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United-Forum CSS Sprites - ludicrous speed - NOW! Details »
United-Forum CSS Sprites - ludicrous speed - NOW!
Mod Version: 0.7.2, by Osbes (Member) Osbes is offline
Developer Last Online: Feb 2013 I like it Show Printable Version Email this Page

vB Version: 4.x.x Rating: (31 votes - 4.55 average) Installs: 267
Released: 12 Jul 2011 Last Update: 06 Aug 2011 Downloads: 2877
Not Supported Uses Plugins Auto-Template Additional Files Is in Beta Stage  

tl;dr Makes your forum faster.

Want an easy one-click installation for this addon? . Vote for this jira-entry

Add on currently is in beta stage

When visiting a website, speed is a very important factor not only for users but crawlers as well. Long loading times are a nuisance since your time is basically wasted during the waiting period. Hence, we are trying everything we can in order to speed up our site. One great way to improve loading times is by the use of css sprites. Unfortunately these are not implemented by vBulletin.

We therefore decided to develop our own css-sprite add on for vBulletin boards and want to share this code with the worldwide vBulletin community.

Live demo
The add on is permanently running in our vBulletin board ( > 2.000.000 posts), take a look:
http://www.united-forum.de

The add on will be supported via this thread. If you have any questions, issues, improvements or feedback regarding this add on, please feel free to post a comment or write us a pm at any time. We are happy to discuss

vBulletin performance using css sprites
Our tests are based on version 0.7.0. We used the analytic tools firebug network utility and the googlelabs.com page speed site

on the client side the following parameter were used:
download speed: 5.7 MBit/s
ping: 31ms




css sprites - what are they?
The intention behind css sprites is the bundling of many small graphics into one large graphic in order to decrease the number of required http requests. This shortens the loading times of the given website. In addition, the the accumulated size of all small graphics is higher than the size of the sprite due to reasons of compression.
You can find further information in a great article by Chris Coyier.
What is the gain in using css sprites?
Aside from the technical implementation, the question on how much one actually does gain by using css sprites is of the most interest. Obviously they decrease loading times - but how important are small loading times and what is the impact on vBulletin overall loading times?

A short time ago, Jasper Aguila pointed out that speed is one crucial stickiness factor in his blog on vBulletin.com.
Originally Posted by Jasper Aguila vBulletin Support
The internet has unfortunately contributed to the exponential decrease in attention span for many individuals. That's why this decade is seeing a trend in emerging technologies emphasizing the importance of speed request. It's crucial for your content to be promptly distributed in a timely manner, else bounce rate will increase - making you lose returning visitors. It's also important to note that slow sites may be penalized by search engines.

With better browsers, more powerful processors, and improved technologies constantly releasing each year, it's becoming quite difficult to provide excuses for slow loading pages. Therefore, try optimizing your server for speed. Read up and learn optimization techniques at vBulletin.com's Server Configuration forum.
In addition, the google ranking is influenced by the site speed as well.

Google Webmaster Central Blog
Originally Posted by 09.04.2010 - Google Webmaster Central Blog
You may have heard that here at Google we're obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
vBseo Webmaster Mert Gökçeimam
CSS sprites is a huge bonus for big boards , any big board owner definately should use it.
Last but not least, not only the user's loading time is reduced, but also does the server load decrease as the server will have to handle a lot less of http requests. This clears available connections and cpu time.
Add on features
In the current released beta version 0.7.2, sprites are available for FORUMHOME and FORUMDISPLAY. Coming up next SHOWTHREAD.

Sprites are created style based for all forum styles and saved in a folder which you can set via the imgdir_sprite stylevar. You have one additional button in the ACP (CSS-Sprites -> Refresh) which automatically creates all sprites, the according css definitions and includes those css definitions in the vBulletin css rollup files.
Installation

First of all, if you didnt want to change the templates manually, install the Template Modification System (TMS). Now proceed with the installation:
  • upload the contents of the upload folder into your forum home directory.
  • import the add on in the ACP
  • upon installation a new stylevar imgdir_sprite will be created. Update this stylevar based on your file structure - default value is the vbulletin sprite directory. Make sure the folder is writable, else the sprites can't be saved!
  • create the sprites via the ACP at CSS-Sprite using the Refresh option.
  • If you have installed TMS, you are done now. This was an easy gained speed up, not? If you didnt installed TMS and didnt want to do it, proceed with the next point:
  • in order to use the sprites, you then will have to edit some templates. The diffs (xou will find it in the do_not_upload folder show which parts you have to delete '<' and which parts to add '>' In addition, on top find the lines in which you will find the respective code.[/b]

Download Now

Only licensed members can download files, Click Here for more information.

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Screenshots

Click image for larger version

Name:	forumdisplay_default.jpg
Views:	2235
Size:	151.3 KB
ID:	131565   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumdisplay_sprites_070.png
Views:	1629
Size:	70.8 KB
ID:	131566   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumhome_default.jpg
Views:	1318
Size:	145.6 KB
ID:	131567   Click image for larger version

Name:	forumhome_sprites_070.png
Views:	1168
Size:	66.6 KB
ID:	131568  

Click image for larger version

Name:	nachher_forumdisplay.jpg
Views:	1557
Size:	96.6 KB
ID:	131570   Click image for larger version

Name:	nachher_forumhome.jpg
Views:	1173
Size:	94.1 KB
ID:	131572  

Show Your Support

  • To receive notifications regarding updates -> Click to Mark as Installed.
  • If you like this modification support the author by donating.
  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
  #631  
Old 24 Jul 2013, 18:26
fxdigi-cash fxdigi-cash is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Originally Posted by Delfi_r View Post
The problem is that the GD library is updated, tested indpendently so perhaps te problem is on the script.

I have reinstalled all files and I get some Template modifications 'incompatible' with 4,21, and the images/sprites/ is populated with some files so perhaps the error is on the condition that dispalys the message.
I installed both mods together as I applied the patch for TMS without any issues. I had one problem though. The GD lib is not compatible because mine is old version and can't update it because it is shared web hosting.

possibly I will be moving to a new web hosting instead of BH since their performance these days is not so good. "stinks "
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  #632  
Old 24 Jul 2013, 19:26
Delfi_r Delfi_r is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
I have verified that the problem is on the script, the part that tests the GD compatibility is wrong, even if the installed version is correct pull the error code.

I'll correct the script and see the new behaviour.

My hosting is enough for 12.000.000 pageviews month.
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  #633  
Old 09 Aug 2013, 15:52
fxdigi-cash fxdigi-cash is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Originally Posted by Delfi_r View Post
I have verified that the problem is on the script, the part that tests the GD compatibility is wrong, even if the installed version is correct pull the error code.

I'll correct the script and see the new behaviour.

My hosting is enough for 12.000.000 pageviews month.
ok, great to know. Thanks for the valuable info.

I went ahead and did my own sprites on two different blocks; main and dynamic ...

but still the web hosting server is the spine of everything so if it is fast, using sprites is not going to do much... I think
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  #634  
Old 14 Aug 2013, 16:22
Akyeame Kwame Akyeame Kwame is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Originally Posted by skol View Post
It means to create the path to the sprite folder..eg: /sprite..Your images are missing from FORUMHOME and FORUMDISPLAY which means the mods working,just the path is wrong to your sprite folder..

Edit: This works for me vb4.2.1 http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showp...&postcount=541
This link worked for me as well 4.2.1
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  #635  
Old 16 Aug 2013, 06:50
AndrewSimm's Avatar
AndrewSimm AndrewSimm is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Click he icon to mark as read no longer works for me either.
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  #636  
Old 30 Nov 2013, 07:37
Unfolded90 Unfolded90 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Originally Posted by fly View Post
The fact that it's not checked means that TMS couldn't find it. Those are the broken ones.

edit: OK, I went through and fixed everything but the 'memberaction_dropdown' template. Not sure I fully understand that one. Maybe I'll try to figure it out after work, or someone else is welcome to.

Instructions: After you install this mod, go into Template-Modifications Manager. Select the [Up-/Download Template-Modifications] link. Import the XML I posted, selecting Allow Overwrite (you may also need to select Ignore Product Version as well).

After that, the majority of the templates should be fixed.
4.2.0 PL3 Fixed!
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  #637  
Old 01 Dec 2013, 07:43
Unfolded90 Unfolded90 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Having two allignment issues

1# Shoutbox


2# Whos online
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  #638  
Old 06 Dec 2013, 15:26
Firyou Firyou is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
hey great mod, I recently installed this with TMS on a 4.2.0 patch level 4 forum, it looks like it installed but I cannot find the button to Refresh CSS-SPRITES. It's not showing up in ACP
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  #639  
Old 28 Apr 2014, 12:52
Mike0 Mike0 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
For cut off icons I'd recommend just editing the sprite png file manually in a graphics editor.
While you're at it, try saving it in 8-bit color format with alpha channel (transparency). Not many editors support saving in that format (but browsers display it properly), so you can use https://tinypng.com/ for example. That can reduce the sprite size by more 50%. Just make sure to compare the result image with the original to see if there's a noticeable difference.
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  #640  
Old 29 Aug 2014, 22:53
thetechgenius's Avatar
thetechgenius thetechgenius is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
OMG, this mod is insane! I can't believe how good this works, my site is lightning fast!

And I have a VERY custom style running on my forum, with a lot of addons and template modifications. Before it took 1-2secs to load, sometimes a bit longer depending on what as being sent or received from the server. With is mod installed, the pages load INSTANTLY, no matter what. Its so fast the browser loading bar can't even keep up. LOL.

Thank you for this mod! So far everything seems to be running correctly.

*INSTALLED & TAGGED*
If I could vote for MOTM, I would!
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  #641  
Old 07 Oct 2014, 19:41
dany_danay dany_danay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Hi.. This is necesary for 4.2.2? Works?
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  #642  
Old 07 Oct 2014, 20:50
Firyou Firyou is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Originally Posted by dany_danay View Post
Hi.. This is necesary for 4.2.2? Works?
It works with 4.2.2. I would recommend it, it isn't necessary though.
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  #643  
Old 27 Nov 2014, 08:40
Santori Santori is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Thanks a lot!
This mod is the best EVER to improve speed into vbulletin forum. Should be native!!!

How can I contribute wth donation to you?

Only one question, the icons into my forum losed a bit quality..How can I improve de quality image into the function sprite generation?

www.aquaterraria.com

Thanks my friend!!
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  #644  
Old 15 Dec 2014, 14:34
iask iask is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Error occurred: The stylevar imgdir_sprite is empty. Please insert a path for the stylevar imgdir_sprite (vBulletin default is images/sprites).

CSS-Sprites
Default Style
0 custom icons added.
0 imageprefixes for forums found.
Processing post icons.
14 post icons found.
Adding sidebar icons.
118 icon candidates added.
http://www.xxxxxxxx.be/images/Ander/...search_rtl.png (with bburl_path / ) does not exist or is not readable.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-main.png.
95 icons added.
Creating sprite (width:1000px height:117px).
Sprite saved, updating css-rules.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-main_rtl.png.
94 icons added.
Creating sprite (width:1000px height:117px).
Sprite saved, updating css-rules.
CSS template successfully updated.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-forumdisplay.png.
0 icons added.
Sprite was not created.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-forumdisplay_rtl.png.
0 icons added.
Sprite was not created.
CSS template successfully updated.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-forumhome.png.
0 icons added.
Sprite was not created.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-forumhome_rtl.png.
0 icons added.
Sprite was not created.
CSS template successfully updated.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-showthread.png.
0 icons added.
Sprite was not created.
Starting with images/sprites/sprite-246-showthread_rtl.png.
0 icons added.
Sprite was not created.
CSS template successfully updated.
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Last edited by iask; 19 Dec 2014 at 19:04.
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  #645  
Old 19 Dec 2014, 18:24
Skaut Skaut is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Great addon, but much work since 4.2.2 is not supported for automated tool.
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