• Welcome To FlightSim.Com 2012

    Change is a part of life and usually it's for the better. We hope you will feel that the changes we've made to FlightSim.Com fit that description.

    We've been working quietly on this in the back rooms of FlightSim.Com world headquarters for several years now. We looked at several methods of upgrading the site before finally settling on what you see today. We are using vBulletin software, the same that we've been running the message forums on for some years, but have now expanded to use their CMS system as well.

    FlightSim.Com in 1996
    FlightSim.Com In 1996
    FlightSim.Com in 1996
    FlightSim.Com In 2000

    The main purpose of the change was to modernize the site "back end", the software that makes things work. We have moved from a loosely organized collection of thousands of static web pages to a "Content Management System" or CMS. What this means is that now the entire site is in a database which offers improved ways of organizing, displaying and linking to all the content we create. The overall look of the site has not changed drastically and we hope you'll be comfortable with it almost immediately. But you will see new things, like the ability to comment on articles and news, "widgets" (boxes with content) that link to other parts of the site, related content and more. You'll find now that the site search allows you to search articles, news, forums, etc. all from one place (the file library still has its own separate basic and advanced search, just as before). In the future we'll be able to add things like a mobile version of the site, which we could not have done without upgrading.

    Another goal of the change is to make the site more "social". Online social interaction is one of the most popular uses of the Internet (i.e., things like Facebook). FlightSim.Com will now offer more of this sort of function, and this area of the site will grow over time. Your account right now has the ability to host picture galleries and everyone can have their own blog. You can make friends with other users and track their activities.

    One of the reasons this upgrade took so long is that we have thousands of articles dating back to 1996. While other sites take shortcuts and only offer their older content as an archive that is inconvenient to use and not truly part of the site any more we felt that the only right way to upgrade was to have all site content, right back to day one, included under the content management system. So, you won't find any "archived" content here, every article is included in the primary site, readable and searchable.

    Today we open the site for general use, after a period of open beta testing. Please report any bugs you find and also tell us your overall feelings about the changes we've made. Our initial beta testers have been very pleased with what we've done and we hope you will be too.

    --Nels Anderson
      Rick Frerichs


    98 Comments
    1. azzaro's Avatar
      azzaro -
      Nels and Rick, I'm all for improvement... Bring it on! — Bob
    1. Smutley's Avatar
      Smutley -
      I like it. Neat and compact. Having said that, looking at the screenshots in the screenshot forum they do look a tad small.
    1. dharris's Avatar
      dharris -
      I like it as well. I have to agree about the screeshots being a little on the small side. Also wondering about the size of the comment section, compared to the brown background. Looks to be about 50-50. For my part, I would like a wider page, less border, say 80-20. Of course, everyone isn't going to totally pleased no matter what is done. The pages seem to load fast, and that is always a big plus. Nice to see the continuing work on this site, still the best on the net, it is always the first page I visit. Thank you for your efforts. Don
    1. darrenvox's Avatar
      darrenvox -
      i really like it actually the color is great, and allowing us to comment on stuff like this!! bonus!!
    1. SmittyBRS's Avatar
      SmittyBRS -
      Really like the look and feel of the set up with two exceptions:

      1. I agree that the screen shots are small and the pages seem narrow.

      2. The "Recent Forum Activity" panel is IMHO irritating.

      Smitty
    1. isobar5's Avatar
      isobar5 -
      I agree that the screenshot section of the forum could be bigger. Aside from that great job love the new design
    1. JSkorna's Avatar
      JSkorna -
      Quote Originally Posted by SmittyBRS View Post
      Really like the look and feel of the set up with two exceptions:

      1. I agree that the screen shots are small and the pages seem narrow.

      2. The "Recent Forum Activity" panel is IMHO irritating.

      Smitty
      1. Use the Ctrl + and the Ctrl - keys.

      2. One click of an arrow and that panel is gone.
    1. royalone's Avatar
      royalone -
      Wow, nice change. Keep up the great work. You are my Number 1 sim info site, bar none.......
    1. anaismith's Avatar
      anaismith -
      They say change is good, it rarely is ..... Sheldon Cooper.
    1. tailwheel's Avatar
      tailwheel -
      Quote Originally Posted by anaismith View Post
      They say change is good, it rarely is ..... Sheldon Cooper.
      I frequently agree with the 'Big Bang' philosophy however in this case the content provided by the changes will be welcome and useful.
    1. rjdahlen's Avatar
      rjdahlen -
      I visit FlightSim daily and have for years. Always have enjoyed the information and interaction that's available. I do like the Beta, BetaII, and BetaIII pages, but BetaIV us a little to "busy" for my taste. Not that it would keep me away, but Beta and BetII get my highest votes. The rest of the site seems very usable and still fast-loading and very usable. Thanks for keeping up-to-date a relevant. I look forward to continued use of the site!!
    1. rc flyer's Avatar
      rc flyer -
      I like all the improvements "under the hood" but can't for the life of me understand why you wan to waste so much "useable" screen space that could be used for "content". IOW it's "pretty" but not "practical" IMHO.
      Thanks for including us in your decision making.....AVSIM is awesome!
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by rc flyer View Post
      I like all the improvements "under the hood" but can't for the life of me understand why you wan to waste so much "useable" screen space that could be used for "content". IOW it's "pretty" but not "practical" IMHO.
      Thanks for including us in your decision making.....AVSIM is awesome!
      Avsim is awesome :-( Gee, thanks a lot.

      Please clarify what you mean by "wasting usable space".
    1. garyghostrider's Avatar
      garyghostrider -
      Good work Guys!! I like the new look!! did a test file search and download...seemed just as user friendly as always...I like Beta IV with the 757 background..Ctrl + made the print bigger and the background seems to center everything and lets me focus more on what I am looking for. Thanks for all the good work and 12+years I have been enjoying your site!!
      Happy Flying Everybody,
      Gary
    1. NASTAR's Avatar
      NASTAR -
      Great design! Its good that most of the stuff is still where it used to be :P
      How about lowering the "originally posted by..." box so that the name, date, time and reply line is still visible?
      And no please dont cram the empty space at the borders :O It looks great just as it is.
      and bout the recent forum activity box: a click of an arrow.. where?
      overall a great change for the better
    1. dcmair's Avatar
      dcmair -
      Just do it Nels, just do it
    1. okbob's Avatar
      okbob -
      Very nice, thank you.
      But where are the downloads?
    1. mick99's Avatar
      mick99 -
      Well, I really dislike the new look, but looks are superficial and don't matter all that much. What really bugs me is how slowly the pages load. That definitely makes the new site significantly less user-friendly. I suppose the back-end improvements are worthwhile from the site operator's perspective, but from the user's perspective, especially the slow loading pages, I think the new site is a classic example of fixing something that wasn't broken, and coming up with a result that's worse instead of better.
    1. tacan_dme's Avatar
      tacan_dme -
      I agree with Mick99. The site is much slower, but that may be because a lot of floks are checking out the new format. Probably worth it from your workload perspective, but the new format appears to do nothing for the users and subscribers. For now anyway, FlightSim has become just another site....
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      The downloads are the same place they have always been, under the "File Library" menu at the top of the pages. You should find that navigation has changed very little from the previous site.

      The slowness is just temporary. Some adjustments have to be done to optimize the servers and that cannot be completely accomplished until the servers actually have a load on them.
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