June 1, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz


Skin Completed

The skin for has been completed and is now up and running on the site. Go take a look and tell me what you think.

Actually, the skin is about 85% done. There are a number of small modifications and improvements I’ve requested, and they should be completed by Tuesday. Overall though, I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out.

I went with a new forum company I found a little while ago. I was surprised that it was the first time I had heard about them since I’ve gone on many “forum skinning hunts” in the past. Many people know that I’ve used Sheldon from in the past. While he is capable of excellent work, he also takes eons to finish, and if you try to get a skin with him now, you’re going to have to wait 6-12 months (seriously) due to his waiting list on top of his long turnaround times. In addition, he charges $1,000 per skin.

I decided to not use him anymore because he takes too long; I don’t mind shelling out $1,000 for a beautiful skin, but I’m not going to wait 2-3 months.

This new company I found had me on skeptical mode from the beginning. Their portfolio had some real nice stuff; if I had to compare their quality to Sheldon, I’d say they were about 85% of his skill. However, listen to this. Their turnaround time is a week or less, and their cost is rediculously low; at a couple hundred bucks.

This is the point where dozens of people start asking me who I used. Well, as stated in an earlier post, I’m going to charge $25 to simply release the name of the company I used. Why? I’m not trying to be a bastard, but finding quality freelancers whether it be for design, forum skinning, or programming, is like panning for gold. And so I’m not going to tell everybody my secret spot where all the gold is for free anymore. It will hike prices up, make turnaround times longer since there is more demand, and also give possible competition a great resource.

So, if you really want to know who I used, it’s going to cost you $25. Sorry. Live

It took a little while to finish the transaction, but is now mine and redirects to It took some time to transfer the domain since the gentleman I bought it from was on vacation at the time and didn’t get home until a week later. Then there was the DNS propagation and all that jazz.

I’ll be honest. Shortly after I agreed to buy the domain, I started to question if it was a wise decision since it wasn’t exactly “cheap”. But the more I see “”, the more I feel I made a great buy.

Plans for the site

A bunch of people have been asking me what my plans are with the site; and if I plan on keeping it just a forum.

My answer is that for right now, my focus is going to be just on growing the forum. In the future, if the forum gets a community going, I’m all for making a “front area” of the site. In fact, I may make a few front pages now, such as a news page, maybe using vBadvanced, an integrated WordPress installation, or something else.

The left side of will contain various links to other ‘side’ pages of the side such as replays, videos, links, etc.

As for growth, everybody knows that growing a forum is extremely difficult to do, and that there are not really any specific steps you can take to guarantee good growth. Right now, we’re just using word-of-mouth. However, I’ve been thinking of launching a promotional contest or two, such as a referral contest where the prizes may include a limited SC2 Marine Statue/figurine ($250 value), SC cinematic DVD, SC books, etc.

The skin should help us pull in people a bit easier now too.

An important side note, as reported in this thread, is that Blizzard has officially stated that Starcraft 2 won’t release this year. Therefore it is most likely that it will be released in 2008, as that would make it the 10th anniversary since Starcraft was released.

While it wasn’t expected that SC2 would release this year, the fact that it’s now official may temporarily slow down the ancitipation and interest of the general public, which has it’s upsides and downsides for me. However, Blizzard will still slowly update with new unit updates, etc. which should pass on enough renewed interest to keep everybody excited.


Are you a Starcraft fan? If so, why don’t you join and help grow the forum?

If you’re an active player now and want some tips or help on your game, feel free to ask me there and I’ll help you. It’d also be nice to get a little webmaster Starcraft tournament going or something. That’d be fun 🙂

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Posted: June 1st, 2007 under My Websites  

51 Responses to “ Updates”

  1. Tom says:

    [Edited by Tyler: See my reply below]

  2. Mike says:

    Looks good – very starcraftish 🙂 Since it’s a brand new site, i’d suggest getting all of the on site SEO done right away. Get vbseo installed, make sure to take care of all duplicate content, and do whatever else you can. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

  3. Tom says:

    I know anyway who made it, without paying $25 🙂

  4. Bill says:

    Nice site, I would suggest changing the favicon to a custom one though.

  5. Tom says:

    yea, favicon is a great thing 🙂
    many sites forget about it 🙁

  6. Zigire says:

    “This is the point where dozens of people start asking me who I used. Well, as stated in an earlier post, I’m going to charge $25 to simply release the name of the company I used.”

    That is possibly most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard.

    Hopefully they’ll charge you over double next time because you’re refusing to spread the word about their good service. I most certainly would.

  7. Zigire says:

    Oh, and NO I don’t want a forum skinning and never will, not my line of work.

    I think you should rethink your stance!

  8. Tyler Cruz says:

    I think a lot of you don’t understand what it’s like to give a designers name out, only to send a few dozen people their way, and see what happens as a result.

    • Zigire says:

      You don’t have to mention the designers name at all. It’s the fact that you’re stating you will only disclose the information for $25!!

      All you have to say is you’d rather not disclose it – simple as that.

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        I’m not allowed to make a couple bucks? I don’t mind sending a few people their way, and this way seems best to determine who I choose 😉

      • RJ says:

        You certainly can if you’d like, however like mentioned previously it just makes you look very bad. I do however congratulate you for getting /

  9. neumann says:

    I understand exactly what he’s doing. Like Trump says “It’s no personal, it’s business.” Cruz is just protecting his sources. Simple as that. He found gold and he’s not giving it away for free. He only looks bad to the people who want to know his source. To us business minded individuals, we understand completely.

    He’s decided to turn the disclosure of his own sources into a business which I find brilliant.

    Don’t get frustrated. Cruz knows exactly what he is doing.

    And btw Cruz, I JUST sent you a message through your contact form. I hope it gets to you. 🙂

  10. Nick says:

    Dude, that’s ultra lame charging for referral. I don’t even do forums and don’t even care who your company is but it makes you look prety unprofessional to charge your supposed loyal fanbase for a referral. Just say you don’t want to give the info out. simple as that.

  11. Krishaan says:

    Personally, I think that skin is very dissapointing, given the domain quality … but to each their own. It looks much, much too simple.

  12. Ben says:

    Not sure what the big deal with that skin is, its nothing special, I can design something much better. Any good designer would be able to do that and much better.

  13. mike says:

    when will you release how much you paid for i am debating right now whether to buy a 3 letter .com …. for a pretty hefty price tag.

  14. ToddW says:

    Anyone who’s been in the business a long time knows that hard workers are hard to come by.

    Tyler probably could care less about the $25 it’s more about letting people know who REALLY are interested in knowing not just letting joe-blow know so they can tell 5 people who tell 5 people who then in turn ruin the good deal for Tyler and other people who REALLY use the service. Sure those 10+ ppl may really use it but the majority would be noobs who’s majority of sites would die anyway… good for driving up the price of the service for no reason.

    What did you guys expect you are READING a business blog.

  15. RetireYoung says:

    When my forum is ready, I would probably pay for the information. If it is only a couple of hundred for the skin, versus $1000 and a 6 month wait, you will be saving money.

    I would like to know how you go about promoting your forums.

  16. I still think my designer is far better. 🙂

  17. Carl Pei says:

    Not to ruin anything, but I think I know who made the skin judging by the buttons (they use the same buttons for many skins). Just tell me whether or not they start with ‘F’ and end with ‘’. 🙂

    Good idea keeping the secret btw, I wouldn’t share either.

  18. wesley says:

    The header looks too small on large resolution displays. Maybe you should show more of the image to bigger resolutions instead of stretching the sides.

    Also the color contrast (text) is not so good.

  19. ToddW says:

    BTW: Disable archives and add VBSEO.

  20. Mark J. says:

    Huh, no offense Tyler, but that is a very ugly design…
    It´s too dark and hard to read, but that may be because of my screen.

    • anonymous says:

      agreed. lightish grey on darkish grey is horrible. it may be readable to you, Tyler, on your monitor, but a lot of people are going to be struggling to make out the text– or more likely, are just not going to use the site. As well, the ‘Unofficial Forum’ text in the header is impossibly small, and the ‘Welcome to our Forums’ is just ugly.

    • micsaund says:

      The dim gray text on the dark background gives me the impression that everything is “disabled” — like how a UI grays things out that you cannot click on.

      When I first clicked the link to look at the site, I thought it might be in test mode or something, but the links do work. Obviously it’s just my perception that it appears “disabled” but I’m probably not the only one.

  21. Matt says:

    No offense but that forum design is not all that great and doesn’t come close to being able to compare with sheldon’s work.

  22. bryan says:

    If you are going to charge $25 dollars for the resource of the designers name; You should might as well start selling a crappy e-book on how you made youre “millions” You could prolly charge the same until people realize that you’re gold is just on the surface. You are definitely a successful person and t charge for resources sounds like you are desperate for money at any angle.

    • Tim says:

      Looks like Tyler’s only source of income (read: PokerForums) isn’t doing so good so now he needs to charge $25 to provide information. Classic.

      • lee says:

        Every business in the world pays for information and If I can donated $25 to tylers forum in return for some good info then I see it as a good deal.

  23. haha says:

    forum design sucks.

    tylercruz asking money for information. well tylercruz was always greedy. who din’t see this comming?

    i have come to realize that you have no skills what so ever. you put up one site, a poker forum and got lucky. that it was at the right moment, now what does tylercruz do? he makes failed forums over and over. You know nothing outside making forums tyler. like how you obviously failed hard on affiliate marketing. and the only site outside a forum is that stupid site that reviews shit that nobody would ever use. you convinced me that you are as dumb as a rock. and you should be praying to god that you even got this lucky.

  24. lee says:

    Is your designer able to do other mods like adding CMS functions etc? And will I already know this guy (from a certain forum). If they are only $200 coded then send me a $25 invoice 🙂

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      You mean forum modding/hacking? I don’t believe they do that, just skinning but can skin the hacks.

      I forget the exact amount but it’s a bit more than $200, it’s like $230 or $250. Yes, that includes being coded, as well as vB design upgrades/fixes.

  25. I would have though there would be a lot of cheap designers floating around the internet. These days you just need to find someone offshore who will do the work. Indians and Filipinos speak english pretty well, and I am sure they would charge much less than Americans.

  26. Danny says:

    That has to be one of the worst skins I have ever seen.

    How can you be proud of that? It shows exactly how much money you’ve spent on it and it looks terrible.

  27. I think it looks quite good.

    My only concern would be that the grey text on the dark background is far too hard to read, as someone above mentioned. I tilted my laptop screen just now to see it better, but it didn’t really help.

    I would change the text colour to the white you get when you hover over…otherwise it’s too low contrast, which I would imagine is especially bad for tired gamers sat in dark rooms late at night 😉

  28. rob says:

    Tyler you might want to take a page from Shoemoney and Edward L Bernays true Masters of PR (public relations).
    Shoemoney the man with the “skills to pay the bills”, It’s always better to give than to receive. Check out this recent posting from his Blog:

    Tyler from the father of Spin:

    “If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it,” Propaganda by Edward L Bernays

    $25 dollars is letting the “masses know it”..

  29. steve dowripple says:

    One question though, why on earth would anyone join this forum when Blizzard has their own official one? Seems like more of the same rinse and repeat. Will be interesting to see how this forum pans out for you compared to your others especially with the apparent large sum of $$ you paid out for the domain. Hopefully you atleast break even.

    That said, you really ought to focus more on your other forums. Your self admitted procrastination and laziness will be your downfall IMO. There are many hungrier and more ambition web folks out there that will steal your cake if you don’t get off your butt.

    You had a stroke of luck with pokerforums. Time to stop resting on your crutch and make active strides to leaping forward and up the ladder Tyler.

  30. 50 comments on this post, who would have thought 🙂

  31. […] upcoming project includes a StarCraft2 website which he plans to make a success as always. He has a good chance at making it work considering he […]


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