GuildPortal Dev Blog

Updates from Aaron Lewis, GuildPortal Code Monkey

Posted 11/3/2009 1:48 PM by Aaron Lewis. 113592 reads. Share:

Gallery images are now automatically optimized when uploaded by guild members, to keep page load times speedy.  When a Super Admin uploads images via the file manager, however, it is completely optional.  Initial testing shows size savings of up to 70%, so your images won't just load faster, they'll also take up less space, leaving you more to play with.

Posted 11/2/2009 1:53 PM by Aaron Lewis. 9481 reads. Share:

Custom Event/Raid areas are going live with tonight's code push.  Custom Areas provide a way for you to more precisely specify the location of raids/events using your own, events-admin provided info.  You can set the title, a description, a URL to a map, and a URL to a screen shot for each location.

When adding or editing events, you will see a new drop-down under the current selector for game areas that will contain your custom ones.  Any selection of a custom location will override any selection of a system-provided one.  When adding a new area, if it's a game area you believe GP should include in the standard list, please check the "Share newly-added game areas" checkbox in your custom areas editor.

To get starting with this new feature, click the Edit button under your calendar and then click "Custom Areas."

Posted 10/29/2009 1:58 PM by Aaron Lewis. 7134 reads. Share:

Custom Post Rank Titles are available with tonight's code push.  When set, they appear underneath the number of posts made by members.  In order to set the titles, click the Edit button at the bottom of your Forums, and then click "Post Ranks" (it's along the top).  The images that are used for the stars are customizable here as well.  We know they're accessible elsewhere, but figured they kind of go hand-in-hand with the titles, so we lumped them together.

For those who do their own custom CSS, we've added a class for the area where rank titles appear called "rankTitle," mostly because we have no imagination.  A couple days ago we also added classes for quoted text in forums: "quoteTitle," "quoteContainer," and "quoteBody."  For those who do not use custom CSS, quoted text in your forums (moving forward) will look a bit better, picking up style from your current settings.

Also, the long fight against the WYSIWYG editor's stubborn refusal to work with pasted custom Javascript in any uniform way from browser to browser is -- or had better be -- finally over.  Keep in mind this applies only to admin-level entered content.  Javascript entry isn't something the editor will allow in public forum posts, for example.

Rounding out tonight's push are a bunch of fixes for support tickets.

Posted 10/28/2009 3:57 PM by Aaron Lewis. 11832 reads. Share:

As of October 2009, GuildPortal has been providing guild hosting and management services for eight years. Over two-hundred and thirty-seven thousand guilds, and their over four million members, have passed through our gates since then. Each day, we are visited by tens of thousands who call GuildPortal their guild's home on the web.

It hasn't been an uneventful eight years, however. The arena we work in is full of examples of guild hosting companies (and even the games they support) falling to complacency, disinterest in the support side of things, or a simple failure to rise to the needs and challenges presented by their clients, the possibly most unique, diverse, and savvy group of people you could hope to meet. They are the guild leaders, officers and members who play Massively Multi-Player Online games.

More, they are participants in a shift at the very core of what we call "entertainment." They live in homes where, with the possible exception of one or two shows, the television has had its one-sided conversation ended with the push of the power button on a remote, in favor of one interactive world or another, where they and their friends are the feature. They demand more and more of the world-building companies as the years go by, pushing said companies to do things they'd before said were just not possible. For example, I personally remember a conference at the E3 where an informed gentleman on a panel told us that clothing would never flow, and grass would never sway, in an MMO.

Along with the demands and desires they have for the games they play, go the requirements they have for the web hosting providers they use for their guild web sites. For the past year, we at GuildPortal have re-focused our attention on what got us so far in the first place -- close contact with the people we serve. Whether through support tickets or via the Admin Community, whether a new feature request or something just not working the way it should, our aim is to work with our admins and members the way we did when it all started -- by making them major decision-makers, an integral part of the team.

We chose to start GuildPortal because we loved what MMOs represent, we continue to do it because of the people whom we feel honored to serve, and we have seen that those who do not (whether game, guild hosting provider, or any other business) find themselves eventually as muted as a television show during raid time.

As always, thank you for making GuildPortal your guild's home on the web!

- Sandy and Aaron Lewis

Posted 10/22/2009 2:32 PM by Aaron Lewis. 5687 reads. Share:

A new PayPal Donate Button content type tops the list of changes with tonight's code push.  The idea is to make it easy for guild admins to get help with funding for their web site, voice server, Porsche... what have you.  And now for the rest of the story:
  • Padding along the top of pages was being ignored in some cases.  The code has been instructed on how to be more polite.
  • The login/state bar was showing up for sites using side navigation even after a user was logged in, which it was not supposed to be doing.
  • Password-protected forums were not being included in the forum search.  They are included now, but only if you've entered the correct password by attempting to access them directly.
  • Forum searching now includes the poster's name and topic titles, as opposed to just post titles.
  • Allied guilds will now show up in the Compose Mail tree view.