Our forums are an essential part of our site. It allows us to provide detailed support for our members, and gives our community a place to share information. It is an excellent avenue for site developers and casual users alike.
RocketTheme v3.0 came with an abundance of new features, and the forum is among the most important. We have moved from a phpBB based forum to Kunena, which allows us to better integrate our primary Joomla site with our community forum.
In addition to changing the platform on which our forum is built, we have also redesigned the interface to make threads easier to read, create, and add content to.
phpBB3 is an excellent platform. We continue to stand behind it and have no plans to stop creating styles for it.
When it came to our site, and its massive scope of vital components, we needed to find a solution that allows us to do things a little differently. Injecting modules (such as the download, details, and docs buttons near the top of each product forum) was one of these requirements.
By using Kunena, a platform native to Joomla, we found that we were able to integrate our primary site and our forum together much more easily than we could if we were working with shared customer accounts on separate platforms. Utilizing Kunena has allowed us to do things that we only dreamed about when using a bridged solution as we had before with phpBB.
One example of this advantage is the ability for users to create and modify their forum profile from their main user settings menu. This cuts down on the amount of confusion caused when the user database isn't natively shared between platforms.
One of the challenges we faced with our original forum design was that, with the inclusion of hundreds of product sub-forums and dozens of general topics, the interface became a bit cluttered and difficult to follow. The design was great at the time, but we simply outgrew it as time went on.
RTv3's forum combines the look and feel we love about modern design with the power and scope our product line demands. Our vision was to make it simple and easy to use, without limiting the variety of content our users have come to expect. To accomplish this, we have reorganized our structure to simplify the overall layout and make it easier to navigate.
The new forums are also responsive, making them instantly usable across a wide range of devices, without requiring multiple independent user interfaces. The user experience is consistent whether you’re logged in using a desktop PC or a mobile device.
As with other areas of our site, the RocketTheme forum has a powerful search feature powered by Elasticsearch and customized to meet our needs. You can quickly and easily find posts by topic and/or specific individuals. You can filter these results by category, date(s) posted, author, and sort them in a variety of ways.
We believe that through this simple yet powerful search tool, you can find the information you need faster and easier than ever.
We often ask for sensitive information when troubleshooting issues. Instead of pushing the conversation to another messaging avenue where it's easy to overlook important information, you can reply privately within the thread itself.
You can do this by clicking Reply under someone's post you wish to reply to, and clicking the Secure tab in the resulting page. Anything you type in the secured field can only be read by the person you are replying to and any moderators of the forum. Any media you upload will also be kept hidden from public view, and be made available only to the individual and forum moderators.
This allows all related messages to appear in a single thread, which is easily managed and tracked.
One of the coolest features of these forums is the RokPad-style editor that gives you advanced features such as: syntax highlighting, search-and-replace, multi-line selections, multiple cursors, and more!
Another feature of our editor is the ability to perform drag-and-drop file attachments. Instead of going through a series of menus to attach a file (or not being able to attach one at all) you can drag and drop the file so it displays natively within your post.
Images are automatically resized, but should not have a pixel count of over 1200x1200. Supported image formats include: jpg, jpeg, png, txt, gif, pdf, rtf, zip, tar.gz, and more.
1) Phase 1 - minor additions currently in place - We have added a solved prefix
(Solved) which converts the prefix into a solved badge when added to the subject title of a thread to allow for quick identification of solved solutions. Messages are then moved to the Solved forum by moderators.
2) Phase 2 - coming soon - We plan to do away with solved forums by having the ability to tag messages as solved (topic author, moderators, admins), leaving them in their current location. Having the ability to search based on this solved tag will make it much easier for users to find threads that provide a solution to their question.
We were initially concerned about performance as we have a large forum with over 1 million posts, and phpBB is a dedicated forum platform where as Kunena is a component for Joomla. However, with some minor optimizations we found Kunena to be fast and responsive.
We’ve developed a new responsive HTML email notification format for Kunena subscription notifications that is easier to read and provides pertinent information.
We wanted everything about the new site experience to follow the same design philosophy. Thanks to some feedback from the community, we crafted the new email layout to bring out all the points that are most important to our users.
The RocketTheme forums make it easy to show your appreciation for someone's post. By clicking Thank You in the toolbar below a post, you can give a simple thanks to the poster. That thanks appears on the thread, as well as in the user's profile in listings of posts they are thanked for, and any thanks they have given to others.
We believe that this is a great way to encourage community interaction, as well as allow active and helpful members to be recognized for their contributions.
The most important part of our forums are its members. Have fun browsing the various topics and categories. Post new threads of your own, reply to posts made by others, and enjoy them.
Our forums are by no way limited to just support. They're there to be used and enjoyed by everyone, whether you are a current member of one of our clubs, or a member of our community in search for new tips and ideas on how to get things done.
These new changes came about thanks to feedback and suggestions made by our community. We plan to continue to build on and improve our site long into the future.
If you have a comment or suggestion about the new forums, please feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below, or by posting on the forums.