Seeking suggestions

  • Hello,

    I love your work. I am currently setting up a forum for rabbit hunters, beagles, and field trials.
    The domain is called.

    I just started setting up the WBB.

    What theme would you suggest? And are you able to help with a nice logo? Maybe something with a beagle chasing a rabbit or something similar?

    I thought your theme that allowed the customer to put his own background in might be nice, but I do want your suggestions.

    Thank you. :)

  • Hi Andrew,

    thanks a lot für your positive encouragement and warm words, we do appreciate it. :)

    Certainly we're glad to offer you any service, pre-sale support and please feel free to also join in any conversation within cls-design, you're most welcome.

    Based on your questions I'd offer these first suggestions, let me know your mind or simply say "Yes", "No", "Next ideas please". ;)

    Concerning your wished-for type of background we could go for a design exhibiting a semit-transparent background. Please take a look at these choices:…x.php/Product/31-Bromida/…Product/30-Crystal-Glaze/…/Product/20-ShapeShifter/…hp/Product/61-ClearTiles/

    These styles would offer a kind of "canvas", allowing you to insert any picture you like, like the mentioned beagle chasing the rabbit. Due to the level of transparency, the picture can be detected by your users, so the forum seems to be "placed upon" the background, a kind of floating image occurs.

    The crucial difference between these styles can be detected e.g. within their type of navigation, the hoover effect, the thread view etc. That means, I'd suggest to take your basic users' regular type of experiment into account (age, knowledge based on forums, preferences...) and thus, we could narrow down the designs.

    Assuming you'd maybe tend to vote for a more hand-tight design, what about these:…php/Product/44-CrossWood/…x.php/Product/12-Woodway/

    Both could be modified in a way to allow for another background, the general appearance is rather more "forum-like" so to say. We don't have the fluid image, but a sound, strong design that focusses on its front image.

    It goes without saying that we could modify all designs, however based on the concept it really makes sense to consider one's aim and preferable wishes. Thus, let me please ask in return: Which designs would be your top 3, if asked like that? Let me know and I could track down the pro's and con's for you.

    All individual wishes like a logo, customized color schemes, modifications regarding icons etc. can be offered by the designers as well. So please don't worry, you won't leave us without a logo. Actually there are two ways to approach:

    1. You can optionally purchase a commercial extension package, to be viewed within the product's shopping site:

    By doing so one of the designers will fix your handed-in logo the way you want it to be.

    2. You don't necessarily need to obtain the extension package, here Support for customizing issues for styles and plugins logos are made for free. You can stop by, state you wish and one of the designers or creative people around will offer help.

    What does this sound like to you?

    Please feel free to ask further questions, offer your opinion on the suggestions and other things you'd like to discuss beforehand. :)

    Regards by

    Gabbid :coffee:

  • Thanks for your information. I decided to look at all of them.
    Here are the top choices, 1,2, and 3. :)
    1. Nova,

    2. Alpha

    3. Nexus

    These three I liked. If you want to give me the pros and cons, that would be great.

    Also, question, how do I purchase my choice? I know you have a buy button, but I am in the United States and need to pay with U.S. Dollars. Will PayPal do the conversion to Euros for us?

  • Hello Andrew,

    you're welcome :) and let's take a closer look at the three designs:


    • One of the design's central highlights can be seen right in den header. The goal is quite clear, namely to not offer a "regular" community design, but stepping towards a website design. The log-in/registration panel attracts the eye, so guests and users get the impression to be personally adressed.
    • Elements like the navigation, permanent userpanel (the panel maintains in its position even throughout scrolling, so it's always visible), mainMenu hoover (the color changes to a perl gray), clear-cut thread view, the "floating" language bar and the transparent open/close icons on the forums' right-hand side, suggest a modern, professional but at the same time very creative flair.
    • The style's background, the color of the containerHeads, icons etc. can be customized based on your ideas. Either you experiment with the design yourself or let us know what you want to have - the design is highly flexible.

    This style can be used for all kinds of projects, as its flexibility plus modern touch allows for focussing on the general appearance. People will see the style's transparent and "aerial" look, but it doesn't divert from the main goal: to register the forum's content.

    On the other hand I always point out these questions to all people interested in this style:

    - Does your forum's topic really correspond with the style's "essence"?

    - Do you really like a well-spaced header that catches the eye?

    - Consider the style's background and then your intended pictures there - does it fit? One shoud take into account that a picture with e.g. too small and many items, loud colors and/or a blurred look does really seem to a) backfire in a not too nice way and b) undermine the overall appearance (a kind of mismatching is the result).


    • One could say that "Nexus" is the more "solid" brother of "Nova". Solid in a way to be seen e.g. in den navigation (form), footer and userpanel. There you can detect substantial and clear forms, no "breezy" flair.
    • However, with this design you won't miss out on technical details like a fixed userpanel, looking like a pinned card, the thread view seeming like a box, the slide-out search bar etc.
    • Once again the background can be changed, other color variants for e.g. the containterHeads are offered and aspects like the height of the header can be adjusted as well (if you want the background picture to be seen more clearly or not at all).

    "Nexus" is the creative way of combining technical features plus stylistic elegance. The style suggests a clear-cut "frame" and not a fluid cloud. However, by introducing a different background one can receive a nice counterbalance, the design doesn't seem to be as compact as distracting from all else on the website.

    Besides that, I'd offer these points to ponder:

    - Such a style needs a strong picture to go with, otherwise the background can seem to be "lost".

    - The design tends to attract those people, who like the exceptional character (e.g. seen in the userpanel). Other users, maybe those not too experienced with community software, tend to feel a bit doubtful at first. They feel like "Where should look?"


    • That one's a real eye-catcher including a pattern graduation in the header, strong color contrasts and of course, the userpanel in an "icon-style".
    • There's a matching drop-down in the header, a kind of "built-in" footer, consise forms as well as a label indicating the "status" of an user (online/offline).
    • Furthermore there's an integrated submenü, the background and other details can be easily changed/customized.

    This design is a rather powerful statement on all websites, it can't be overlooked so to say. Due to that plus the contrasting effects and it's broad structure (e.B. navigation bar) the style is liked f.i. by gaming communities.

    Before purchasing that style, I'd say that:

    - If your website's focus is on the "weaker" side, let's say a forum concerning dancing, collecting stamps or the like, this style would most probably burst the project. People would see the design first and either like or not, and then they would turn to the content. Thus, we simply need a good match of topic, design plus background, otherwise it could simple feel like a wrong "linkage".

    - The rather obvious elements of the design tend to attract the eye, people will have to watch out for the small features. Some people like it, others not, they want to see all in one go.

    Assuming we take all that into account and I should offer my opinion, it would be this:

    - I wouldn't go for "Alpha" as your chosen topic and the design wouldn't be a kind of natural joint. I'm more inclined to think that the design would play the leading role, your website the second. Not a good start.

    - The crucial difference between "Nova" and "Nexus" can be seen in the level of transparency. On the technical side they're pretty much equal, but whereas "Nova" exhibits much more a fluid and transparent character, "Nexus" resembles the solid, firmly fixed type. Accordingly the question would be: Which type would you prefer?

    Both designs could be used for the topic of your website. "Nova" is the catchy one, "Nexus" the cool one, two statements, two characters. Based on your introductory hint - hunting - I could argue that "Nexus" would feel a bit like the more appropriate design. What's your feeling?

    Besides the designs, you also asked for an answer regarding payment and PayPal.

    The financial aspects are dealt with by Tom, cls-design's owner. In order to not state something wrong, I'd contact Tom and he'll let you know for sure.

    Paypal offers currency conversions, but these have to be paid for (, so I'd better check with Tom. There's certainly a way and you'll receive your design. :)

    If there are further questions...? Just let me know.

    Regards by

  • Thanks Tom,


    When I look at the themes, they are all good. It is impossible to stay firm on a decision. A look at what I am doing makes me think it might be wise to try to fit my focus to the best possible theme? Maybe try for a bit more rustic? I just do not know that I can decide that without some more research or inputs. Perhaps your own thoughts might change if you re-evaluated the planned site with more information. I did write you a PM asking about that, but I prefer to keep our discussion public as it could help others in deciding for their forums as well. Thanks.

  • Hello Andrew,

    thanks for your reply and the helpful conversation. :)

    I do think you're right to ask for reconsidering a suitable design, we should take e.g. into account pictures, the logo, the forums etc. Based on your conversation and the given link I formed some new suggestions, however, in some instances I need to talk about possible modifications with the two designers.

    What does that mean:

    - There are designs that could fit, but I'm not happy with some details. These details are fine for another type of project, so I'd like to get in touch with the designers (Tom and Cr@@gle) to ask whether we could customize these details or not.

    - Moreover, I'd like to discuss the potential designs with the designers in order to establish other color schemes for your project. Due to the focus green-brown colors would be nice. Some colors are a bit tricky, based on the type of device, pc, browser and so on, thus I'll ask for the designers' suggestions.

    - Thirdly I would offer my choice to my two colleagues in order to receice their professional opinion. What I have in mind is, I'll let them know my choices and what modifications I'd go for, in return they can tell me whether I'm on the right or wrong track.

    I don't want you to purchase a design you won't be happy about later on. Accordingly, I'm always very analytic, keen on discussing every detail and to make sure that really everything has been considered. Please give me respectively us 1-2 days to discuss a design for you, Andrew. After the discussion I'll return to this thread and will offer you the choices including possible customizations.

    We won't forget you and the request, so please don't worry. :)

    Your opinion on the matter on public versus private is very considerate and we do feel the same about it. A community should help all people, whether guest, member or customer. Nevertheless, you're link is safe with me and won't reach other people.

    Regards by

  • Good evening, Andrew

    As promised, I'd like to suggest to you another idea concerning a possible design. This idea ist based on one of our designs, but I'll present it to you via screenshots in a modified way, which could be suitable for your project. That means, I'll show you some screenshots and will point out to you in a written way what I mean. Thus, you'll hopefully be able to visualize the design to be.

    Here we go:

    1. The design would be "Voverom" and I'd opt for the green variant as the basic structure.



    2. Now, we won't use the design in this original form, but firstly we'll change the background. To do so, we change the "solid" background by creating a semi-transparent look via CSS. To give you an impression, please take a look at the menu on this website (don't mind the parallax scrolling, we're just focussing on the type of navigation):

    By creating this transparency, we'd be able to include a picture of e.g. a dog into the background. The viewer would see the picture "shining through" the background, but not to disturb the overall effect - the forum and its content.

    3. The transparency level would need to be included in the userpanel and search field as well. Accordingly, we kind of break up the compact form of the design, it'll look more like a website, not a forum.

    4. After that we need to take a look at the borders. The design's original borders consist of a cross stitch pattern plus its single rank pedant. That fits with the original design, but not combined with a transparent design. Due to that, we could either use a clear-cut border or clear-cut border and slight dropshadows. The effect would be a bit like 3D.

    5. The header will be the next stop. There will be enough space to insert a logo, the forum's title and even - if you want that - a slogan, subtitle, claim etc. It could look like this:

    6. The icons for closing/opening the forums could be also made to "disappear" by using CSS. Instead of this (screenshot 1) we'll see that (screenshot 2):

    If we do that, the site appears once again to be not a "typical" forum, but more of a website.

    7. The board icons can be equally changed by changing the icon. So could insert for instance the matching graphics for the forums, not using the default icon (folder-icon).

    8. Just to mention it, we could also change the type of letters in the navigation (only uppercase, uppercase- and lower case), if another version would be more appropriate.

    9. Another possible detail could be to include a in kind of watermark-picture into the thread's view. Inserted in an alternating way, a picture of a rabbit, dog etc. could top off the forum's leitmotif, turn it into a really individual place.

    Well, that would be the gist of the idea, how does that sound to you?

    Originally I noted down three other possible designs, tried to turn them into a suitable design für your topic. However, there were still some minor things that didn't seem to be quite right, we would have to almost break these designs up to built them up again in a new way. It isn't impossible to do so, but then we could also say: Why not going for an exclusive design, totally and exclusively made for the topic? At this point we switched back to the present designs, considered effects, pros and cons and suggested to offer "Voverom" to you.

    Ok, so please take your time in considering the idea, further questions are absolutely fine and even if you'll say "No", I won't give up in offering suggestions. :)

    Regards by


  • Gabbid,

    I've looked at your suggestion for about an hour, and I like it.

    How do we proceed?

    I see on your site how to order the blue version of Voverom, but not the green.

    A special invoice on my account to cover the expense for the extra work of the customization? And you would take of the green selection as well as your part of the customizations?

    Than you,

  • Hi Andrew,

    great to hear that you like our ideas. :)

    Just to give you the overall picture, here's the way our shop and designs "work":

    • If you go to the shop, there's always - for all designs - this one large picture (following the description) to get a first feeling for the style.
    • Then you do a bit of scrolling to see on the left the term "Features". There you can detect the various specific details a style has (if a background can be changed, if the style has sidebar, a dropdown panel....). So even before purchasing a design you can see what each design offers or not (if you'd need to look out for a specific feature).
    • On the right you can see the term "Pictures". These screenshots offer a closer look into various parts of a design (the userpanel, forums, containerHeads...) and - now we've arrived at the crucial point - there you see the included color variants.

    Let's take a look at "Voverom" and see whether I'm telling the truth or not ;) :

    We click on the design's link:…x.php/Product/11-Voverom/

    We can see the text and the big screenshot:

    On the left are the "Features": (Right now we're not interested in them as your style will be customized).

    On the right are the "Pictures":

    All the given colors for each design are already included in the style package. That means, you don't have to purchase them e.g. separatedly or choose before purchasing the one you like. As you see, I've marked the green version on the screenshot for you, but well, if you'd say "Gabbid, I really love the orange/brown/blue version, let's stick to that" - feel free to take that.

    Technically speaking it works like this:

    • After purchasing a design here, you'll see the button "My Account" within the navigation. By clicking on that, you'll see your order, license and "Downloads". There your design package wait's for you.
    • You download the design (tar-format) and install it within your ACP, so: ACP => System => Packages=> Install package) and that's it.

    By installing, the included color variants are "delivered" as well, you can decide whether you want to offer all within your community or just one. As your style will be customized and the color scheme will be adjusted, we don't need to include other colors. Nevertheless, these color variants belong to you, you can use them e.g. later on.

    What I'm going to do now, is this:

    1. I'll leave a note with Cr@@gle, he's the designer who's going to help customazing your design.
    2. I'll ask him to contact you due to the financial aspect, as I can't simply say "The price will be this". He's the one who can judge that best.
    3. Cr@@gle will send you a conversation (PM), stating details, so you know what will happen when, what type of picture he'll need for the background etc.

    Please don't possibly worry, both designers, Cr@@gle and Tom, are absolutely fair, don't charge fantastic prices and you won't pay me separatedly. Nothing like this. I'm here to help, offer ideas, discuss pre-sale questions or simply offer my opinion in pros and cons. That's totally free and I'm doing it with a smile on my face. :)

    Well, that would be the way to go on and I hope I haven't assailed you with too much information? If another question arises, something isn't that clear, just let me know.

    Regards by