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Closing a forum

Delete it or just close participation.

   
1:18 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My site has been resigned twice since it's inception about five years ago; each time participation at my forum has dropped. Right now, I'm lucky if I get one post a month, other than from spammers. If the forum hasn't taken off by now, I doubt it ever will.

I'm not saying the redesigns caused the drop in participation. There are a lot of excellent and much better forums in the field.

The forum has always been a pain in for me. I don't enjoy it. I have three moderators but, hey, there is little now to moderate. I mean, would you participate in a forum where no one has made a post for a month?!

The forum, though, does have a lot of very good and useful content, which will be as applicable in the future as it is today. The forum is visited and read even though few people participate.

I'm thinking of closing the forum. But which is the best approach?

1- Do I just do away with it?

2- Or, do I just lock out participation; put a notice that the forum is closed but the posts are available to read?

I should add, that site visitors DO use the commenting system at my site, and recent comments and most commented articles are fed into the bottom of each page.
Thank you.
1:29 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Close it. Even better, just make it disappear. Make sure your redirects are 410 "gone" to make that happen faster. If it was no fun, why suffer with SE hits long after?

And if you do get queries as to where it went, you might have incentive to put it back on line.
2:20 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Go with option 2
Why would you want to delete good content that attracts visitors if you didn't have to?
2:26 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



I would suggest a hybrid of #2

Find the top rated/viewed posts and the top rated/viewed subjects, use the info from the posts to create manuals or guides or what ever on those subjects.

Change the look and feel of your site from a forum to an 'info' website.

People may start coming back for the great info already on your site if you organize it, make it so people can find it easily, and change it's format from forum posts to an authoritative paper of some sort. Not only that but Google may increase your position for those subjects if they appear in a concise manner.

No need to just turn off all that great info, and no reason to turf all that content.

If you did that you could keep the comment section working for the 'papers'

My 2 cents
3:02 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I would suggest a hybrid of #2


Very interesting suggestion. Maybe I could turn them in to articles for the main site.

Change the look and feel of your site from a forum to an 'info' website.


I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear.

My site is an information website; it also has a blog where I make comments about topics in the field, as well as review various "widgets". The forum is just a portion of the overall site.

My site is no Yahoo, but I've been told that it is a large one. I have decent monthly traffic.
7:25 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I sometimes visit forum websites which have a portal page as the base domain page. then have to search for a while to find the link to the forum.

does your forum link/button on the main site stand out (eyecatching)?
10:14 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



shallow, there are several options.

  • You can delete the entire thing leaving no trace behind.
  • Close the forum and put a big clear note stating the forum is not open to discussion but the content is available.
  • Close the forum but convert it to a friendly format so everybody can read the content, it would be like creating a website out of the forum, you can insert Ads if you want to, yes, it will perform differently than the forum version, I bet it will be better.
  • SELL IT. Trust me, I've been browsing over the web and found out other forums where people offer, sell and buy this kind of projects, be it the data or the forum installed on a new domain.
1:56 am on Apr 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



BTW I forgot to mention, I already did that. I closed a forum that became a mess to moderate and installed a new one. That's what I did, I created a friendly version that you could read by topic. It was useful for a time.