By now you'll have heard that we've moved from being completely free, to charging a nominal membership fee. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, to cover the ever-increasing costs of hosting this site. We've moved from a shared host in the US to a dedicated virtual server in the UK, ensuring better speed and reliability. Sadly, these don't come cheap, so I decided it's time to start asking for a "compulsory donation" to keep the place up and running. The second reason is to limit the amount of spam and trolling.
Let me explain how membership works. As you can see on the membership page, everyone gets access to the forums. I've always wanted people to find information, not have to buy it. What I'm not so fond of is the number of off-topic arguments and spam posting that goes with having a free-for-all forum.
So ... everyone can post in the Misc forums (General, Comedy Central, Feedback, Off-Topic, Meets/Events and I Spy), but you need to be a member to post anywhere else.
Each forum now has its own “time to live”. If no-one posts in a thread for the specified amount of time then the thread is considered dead and will be deleted. This TTL varies between 1 year (for the Misc forums) to 5 years for the FAQ. This will help keep the forum content trimmer and more useful.
I've spent a bit of time making it easier to advertise cars on this site too. All members should be able to advertise here, see the membership page for more details. We spent a long time trying to get “only Peugeots” listed, but it's your club, not mine. If you want to advertise something else, do it.
As a result, the Cars for sale forum will be phased out and eventually deleted. The forum was never the right place to advertise cars, so we now have an awesome new Classifieds section.
Your membership level also sets the size of your PM inbox, the number of gallery photos you can upload, the number of cars you can advertise and the number of photos you can attach to an advert. See the little rosette next to my avatar? That's Gold Partner level membership, right there
I've also added a simple Member Chat, so if you spot someone online, you can chat with them. Again, only available to members, so it won't be spoiled by spam and trolling.
This site now uses a bit more advanced programming than before, so I'd recommend Firefox 5+, as it displays all the bells n' whistles properly.
So, have a look around and let me know what you think. There will be teething problems, but we'll work through them and let's keep improving our club.