If you haven’t noticed, PPCGeeks has changed our style throughout the site. We were rocking the old style for about 6 months, but we weren’t completely satisfied with it, so over the past month, we’ve been working hard and bringing you something hopefully everyone will enjoy. We will try to go over all of the changes with you so everyone is on the same page. Please give us your feedback in the comments!

Uniform Look:

  • The first thing you’ll notice is the uniform look across the site (with the exception of the Wiki for now).  We have a RSS icon, a Twitter icon, and a Facebook icon in the header of every page.  The color scheme is constant throughout the site as well.

Spam Management:

  • About a week ago we added some more spam prevention which has been working really well.  The staff has noticed a huge reduction in the number of reported posts.  One of these checks email addresses, IP addresses and usernames upon registration against a database of known spammers.  Another one checks a user’s first two posts and will flag them if they look like spam.  We still use the email verification during registration too.  We are still using the multiple account prevention too, which will flag accounts which appear to be multiples of an existing member, which happens quite a bit for spammers.

PPCGeeks Homepage (http://www.ppcgeeks.com):

  • This page has a fixed width with the news articles in the left column and a right sidebar.
  • On the left, you’ll see a “Featured” slideshow will which let us display some featured articles at the top for quick access. This will include things like site announcements, podcasts, etc.
  • For the news articles, the layout is much cleaner.  Each article will have a thumbnail image which is the same size for every article.  The text next to the image is an excerpt from the article.  You can click on the image or title to view the entire article.  Under the title, it still shows the posted date, author, a category, and the number of comments.
  • You’ll also notice there’s page navigation at the bottom of the articles.  The homepage will show 15 articles and you can switch between pages to view past articles.
  • In the right sidebar, you’ll see the same ‘About Us’ box with the links to navigate different features of the homepage.  There are a few ads as usual.    Whenever we offer special discount codes in the PPCG Store, we’ll post them in the sidebar box.  There’s also a Categories box to easily sort the articles.  The Archives box filters the articles by month and is minimized by default.  The usual ‘Popular Tags’ box is there as well.  The larger the tag, the more popular it is.

PPCGeeks Forums (http://forum.ppcgeeks.com):

  • In the forums, you’ll notice the old vBulletin style navigation bar is back.  This keeps the forum navigation separate from the rest of the site.
  • If you go to the bottom left of any forum page, you’ll notice a style drop-d0wn box, which should satisfy everyone’s cravings.  We offer 6 styles.  We have the three fixed width styles and three fluid width (for widescreen monitors).  You have the default style, the dark gray style, and the classic PPCG dark blue style.  You’ll notice the fluid styles keep the same uniform look as the rest of the site, unlike before when it was just a plain-jane vBulletin style.
  • You’ll notice a Podcast box at the bottom of the forum homepage as well (under the Who’s Online box).  Whenever our Podcast is live, this box will give you the option to tune in, otherwise it’ll show that its offline.
  • Another new feature is called MyForums.  If you’re familiar with the New Posts button (that will show you the new posts from all forums).  If you subscribe to some forums (while in the forum, click Forum Tools then ‘Subscribe to this forum’, you can select a notification option (No Email Notification is fine).  After you do this to a few forums, you can click on the MyForums link in the navigation bar and it will list all of the threads and stickies in the forums you’re subscribed to.  This will let you easily follow your device forums or any other ones you’re active in.
  • You’ll also notice that everyone now has a default avatar to make the posts look more uniform.
  • We’ve also added a search engine listing to the Who’s Online section.
  • Each forum category is now spaced apart.
  • We’ve merged the Chef’s Corner with the ROM/OS Development forum and made it open to the public.
  • You can also exclude forums from the homepage.  This will exclude them from view, and also the New Posts button, but if you search the site, it will still include those in your search.  To exclude forums, go to your UserCP, then Edit Options.  Near the bottom you’ll see a list of the forums.  You can hold down CTRL to select multiple forums to exclude.  It will automatically exclude all subforums as well (so if you exclude HTC Devices under Windows Phones, it will hide ALL of the HTC Devices).
  • If you never noticed it before, you can tag threads or posts as Favorites.  These will show up in the navigation bar for easy access.  To tag a post, there’s a link “Add Post To Favorites” near the post date and time.  For threads, its located under Thread Tools.

PPCGeeks Wiki (http://wiki.ppcgeeks.com):

  • The Wiki hasn’t changed much yet, but we hope to integrate a similar style into the Wiki.
  • We encourage everyone to develop the Wiki and add anything you think is necessary (device specs, FAQ, etc).

PPCGeeks Chat (http://forum.ppcgeeks.com/chatbox.php):

  • We’ve gone back to the old Java IRC script and replaced Flashchat.  You can use your own IRC client and connect to #PPCGeeks on irc.freenode.net.

PPCGeeks Podcast (http://podcast.ppcgeeks.com):

  • We have a new dedicated page for our PPCGeeks Podcast.  It features a Java IRC room (##PPCGP on irc.freenode.net) and a flash Shoutcast player (yes, we use our own Shoutcast server now).
  • Its also available in the Zune Marketplace as well as iTunes.

PPCGeeks Store (http://store.ppcgeeks.com):

  • We still have our PPCGeeks Store as well, which is through MobiHand.
  • Be sure to check it everyday since they offer a “Deal of the Day”, which is an app at 50% off!

Future Improvements:

We are always looking at ways to improve the site.  We are planning on enhancing the donation system to help encourage site donations and skinning and improving the Wiki.  If you know of any enhancements (whether its WordPress, vBulletin, or MediaWiki), feel free to share them with us for future considerations.

We’ve also made some tweaks and improvements to the server, which has made the site run faster and even lowered the server load.  We will continue to look into ways of maximizing our resources to give you the best PPCG experience possible.

Bugs/Problems:

As with any big change, there’s bound to be issues that arise.  Please report any issues in this thread.

Last Words:

The staff has worked hard on these changes and we hope everyone enjoys them.  We know we can’t please everyone, but we hope to offer enough options so we can come close!  We are more than just forums and news, we’re a community of ‘Geekers.  This site was founded on the basis of helping out others and providing us a way of getting the most out of our phones.  We’ve grown at an exponential rate over the past few years and this site continues to be the biggest community for Windows Mobile CDMA phones.  We’ve expanded our forums to include Android, WebOS, Blackberry, iPhone, etc, and hopefully this will help us stay ahead of our competition in the future and give every smartphone user a home!