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Hi all, I've been busy this week making a few updates around here. The biggest change you'll notice is our new theme. Hope you like it. I also added a link to our legacy site to the top navigation menu. On the back-end, I added a new club fundraiser, updated our SSL certificate for purchases, and moved a few menu items around. I am also looking at new logos and you'll see one of the new ideas in the upper left. Lastly, I have moved some ads around and updated the Home page. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. Thank you! Mike
Hi everyone. Hope you had a great new year and are enjoying the new changes to the Classic Zcar Club. Hereâ€™s a quick update about our status. Data Migration: The migration from our old site is 90% complete and you should see a much improved experience when compared to our old software. There are quite a few new features and I am a believer the interface is a lot easier to use. Iâ€™ve also checked to make sure our old site URLâ€™s are now linking to the new site. If you have an old link that isnâ€™t working, please send me the URL and Iâ€™ll see if we can get it mapped to the new site. Gallery: Over the last few weeks Iâ€™ve also been able to finish the gallery and invite you to take a look at the newly improved interface. There are improvements to the gallery in user contributions, navigation, and a much easier interface to upload files. The gallery also integrates into user profiles much better allowing a lot more capability around albums and private uploads. The one new feature Iâ€™m excited about is the ability to allow users to create categories in the public area. This is very nice for the administrators because we wonâ€™t need to create new categories every time someone wants to post new pictures (especially for events). I invite you to give it a try and let me know what you think. Store: I was also able to bring our store online. With the introduction of the store, we are now able to accept contributions and subscriptions. This means that anyone who contributes to the site will have a few additional benefits. These benefits are substantially reduced advertising banners, access to our new downloads area, and other small perks like larger private messaging limits and the infamous gold star. The membership system is fully integrated into the store, so, when you want to make a change to your subscription, itâ€™s tied directly into your user account. Everything is together now, nothing is separate. Downloads: We also added more files to the download area such as wiring diagrams, EFI manual, and other service bulletins. As mentioned above, I am only planning to let contributing members access to this area. We are doing this to not only raise money for the site, but, also to avoid letting unauthorized people from uploading things we may not want to see. We have a lot of files to add to the downloads module, so please let me know if you have some time to help out. I anticipate this area will be a very good place for people to come and exchange files with each other. Blogs & Tech Articles: There are few dozen people who use the blogs and tech articles section on a consistent basis. The original conversion of these modules was a bit messed up, so, Iâ€™ve needed some help getting these back online. All of the original data is still in tact, I simply need to sit down for 3-4 hours and make this conversion happen again. As soon as this is complete, these sections will be back to their former glory. Advertising: Ever since we made the move to the new system, our position on Google dropped quite a bit. There are various reasons why I think this happened, but, the number one reason was due to the software change. As we moved from one to the other, many of our links were modified. Iâ€™ve been working on building the redirects and we have had a great success rate at this. However, there were quite a number of changes that haven't updated yet. Because of this, Google bots have been rescanning our site and slowly rebuilding their sitemaps. This will remedy itself, but I think it will take more time. Some other sites have reported that it takes Google around 4-6 months to rebuild their position and this was somewhat anticipated. We will get there, it will just take a few more months of spider crawling. Finances: The biggest impact on this change was our bottom line. Our advertising income from Google dropped more than half. I have no doubt that we will recoup the advertising income over the year but it will be a challenge. Because of this, Iâ€™ve started looking into other advertising programs and you may see some of those pop up on the site as they are ran through an experimental stage. Iâ€™ll do my best to assure advertising is done with class and will try not to defer from your use of the site. We are also looking into taking credit cards directly so we can minimize the confusion around Paypal redirects. Contributions: As you use the website I encourage you to participate, and better yet, send me your ideas. For instance, if you see an area on the site that needs a change, please let me know about it. You can take a screenshot and send me a PM or you can post a message in our website development forum. Likewise, if you see an ad you like, for instance a Jeep catches your eye, please click on the ad and take a look at their website. I also encourage those of you who use this site on a consistent basis to help contribute to our success. We have subscriptions in the store which helps pay the bills. When you contribute in any amount, the Google ads disappear. Classifieds: I am also looking to integrate classifieds back into our site. Please let me know what you think about this idea. While classifieds will never be put back into our forums, we now have the capability to integrate with a separate menu item. Mobile App: Our old mobile app (Z.Life) will no longer function on this new website. We are looking at developing a new app but in the meantime our site integrates with Tapatalk. If you are currently a Tapatalk user, the system should notify you that our site is available on that platform. The custom mobile app is planned for later on this year. Website Theme: Right now we are sticking to the current theme called â€œZdashâ€â€¦ the theme has been working fine since we made the template changes to improve usability. As far as I know, most everyone is liking the theme and we may only change colors or implement new logos in the future. Iâ€™m sure as the year moves on, we will start looking at other ideas on theme design. Training: Iâ€™ve been experimenting with video training lately and you can see a sample of my work in our website forum. The advantage of training using this method is to help people visualize and get the most out of our site. While I may not be the best host for this job, itâ€™s been a fun project to work on as I have free time. If anyone else is interested in putting together a video training, feel free to add your video to the website forum. There are plenty of people who will find it useful. More Cars: Iâ€™ve also been thinking about our current list of supported cars. As I think about the potential of doing this, I want to be careful that we maintain the original purpose of our club. The main purpose is to support and encourage people to keep the Classic Z going forward. However, as I see this culture of classic owners starting to dwindle either into sellling or into serious modifications, I tend to wonder what is the real purpose of our existence. As I do this, I start to believe that all classic Datsuns seem to fit into a similar purpose. As we go down this road over the next year, Iâ€™d like to know if you guys have any opinions in this matter. While I donâ€™t think we will open the site to a crowd of modern Z owners, I do think there is additional opportunity to expand into the later model cars as well as looking into other Datsuns. This is a tough topic but I think it warrants a few constructive conversations, donâ€™t you? All-in-all, Iâ€™d like to express my thanks for your patience as we made the move and continue to develop such a fun place. The Classic Z has always held a place in my heart, and always will. I look forward to interacting with all of you as we continue into 2015. Donâ€™t forget to check out the store and sign up for a subscription. Thanks everyone, Mike Gholson a.k.a. Moderator Mike
I wanted to take a quick minute to introduce our newest sponsor, Rebello Racing. I've worked with these guys in the past and even have one of their engines in my own car! I only like to work with good and reputable companies, and Rebello Racing is certainly one that I'm excited to promote. Let's give them a warm welcome. Don't forget to mention your membership at the Classic Zcar Club and you'll get the red-carpet treatment! (I'm sure they give that to everyone, but, hey we do have some clout!!) Click on their banner at the top/bottom of the website or you can click the following link to jump directly to their website. Don't forget to use our banners/links because that tells Dave and his crew how many people are visiting his site: http://www.classiczcars.com/banners.php?op=click&bannerid=42 If you're in the market for an engine rebuild, or performance parts, give Dave and his crew a shot at the job ! Rebello Racing Since 1984 Rebello Racing has specialized in preparing racing engines as a family owned business. Rebello built motors have gained a solid reputation for producing the most power and reliability among the top competitors in road racing, autocross, drag as well as high performance street applications. The technical expertise and dedication to excellence shows in every project. Performance Parts Rebello is now offering parts that have proven performance gains on the track and dyno. Many years of experience are represented in the selected parts offered. Look over the Performance Parts lists and give Rebello a call to discuss what improvements can be expected for your application. Our Services As technology continues to evolve, so does the development of new approaches to race engine building and tuning. Rebello Racing is committed to implementing the latest in Motorsports technologies to provide customers with outstanding performance. Check out the Performance Services section.
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