Recommended Posts

The good news: the PlanetChristmas forums are about to undergo a big change.

The bad news:  people hate change and the new PlanetChristmas will have a different look and feel.

When:  February 1, 2018

Some details:

The forums you are reading now be switched to the 'Archive' mode on February 1m, 2018.  It's a fancy term meaning everything will stay online but no new posts, messages, classifieds or registration will be allowed.   The search engines will still be able to find everything you've posted over the last 20 years.

Much of your PlanetChristmas account information will be copied to the 'new and improved' PlanetChristmas.  When you first attempt to log in you'll have to reset your password.

The new PlanetChristmas merges the forums and DIY website. 

You'll also have the option of social media capabilities.  Much of what you like about Facebook you'll be able to do in the new PlanetChristmas... minus the never-ending Facebook ads and unwanted news articles.  I'm looking forward to taking advantage of groups.

The forums will begin with a clean slate.  No more timely topics about Christmas Expo 2011  .)

Sharing pictures and videos will be easier because a degree from Geek University won't' be required.

Classifieds are being revamped to make things simpler to understand.

...and a lot of other features I haven't discovered yet.

But... for some of us old-timers (I'm one of them) this big change could be frustrating at the beginning.  Buttons and links will be in different places.  Strange terms might have you scratching your head.  Getting all your new options set just right will take trial and error.  Think of it as one step back to be able to jump three steps forward.

Are you super-worried about any of this?  Feel free to share your concerns with me: chuck@planetchristmas.com

Stay tuned.  This is going to be fun!

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the deal.  My grand plan to totally revamp the forums for 2018 hasn't gone well.  The old adage 'you get what you pay for' comes to mind.

We use a forums package from Invision Power.  Pricey to license in the beginning and then you have to renew support every six months.

I use WordPress for other projects and thought I could use free plug-ins to emulate what Invision Power does.  I built a new Wordpress site and added the forum plug-in.  Paid an expert to migrate the 20,000+ accounts from Invision Power over to Wordpress. 

Then I realized some of the basic features we're used to with Invision Power weren't in the Wordpress based forums.  No problem.  There's a Wordpress plug-in for that.  Pretty soon the free plug-ins led to needed 'pro' versions (secret code for 'you have to pay for that feature').  A few days ago I realized I had added more then 10 'forum enhancement' plug-ins and still didn't have near the functionality of Invision Power. 

With all those Wordpress plug-ins also came complexity.  Tweaking a forum feature required guessing what plug-in implemented it and searching for the right page to make the change.  I started thinking it was becoming worse than tweaking Invision Power.

Then I ran the speed tests.  Let's just say adding all those Wordpress plugins costs in several ways... money, computer processing and page load times.  The Wordpress site is on a turbo-charged server with all sorts of caching techniques enabled.  The empty Wordpress forums required patience as you jumped from page to page.  Depressing.

Then I got an email yesterday from Invision Power talking about upcoming enhancements and new features.

I took a step back and looked at where I was going with the Wordpress based forums.  Bottom line: backwards.  How could I justify spending more time and money to lose features and priceless information from the past?

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...

Lots of words to say we're sticking with Invision Power (our current provider).

The revamped goal is to take all the forum messages over two years old and 'archive' them.  It means they're moved out of the way but still searchable.

The various sub-forums that are left will be consolidated, simplifying navigation for all.

Some of the features requested in earlier posts will be explored with Invision Power.  Seems there's a lot about the software I wasn't aware of.  I've learned this the hard way thanks to Wordpress.

Changes will be happening over the next couple of weeks.  The best news is you won't have to suffer through learning how to use a new forum.

Please stay tuned.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update and all the effort, time, and expense you put into running this forum.  Sounds complex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the update and all the effort, time, and expense you put into running this forum.  Sounds complex.
Ditto

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your pain. Years ago when I was running a Christmas forum, I switched from a SMF forum to a wordpress system and it caused nothing but headaches.

Even though mine was a much smaller scale, it still hurt.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chuck, Thanks for the update.

One thing I am looking for is the "read unread posts" button.  It eludes me. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, algerdes said:

One thing I am looking for is the "read unread posts" button

Click on "Other" button on top, it is in there.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all, won't be on here much as I was. Not sure of the change or what, but its to hard to navigate. I have made many new friends, collegues,contacts, ect and thank you all. Most importantly,  Chuck. You have a great site and hope you continue to keep it up. Many thanks to all I have met, PM'ed to and had the pleasure talking to. Talk to ya'll later Thanks Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2018 at 11:56 AM, TBS99 said:

Click on "Other" button on top, it is in there.

Tom

Thanks.
IMO - Basic navigation buttons, such as "unread topics" shouldn't be hidden like that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made some tweaks to the main menu bar.  There's a new item called 'Activity'.  Click it for a bunch of options.  

Hope this makes navigation a little easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×