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About FZ

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  1. FZ

    Behemoth Theme

    It's a very nice theme. A couple of things can probably be improved, such as the nomenclature of the front end colours that you can modify in the theme settings. It's not always obvious what they are in reference to, so maybe a few small screen grabs would help in that regard. The other thing I would like to see is the news ticker moved to the same line as the notifications and login sections, perhaps with an option to float it either side of those. Right now it leaves a big empty space on that line which could be used for the news ticker. But it's a great theme and the support is good too.
  2. Taman's theme was purchased post upgrade. Prior to installing it I was using the standard themes with only colour and very few CSS changes. @opentype's home page template was the only modification I used prior. Monetisation? I have ONE subscribing member who has been with me for many years. He chips in $5 a month. Adverts? There is one advert on the entire site, in the sidebar and it is only there because the company concerned sends me free stuff. European laws do not apply to me. I am free to run a website according to my own countries laws.
  3. But not enough to provide more than one API option? To answer your question, the only time you will find me on these forums is when I am looking for something that I need help with and for which support is not available, such as template mods. If I can offer you a suggestion on how to better handle the kind of chaos removing stuff from your ecosystem always causes, it would be to try to understand that people have built entire businesses on your software and when you come along and kick over the chessboard it's going to make us very angry. Don't take a defensive / accusatory tone with us when we point out that you have screwed up either. This brings me back to why I don't always update my software: it is like root canal. A very unpleasant experience! Moving from 3.4 to 4.0 was just way too dramatic, so that is why having learned my lesson, I am extremely loath to continue "upgrading" your software. It's just not worth it. The added features don't bring in new people. In many cases they turn them away because the website they have come to love over many years suddenly looks and feels completely different. A lot of the time there are also issues with sessions being broken and old cached pages not looking right, which then translates into a LOT of support work for the admins. As I said before, focus on making minor improvements instead of these dramatic changes. Understand that if you listen to the vocal minority (on here) all the time you are eventually going to lose the silent majority. As Americans you should already know what happens when you do that...
  4. @opentype I think you are totally out of line here. It was never my intent to accuse anybody of malfeasance but rather put forward a legitimate questioning of the rationale (or lack thereof) as far as removing this SparkPost API is concerned. It's fairly obvious that IPS have not done themselves or many of their customers any favours with this kind of unilateral move. But here you are in this thread, defending what some of us feel is indefensible. You are not bringing anything constructive to the discussion, instead you're dropping innuendo and telling us we're doing things wrong. We're not. By the way, it's now day 7 since my upgrade and still my bulk mailing system is not working. Support are telling me that the SMTP issue is not their problem, but rather one that has to do with the mailing service. I find that difficult to swallow since there are two SMTP services I have tried now and both report the same error - connection refused. It's not the host, because the host reports to me that they are not blocking the connection, the remailer is. So SMTP is NOT an option for whatever reason. This leaves us with literally only one choice, SendGrid, which as I have repeatedly pointed out in this conversation is not a feasible solution for me. So if IPS can bluntly tell me that the problem is not theirs, why did this become such an issue for them w.r.t. those customers for whom the SparkPost API didn't work? Why weren't those customers given the same "door in your face" treatment i am getting now? Is there a double standard at play here?
  5. So if we can have a SendGrid API why can't we have a SparkPost API alongside it with the disclaimer that neither will be supported by IPS? But as a courtesy to you I will answer your question about why I want to send out more email. My forum has stagnated in recent years because of various factors in the "legacy issues" I referred to earlier. We moved in a different direction and that was not well received by many members. I have had to deal with losing a vibrant forum over the past few years, but I am now in a re-building phase. I am not monetising the forum and in order to re-build it I need to reach out to those members who haven't abandoned the site on a more regular basis. This is also why I want to delete members who haven't logged in for the past 3 years. My project of regeneration was set to kick off officially on 1 July which was when the culling of old accounts would happen. From there I had a plan to post weekly email updates to the remaining members to draw them back to the site to consume new content because let's be honest, there are many other places on the net that have been developed in the 13 years I have been running my site. The SparkPost API being taken away and the subsequent failure of the bulk email system to reach them (or Elasticemail) via SMTP has effectively rendered that plan void. So yes, I am feeling a bit dramatic about this. And yes, I feel that the explanation given by IPS as to why the API was removed is not justifiable or warranted. I think they are being disingenuous. SendGrid is not a solution for me. While I am in the rebuilding phase I need a longer free tier of bulk email and since I am financing my own project I have no room for the additional expense.
  6. The most important thing about running a community is the ability to communicate with the people who belong to that community via email. Without the ability to do this we may as well just start Facebook groups because at least there we might gain the attention of the people who's attention we want to gain. SendGrid is not a feasible option for site owners who can't afford to pay them $29 a month for the privilege of sending email to their own members (screenshot shows what I will pay based on my community numbers). That is a lot of money that I don't get from my community, yet right now it's apparently my only option in a climate where we as online community owners are under increasing pressure from the likes of Facebook groups who draw our audience away daily. Monetising a forum in that environment is darn hard when there are free options elsewhere. How can this be, especially when the previous option to use SparkPost for free worked perfectly for me (and many others)? I'm sorry, I don't accept this. IPS made a decision that has materially affected my entire project and I must just sit down and shut up about it? My feedback is that IPS needs to put back the SparkPost API and communicate more clearly to their customers about how these API's are to be used. And they also need to make upgrading a community less painful.
  7. So it's all my fault, right? The company has no liability here?
  8. The system can send email notifications, it can't send bulk mail by any means. Neither PHP nor SMTP settings are working. This now marks the 6th day since I embarked on my upgrade and still I cannot say the site is working the way it should. How would you feel if you had just spent $125 on upgrades that crippled your 13 year old website project? Do you not think that airing your feedback to the company responsible is important?
  9. Very flippant remarks. You have no idea what I am going through with this problem, do you? Right now I can send out NO newsletters, whether by SMTP or by PHP. Your advice is worthless.
  10. Good grief. You consider not being able to send any newsletters to your community a "minor issue"? The whole point of this board and my post in it is to provide feedback to IPS about their product and to remind them of their responsibility towards their customers, not a springboard for investigating how I manage my website. I bought a product, I'm entitled to ask that it works the way it is supposed to. The support at IPS is very good, but I sometimes get the feeling that it is being done begrudgingly.
  11. My ticket is beginning to read like a Le Carre novel. I just hope it doesn't turn into Tolstoy.
  12. In that same thread, a few messages down from the above quoted one, was a post by @Stuart Silvester saying that the swap over from API to SMTP would be seamless and that admins wouldn't have to do anything. That clearly isn't the case in my instance. Upgrades are supposed to make my life easier, not hell.
  13. Such as? As far as I could tell the issues raised had to do with incorrect usage of the system by users. That's on them, not those of us who didn't fall foul of the way SparkPost run their business. Yet here I am not being able to run any bulk mail for my community at all. How is that even fair, let alone a weighted decision by IPS management (who do have the ability to properly document how an API should be engaged on their system)?
  14. Meditation is not for me. I pray. Not a lot more you can do? You could bring back the SparkPost API and a lot of issues for a lot of people would go away.
  15. I did look at that as a possible solution but unfortunately their pricing is outrageous. Simply wouldn't work for a community like mine. Also, currency fluctuation with us in the developing (or depending on how you view it, disintegrating) market makes that unfeasible too.