Visions of Darkness is powered by xenForo and hosted by Dreamhost.com. I pay $10/month for shared hosting, so the cost of maintenance will never be an issue.
The information below highlights important navigation points and refers to desktop displays:
Log in or Register - Located in the top-right corner of your screen.
User Control Panel - After logging in, locate your name in the top-right corner of the board and click it. A window will pop up with all available options.
Post thread - A blue button located in the upper-right of every forum, and above the sidebar on the forum list.
#1 / Like / Reply / Quote - Located on the right side of messages. The first button, #1, opens a window displaying a permalink that can be posted in other threads as a reference point or on other sites. Since VoD is closed to prying eyes, it only serves the former purpose. The Like button is a one-click approach to let your peers know you liked their post, which can be especially handy in the Galleries. If you Like someone's art, you're also encouraged to post feedback as well, but it's not compulsory.
Be sure to read the Artist Primer for information on posting your work, getting feedback, and critiquing others.
Conversations - These are xenForo's version of Personal Messages (PMs). They're accessed from your Inbox located in the top-right corner of the board. Unlike traditional PM systems, there is no delete function for Conversations. Instead, you Leave them. You'll find the Leave option in the top-right corner of any Conversation you're viewing. You can also click a check box below your list of Conversations and select Leave in the pop-up window. You can even Select All and Leave your Conversations en masse.
The YouTube videos below highlight two especially nice features with regard to replying to posts:
NEW POSTS - A blue button located on the right of the forum index above your name.
WHAT'S NEW - This button is located on the left of the navigation bar, below the site logo, and contains a down arrow. The button serves two functions:
1) If you click anywhere on the left of the down arrow, you'll be shown a complete list of all recent activity, including profile posts.
2) If you click the down arrow, a sub-menu will appear giving you the option of checking only for new message threads and posts.
STARTING A THREAD
There are two ways to start a new thread:
Post Thread - A blue button located on the right of the forum index and the main thread list for each forum.
Thread Title - One of xenForo's slickest features includes a blank space above existing threads on every forum. If you click this space and create a new thread title, the system's message editor will automatically slide open so you can simply tab down and
start typing. You can even attach files to your post.
FINDING ARTIST CONTENT
VoD does not have a traditional gallery in which artist content is neatly arranged in an at-a-glance fashion. I believe that approach creates an impersonal method of viewing member art at the cost of not promoting peer discussion in forum threads. As such, our
galleries are part of the forum index. Nevertheless, I can understand you may want to find work by a particular artist.
As a work-around to the lack of a true-to-form gallery, there's a tab on every member's profile labeled 'Find'. Simply click it and select 'Find all threads by...' and the system will display every thread started by that member. The only caveat is that the
display results aren't limited to the forum galleries and there's no way to filter them. It will display every thread started by that member in every forum they have content in, so you'll have to look for threads they started in whichever gallery you're looking for their artwork.
xenForo offers the ability to customize the appearance of message boards through the use of Styles. The default style for VoD is called 'Innovate Dark' and is what you see now. It was professionally designed by a third-party developer called XENMAKE and has been heavily modified for VoD.
If you want or need a lighter style, you're welcome to use the system's default style. There are two ways you can switch. The first one's easier:
1) Click on the VoD brush icon on the bottom-left corner of any page and select Default Style. Or...
2) Click your name, select Preferences, and then 'Default Style' on the Style drop-down. It's the first option available so you can't miss it.
If you need any further help navigating the site, or have other questions, please use the Contact Us button on the bottom-right of your screen.