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Your themes really need some QA checks


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I hate myself for posting this because I know how hard you work but your themes seriously need some QA checks before they get released. They come across as rushed. 
 

I waited until closer to Christmas to install some Xmas themes thinking if I leave it later, the bugs will have been found and fixed, but I just installed 2 of them (Here Comes Santa and Christmas Noel) and they are broken in terms of responsive layout, header image logo and background out of alignment, tiny unreadable font size, widget font size too large breaking the widgets, club forums shown on main index have tiny images etc.

I just validated your main page out of interest and it has over 130 errors, and validation can't finish.

https://validator.w3.org/nu/?useragent=Validator.nu%2FLV+http%3A%2F%2Fvalidator.w3.org%2Fservices&acceptlanguage=&doc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ibtheme.com%2F
 

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I have to agree with both @The Old Man and @pmx9999. I purchased a premium membership and installed about 9 themes.  Now I'm down to 4 themes and slowing removing those as well due to broken areas in the themes. I'm really sorry I've purchased a premium membership now. You live and learn.

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I've now also removed the Here Comes Santa and Christmas Noel themes before they went live. They don't seem to work well on modern responsive, tablet devices like the iPad, yet I noticed Here Comes Santa is okay here, the layout isn't broken. The graphics are so blurry or over compressed, they look quite poor on high res devices. The normal 2 bar menu is for some reason reduced to one bar, which is way too cramped especially if you have the full suite, only by changing and rejigging my menus could I get it to stop breaking, because the themes remove the Secondary Nav Bar!  

Even then the breadcrumb area near Mark As Read and all the sidebar widgets kept overlapping the right green border or pushing the page over off screen. The traditional forum table layout wasn't as bad, but the grid layout was constantly broken. I tried every combination of sidebar on toggling widgets/mobile/responsive/fluid/percentage width possible without much success. 

Some of these issues were fixed here after reporting but the downloaded versions didn't include the fixes for some reason.
 

 

Edited by The Old Man
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Thank you all for pointing this out to me. This is very embarrassing to say the least. I did not upgrade the Noel for IPB 4.4 series and it was not suppose to be released. We only released 2 Christmas themes this year and that was White Christmas and Here Comes Santa. The Noel theme has not been done. The White Christmas theme should not have had any bugs at all. I redesigned that one myself and was under no rush to have it completed. It was reviewed by both Pete and myself. I'll need to know what is wrong with White Christmas so I can get it fixed ASAP. As for the other themes, my absence the past two years caused this problem. Pete upgraded the themes as shown in the template difference code from IPS, however, since he was not the designer and he didn't know my personal custom code style, he was very limited on what he could do with them and he did the best he could to help in any way possible. This is my fault for not being here to stay on top of the upgrades. I am truly very sorry. With that being said, as you all can see, over the past couple of weeks we've been releasing the theme upgrades one at a time that include all the fixes and polishing off. Please bare with me, there are a LOT of themes to be reviewed, upgraded, tweaked and in some cases, completely redesigned to fix how broken they've become over the past two years during my absence. It would be impossible for anyone to upgrade my themes exactly as they should be, except for me, because my coding is very customized in my own style that most do not use or understand. 

We are upgrading and revamping every single theme, including old skins from way back in the day on old versions of IPB one at a time, so they will all be fixed.

@pmx9999 if you could open a support ticket for me with the issues on the new White Christmas theme, I will get them fixed right away.

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Thanks Sherri. Actually I think Here Comes Santa isn't as nice as Noel. The weird thing is the layout is fine here. The version numbers are not matching which may have something to do with it.

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I tried White Christmas and there are certainly issues on the main index.

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(The image above shows the footer covered, but only the index, seems fine elsewhere.)

81F59706-F4B4-4806-BB9A-A00B5625632A.thumb.jpeg.ebfdf771b14db8e286656052bba97180.jpeg

 

199F6422-72D4-4424-8D34-B38448579FC1.thumb.jpeg.368de5544b06a7a1f5ec44c05fa24b90.jpeg

 

5600215C-6101-4470-A3CE-5AEDF7EB3805.thumb.jpeg.276e63f96cf369a9fe09286324b90d03.jpeg

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, The Old Man said:

BF77F4B6-3F72-4414-837B-7B66BC7AFE51.thumb.jpeg.291c7d2d0de4d7b0bc8073fd6fb2ae83.jpeg
 

7BF46D1B-2B36-489E-B4FC-7071139333D2.thumb.jpeg.302d789cb85fef9948347ede657193b5.jpeg

 

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First the Noel version number 1.0.6 is old version number and i forgot change it to 4.4.9, but if send you the more new version that here check over items that should help with that theme.

The next on the White Christmas i also will send one from here in moment again please check that version see if bug listed above still there as been tweaked.

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Thanks Pete, just PM'd you the remaining bugs in Christmas Noel, mostly fixed just a few preventing it from going live. I've abandoned the idea of White Christmas, it's still too buggy but to be honest isn't right for my site about a dark crime drama TV series. Here Comes Santa is too elfy and cute for my site also, so thanks for working so hard on Noel.

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On 12/20/2019 at 5:54 PM, Sherri said:

We are upgrading and revamping every single theme, including old skins from way back in the day on old versions of IPB one at a time, so they will all be fixed.

This is a little worrying Sherri, because I remember you saying a couple of years ago that to better manage your time and improve things that you would be switching to focus on new themes, a new framework and maintaining only some of the better quality, wider appeal classics, because some of the old ones were getting dated in style and format. You also said you'd not be taking on any custom themes because they are time consuming.

Please, because I've always loved IBTheme, give some thought to some suggestions (not intended as criticisms and I'm not claiming to be an expert):

  • Perhaps get a few QA testers. Put out at least a release candidate of each theme, in time to get at least 2 weeks testing on a variety of real world devices, if only for those extra special seasonal themes.
  • I frequently see issues with the Google fonts cropping up, the CSS specifies a certain style, but the font is never loaded, only Lato is, so the end result is a fallback to 1990's style traditional fonts like Verdana and Aria!
  • You can also load more than one Google font in one request (line of code) which is faster.
  • DNSPrefetch and Preloading is handy for image or code heavy themes like yours, because they preconnect resources and can load in the background before being called.
  • Streamline that CSS! It is honestly so bloated, I bet you could probably save yourself quite a lot of time on editing, your themes would be lighter and faster loading as a result.
    For example, there are many repeated lines of outdated vendor specific css properties, originally needed for cross browser compatibility that you probably don't need anymore, because they have since become obsolete. Features like gradients and shadows are now well supported across browsers.
  • There are 100's of entries containing 0px in your CSS code, but there's technically no such thing as zero pixels or 0 em. You could save all those extra characters by carefully doing a search and replace such as " 0px" with a space so you don't affect ones like 20px, 30px by accident and changing them to a just a 0, which would pass validation. Likewise, you often see 4 separate lines for each border, margin or padding, where you could replace the 4 lines with 1. Multiply that out and I bet you would save a lot of lines of code in a whole theme, multiply that by your total number of themes and look at the potential time and file size saving. More mobile friendly gets you a Google Pagespeed boost too!
  • Perhaps you could create higher quality versions of some of the original artwork like the snowmen, elves etc, for retina and high DPI devices Like iPads and iPhones. I still use a standard size image for my logos but include a x2 (double size version) which is lovely, gorgeous and crisp on good tablets or 4K monitors.

The extra handy settings for things like Snow in your latest templates is really good, it saves editing templates and is much more elegant, quick and tidy. Nice one!

 

 

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24 minutes ago, The Old Man said:

I forgot to the most important suggestion!

  • Big pay rise for Pete! He's a star.

Lol i have asked my Boss same item few days ago main work, his reply was you can have extra few days off Christmas this year if want it but sorry no extra pay rise.

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