Welcome To The New-Look VirtualR.net!

Welcome!

What you see here is the fourth evolution of VirtualR since 2007 when this site started out as a simple blog to showcase some screenshots. Along the way, the site has changed it appearance twice to keep up with the growing popularity.

27 months ago, I introduced the last design change to VirtualR (the third in total) and even though the old theme served its purpose well enough, some change was long overdue as VirtualR had outgrown the old site design.

The past theme was done by me and I´m not shy to admit that web design is not one of my biggest talents. Now that the site has gotten even bigger, I´ve finally decided to let a pro have a go at it and this is the result!

Apart from being made with valid code and following common standards (which the old theme did not!), the new look comes with a bunch of major advantages:

  • Pleasing for the eye and easy to read
  • More content showcasing & formatting options that keep popular stories & discussions up and allow me to pack more info like Readme-files into the stories
  • A condensended index page that doesn’t show the content in full. While the old layout had the advantage of showing all the content at once, it was slow to load, especially with lots of embedded videos. With the new layout, only the content you want to read is fully loaded, saving up bandwidth and time.

Aside from all the changes, it was important to me that the site retains a familiar look. Personally, I always hate when my favorite sites introduce drastic changes as it always takes a few days to adjust, that’s why I wanted to retain a familiar look and feel to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone.

New Comment System

Along with the new layout, I´m also introducing a new comment system. If you´re a frequent commenter on VirtualR you know that the old system had its bugs and quirks and missed some essential features like the ability to edit postings.

This changes now as the new system allows post editing, better moderation features and some other cool community stuff to make discussing on VirtualR more fun and less frustrating! That includes the ability to collapse parts of the discussion you don’t want to follow, comment notifications and plenty of other neat features so have a look around in the comment area!

Like the old system, the new comment interface requires log-in via a social-media account. Those few of you who don’t use any of the popular services can open an account with Diqus, the comment service provider. If you´re a frequent comment writer on blogs & news sites, chances are that you´ve already used Disqus as it is the single most common comment interface on the web.

Of course, none of the old comments have been lost during the switch and old discussions can be picked up right where you left of.

Welcome-Gifts to Kick Things Off!

To give everyone some incentive to try the new comment system right here on the spot , I have some welcome gifts as Simbin has been nice enough to provide Steam codes for their Retro Pack expansion to give away.

I have three codes for the Retro Pack Expansion (for RACE07 owners) and three codes for the Retro Pack Bundle (including RACE07) to give out to lucky winners. To take part in the draw, please reply to this story and mention whether you want to win the expansion or the bundle, please be fair and don’t take part in the draw if you already own the Retro Pack.

Bugs & Problems

Since the new layout has been put together by a professional, the site should look the same on all browsers and operating systems. If you still spot a bug, please report it in the comments.

I´m aware of the following issues, these will be fixed over the weekend:

  • Missing search box

I hope you all enjoy the new look of the site as much as I do (and if you don’t, please give it a few days time!). I´m really looking forward to hear what you guys think so leave me some feedback below!

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Considine/1530677670 Chris Considine

    Love the new design!

  • Anonymous

    Need to get used to the new Design, but it seems to load faster now indeed.

    I’d like a copy of the retro pack while I’m already here.

  • Ricoo

    Old discussions have been messed up what makes them unreadable… :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1054875318 Nabil Abusharr

    Love the new look and the mobile version. I would like the BUNDLE please :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raphael-Dos-Reis-Oliveira/1616864436 Raphael Dos Reis Oliveira

    The new Layout is beautiful! Nice artwork and improvements

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jermaine-Smit/100001125859847 Jermaine Smit

    mmm i dont know. I think i have to get used to it. It looks good but less easy to see everything. But that might be just because i have to get used to it…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_37IN6F2QL6W3MHPS6XM7LJY5IY Derek Speare

    Good luck with the new site design.  I liked it upon my very first impression.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Echidna-Bahamut/100001379692989 Echidna Bahamut

    ´The new layout is fantastic. Grats, superb look

  • Philip Antonia

    The updated site looks fantastic, well done MontoyaVR :).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Ventura/1781152850 Alex Ventura

    Well  done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jochen-Schächtele/100001575221366 Jochen Schächtele

    The new layout looks fantastic!

    I would love the Retro pack expansion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elton-Cesar-Fernandes/100002098915864 Elton Cesar Fernandes

    Congratulations!
    I want to win the expansion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001947062167 Cedric Cornelis

    Hi, nice new website look :)
    Really appreciate the work you spend in this great website.
    I would like to receive the bundle because I don’t have Race 07.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=645597761 Sam Binfield

    Since starting simracing, maybe three years ago now (that long? :O), Virtual R has become one of the sites I visit everyday when I get on the internet. Having so much news, from such a diverse range of sources, is incredibly useful, and is a damn sight easier than checking a dozen forums everyday. The new look has definatly grown on me, and its nice that the layout has remained virtually unchanged, as this can be one of the most infuriating things when a familiar site gets a redesign. Here’s hoping Virtual R continues to run as such a great service for the foreseable future. I know Montoya had a post about a new job a little while ago, and this site redesign serves well as a statment of intent for the site, and I take my proverbial hat of to him :).

    P.S. The Retro Pack Bundle would be my choice, if I were to be so lucky :p

    EDIT: (thank god for this existing now) The only feature I can really ask for is to have the smileys back in the comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002075333651 Neil Hind

    Looks fantastic , well done !

  • Bjørn Gaardbo

    Congrats, Rob :) Looks fine !

  • Simon BC

    The new site looks great but would be even better if the content area was a bit wider, (unless you still have lots of visitors with skinny resolutions).

    I would love to win the expansion pack too!!

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, plenty of people still run 1024 resolution, that’s why most websites stick to this common width. 

      Maybe in a few years time people have upgraded and we can make us of those widescreen monitors :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000938884519 Alex Fernandez

    Really like the new look! Much easier to read. 

    I would like the Retro Pack Bundle please. :)

  • Ilija Prentovski

    Awesome look!

    Bundle, please :)

  • http://twitter.com/Mojo_66 Mojo66

    Well, only showing a preview of all the articles certainly makes the page load faster, plus it has the nice benefit of increasing the ever so important number of page impressions etc, which is an important metric to ad-driven web sites. Grats on the new design, I think all parties involved profit from it. And btw I already have Race 07 and the retro expansion, for which my GTL mod still is a nice companion, the luckiy winners may have a lot of fun with it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hervé-Thomas/100001297125962 Hervé Thomas

    Thank you for the new modern look.  ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dboersma Dan Boersma

    :)

  • Damjan Čule

    My first impression when I came here today was:”sh!t, I went on wrong site again” but than I saw title that welcomes us to the new look of VirtualR. I have to say that I really like it even if I am still getting used to it. But site loads faster than before, looks more modern than before and I like it. Only thing which I don’t like, or maybe I just don’t know how to do it, is that I used to use my nickname instead of my real name as I was able to change that after I login with my google account. But as far as I can see for now, I can’t change that any more.

    As for welcome gifts, if you still have some left, I am interested in Retro Pack Bundle as I do not have Race 07 game.

    I hope that you will be able to continue with this site for many many years to come, as I can find really interesting articles here, every day. Thank you for that

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z4XMCOHKT66HKTQPW6DE6SRHYE Pork Hunt Racing

    nice new look. well done

  • http://twitter.com/Ghoults myName

    One thing I really liked about the old site was that you could check all pictures from the articles from the front page. I also liked the bigger look, now it feels a bit tight. The old did nor use the space efficiently either though. Looks really nice though!

  • Anonymous

    Very nice. I really like the new design. It’s very sleek and up to today’s standard.

    I would like the Expansion please :)

  • Anonymous

    Looks very nice the new design I’m sure as Simracing continues to grow all your hard work will be even more compensated Rob!
    I want the retro-pack please :)

  • Anonymous

    There’s less information on the homepage so I have to click each article to see more, bit annoying. At the same time it feels too “busy”, but it does “look” better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.jason.madigan Jason Madigan

    Awesome, the site is looking sweet Rob, keep up the good work, it’s an awesome thing you do here for the community :)

  • Sergey Eremin

    Missing favicon.ico

  • Anonymous

    this grey Screen Background isnt optimal.
    in combinate with the Flashticker it hurts and all together felt like “Popcorn”.

    Nope, this design isnt really “Wow” i would say its more “Argh”
    and the lovely Smilies are gone…hmmm

  • http://twitter.com/Floptickle Martin Rasmussen

    I blocked the background image. Other than that, it’s a great new layout :)

  • Olivier Prenten

    I like it! Very nice update! Thanks MontoyaVR! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/JimParisisF1 Jim Parisis

    Sorry but my comment will not be a happy one….
    RIP Dan and Marco….
    Although nice job here guys..

    • http://www.facebook.com/jcruze88 Justin ForzaBarça Cruze

      +1
      Really not been a good week for motorsport…..

  • Anonymous

    Liking the layout, liking the new features but not liking that I had to add _RR (RacingRenders) to my nick :)   Oh well.     Maybe I needed a new look too  heh.

  • Anonymous

    Is it right that, instead of the page auto-updating with comments, that you now have to refresh to see new ones ?

  • Juhan Voolaid

    I really liked the tags, like rfactor2, rFactor, etc … they seem to be gone now

    … also the screenshots should be viewable in popup window (js div) not just link to image file

  • http://twitter.com/alexsawczuk Alex Sawczuk

    Nice work with the update. Personally I’d prefer the category and comments items on the image for the article swapped around. I keep getting confused about which is which. You know with the number of comments usually coming underneath the title etc.

  • http://twitter.com/timpiie Timpie Claessens

    Nice work VirtualR, looks very good :)

    I’d like an Retro expansion btw :D

  • http://twitter.com/Uff182 Andrea Candini

    I have to get used to the new look, but I like it. :)

    Retro expansion for me, fingers crossed!

  • Brian Duddy

    I do have RACE 07, so the expansion would be good… unlike a lot of redesigns I like this one! A lot of wasted space on my wide monitor, though…

  • dingo carlos

    I want the expansion! …and good job with the new look.. xDD

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002404815228 Jann Dircks

    Expansion for me :) I like the new design!

  • http://twitter.com/Berto_Carvalho Berto Carvalho

    I have RACE 07, so the expansion would be great!

  • Mike Tuppen

    I’d like the retro expansion as I already have the RACE 07 game. Thanks for always giving us the latest in sim racing news…

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