Avatars explained

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Avatars explained

Postby admin » Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:18 am

What is an avatar? It's the image displayed next to your posts in the forum.

How do I create my avatar? Start by going to the UCP (user control panel). You'll find the link to the UCP on the top left of the forum. Click on the profile tab (note this tab is where you go to update your wedding date, birthday - yes the new forum will now post happy birthday announcements just like wedding and anniversary announcements, bio, signature, avatar, and account password). Once you're on the profile tab in the UCP on the left hand side you should see an option for "Edit avatar". Open the edit avatar page and you'll have several options:
  1. Upload from your machine - use this option if you have an image file on your computer that you want to use.
  2. Upload from a URL - use this option if your image is somewhere on the world wide web, and you have a link to the image. This option will copy the image to the stlwed server to avoid hotlinking.
  3. Link off-site will also work if you already have your image on the world wide web, but it won't copy the image to stlwed, it will always download the image from it's original location everytime someone views your avatar.
No matter which option you choose it's important to note the size restrictions on the avatar. Avatars must be 124x155 pixels in size or less and the file should be 24KB or less in size. Why all these restrictions? Faster performance for everyone. If you link to a large image file (even if we reduce it to a small amoutn of visual space on the forum) it's still a large file with lots of data to download everytime someone views one of your posts. Multiply that times all the posters in thread and it starts really taking a long time to load each page. If everyone uses small images for their avatars, you will notice pages loading faster, and that's worth it in the long run :D
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