It's time for a redesign.


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I have been a loyal Zophar's Domain visitor for... well, more years than I care to mention. Let's just say Nesticle was the bees knees when I really got in to the site. But I digress. Let me cut to the chase.


I have been brainstorming some ideas on improving the appearance and popularity of my favorite emulation website. This is my favorite. Heavily influenced by the New York Times. Just wanted to
Well, this looks interesting. I like the whole concept, it just still looks rough around the edges.

Also, I have been thinking about a re-design, but I can't help think I have to find a way to make it easier for people to find emulators they actually want, make the actual structure easier to access.

Anyway, thanks for posting

I also think it is a good time for a redesign of the site.

But my point of view will be to first check out the scripts architecture on the site. For example, on my little experience managing web site I will do the following.

1) Change the forum to an open source script like SMF Forums or phpBB which are very solid and have a strong community behind them.

2) Change the web site to Joomla. That will allows us to choose between several designs or made or custom template for ZD. This will also be a challege since we will need to migrate all the static html (?) to joomla, but It will also give us more advantage to update the site and had several "administrators" to help with the content and news.

3) Merge the two scripts with Which is also open source and allows us to have the same users/password sync between Joomla and the Forum.

4) Add some security features to do not allow bots to register like Captcha, but it is also good to be linked to "StopForumSpam" to block the known spam users from registering. (it had worked good for me).

5) The most complicated thing, have the team of people to help with Joomal content for the site, updating the pages with new emulators, music, etc, and forum moderation.

It sounds more complicated that it is, but I have it this way working on my site, and even that I don't know a thing about PHP I had managed to have this working.

Edman, if you have sometime maybe we can chat about it.

uhm.... just checking the Zophar site services.

I'm not sure how to make the:
- My Hacks, My Cheats, My Movies, My Savestates, My Music, My Technical Docs, My Translations... work with Joomla, but it might be fun finding a script to handle that.
Thank you for your suggestions. I realize you mean well.

Zophar's Domain runs off of a large, complicated, custom built content management system which allows the staff to manage the database of all files on the site section by section, as well as moderate comments and user-submitted content.

Its only real shortcoming is the inability to change content in bulk, like, for example, Montie redoing the whole music sections. However, even in this respect, and even more so in many others, Joomla would be a major step backwards.

Passwords between the CMS and the forum are already synced. Captcha is already implmeneted. StopForumSpam is already implemented.

There is no point in changing the forum software to phpBB or SMF. For starters, both of these are old and outdated, any serious forum nowadays uses either XenForo, IPB, or plain old vBulletin. But mainly - this site gets 250,000 visits and 750,000 pageviews a month, and its not as if people don't post on this forum because its vBulletin. And people won't start posting if we switch to something like phpBB. They don't post because forums like this are remnants of a bygone era. I keep it up as a kind of an archive, in case people find some of the posts here useful. Other than that, it has little modern use.

As for updating the website, everybody is more than welcome to help out with managing the site. Send me a private message and tell me which emulators, utilities, etc you'd like to update that are out of date, or sections that you would like to see added, and we can take it from there.
Thanks for the reply Edman.

I respect your opinion about the technical implementation of the site. I do not know Zophar site scripts. Changing the scripts will not give more users or forum interaction for sure, it is more how you present the information and which facilities does the scripts offers you to add plugins and change the way content is presented.

Let me give it a try to collaborate to update some of the emulators on the site. For example let me update some the emulators versions and links for DOS/Windows, Android and maybe I can collaborate listing the emulators that runs on the Nintendo Wii.

I also think it will help to post news more often on the main site. Having a news RSS system, and connecting the news to Zophar accounts in Facebook, Twitter and Google+. In my community 9% of the hits are from social networks.

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