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PLEASE READ: Registered User/Paid Member function changes & "Member" level corrections


Alaskan Postal nutjob
SOA Member
When we moved from the old forum software (vBulletin) to the current software (Xenforo) we had a ton of decisions to make. One of the biggest was to try to port over the basic "registered" usergroup as it was on the old software to the new. With the new software, we have a number of new functions and a number of others have been added since we made the move. Knowing what we know now, we would have done things differently back then and now it's time to change some items that will affect the "registered" users.

Our recent move to a new forum host includes support we have never had to take advantage of the Xenforo plugin universe. This increases our monthly costs.

Something else that has become apparent is that we have a lot of "Members" who do not actually have a current paid forum membership. They've gotten the upgrade for free for at least a couple years. I need to correct this and it means those folks will lose a number of functions that they've been used to. Here's a thread detailing what we think happened there: https://www.cj-8.com/threads/please-read-this-if-you-have-the-member-badge.51431/

The following things will become benefits of a paid user upgrade:
1) The ability to "react" to forum posts, conversations and profile posts. Similar to Facebook, each post has the option to react/like/love/laugh/etc. in the lower right corner of the post.

2) The ability to add more than one attachment to a post, message or profile post. Paid members can add up to 20. Registered users can upload one.

3) The ability to upload video to a post (we haven't enabled this before, frankly, I'm not sure how it works or if we'll be able to keep it if storage space balloons, but for now it's enabled for paid users)

4) Increased signature editing and size limits. Registered users have a small signature (3 lines) and basic formatting tools. Paid users get 8 lines, advanced formatting, up to 5 links and 5 images.

5) The ability to upload an avatar, the image that appears above your username on your posts.

6) Ability to edit your "custom user title" that appears below your username on your posts.

7) Bookmarking: again, this is a new function I haven't even tried yet, but it's a paid user benefit.

8) Unlimited post editing, post/thread deleting. Registered users only have 5 minutes to edit a post, paid members get unlimited time and can delete their own posts/threads.

9) User Profile Banner Image Upload: Get the ability to upload an image to your user profile.

I think that's all the changes. I'll now be going through the erroneous "Member" level users to remove it from anyone that doesn't have an active paid upgrade.

We have never (and will never) cripple this site with ads and other garbage to "force" people to have to upgrade. We also haven't changed the cost of our paid upgrades for as long as they've been around. Our idea was to make this site usable for anyone, but entice people with enhanced features.

Here's a quick summary of our paid user levels, all of these have the same functionality, we just wanted to offer a discount for folks who signed up for the longer terms.

Member: this can be recurring (via PayPal) or not, $30/year

Silver Member: due to PayPal limitations, this is non-recurring for two years. $55 (includes two free months)

Gold Member: due to PayPal limitations, this is non-recurring for five years. $120 (includes a free year)

1) the "Lifetime" option has been retired and no new lifetime memberships are allowed. Those who have an existing Lifetime membership will never lose those benefits, but we encourage anyone who has had this for more than five years to consider stepping up to a paid annual membership of some form to help support the forum into the future.

2) "Benefactor" badge: Any existing "Lifetime" member who does sign on for an annual membership of any form will get the "Benefactor" badge to show their exceptional level of support for the forum.

We now have an alert system that will let you know before your membership expires and it includes the option to "extend" your membership before it runs out and will add the extension onto the end of the existing one.

Thanks to everyone who has supported CJ-8.com over the years in any way! We wouldn't still exist (19 years later!) if it wasn't for you!
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