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Ok, Enough with Features and Minutiae

What is your Overall?



1:51 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

What do you think of the site on the whole?

The brand?

The value?

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?


12:59 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

It must be ok :-) as I have used it quite a lot in a busy period a couple of years ago.
I did go through a period where I did not use it at all, at that time I did not need to keep so up to date.

The brand?

The brand WebMasterWorld is good. It is a type-in for me, I don't need a favourites entry I just type it in. Very few sites are type-ins for me, this one is.

The value?

Difficult, yes of course it is valuable to me, but equally I am valuable to it as a user and contributor. But yes, if it was not of good value I would not visit. It does offer good value subscriber or not.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

Too quiet these days. It is not enough to use search all the time, (although that is of course valuable) but I think users do want to interact with like minded people.

However I do recommend the site to people so ...


3:23 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

The brand and value are fine.

Overall impression? A strong sense of community that is unique in the forum world. Hopefully "change" doesn't herald a move away from the founding Mission Statement.


4:27 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Overall lacking in innovation due old school attitudes and get-rich-quick wannabes but enough respectable posters to keep it relevant.

The brand is OK, it was better 8 years ago though when SEO was inovative. There is nothing SEO/SEM discussed that works that's isn't just web design done properly.

The business perspective is pretty good but can be hit and miss with advice to shoot clients if they ask for a change. The global news is good, the homepage is good catchup, I have a lot of respect for the people who post breaking news here.


4:34 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Overall it is still the best place for SEM information, always turn here when I need to answer a question. Great webmaster information as well, always use it as a reference for people newer to the web. There still is huge value in this forum as far as I'm concerned, even years after joining here.

Brand is established so I don't think you need to worry about that. Advertise at some big name SEM sites possibly to gain new eyes.

You can dress the site up if you want to but I like the minimal, tech look of the place. Technical information is here and frankly that's what I'm looking for. Slight design changes shouldn't matter much if the content remains.

My only concern is I wish the search function worked better, it is lacking, makes it harder to find information in a hurry.


6:01 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

The information is great...with the exception of opinions on what "ought" to be.
Factual information is why I would return to the site.
As far as visual distraction from the interface, it tends to interrupt what would otherwise be an enjoyable visit.

The brand?

The branding, as in the logo?
It doesn't look like it was created by a professional graphic designer, if that's what you're asking.
For marketing purposes, logo design (branding) is critical.
The "RISK" style map should be discarded for something a bit more compelling.
Also, the Gaussian Blur drop shadows under the text look dated...and dirty.

The value?

Like I've stated in other posts, the fact that WebmasterWorld has a strict URL policy reinforces an enriched quality of information.

Answering questions with fully-formed answers, rather than sending users off the site to chase a URL to some other site, reinforces the quality and depth of detail in the forum.

New users expecting cutting-edge information on webmastering might be initially turned off by the old interface. To add value, this must be improved upon.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

Fair, but could be far better with interaction design usability enhancements, and graphic design cosmetic enhancements.


7:17 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

Decent. The look is dull and boring--exactly right for a site whose value is content. The lack of .sigs and avatars adds to the professional decor. This is a place I come once in a while to share knowledge, and once in a very rare while to learn. Too many individual forums.

The brand?

Recognizable, but Irrelevant. On the rare occasions I need to know something, I just ask a search engine, which tend to be pretty good at finding related data, and have a broader dataset to work with than just WebmasterWorld. Once in a while, that brings me here.

The value?

On the whole, Marginal. It's rare I ask a question, so there isn't much for me to glean from this site. More often, my questions go to specific mailing lists or usenet groups dedicated to that particular library or what-have-you. The once or twice I have asked a question here, however, the response was greatly helpful. I find WebmasterWorld much more useful for non-technical matters than technical ones.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

Hostile towards code. Not socially, of course, but technically. Which is a big, glaring flaw for a site meant for people who deal with, among other things, code. (I know that seems rather specific, but it's such a big thing for me it taints any other impressions I may have.) BBcode just adds to the annoyance.


3:12 am on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't post often but when I want to see what is going on with an issue I will check in here to see if others have brought it up. I like the site.


3:56 am on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

or usenet groups

Not a hijack of commentary, but didn't usenet recently go tits up? I know I can no longer access it...


4:22 am on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have visited this site several times over the years looking for answers and have found it to be a valuable resource. For many questions, the answers are already in prior postings...


2:18 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

But at the same time strict moderation sometimes chokes discussions. This causes a conflict of interest. To create high quality resource threads which still have value after years you need guidelines, but to get conversation going to get new ideas, insights and solutions, a free flow of thoughts is needed. That is where it sometimes lacks IMO.

Some great contributors have left for a variety of reasons, so there are fewer Eureka moments for me.

Since I've already given my rants to admins and mods about this issue for several years, ad infinitum behind the scenes,
I'll just give a quick recap.

While many people can claim competency and success in SEO,
there are 50 or less SEO EXPERTS, NOT "gurus"
who know there stuff backwards and forwards.

NONE of them visit and/or post on this board on a regular basis, and MOST don't visit at all.

When asked why? (on other boards, of course)
Their views and comments of WWorld are reflected in the above 2 quotes. (and i'm being kind here with what they really say).

And because those people won't probably EVER visit this thread to give their opinions,
perhaps this insight will be given more weight... perhaps less.

Want specifics?
Bleh, they've been given for 3+ years now via PM.

At some point, one has to decide if one wants to be:

the most POPULAR forum

Those 2 goals have very different worldviews to achieving their mission.


3:20 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The amazing set of brilliant and intellectual people. Webmasterworld can be classified as an online university for web related stuff.


4:56 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

a couple of quotes i would like to highlight:

you can't monopolize good content.

If WebmasterWorld would open up the doors a little

A couple of my own points:

For me WebmasterWorld is the single top online resource for webmaster related issues. Other forums donīt come close. I find that the quality content is easier to find here then in other forums ... but have also noticed how the top content providers here, are not so active ...

As the years have passed top contributors have an ever greater number of optiones to publish there quality content in different places. And I suspect more and more is getting published in there own blogs.

Finding a way to interact with these external sources would be a big jump forward.

On the design issue that many raise, personaly, I dont care. Its the text that I wont to read.

One finally observation:

What I think is that there is less new stuff to learn all the time. In the 90īs everything moved really quickly, evolved fast. Not really the case anymore. Ok you get your algo tweaks ... but how many of those happen every year, that cause a ripple like mayday? This I am sure is a reflexion on my age, and the time I have spent in the industry. (I am not claiming to be a guru, but I have made a living from this for over 10 years ...) But the industry is not as exciting as it was. The excitement is in 2.0.

I would love to see some imaginative integration of facebook connect here.....

Mashable just snicked up on everyone... but I feel WebmasterWorld can play there do, but not in the top 5 things to do with your ... type blog posts, rather, quality moderated debates, guest first posters ....

Finally, having read through loads of these posts in the feedback section, I wonder if there is a way to enable link posting, without massively increasing the mods workload?


6:15 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

Generally excellent, well-focused and well-moderated, with many extremely well-informed and patient members being extremely generous with their time and expertise.

Strong on sensible policies, weaker on explaining them (and the reasons for their existence).

Good at spotting and debating current trends and fashions without jumping on bandwagons and abandoning time-honoured principles. Some sub-forums are stronger than others but all are easy to read with no pointless distractions (avatars, signatures, personal links etc).

Visually requires a subtle makeover, with more obvious search and better organised libraries.

The brand?

Fine for those who understand the concept of webmastery, though the concept needs explaining more.

The value?

Free is good. Intrusive advertising would suck (like so much of the web in the 21st century).

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

A wonderful resource predictably dragged downwards by the open access nature of a forum that inevitably leads to a large volume of posts by argumentative or self-obsessed members who are often more concerned with their personal agenda than with friendly peer discussion or helping others.

There may be no solution to this problem, which is a symptom of popularity. Rebirth or reinvention can work in the short term, but the process merely starts again - these things are cyclical.

Whatever the future may bring I remain grateful, having learned so much on WebmasterWorld.

Thank you all.



8:13 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Overall, I think WebmasterWorld is very valuable. I've referred many ignorant and enthusiastic people like myself to this site for getting the basics as well as the fine points. WebMasterWorld is A-ok for our level of learning.

About the design: what kept me coming back to this site is the clean, spartan, no baloney look. Really, really, like it. If I wanted a lot of gaga I'd buy a tv.

What I suggest: if some of the great old timers are bored with this place or feel stifled by it, either a sweet adios to them or see number 1) below.

At the same time WWW can bloom if you jazz yourself up for today's market. Do you realize how much has changed since 2000? It doesn't look like you're even on Twitter!

You could have 3 sites:

1) This old, beautiful one for the people who can appreciate it. Free up the rules just a tad so they can enjoy. Make 'em subscribe at $150 a pop for the privilige of talking to each other's genius.

2) A newer, more fluid site that continually feeds people's gluttony for web information. Make it colorful, happy, noisy, sexy, but keep it expert at its core. You'd be amazed what the 18 - 30 year olds can do for you. On this site you could put on ads and links and personal photos galore.

3) Have an instructional and referential site that is geared for public and charter schools grades K - 12. My 7 YEAR OLD niece just sent me a powerpoint presentation she did at home as part of her class project. This is where you can provide a lot of how-to's and answer a mountain of questions and have a wiki and a library. The schools will buy it. There's always money for what is really wanted. Merriam Webster, Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw Hill, Glencoe, going out. Digital, coming way in. Desktops and laptops out. Mobiles and handhelds and apps and overrides in. It's your world WWW, if you can see it.


11:01 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@Niobe, do you pronounce that as "Newb"?

Are you suggesting that the experts are only old and like the ugly-excuse me, "basic"- version of the site? If that's true, you are horribly mistaken. I would consider most of today's "experts" in the technical area of web development are in the 18-40yr old age range. They are the ones developing these systems and languages that everyone uses.

I think as far as educating the masses on the basics, and intermediate techniques, the W3 schools do a pretty darn good job at it.

Your post is a bit confusing, but referring to your "three different sites" idea, reading between the lines tells me that you want to price out the members who are not interested in a changed site, and overdo it for those that want some change. Then your third suggestion is to offer something that many other websites already to very well?

I'm confused, you want webmasterworld to fail?


5:03 am on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is still the place I come when I have serious questions I need answered. It's the only one I trust...including that other SEW site.

Even up here in the middle of arctic nowhere, when I talk to people in the business, they are familiar with the site and when I mention I was an early moderator here, they marvel.

I love that it still has the same look and feel while having kept up with technology.


5:11 am on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I like and respect this site. I want it to thrive.


When I read the posts of some people who have stated that they've been here a long time and are bored by the repetition of the questions and the low level of expertise of the questioners, I was particularly intrigued. The posters also said they feel a little boxed in by the practices of the moderators.

So I suggested webmasterworld might keep these users by maintaining this version of webmasterworld for them but without the parts they find distasteful. That way it could come closer to matching their level of sophistication and discrimination. I suggested keeping this version a subscription site because I suspect these users are already subscribers, but might possibly feel that as things are now they're not getting their measure of satisfaction for the money they're spending.

The other two sites I suggested could be subscription free or not. They'd have ads, contracts, or other business tools that millions of web users have already become accustomed to.

What was meant by "old timers" is people who have been reading webmasterworld since at least 2005, like I have.

I'm not seeing where I mentioned "experts".

As to your other points, if there is anything unique (that means none other like it) on the world wide web I'd like to know. That many sites have similar themes and functions is no reason for any particular site to shy away from entering that same theme/function arena if that site is inclined to and has something to offer, which webmasterworld most certainly does. Webmasterworld has the potential to be as good as any others like itself and superior to most of them.

Just my belief but it seems webmasterworld would benefit handsomely if it chose move into avenues it maybe hasn't considered before, like public ed for example. Which yes already has many hands in its pie - but few with the tone, style, reputation, or depth of knowledge that the webmasterworld team could bring.


4:13 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?
- Just plain great

The brand?
- Just fine

The value?
- One of the nets best web sites

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?
- Great, informative, trustworthy and reliable. I like the fact it is easy on the eyes, which i find is important when you can easily end up reading the equivelant of 2-3 books a week online. If anything make the "new to web development" a prominent link on the homepage, tweak the colors and layout a bit and maybe redo your logo like others have mentioned, slap on a PPC or PPV banner up top and maybe one adsense text banner halfway down the page.


6:11 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just to put my answers in context I used the site a lot for a few years mainly reading threads but some posting. I have a great deal of good will for the site, it has helped me greatly in the past.

Now I do pop in here occasionally - sometimes from a search & less often for a site search on a specific problem issue for me.

While some use a forum for years and years this slow dropout is surely a normal cycle for most, visitors perhaps have less time, or less need as they get more experienced or simply move on.

What do you think of the site on the whole?

I am very happy with the site as it, I am used to it and can find what I need fairly easily. I don't think however that I am the type of visitor you should be thinking about.

I don't have answers but a forum ultimately lives on relevant quality posts you need to encourage this and perhaps downgrade a pure numeric count of postings as status. Maybe as well archive somewhere the 'lower quality' threads if you can identify them or even threads that most (human) visitors leave withing seconds of viewing after, say a year or two. They dilute the quality of the site.

The brand?

Its a well moderated forum that I and many others including the search engines know and trust

The value?

I can't talk about the members forums, for free content its slightly difficult to talk of value. So just let me say value is still here overall for me its perhaps less 'value' than it was.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

I still like the website, personally I don't care about cosmetic changes.


6:35 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just to say I also particularly like the Highlighted Posts section, it keeps me in touch. Even though I it was 'Featured Posts' when I last looked at it.


6:59 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't know, in 2005 when I started reading WW I was a relative noob, but there wasn't anything else out there. Now, there is PLENTY of stuff out there that could teach a noob how to become a better developer.


10:32 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Overall, I feel WebmasterWorld's primary function is to serve as a meetingplace and clearinghouse for those interested in the business of the web. For web page designers, artists, and programmers, it is a valuable source of technical information, industry news, networking, and moral support which will continue to grow with the industry. It has always lead and will continue to do so, as long as the people behind it realize that it is the community which gives it life.

As far as value goes, there are two ways (at least) to compute value. There is value with respect to the users of the site, and there is value with respect to the site's owners. This site contains years of worth of posts with valuable information. It serves as a library to thousands of webmasters and developers, and as long as that information is cataloged and available to people, it will remain valuable. In addition, in order maintain its relevancy, the site must attract new users who lead the industry--those who are developing and making use of new technologies and ideas. If it can do so, it will continue to grow and add value not only for its users, but also for those who own the site.


12:55 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Brand: Walled garden, dated expertise, nostalgia museum.

Value: Nearly completed its decline for me (now it's just a news curator through an RSS feed) and the WebmasterWorld skill level seems to be getting more and more dated (many times striking me as grandfather webmasters who can't adapt to the changing internet) but probably still very useful to noob webmasters due to a genuinely helpful and considerate membership.


2:52 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Brand : Great

Value: Declining

Overall: There are a new generation of webmaster's online and it has failed to embrace them or hook their interest. Many things seem draconian like not mentioning other websites, there is no video, and little interaction with the audience.


4:04 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Maybe I'm an oddball (and probably a bit old fashioned), but I happen to like this site just as it is. I know right where to go if I have a question and I have my favorite areas of the forums that I read daily.

I don't bother with RSS feeds for any site online, never have liked that style of reading - although I do have them available on my blogs for those that do. However, I feel that they aren't appropriate for my sites.

I'm not much into the social sites and only use FB for family and close friends - that's brought me back into contact with a cousin I haven't seen in 30 years. They have their use for some folks, but for the most part I'm not one of those. I find they are mostly a distraction from getting any real work accomplished.

So, overall IMO is to leave things much as they are. This place is all about learning.


5:44 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Overall impression - Signal to noise is decreasing. I often simply scan over the active posts without stopping to read many...or any.

Still a good resource when one has technical questions, if they are able to show that they have done their homework first. Probably not good for noobs in that sense.

Far less free interaction than just a few short years ago. This most likely reflects the commercialization of the web. For instance, one used to be able to get clear, point by point information about the different SE's algos. Not so much anymore. More of a 'figure it out' type response - 'I got mine and I'm not giving it away for nothing..."

G discussions are endless, and largely fruitless IMHO. Again, largely a reflection of the commericalization of the web. Everyone wants to wring out what pittance they can while G twists and morphs the playground to their ultimate control and profit. I think that in many ways G's dominance has changed WebmasterWorld at its core, and not just in the G forums.

There is, overall, less of a feeling of comraderie, mutual support, and free exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Still the best place on the web, and one I check out nearly everyday, but the jadedness that is infiltrating the Internet as a whole is also apparent on these boards.


7:29 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The brand needs an update.

The value is pretty good.

My overall impression is a good community which could be taken further, if someone can figure out how to fund it without killing it.


1:32 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

The best moderated and quality discussions anywhere - because everyone of us by nature (largely SEO based) has something to promote it could so easily descend into a spamball. I feel that the linking policy has got too draconian - some of the best info is on blogs - and a diagram is worth 1000s of words (I don't do ascii art) - but self promotion would have killed this site - it's a fine line.

The brand?

The Warren Buffet of web forums.

The value?

I use in three ways
- keep up to date on the SEO world - daily browse.
- first place to turn when something out of the ordinary happens - eg. Mayday
- occasionally I stumble on something that is really of interest to web publishers - eg. googles Asian image search interface - I feel the need to bring attention to it.

But I couldn't personally justify the subscription fee for a forum (did subscribe for a while). Had it been $50 yes, $150 no. I guess if I'd put a few faces/names to handles at the pubcons I kept hoping to attend over the last 10 years - it might have been easier.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

I've come along way from the kid posting back in 2001/2 - but WebmasterWorld is still the same - which has pros and cons.

I still refer newbies to the new to web dev forum - I get some of my staff to read posts - go HTML5 css updated logos and branding. Give senior members a proper profile page - let them promote, tweet, guest blog there - pass on the link juice to that page. But leave the minimalist discussions as is - content is king and quality is queen - now where did I read that?...

(Ps. I really appreciate these feedback days topics - there is gold in some of these posts - I'm going through the same thing with my most popular community site which is just so 2006 - good 2006 - but 2006)
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