Happy 5th Anniversary, Shurtugal! New design!

Today, Shur’tugal officially celebrates its five year anniversary. Amazingly, a project started by a bored-but-excited fourteen-year-old over Christmas break evolved into something much more: an amazing, dedicated community of tens of thousands of fans across the world.

The success of Shur’tugal was never planned or anticipated. It was, and still is, the group effort of an enormous team of volunteers both past and present, along with support from a number of friends. Shur’tugal would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for the hundreds of hours of work that our dedicated team has put in.

We chose today as the day to launch our best re-design and re-branding effort yet due to the importance of the date as our website’s fifth anniversary. The site now features a new, sleek look in easy-to-read fonts, shapes and colors. The website functions normally in all major browsers and all default screen resolutions. A number of changes and additions have been made, all which can be read about in detail on our “Guide to Shur’tugal’s New Changes”! Be sure to continue reading for a list of thank yous and more information on the changes to Shurtugal.com!One largely-unknown fact about Shur’tugal is that an always-changing group of over forty volunteer staff members assist me on a day-to-day basis to keep the site running fresh. Though it will be impossible for me to thank every person who has contributed to Shur’tugal as a volunteer staff member over the past five years (there has been over three hundred of them), there are some people that need to be individually thanked: Robert (Bob) Cox, the website’s longest standing staff member, for his quirky personality and hard work developing many of the systems that power this website; Tim Bach, who also moved on from Shur’tugal (but currently resides on our message boards as an administrator), was one of the major driving forces behind Shur’tugal’s success during the Eragon movie era; Joelle Saveliev, who moved on from Shur’tugal nearly two years ago, but who’s layout graced the website as our face and image for over two years; Allison Jones, who manages our message boards and does amazing amounts of graphic work on layouts both present and past; the amazing team of administrators and moderators who have kept Inheritance Forums running for over four years, collecting nearly one-and-a-half million posts and twenty thousand users; the talented team of administrators and moderators at our fan fiction site and wiki; and last but not least, the ever-changing group of chat administrators and moderators who keep our chat room in line.

Shur’tugal has also had an incredible amount of support from outside groups. Most importantly, we all must thank Christopher Paolini and the entire Paolini family for working so hard to make Eragon and Inheritance what it is today, and who have shown Shur’tugal and the entire Inheritance fandom kindness on unimaginable levels; the amazing team at Random House, especially Judith Haut, who put faith in a then-fifteen-year-old Inheritance fan and have supported me, my website and the fandom unrelentingly ever since; Simon Lipskar of Writer’s House, one of the most interesting and entertaining individuals you could ever meet, as well as a brilliant literary agent; Nick Braccia, the genius behind Vroengard Academy, for his support and advice; and of course, my parents, who let me make my own positive choices in life, supporting me and the website every step along the way, and who offered me every bit of help I ever needed.

And it would be impossible to forget the Inheritance fan community who have stuck with Shur’tugal for five years with patience and gratitude. Shur’tugal was started by a fan, for the fans and has and will always remain that way. If it wasn’t for the support of our visitors, Shur’tugal would have no platform to stand on.

Now that we’ve gotten the very large list of thank yous out of the way, it is only proper to let you know that great things are coming over the journey to Book 4 for Shurtugal.com and the Inheritance community and we hope you stick with us to see it all unfold. We hope you enjoy the new edition of Shurtugal.com and the myriad of changes we will be implementing over the next few weeks to bring Shur’tugal to new heights.

We will be making several new posts over the next week to highlight some of the major changes and additions to Shurtugal.com. If you have any feedback to share regarding the new layout or any of the new changes and implementations, we encourage you to share it with us as a comment on this news post or contact us via the contact us page!

EDIT: If anyone has issues activating their comments account or registering in general, either send an e-mail through the feedback form or e-mail Robert directly at [email protected] Please send your registered username, e-mail, and your problem and we’ll get back to you with a solution.

  • Aldenya

    Wow, I’m impressed. I’ll admit, I haven’t been to Shurty in a while, since I figured there would be nothing new. I only stopped by when I got Chris’ mail and I was shocked by all the changes I saw. Keep up the good work. It might take me a while to navigate this place again, but I love having my own log in. Makes it much easier.

  • Dragoness

    okay… Sorry. I just don’t like this new layout. No offence, but it’s ust not fo me. Again sorry to those who love it. But in my opinion( i don’t think i spelt that word right) I think it sucks

  • maya

    congratulations ! shurtugal.
    really,what a wonderfull site .I’v been here for almost 3 years ,
    & mike,I think random house should support this site, cause it’s kind of puplicity for them, right? if not for this site I wouldn’t know about thier book,,it’s just a thought any way,,,

  • argetebrithil

    great improvement in the site guys

  • Dragonprincess26

    The website looks great. You guys did a great job. Keep up the good work!

  • Evarinya

    Too much computer tech.. making.. my.. brain.. crash!
    xD lol

  • Bob

    I love my computer now. I just built a brand spankin’ new computer. Bought all the parts and assembled it and it works perfectly. Eventually I’ll figure out what’s wrong with my old one.

    Personally I like the 1280×1024 screen resolution, that’s what I’m running. Windows 7 Beta + Firefox 3

  • Daniel

    Well I’ve zoomed out now. My computer is REALLY old.

  • Mike

    Yeah, our site doesn’t support 800×600 browsers (neither do 99% of the websites on the net anymore) simply because it’s incredibly outdated and designing with those specifications in mind would really hurt the website.

    The majority of our visitors (over 97.5% ) have screen resolutions wider than 1000 pixels. Only about 2.5% have screens that are less than 1000 pixels wide.

  • Bob

    Yeah, it’s your screen resolution that’s causing the problem. You need to be 1024×768 or higher to view the site perfectly.

    The technical minimum to view all content is 900 wide.

  • Daniel

    And I keep getting this across the bottom:

    Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to fetch http://feeds2.feedburner.com/InheritanceForums-BookIvTheories (HTTP Response: HTTP/1.0 502 There was a problem retrieving the feed: Problem trying to retrieve from Bigtable ) in /home/eragon01/domains/shurtugal.com/public_html/includes/magpie/rss_fetch.inc on line 238

    LATEST BOOK 4 THEORIES

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/eragon01/domains/shurtugal.com/public_html/includes/rssparse2.php on line 12

  • Daniel

    I love the new layout, but there is one problem. When I scroll over to the left of the screen, i can only get as far over as the “r” in “Shur’tugal” in the “Shurtugal RSS Feed” button. Thats the way it is all the way down the screen in a verticle line. My screen resolution is set to 800×600 and i have the newest Internet Explorer (I can’t remember the number).

  • alucard

    I like the orange and sea green, and I’m really happy that the popups are gone. However, is it possible that when we hit the “post” button, that it automatically takes us back to the news/cmt page? The “Comment Successfully Posted” message seems redundant to me, plus its more waiting for those with dialup.

    also thanks everyone for all the hard work put into the site.

  • Bob

    Oh yeah, also, any feedback on the new styles is great. Such as, what do you guys think of the new styles on all the text boxes and buttons?

    Anything else you guys have feedback on, too! WE CAN TAKE IT…I think…

  • feanarang

    @Mike:

    I noticed right away that there were not nearly as many ads, and nothing tried to pop up. I like this way better! Thank you for making the sacrifice!

    The link-box down at the bottom with the book 4 theories and Brisingr discussion is great too. I was never very involved in the forums before, but now I think that will change. Congratulations Shur’tugal!

  • Silvara

    I love the new design. It looks very pro.

    Happy Birthday to You
    Happy Birthday to You
    Happy Birthday dear Shur’tugal,
    Happy Birthday to You

  • Mike

    No, I actually posted it around 6 AM, right before going to bed. The server time is not on the same time zone as I am so the time posted is always off.

  • Jack

    Quick question: Mike, did you purposefully post this news report at 9:11 am?

  • Chris

    I’ve been here about 4.5 years then. >_>

  • Daniel

    The pop-up windows REALLY annoyed me.

    I’ve been here for almost 4 years. This place has come a long way! Awesome job, Staff!

    P.S. I’ve made the resolution to use correct grammar in my posts. I think the new layout went to my head. 🙂

  • alucard

    yay! no more popup windows!

  • Mike

    We actually have less ads now than we have ever had in the past. In fact, we cut out all of the annoying ads, including any kind of advertisement that makes any noise or flashes obnoxious messages, all pop-up ads, and the in-line text ads. The few ads we have right now (no more than two or three per page) are all customized to blend in with the look of the site so they don’t stick out.

    I hate ads as much as anyone who visits the site but they are the only way we can afford the website. Unfortunately, by getting rid of the ads, we’re going to be losing a significant amount of support for the website, but I think it was worth it to get rid of the majority of the ads.

  • dWill

    I think it’s great, guys. The way you’re trying to shift the emphasis to the forums and the wiki are really great ways of keeping the site fresh and alive. and the style is very nice. I wish you didn’t have to have all the ads, but I understand the amount of money it costs to run everything, so I shall not complain. I wish I could donate money to help. Anyways, congrats, it looks great. and Happy Birthday, Shur’tugal!

  • Ian

    Great job guys, I’m loving the new design. I’ve checked this site almost every day since it started, apparently 5 years ago.

    The first bug I’ve seen: on the “you’ve successfully logged in!” page, the background tiles oddly. Windows Vista, Firefox 3.

  • Evarinya

    What are you talking about?! IT LOOKS AMAZING!!
    I think its an improvement! We can see the comments a WHOLE lot better :]

  • alucard

    Wow, has it really been 5 yrs? Congrats! I’m still not sure that I like the design or not- it’s very dark, which I think makes Glaedr look a lot older.

  • Bob

    And to think I’ve had to endure all 5 years. Been here since the beginning.

  • Evarinya

    WOW!! Guys!! This looks fantastic!!
    Thanks for all the work you guys do into making this site not a dream, but a reality 🙂
    HAPPY BDAY SHURTY!!WOOHOO!! 😉

  • Glorfindel

    Oh man. Let me offer my very sincere congratulations, appreciation, and thanks. I know that you guys put a ton of work into this. It looks great, and thank you very much. Happy Anniversary as well.

  • Faolins

    Haha!

  • Bob

    Mike had me doing the slave work!!!! I couldn’t escape.

  • Faolins

    You have the time they post now too 🙂

  • Bob

    Daniel: Awesome layout! I can’t scroll all the way over though…

    @Daniel: I’m not sure what you mean. If you could show me, as in a screenshot. E-mail it to [email protected] if it’s an error. I’ll be able to fix it if I know what’s wrong.

    Also, what browser/operating system/screen resolution you’re using would be quite helpful.

    That goes for anyone else, too, if you have any problems viewing the layout or any new systems.

  • lorearia

    Happy birthday, felicidades, Shurtugal.

  • Daniel

    A thought… A text message alert system would be awesome!

  • Daniel

    Awesome layout! I can’t scroll all the way over though…

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Y’ALL!

    Oh no! My roots are showing!

  • feanarang

    Very nice. I like it a lot! Well done, Robert and Mike!

  • Faolins

    AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well done you guys the new site looks geeat , and ON TIME ! Love the new look !!!

    Happy Birthday Shurtugal

    That’s a lot of work!!!

  • lorearia

    My mom said that the layout looks kind of evil, i must agree that it does look somewhat dark.

  • lorearia

    looks very good. se ve muy bien

  • Saphira

    Wow I really like the new design! Its supper cool! no its more than supper cool its AMAZING!!!! Happy Birthday Shurtugal!!

  • Luthien

    Awesome!

  • Jack

    Ich lieb es! Wunderful!

  • Bob

    What he said!

  • Cromm

    Absolutely gorgeous. Love all of it. Good work!

    – John

  • Mike

    I really hope that everyone enjoys the new design as much as we enjoyed making it. We do have a few last-minute tweaks to implement over the next few days (a bit more news formatting, news comment formatting, form field formatting, and the fan art page) but for the most part, the project is complete.

    Robert (Bob) and I put in around 70 hours of work over the past week and a half to make this layout a reality and would love to hear any feedback you have to offer.

    And, of course, happy birthday Shur’tugal. 😉