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Hosts of Classic forums may not realize many members are actually visiting the forum from mobile devices and seeing it in Zeta view. This can be confusing when members and hosts see different things.
You can see your forum in Zeta mode without switching your forum over to Zeta or viewing from a mobile device. The easiest way to do this is to go to your forum's Start page and after your webtag type /zeta (if the word /start is there just remove start and add zeta)
Zeta is set to show only the folders with unread messages and all unread messages flow in a stream down the center. This is quite different from the way your Classic forum works so here's how you can make it more seamless.
Setting your folders to always show
Click on Controls (found on the bottom left) > Content and Roles > Manage Folders
Put a check in the View by Folders box and hit Update.
Click the circle beside Always Show Headings for all Available Folders and hit Update
After that your folders will always show when members click the Show Menu link on the forum. You may need to pass that information on to them. In the next message I show you how to create an Announcement.
If you want to take some time to improve the Zeta view of your forum, consider switching your forum to Zeta temporarily. You do this on the main area when you first click on Controls in Classic View. You can switch back when you are done. I would put a message up on the forum letting members know what you are doing and why. Most that do not wish to use Zeta probably chose View all Zeta forums as Classic on their Preferences page anyway and will not even notice. If YOU have made that selection you will need to deselect it before proceeding.
Start Pages are called Welcome Pages in Zeta.
Coffee Shop Gossip's Start page in Classic
And in Zeta (Welcome Page)
To view yours on Zeta:
If you have switched your forum fully to Zeta just click on the forum name
If you have use the trick with adding /zeta after your webtag look for the Welcome Page link on the right hand side after you click Discussions.
The parameters for the Welcome page are different than those for the Classic Start page but as long as it is readable it should be fine. If you have rules or other information posted there your members could miss it. The Welcome page only shows to new members or those viewing the forum for the first few times unless they specifically click one of the previously mentioned links. However, you can create an Announcement to point members to that page.
In your Zeta Controls click on Content and Roles and then Manage Announcements.
Announcements are like a 'sticky post' that appear at the top of the discussion area.
The one I made here points to our Welcome (Start) page and specifically mentions there being rules. You can run announcements for many things! and you can run up to three at a time choosing the exact date they will start and end. The process of creating them is fairly easy but should you have questions please feel free to ask!
Making your forum look better.
Click on Controls again and then on Customization and Design
To set a custom image at the top of your forum you will need a graphic that is approximately 1200 pixels wide by 260 in height. Cstar posted a tip for making headers that match your classic theme HERE That forum has lots of suggestions and links so have a look around. You can also ask the person that created your theme to use an element of it for an image in that approximate size.
You'll need to save any graphics you wish to use as Headers to your computer. Then use the controls under Header Images to upload it to your forum. Oh and you will get a resizing tool appear once your image uploads, click outside of the image to select the entire thing.
The Host/Brand image just replaces the Hosts Profile image on the forum. Again you need to upload the image from your computer if you decide to use another. Images for that area should be square or close to it. Delphi will resize it when you upload it.
Delphi has provided several ready to use color themes. Currently they are not allowing any customization in that area (I say currently because that was the last I saw officially on the subject). Because you are using a View As Zeta setting you may revert back to classic as you go through testing these out. So as I mentioned at the beginning of this section, either fully switch your forum to Zeta for a few hours while you fix things up, or after each refresh type /zeta after your webtag on your Classic Start page. I chose neutral colour palettes that were close to the custom Classic theme on each of my forums.
Update: Delphi has now incorporated customization into its Zeta color palates.
Sidebar Widgets- have a look at this section and make sure it reflects the choices you made on your Classic forum.
Other places you might want to look at in Controls are
Under Settings > Name and Description
Delphi places your forum description (the one you wrote to appear in the Index) under your Forum and Hosts name. If it is short it will fit fine but a longer one gets cut off. Use the Short Description field to compose a briefer one. Your longer description will still show in the Index.
Controls > Settings > Message Board Settings
Delphi gives Zeta forums several options for the message formatting editor. I usually choose the Custom setting. After hitting Update on that section it will open a new one and you can choose which features you'd like to include. You'll probably want to keep it close to what is available on the Classic forum.
Stories/ Live Stories
Controls > Content and Roles
Live Stories are a Zeta only feature. Enabling this will place an extra chat room on your list that can confuse your Classic viewing members. I'm adding this as a bit of a warning not to enable. Live Stories are a fun way of bringing additional content to your Zeta forum. If you are curious by all means experiment! But not with your Classic forum. Open a new forum and keep it in Zeta format. Then you can choose to make it private if you wish and play around with the Zeta features. Delphi staff as well as Zeta hosts are always happy to help answer questions or mentor you in the features Zeta offers.
With the evolution Delphi is undergoing, your profile and the image (avatar) you choose to display in it has become more integral with the website. Using Zeta view on any forum your profile image is placed on each post you make.
The first poster does not have an image uploaded to her Profile, the second one does.
For hosts it also appears in the Forum Index beside your forum's listing.
You can upload any image to it, including your own picture or choose one of Delphi's 'stock avatars'. If you are using your own graphic make sure it is within Delphi's ToS rules. As I mentioned earlier it also appears on your Forum as your Host Image, but you can choose to change that in Controls.
If your forum has active chat rooms make sure you enable the Chat Now button. In Zeta Controls look under Chat for Chat Options and enable the Chat Now button. You can also choose to have a Chat label appear on the left hand side of your forum.