...so it is finally happened -- Ultimate-Guitar.Com v5.0 is live! I wouldn't take too much of your time, describing how long it took to make it. (If you still want a long story, read my message back in 2003 when we upgraded to 4.0 lol). As usually, we only planned to slightly redesign the website and add a couple small features... and as usually we desided to go further and completely rewrite the code ;)
Ok, I promised it will be short, so here is what happened:
- We've optimized the site once again in terms of html code and images. On average any page of the site became 20% less in size. - We have slightly redesigned it. Just a little bit. - Picture size for all featured articles has been increased twice for obvious reasons ("Hey, who's this on the picture? Justin Timberlake or Cliff Burton?") - Search feature. Well, this one has got a major redevelopment -- now it can search by one word, by a part of a word, search in both artists and titles in the reviews sectoin. We've used all suggestions posted by your in Site's forum, thanks! - Search for users option has been added to all pages. - Each comment in comments section now have "quote this message" link.
2. Everything Tablature Related:
Although the site has grown to a little more than just a tab archive, we remember that it was started as a guitar tabs archive, so this section has got some significant improvements.
- Added 40,000 guitar pro files to the archive. Now, we have the largest guitar pro database on the net. - You can list all instruments that were tabbed out in guitar pro file, so it's easier to chose what fiel to download. - Added "Alternate Tuning" note for any text tab (guitar, bass, chords). It shows in tab listings per artist in a floating menu. - Added "Tab Difficulty" note for any text tab (guitar, bass, chords). Now our fellow beginner guitarists can easly choose between tabs based on stated difficulty level. - Added option to change your rating for a tab. It shows what was your previous rating and asks whether you want to change it or not. - On a tab page you can see how much comments have been left for this tab. - Mail to a friend feature has been added.
3. Main Page:
- First off, we've tried to make it easier for your perception. We've got a few camplaints that it was too heavy, with a lot of links, small pics and overall mess. Should be fixed now! - Featured reviews have both category and rating info now. - Featured news articles have both category and # of comments info now. - When logged in, you can switch between My Favorites and Featured Freesh Tabs. - Artists list in My Favorites part on the main page now lead to the actual artist page with all tabs.
4. My Account:
This one has been improved drastically as well. Many thanks to our regular contributors and moderators for suggestions!
- My Favorite Tabs section has been added. - My Favorite Artists feature now track not just tab updates, but reviews and news updates as well! You can see how much new tabs, news and reviews have been added since your last visit on main page and my account page. - Status of your contribution feature has been added. My favorite one! You can track the whole process starting from sending a contribution and ending with its approval or rejection. - Message from admin feature has been added. Now, instead of rejecting your contribution, our mod will send you a message telling what exactly you should improve in it to get it accepted. Simply as that. - You get points for all your contributions now (tabs, reviews, news, columns, promos). Top 100 contributors now have sorting options for all UG sections (Top 100 Column Writes, Top 100 Tabbers, Top 100 Review Writes, etc). - Top 10 contributors part now shows your place in the chart (even if you're just #986 in the list ;) - User status feature has been added. It has nothing to do with your forum status -- this one is solely based on your UG Score. - Member profile page has been improved to show both your forum info (posts, location, title, etc) and your contributions statistics. It is also indicates that the user is UG Team member (admins, super mods, mods, regular contributors, etc).
This is probably one of the most improved article-like sections of the site.
- On the main page of this section you can see all updates for today, instead of last 7. - On an artist/manufacturer page it shows how much album/models have been reviewed and give rating. - Ratings scale has been increased to 10 (it was 5 previously). - Vote for this album/model option has been added. If you don't want to post a review you have a chance now to just leave your rating. - Was this review helpful to you option has been added. Vote for a particular review of a product so others can decided whether they can trust it or not. Reviews with most positive votes will be featured at the top. - When searching for a review, it now shows product rating as well.
6. Columns, Lessons:
- On the main page of these section you can see all updates for today, instead of last 7. - Ratings scale has been increased to 10 (it was 5 previously). - Top Lessons and Top Columns sections has been added.
Well, as it was requested I've added Black skin that's fully repeat the main UG theme. Classic skin still there too. Moreover, the forum has been upgraded to the most current version of vBulletin (there is a lot of new features added in the forum itself, but I will not list them here -- visit forum and figure them out yourself ;)
Well... that's it. I've listed the most obvious improvements that are came to my mind while the site is upgrading now. This list can be easly doubled if I would have more time to think and a better memory -- I'm sure I forgot some of the improvements because the whole process of development lasted for 6 months lol.
And a short credits list: Medick (our main UG programmer), Vit (he programmed the past version of UG and gave hundreds of ideas for this one), Dyuha (tabs, reviews, lessons manager - beta tester of the new version), Martian (news, columns manager), h0spid (just a good guy ;), morbid_death (reviews section suggestions), Rankles (columns section suggestions), friggin_jerk (columns section suggestions), Lord Sephiroth (security suggestions), the rest of UG Mods Team (besides of giving me ideas for new version they backed up my ass on forums, thanks!), the entire list of users who posted in Site's Suggestion forum (guys, I can't name each of you but I love you all), zappp (argh, don't know why he is on the list!). Sorry if I forgot someone!
PS. You'd be glad to know what to expect in upcoming months, do you? Here is the list: UG Toolbar, UG Blog, PDA version of UG, Free MP3 hosting for our members, power tabs, improved members section (with ability to customize your page, add a blog, videos, etc), UG Merchandise.
Regards, UG Team.