Customisation Site Next Gen Features

September 25, 2013, 09:22:14 PM Posted by Gary on September 25, 2013, 09:22:14 PM in Customisation Site Next Gen Features | 11 Comments
Hey everyone,

The team has constantly talked about an overhaul for the Customisation Site, and I'm going to admit that it is long overdue, I apologise for that, but I hope what I'm about to tell you in this blog post is enough to satisfy you for now while we continue to work on it.

First, let me tell you some of the more important features that are to be added:

1: More customisation areas: Currently, we only have three types of "site" for authors to post content. In the overhaul, this will be expanded to separate avatars and message icons away from the Customisation site, and create a proper gallery for them.

2: More information on customisation entries, and better organisation. The current site features very minimal information about a customisation and it's up to the author to insert extra information such as language support, CSS3 and JavaScript library support into the description. Now, you wont have to, you can simply click a checkbox and the message will be inserted for you.

3: Extra Functionality: Functionality to help both the author and the users are in development. These include (but may not be limited to) Translation Tools for customisations to be translated, colour changers for themes, bugtracker, wiki, changelogs and FAQ's.

4: Package Makers which can generate package_info.xml, theme_info.xml and installer XML files for you.

5: Reimplementation of a 5-star review system: We used to have one, but it got abused for people asking support. This is reimagined so that users can only post a review once. If that review is removed in moderation purposes then that star rating they gave is removed and the average review rating is recalcuated.

6: Paid Customisation Support: We are not going to be allowing the actual paid download files to be hosted on, but you will be allowed to 'advertise' your paid customisations on the customisation site, and redirect users to your own stores.

7: GitHub support: Free customisations can have a similar treatment by allowing  authors to link to GitHub to download customisations instead of downloading from our site.

8: Support can now be handled directly from the Customisations site entry rather than the forum if you so desire, but the support board for them on the forum will still be visible.

9: Abandoning Customisations: If you no longer wish to support your customisation, you may mark it as abandoned so that someone else may pick it up and develop.

Licenses are a required guideline for Customisations to be submitted, authors will commonly forget to include one in the description of their customisations, so to remedy this, when submitting a customisation, the submission page is performed in a series of steps to ensure all the required information is gathered, a license is one of these requirements. Don't worry, you'll be able to select from a dropdown of Free Licenses, and if you desire, you are able to select a 'Other...' option and write your own license.

Remember, developing a new site with new features is a long process and we have limited resources to accomplish this project. So, if anyone is interested in helping out then please drop me a line via PM or email.

Gary M. Gadsdon
Lead Customiser


Hristo on September 25, 2013, 10:22:15 PM said
Honestly, I was quite worried about SMF's future (to say the least), but the last few days made me believe that maybe there is a hope. And now this. Spot on points!

P. S. Actually with the exception of the star review system, IMO. I really do not like such systems for multiple reasons, because the potential harm outweighs the potential benefits. Such system would make (some) sense only for the paid mods. For the free ones this is not good in the long term. Read the support topic comments (especially after you implement point 8 ) - install the mod - test it. This should be enough.

NanoSector on September 26, 2013, 02:14:48 AM said
Well the ratings system will be checked for abuse, plans have yet to be made and implemented though.

Colin on September 26, 2013, 02:16:59 AM said
Great outline. Thanks Gary for leading this.

4Kstore on September 26, 2013, 02:17:13 AM said
Glad to read this, very good changes... if you need some help please let me know...

vbgamer45 on September 26, 2013, 10:38:53 AM said
Very exciting news! I am looking forward to these many improvements.

TwitchisMental on September 27, 2013, 01:23:18 AM said
This sounds awesome, glad to see the customization site getting some updates :).

onepiece on September 27, 2013, 06:47:31 AM said

bloc on November 03, 2013, 08:43:38 AM said
Indeed it has, onepiece. One can hope but I fear the real drive to do this is in other hands than the team itself...

As an example: this site is *still* using the same graphics I did several years for the cuz site(you see it in the mod/theme/download parts), the twitter site use the same gfx I made too, as well as default theme being, well, the same as in 2008 lol. I take it as a sign of it being good enough to last of course :D ...but seriously, again, I am not holding my breath neither in those areas OR the cuz site, even if the Cuz leader himself is posting. ( and shouldn't the leader be the one going in front of others and actually add something new..? Just asking.)

socializemetoday on November 25, 2013, 12:17:11 AM said
I like the Gallery idea. That sounds good.
One suggestion. The captcha here is hard even for humans :)
I am attempting to post this message 3rd time

TheKnown on March 01, 2014, 08:34:31 PM said
any update on this it sounds groovy?

will the new site allow for reporting of authors who have deceased?

AllanD on March 02, 2014, 07:32:05 PM said
Great update Gary, I do agree that I rating system is something the might not be needed and will just create headaches for the team.