Happy Atheist Forum

Operations Desk => Forum Suggestions & Announcements => Topic started by: Recusant on January 27, 2020, 03:27:09 PM

Title: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on January 27, 2020, 03:27:09 PM
With GDPR compliance in place, the next adjustment to the site is changing the default theme (the way the forum appears on your screen) to what is called a "responsive" theme. This will take effect one week from today, on February 3, 2020. The new theme isn't bad at all. I'll explain why this is happening, but if you don't care to read my nattering on and wish to get to the practical side of things, scroll down to the next section, below the asterisks.

Whether you use the Google search engine or not it's still by far the most popular, with over three times as many users as the second most used search engine. As such it has a lot of influence over how people find things on the internet, and therefore it's worth paying attention when it changes policy, if you want people to be able to find you.

Google has decided that it wants to cater to users of smart phones (and, I assume, tablets) by grading its search results on how "mobile friendly" websites are. A few years ago it began a "Mobile First" protocol, and has been including more and more websites in that protocol. HAF was added to the "Mobile First" protocol a while back.

A regular theme like the one we're currently using will appear with its full page on the smart phone, text very very small and needing to be enlarged for the visitor to even begin to try to read it, and navigation through the site is tiresome. Responsive themes for forums like HAF change the way their display is arranged, depending on what sort of device is being used. A responsive theme will recognise that the visitor is using a smart phone or tablet, and will make itself easily readable on that device as well as making navigation in the site using the mobile device relatively smooth.

If we want to keep getting a new member once in a while, it helps if our site is as high as possible in search results. Google will continue to drop us lower in the results as long as our "Mobile First" score is poor, which it is right now. It's easy to comply with their protocol by switching our default theme, so we're planning to try it for at least a while.

The prospective default theme is called "Reseller." There are some changes in the interface that may take some getting used to if you decide to try it out, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have in that regard. If you don't want to bother though, it's easy to change back to what is our current default theme, called "Curve."

* * *

I'll show how to change the theme you're using, giving images from both the current default theme "Curve" and from the coming default theme "Reseller." Depending how you have your profile preferences set, what you see may be slightly different from the images below but I think you'll have no trouble following along.

In "Curve," click "Profile," which gets a little dropdown menu. Choose "Summary":

(https://i.imgur.com/S64byzE.png)

In "Reseller", it's very similar, though the menu is at the very top of the page.

(https://i.imgur.com/qmT24CU.png)

In the resulting page, hovering over "Modify Profile" gets another dropdown menu. Choose "Look and Layout."

(https://i.imgur.com/St1RCHs.png)

In "Reseller," again, very similar.

(https://i.imgur.com/WeBK3WY.png)

Now you're on the page which will take you to the list of themes available. Click "(change)" in the "Current Theme" section.

(https://i.imgur.com/zWDytN5.png)

In "Reseller," the same.

(https://i.imgur.com/Cu8hCq3.png)

You will see the choices of theme currently available. Find the theme you'd like to use, and click "Use this theme."

(https://i.imgur.com/RLlAFYG.png)

Again, in "Reseller" it's the same.

(https://i.imgur.com/Au8PjSk.png)

Please feel free to comment on this, and ask any questions you may have.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Tank on January 27, 2020, 08:27:25 PM
Sound fine to me. Thanks for all the effort you have been putting in. It is much appretiated.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 27, 2020, 09:28:24 PM
Sound fine to me. Thanks for all the effort you have been putting in. It is much appretiated.

Echoed! :grin:
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on January 28, 2020, 03:11:42 AM
My pleasure.  :computerwave:
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on February 01, 2020, 08:49:08 PM
*Bump*
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on February 08, 2020, 09:46:59 PM
I'm not sure whether the new theme had anything to do with the recent downtime for the site. Will be consulting with Asmodean regarding this.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on April 14, 2020, 09:11:53 PM
Fair warning: we're going to try this again. Will see how it goes.  Will be making the change around 00:01 (12:01 AM) GMT April 16, or somewhat over 24 hours from now.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: xSilverPhinx on April 14, 2020, 11:38:01 PM
:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Tank on April 15, 2020, 08:24:55 AM
Ok.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Asmodean on April 15, 2020, 09:14:19 AM
All mobile-friendly 'n stuff. It will be interesting.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on April 16, 2020, 05:30:20 AM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: hermes2015 on April 16, 2020, 06:03:07 AM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.

Recusant, on the whole I like the clean look and typeface of the new theme. I have a nit-picky request, though: would it be possible to move the item "Recent Unread Topics" to the top of the list, or display it a bit more prominently? I spend a few extra milliseconds looking for it every time I want to click on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/4UKUG4G.jpg)
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Recusant on April 16, 2020, 06:12:22 AM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.

Recusant, on the whole I like the clean look and typeface of the new theme. I have a nit-picky request, though: would it be possible to move the item "Recent Unread Topics" to the top of the list, or display it a bit more prominently? I spend a few extra milliseconds looking for it every time I want to click on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/4UKUG4G.jpg)

It probably is possible, and once I learn more about manipulating themes I can give it a try. (I've got a sort of experimental theme that I can work on; it's not available to members of this site because who knows how I'll manage to mangle it.)

I regret to say that I'm not confident enough of my skill and will refrain for the time being from tinkering of the sort you describe on themes that are actually in use. Per earlier comments, you are one of the people I reverted back to the previous default theme, but I see you've reverted the reversion.  Heehee 1
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: hermes2015 on April 16, 2020, 06:36:52 AM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.

Recusant, on the whole I like the clean look and typeface of the new theme. I have a nit-picky request, though: would it be possible to move the item "Recent Unread Topics" to the top of the list, or display it a bit more prominently? I spend a few extra milliseconds looking for it every time I want to click on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/4UKUG4G.jpg)

It probably is possible, and once I learn more about manipulating themes I can give it a try. (I've got a sort of experimental theme that I can work on; it's not available to members of this site because who knows how I'll manage to mangle it.)

I regret to say that I'm not confident enough of my skill and will refrain for the time being from tinkering of the sort you describe on themes that are actually in use. Per earlier comments, you are one of the people I reverted back to the previous default theme, but I see you've reverted the reversion.  Heehee 1

Thank you for taking it seriously, although it is truly a minute non-urgent issue that is probably just a consequence of having too much time on my hands during enforced self-isolation!

Yes, I thought I should give the new theme a second chance — I'm happy I did.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Asmodean on April 16, 2020, 10:43:25 AM
Nothing wrong with suggesting changes to the theme - be they minor or otherwise.

Suggest your wishes, and we shall see if that can and ought be done.  8)
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: hermes2015 on April 16, 2020, 01:26:55 PM
Nothing wrong with suggesting changes to the theme - be they minor or otherwise.

Suggest your wishes, and we shall see if that can and ought be done.  8)

Thank you very much.
 :boaterhat:
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Asmodean Prime on April 18, 2020, 11:01:04 AM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.

Recusant, on the whole I like the clean look and typeface of the new theme. I have a nit-picky request, though: would it be possible to move the item "Recent Unread Topics" to the top of the list, or display it a bit more prominently? I spend a few extra milliseconds looking for it every time I want to click on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/4UKUG4G.jpg)
Links reordered.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: hermes2015 on April 18, 2020, 12:20:19 PM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.

Recusant, on the whole I like the clean look and typeface of the new theme. I have a nit-picky request, though: would it be possible to move the item "Recent Unread Topics" to the top of the list, or display it a bit more prominently? I spend a few extra milliseconds looking for it every time I want to click on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/4UKUG4G.jpg)
Links reordered.

You are a good man. Thank you very much.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: hermes2015 on April 19, 2020, 08:01:48 AM
Any comments or questions about the new default theme are welcome.

Recusant, on the whole I like the clean look and typeface of the new theme. I have a nit-picky request, though: would it be possible to move the item "Recent Unread Topics" to the top of the list, or display it a bit more prominently? I spend a few extra milliseconds looking for it every time I want to click on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/4UKUG4G.jpg)
Links reordered.

A bit of feedback: after living with the new link order since the change, I find it much more convenient and faster to use. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: billy rubin on April 19, 2020, 11:23:23 AM
i suppose im a peasant on this stuff. every time i get a formst change i go to my profile a reset to SMF default.

so everything always stays thez zame for me.
Title: Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
Post by: Asmodean on April 19, 2020, 01:12:09 PM
The forum default is now the mobile-friendly Reseller theme. That is because Google algorithms are alleged to favor mobile-friendly sites.

If you want to use the default Curve theme (the one this forum comes with) you need to select it manually, as resetting to default will now apply the Reseller theme.