Gave up!

Claverhouse

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
12
With so many forums dying over the last decade, someone should start a central site that takes ownership of them and hosts them as static archives. Essentially a forum graveyard.
So long as it's not All-Powerful and Leviathan Google.

Or Yahoo!.
 

bomb

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
38
I have given up on declining traffic in a unique way.

Some background: I started Corolland.com after I bought a Toyota Corolla, around 1999. I think the site started in 2000 or 2001. It thrived. Eventually, being too busy to really focus on it, I sold it for a decent though not incredible sum.

In late 2017, I sold my main site and bought back Corolland and Toyoland. The guy who had bought them had not changed ANYTHING but the logos since he acquired them, and the viewers had drifted off to the VerticalScope t-nation site and a new Corolla forum. I built back a little traffic, but I realized I had to have a more powerful server and more backup costs just to run this attempt at having a living forum. Nothing I did worked, and some older members did check back every week or so, but when I got an offer for it, I took it. That was in early 2019.

The original owner contacted me in 2020 and offered to sell it back. Again I tried to get traffic but it clearly was not happening. So...

I took the entire site static!

This was a fairly complicated task, and involved using BBEdit to do GREP-powered search and replace on the entire site at once (after I downloaded it).

I learned a few things from this. First, it's a LOT easier to modify Invisionboard templates first, while it's still on-line, than to do GREP search-and-replaces on 14,000 individual pages! Second, as I really already knew, forum software has a LOT of junk and in some ways can be terribly done, with large images restrained only by style sheets. It's pretty clear they are not really engineered with fast loading in mind. Third, when you strip out all the junk, you get a pretty fast-loading site — until you put ads onto it! Fourth, prune your junk posts before saving in static format...

Oddly, Google traffic has risen somewhat after this effort, though not that much. I figure it'll take a few months for the faster load times to matter. As others have noticed, of course, the main problem with page speed is anything supplied by Google, which Google then flags as “you should cache this,” “this is slow and poorly written code,” etc.

Technical notes: I replaced the search box with a server side include (I could have used php but chose SSI). This lets me switch from Google if I need to. I have a standard head (top of page), standard footer, and thought about a standard mid-page ad slot but never did it - wish I had. That would have been easy from IPB. The head and footer and search box can easily be changed without having to change any of the other pages. I also have a standard within-header include. At first I included all the javascripts, but none turned out to be needed in the end. I have not yet gone through to trim the massive quantities of css code. Some things still need to be refined, especially in the all-important mobile format.

Anyway, I thought I should put it out there for anyone who was saying, “This old, dead forum is a real hog of my server's resources.” There's a lot of good info on the forum, in terms of how-to guides and technical discussions, along with the junk. Was it worth it, overall? Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see what the next year brings in terms of ad revenue... but I also hated to see all the discussions go dark.
I wouldn't give up on this forum, if I was you. You have some decent indexed organic keywords.
What you need to know, unlike back in the '90s when forums would get organic traffic with little to no efforts, now, you have to do some work.

Some long tail keywords are ranking no. 1 on SERP on your forum. I would create articles or initiate more discussions around them. Since they have decent monthly search.

You most probably was hit by either Panda or Penguin in June.

There is something good that you did on March through to April, try to rinse and repeat that. I love your backlinks #
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