When we re-launched the site we were keen not to fall into the traps that the previous forum had suffered from. As we saw it ,those were bandwidth issues and forum maintenance issues.We also wanted to fund the site independently and transparently, without donations.
So as far as the bandwidth issues were concerned we decided to host the entire site remotely. In order to keep hosting costs low we restricted the size of uploads ( pictures) In the time that the site was down everyone naturally and understandably became very used to the seamless and automatic picture resizing prowess of platforms like Facebook. This meant that resizing images prior to posting had become a total pain in the arse. We now believe that this is ultimately affecting the desire for members to share pictures and content on the forum. We concede that this is counter productive.
We trialled a few platforms before we settled for IPB. The platform is fully supported by the company that makes it which means we don’t have to do do much to keep it in good health. It is mobile responsive and offered the best balance between cost and functionality. Unfortunately it did not have a picture resizing plug in that would allow any size of picture to be uploaded and resized automatically. We hoped IPB would develop this but they have not, yet. This lead to many members using photobucket and other picture hosting platforms to save having to resize pictures.
Now, while remote hosting of pictures from your own account is easier than resizing as well as being easier on our storage capacity it’s not ideal for the info stored in the threads. The reason for this is that photobucket links break for all sorts of reasons. For instance if you delete pictures on your hosted account then the links on the forum no longer work and threads that were once full of pictures fill up with annoying black boxes with a message saying that the image is no longer available.
We like pictures
So, here’s what we have done to remedy the situation:
- You can now upload any size picture that you want. We have lifted the restriction on file size.
- We want to store all site pictures here rather than hosting them elsewhere.
- When we need to we may have to increase our hosted capacity but that wont be soon.
- Use the yellow link which says choose files to upload your pictures.
- We have also repaired the glitch that was affecting hosted pictures links.
We could have just said “we’ve fixed the picture problem” but we wanted to take the time to explain what we where trying to achieve as a way of explaining the decisions we have made. Communication black outs were another pit fall we wanted to avoid.
Please do your best to keep file size down and help us save space. We will routinely delete pictures from the for sale and wanted sections once the posts are dead, in the interests of maintaining space.