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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?


2:01 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

credible , strength , first call for coding issues first class , cream of crop

I know when I have coding issues the first thing I type in google is "code error webmaster world"

Although ..the last year I have been search "coding issue youtube"


2:05 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I TRUST the info I get on WebmasterWorld most, it's strong on credibility. I think that is part of the brand, as users can expect information to be reliable.


2:08 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think the brand is lacking and needs to be refined/updated. The first time I came here there was no way I was going to pay for a subscription because the brand gave me no sense of trust or professionalism.

I'm not trying to be harsh, I can only presume that you want an honest responses.

Upon visiting the site and taking the time to look around, the value of the site becomes apparent. I plan to subscribe when I have the funds available to do so.

So overall I rate the brand very low and value of content very high. Make some small changes to the look and feel (without playing with the interface too much) and I'm sure subscription rates would improve... presuming that increasing subscriptions is the intended goal.


2:20 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

What do you think of the site on the whole?

Top notch information source minus the bells and whistles (read: distractions) all of the other webmaster forums are plagued with. Consistently in the top SERPS for coding/server questions.

Excellent moderation. Strict enforcement of forum rules is a plus in my book, although apparently some disagree.

2 thumbs up from this reviewer.


3:20 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I've been thinking about this one since you posted it, and here you go:

What do you think of the site on the whole?
Great content.

The brand?
Great for some.
Poor for others.

The value?
Honestly? Declining.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?
Stuck is the best I can come up with... It's why I think the value is declining. IMO You couldn't start this site today with the same rules, TOS, limitations, etc. and have it be half the success WebmasterWorld has been / is...

You've got the 'dinosaurs' and 'trolls' who don't want anything to change and squash anyone who suggests what other forums are doing as even being an option, and you've got the 'kids' who expect a site like others or they won't visit.

This thread says some of it a bit better than I think I could: [webmasterworld.com...]

Suggestion or idea on what I'd think about doing?
Split it... Either make two 'flexible' systems which both display the same posts (think 'old view' - no links show v. 'new view' - more links allowed (as an example of meaning more than simply a template change)), or keep this one as is (basically) and fire up SearchEngineWorld with a new look, new feel, new set of rules, new set of mods, new TOS, allow full interlinking, have parallel user name between the two and give people the best of both worlds.

Personally, I think you've got the user base to have two sites...

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 3:31 am (utc) on May 27, 2010]


3:30 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I was actually thinking this morning that if it were me I would probably look at splitting it also.

You can't make changes to the current site without losing the old timers but you can get new people/ideas in without making changes.

Have one site which uses totally new ideas and social networking, allow links and run it with ads and then have another site like this.

The only other thought I had would be to slowly introduce changes in stages so as not to upset the oldies :)


3:31 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Honestly, I find I can get any question answered without visiting here. I haven't been here in years and only came back due to the blanket email to "active' (cough...haven't posted since 2005, I'm in your "active" list?!) members.


4:00 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

<Taking moderator hat off>

The WebmasterWorld brand is well known, and as far as I have discussed it with other people has a good standing as a webmaster resource. It has some outdated look and feel and the visual appearance breaths the past.

The main value I see is in the existing content. Lots of information has been written here, the timeline of many on-line developments is visible and many old threads are still valuable resources to read. The strict moderation rules may have accomplished that. It has turned in a great content and resource site.

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.

While the existing content and stored knowledge is great and of great value as a reference, acquiring new knowledge gets increasingly difficult and without changes may cause the site to become a static site, still with great knowledge, but less and less interesting discussions about new and current issues. Something like a museum: a great place to visit but with less and less connection with the real-time world.

It is OK that the visual appearance of the site is dated and breaths the past. But we should be aware not to move to a situation where also the content and discussions start to breath the past.


4:09 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I tend to want to agree with lammert here on a few points, but you're right the policies do "choke" the discussion.

But the fact that the place is called "WEBMASTER" world also chokes the discussion. I think anyone who has started a web development career post the dot com era laughs at that title. I know I regularly make jokes about that.

The irony is that the person who introduced me to this site continues to call herself a webmaster, but she's also in her late 60s.

I'm a web developer, a web designer, an entrepreneur, a social media addict, a father, a dog owner, etc.

One thing I am not? A master of the web.

If I could come here and discuss web design with other designers. Wow, that would be awesome. I HATE the fact that every blog out there that posts a design only has comment threads that stroke the designers, er um, ego. There is never a discussion.

And if it is, it's only amongst colleagues on one of their sites. Why can't we have a centralized discussion where can share ideas, graphic treatments, links, etc.? Oh yah because we aren't webmasters and we can't link to outside resources.


4:29 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

*What do you think of the site on the whole?
For the most part, easy to use, friendly, great discussions.

*The brand?
Well recognizable, trustworthy.

*The value?
Great. I've never paid for anything here though, so my thoughts is just on the free aspect ;)

*What is your OVERALL impression of the site?
Great. I do wish the design was a bit more updated with the times, however. I don't mean with tons of gadgets and button, but simply with perhaps pastel colors and a friendlier feel to the site.


5:17 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

1/ What do you think of the site on the whole?
It is an ok resource... used to be a great resource. Like many 'webmaster'/'marketeer' forums, the ratio of knowledgeable people/noobs is getting worse and worse. The few 'respected' members left tend to be old in age and stuck in their ways. So what happens is new people come in, ask the same questions, and get the same answers. The dynamics of the old webmaster world have changed dramatically.

2/ The brand?
A good brand on the decline... desperately needing a change in direction.

3/ The value?
If worked properly very high. As it is, declining.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?
Read the answer to question #1.

My suggestions.


* Make a clearer distinction of areas for newbies and for more experienced members. DON'T allow advanced conversations to be derailed by newbs. It kills the flow. Yes, your new members may not feel as welcome, but the advanced ones will... and they are what attract the newbies anyway. And I believe there is a middle ground to the 'newb hand holding' currently going on in this forum, and the newb attach that goes on in places like wickedfire

* Allow more freedom in discussion. URL/product mention restrictions are way too draconian.

* Get some high quality posters in here. Look up a person who has a blog about 'blue hat seo'. Get that person... and other such people on here. I don't know what you have to do to get them... but upping the signal to noise ratio of this site is paramount.

* Make the supporters forum based on invitation, which comes from good, quality posts. It is rather insulting that good members that contribute content don't get in there, while people who don't contribute anything and pay a measly fee get in there. It is part of what is deteriorating the signal to noise ration. I think Brett should really look at this video: hxxp://www.wimp.com/surprisingmotivation/

* As part of my past point, motivate good content. The forum does not do enough to motivate good content providers.

* Cut off ad museum argument posters. They will always harm conversations... it will happen in every forum, but WebmasterWorld is particularly prone to this.

Simply put, get the experts to participate more... and the newbies to participate without interfering in the 'expert' interaction.

I think the current design is ok... the layout of the forum sections could use improving (i.e. less sections; consolidate them).


5:42 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

It is (still) the # 1 site for webmaster-related issues for me. The content is way above average quality, also thanks to the strict moderation guidelines.

The brand?

Looks like it was "developed" in, er, 1996 and was never taken any further. You might want to spend some money on having a new logo developed and maybe have the top of the page (above the message section) reworked to match the new brand.

The value?

Declining. Over years I most actively participated in the Adsense forums, but when I removed Adsense from my sites, this was not useful any longer.

The Google SEO forum is still of good value to catch up on the latest issues with Google SEO. The Google business forum tends to be always a bit "late" with news, and a (perceived!) pro-Google bias makes it less valuable to me. There simply seems to be no place here where Google can be constructively criticized which is odd for a site that has such a good reputation.

In any case, I would never pay to get access to the site. It's not THAT valuable to me; never has been; never will be.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

A site with excellent content quality, little to no clutter, quite old-fashioned, a number of experts among the users, some biased mods (my perception!), some shills (again, my perception!). Not good enough to make me pay.


5:54 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

trust and brand:
best on web for my line of work (webmaster ;). when i have a coding problem i always come here first. there are members in certain areas who are the top guys on the web in their respective fields - and freely give this info.

when i first joined this was the only place to get such info. that is no longer the case. i think blogs, and particularly those from people i trust/follow, also provoke inspiring discussion and provide interesting solutions to many problems.

i don't believe there is a solution to this; you can't monopolize good content. but you can expand the offering (as has been discussed many times in this feedback forum) to keep people coming back.


6:22 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

best on web for my line of work (webmaster ;)

Kidding I hope. I wonder if we can take a poll of who still actually calls themselves a "webmaster" on their business cards without giggling to themselves.


7:40 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Crusty but trying to stay relevant - a bit like your high school teacher or trendy preacher.

Personally? As a search result for information. As a tremendous contribution to any past success I've had. As the location that is (these days far too) occasionally pointed to from elsewhere for an interesting debate.

Overall Impression?
Member generation change, which is fine. It happens. Whether WebmasterWorld is relevant to them is far more important than whether it is relevant to me. My suspicion is that it eventually will find it impossible because it is of a particular generation itself.


7:52 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

All my comments apply to the free part of the site.

I never come here anymore because the title and logo implies something from the 90s. Occasionaly Google will direct me to some content here - which is useful, but mostly that content is old (not neccessarily outdated, but old). Leads me to believe that the free version of the site is no longer growing or really being used. The other thing with the title (judging from the comments) is that it does seem to be applicable to the subscription offering. In that the value of that offering is in how to make money off the web as a businessman rather than about understanding the web's technology.

I've posted here twice since I became a member 5 years ago. Both were specific questions. One was never replied to (don't care about answered, but no one even tried to help). Another got one reply. Overall value to me: little.

For me the site is good source of older information, but becoming less relevant by the year.

I'm a web developer (mainly .Net, but also other technologies) and sites like Stack Overflow or even Microsoft's asp.net forums offer much better value without trying to be exclusive. In fact SO has the exact opposite model to WW. It's completely free to use and you don't need to be registered to post.


8:01 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?
Still dip into it almost daily, mainly to see what's happening in the Supporter's Forum.

The brand?
Strong, but only because I've known it for many years. I can see how it wouldn't resonate so well with people stumbling across the site for the first time today.

The value?
Still there, but gradually diminishing as long-timers abandon the site (there seems to be a never-ending river of newbies, but my gut instinct is that more long-timers are leaving than mid-timers are sticking with it to become long-timers)

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?
Positive, but there needs to be a much harsher approach taken to newbies and their questions. It's frankly unacceptable in 2010 to come to a place with the depth of posts and collective experience of WW and start asking 1998-era questions (what is an affiliate program, how should I exchange links, can I make money online, etc.)

These lines of questions need to be nipped in the bud immediately, as they're the biggest interest-killer for long-time and expert users that I can think of!

People need to wake up to the fact that there's literally BILLIONS of pages of information out there (many millions of which are within WW) that provides all the basic grounding they ever need. That wasn't the case 10-12 years ago (think pre-to-during the .com bubble) when everything was still relatively new and shiny. But it smacks of laziness at the very least to turn up on the WW doorstep and start firing off the kind of questions that
A) Have been answered a gajizillion times before
B) Could be answered with 30 seconds of Googling

If anything, WW needs to refocus to concentrate more on the advanced/professional webmaster community. Farm out the newbies to all the thousands of other forums, and stop humouring them. It's no longer fun or cute to see them come gambolling here like kittens learning to play in this exciting Web-playground-thing. That got old years ago, and it's positively ancient today.

And yes, we were all newbies once - but any focus on that ignores the fundamental factor I outlined above that the goalposts have changed: the level of experience available a search away is hundreds of times greater than it was even a few years ago, and similarly the "cost of professionalism" whether it's hiring experienced writers/programmers/whatever on one of the many sites dedicated to that kind of thing, running strong software platforms, putting a website on a solid hosting foundation etc. has dropped to a tiny, tiny fraction of what it used to be.

Bottom line: people who've literally just woken up to the idea that "Hey, I might be able to make money off of the Web" need to be more proactive and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps (using the free information, ebooks, tools, services, etc. etc. that abound all over the Web) to a minimum level before participating in discussions.


8:12 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

I think the site is minimalistic and quite honestly butt ugly but I like it that way. Not being shown tons of things I didn't come for is much appreciated. It's the people you've got here that make the site Brett and they're following you regardless of the site's appearance, you know that.


8:27 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

In my early years of making web sites, this place was a fountain of knowledge and I am grateful for all of the great advice I've received here through the years.

In recent years, though I think there has been a decrease in interesting posters. The people with the best advice are probably putting it on their own blogs these days, so I don't have a solution for you. Plus a lot of the cool posts in years past used to be from swaggering black hats and gray hats that Google has shut down these days, so some of it is simply that times have changed on the web. These days a lot of the new sites that are skyrocketing in my fields are bloggers who can write really interesting articles more so than the black hats or people who are getting ahead through tips and tricks or even any in depth understanding of the Google algorithm.

The restrictions on outside links to interesting blogs and tools is also a drawback for me. At this point in my field I know most of the general concepts I need to know so it would be nice to learn more about specific tools or cool blogs to read.

I also would prefer to just have ads or affiliate links on the site rather than pay a subscription fee for the private forum.


8:35 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I use webmasterworld a lot, but less than I used to. I now have to dig through lots of posts to get a sense of what the search engines are doing. Perhaps algorythms are not as obvious as they used to be.

Years ago more posts were on topic and actually helpful and it was easier to spot trends and developments. There is too much noise now, especially in the monthly google updates thread.

The design looks dated now and needs a facelift, grey is rather boring as a background colour. Don't worry about bandwidth and use a CDN, it will be fine!:)

There are some real gems in the smaller forums htaccess tips and tricks, programming tips etc... and I find I am dipping into these more often.


8:37 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What do you think of the site on the whole?

I learned my trade on WebmasterWorld, but I now visit only every few months. I think that's because the industry has changed - I used to define my business as a technology business. Now I see us much more as a publishing company. The day to day issues I deal with are commercial and content-related, not technological, and not SEO-related.

I do think that the site desperately needs a full and thorough redesign. For my own business, it seems that we need a redesign every two years to keep pace with overall improvements in web design. Sorry, but WW feels very dated.

The brand?

I don't think of myself as a webmaster any more - I'm a publisher. That said, WW has an established name and an established URL, and you know where to come when you have technological questions.

The value?

The value's fine.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

- The format is desperately out of date.
- I'd like to see a library of articles. "Brett's 26 steps" was hugely influential in its time, and I'd like to see more of these.


8:50 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

The feedback being provided during these Feedback Days is priceless! I read all the responses above and get goosebumps thinking how serious and professional everyone is over here. You can't get this type of discussion anywhere else on the web, not that I'm aware of anyway.

What do you think of the site on the whole?

I've always held WebmasterWorld in the highest regard. I have drifted away over the past couple of years and that can be attributed to a variety of changes in my routines not to mention the onslaught of Social Media, I was late to the game 2 years ago. ;)

The brand?

You know what Google is to Search right? That's what WebmasterWorld is to the Webmaster Community. At least in this part of the world.

The value?

Unmatched. I don't think there is a day that goes by without me doing a site:WebmasterWorld.com "query" search. Since I've been hanging out for about 11 years, I do have a bit of a bias in my feedback here.

And then there is the value of community which would take me forever and a day to explain. I won't do that. All I can say is thank you to everyone who are the community.

What is your OVERALL impression of the site?

Funny, my impression feels the same as it did 5 years ago. Not much has changed from a visual perspective, not that I can remember anyway. I'll agree with Edwin in that the Goal Posts have moved considerably.

Myself? I caught the Twitter bug over the past 2 years and it doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. There's just something to that real time stream that is hypnotizing. :)

Oh, and me favorite part of the day is when I can click a link and read someone's Blog Post that I may end up Retweeting. If WebmasterWorld would open up the doors a little, I could start submitting some of those over here for discussion.


9:01 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I always get first class solutions on this site and have it in my favourites.

It is simple to use and find relevant forums, quick and easy.

I rarely write feedback, but am a fan of this site and few, if any others. The only other product evangelise is Google. I have an Android phone and love it.


9:08 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Main value: Trust on the great content posted here.

Moderators could select some of the best articles or even individual posts and create a compilation guide.

In another aspect I believe that many members usually spent much time without returning to the forum, it happens to me. With rss feeds and mailing lists I usually get most of the information without even going to a forum. There should be something more to attract members here every week at least.

And yes we can say that the information here is valuable for itself but in the end people want something extra. "What's in it for me?"

Because signature links aren't allowed and they bring some spammers, we have to replace that with another thing. Perhaps special offers from advertisers would be an option? More revenue and more visitors at the same time, I would visit that section often to see what's currently there.
That forum would be clearly marked has having ads from your paid advertisers and no one else, to avoid confusion.

[edited by: bluelook at 9:10 am (utc) on May 27, 2010]


9:09 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Right question - wrong audience.

You'll only get answers from the choir - the dissatisfied are long gone.


9:29 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You'll only get answers from the choir - the dissatisfied are long gone.

Something I absolutely disagree with - one of the things I've been struck with reading through the Feedback is how many people like myself who now don't use the site at all - or as much as they used to - have taken the time and made the effort to come back and participate and try to give their honest reasons why that has taken place.

Testimony, I would say, to the reservoir of goodwill that WebmasterWorld has built up over the years.


9:36 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think is a great site. It seems no matter what I am trying to research using a search engine Webmasterworld usually has something related on the first page of the search engine. One issue I would like to see it an area dedicated to Wordpress security issues, it is hard to fine good quality information on this topic not just on Webnmaster World but overall on the net.

As far as ads I would have no problem with it and would rather have that then the subscription area of the forums. I would like to see all the information open to everyone and just have ads on the site as a way to make money on the site.


9:55 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

Us old Pharts get it. The sound byte gen don't.

Fortunately it's not about sound, or pics, it is about CODE. How to do it...

Dang it, it is the 60ish running the web these days, all you whippersnappers nipping at our coat tails...

Brette... give the itty bitties the "pretty the css" but don't give an inch in moderation of content. (Or all you other ModGhods, too!)

The web is filled with looky loos for fast answers. That's not going to change. What Webmasterworld does is thump upon their heads LEARN HOW TO DO IT and TANSTAAFL.

Apparently turns out I'm among the old Pharts re: date and message count.


10:53 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

I have always trusted the place. It's the one sitr I know I can be assured an answer when ever I hit problems.
This 118 message thread spans 4 pages: 118

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