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GardenersCorner URL Slight Change and Reasoning Featured

Discussion in 'Site Feedback/Bugs' started by Nudaii, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Nudaii

    Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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    Morning all, you will notice there has been a slight change to the url structure here

    previously we used gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/forums for forum sections which isnt that user friendly and also entirely negated the awesome pool of "Google juice" we could have been using for gardenerscorner.co.uk/

    So as of today we have a slight change.

    The Forums are now found at gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums (notice the s after forum) and remain exactly as they have always and will continue to do so.

    the old url now redirects to gardenerscorner.co.uk, to ensure all the forums links remain active/working for threads.

    and at gardenerscorner.co.uk we have a custom coded content page which allows new users and current members to at a glance see the latest, most liked, most read or most replied posts in any of the Topic related forums (by topic related i mean off topic forums not related to gardening, such as site news, recipes etc are not displayed on the new page, but continue to exist as always on the forums exactly where they have always been)

    There are so more changes coming shortly, to help the admins better sort content, and new tools related to photo competition to make displaying winner work correctly are also in the pipeline :)
     
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      Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club

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      Thanks @Nudaii :dbgrtmb:

      I haven't the faintest idea what that all means but it doesn't really matter. I can still log on the way I always do (never go to the Home page) and I'm still seeing everything as I have always done. :hapydancsmil:

      If it makes things easier for the admins and easier for newbies then it's great. :yay:
       
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      • Nudaii

        Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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        yes indeed we made sure that people who wished to continue using the old way werent affected, and that the forum itself remained unchanged by the new homepage, which supplements instead of overriding the traditional forum expeirance.
         
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        • Nudaii

          Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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          As someone asked thought i would answer here, the old way the gardenerscorner.co.uk part of the domain worked was just like a sign post, it would be like covering half of your garden with signs to other half, google finds such things wasteful and it damages rankings as it can affect the ranking of the root domain (gardenerscorner.co.uk)

          this change turns gardenerscorner.co.uk into a portal which pulls all the amazing content into a single page, latest/best 25 depending on filters selected by google/guests members, while allowing the forums url (gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums) to continue to be the forum that everyone loves.

          People who like it can use the new portal, members who dont want to bother with it can simply bookmark gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums and the site is exactly the same as its always been

          the literal only real differance for those who simply wish to just use the forum,
          is instead of gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum its now gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums (s added to forum)
           
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            Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
          • roders

            roders Total Gardener

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            Oh boy ,I don't get the advantage to us mere mortals.......yet.:old:
            There is much more instant info on the old system......:scratch:
            You know us pensioners don't like change.............but we usually get it eventually.:hate-shocked:
             
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            • Nudaii

              Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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              well the original system is there as always :) gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums literally unchanged by this new page, and works 100% same as yesterday and will always continue to work as always, the hub of activity/info and knowledge that has made Gc great :)

              in basic typing "gardenerscorner.co.uk" used to just redirect/point to the forums (gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums) now typing/visiting "gardenerscorner.co.uk" has both its own page and also has links to forum (gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums) :)

              when planning this change we wanted to make sure the forum which is now in its 12 year i believe? remained exactly the same and didnt cause any interuption to the members who are used to and prefer the old way. thats why bookingmarking gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums url allows you to basically continue exactly as you did before, as we know people of any age dont like to have something they are used to turned on its head!
               
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              • Redwing

                Redwing Wild Gardener

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                Weird, I had to log in again even though I should be continuously logged in. Is this new whatever it is the reason?

                The Home page has also changed for me.
                 
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                • Nudaii

                  Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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                  howdy the relogin could have been caused by the server needing a reboot, there was a several week back log of queries which were causing the server to hang, that was flushed to speed up server.

                  by homepage you mean gardenerscorner.co.uk ? if so the forum homepage is at gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums :) as the root domain (gardenerscorner.co.uk) now displays a seperate home, so to sum it up

                  website homepage: gardenerscorner.co.uk
                  forum homepage: gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums (this is what you want to go to if you are wanting the old look homepage/the actual forums)

                  To reiterate the forums (gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums) are the focus and heart of the site as always, and all the normal features you are used to are and will always be availble there :)

                  the only change which affected them directly is an added s to the url from /forum to /forums, this was done to comply with the correct format the xenforo software uses.

                  A benefit that will affect all members is this new homepage will handle the traffic in a lighter way for bots/guests, resulting in a faster server for everyone :)
                   
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                    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
                  • Michael Hewett

                    Michael Hewett Super Gardener

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                    I prefer the old way. The new way bombards me with lots of things I don't want to see, and I have to scroll down a lot to find the things I do want to see in amongst all the other stuff.
                    I only want to look at the few forums I am interested in. That's all I've got time for, and I find changes to things I've already learnt how to use, are a pain.

                    Thank you for trying to update the forum, but I shall stick with the old familiar (and to me, easier) way :smile:

                    What is 'Google Juice' please ???
                     
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                    • Anthony Rogers

                      Anthony Rogers Total Gardener

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                      What happened to if it ain't broke don't fix it ?

                      I think it's worse for new viewers/users. Before, they could look and scroll down and think " ooh there's a section on Roses, there's one on Greenhouses , I think I'll join up " now they look down and see a long list of things that mostly have nowt to do with gardening.

                      Also, it's not very mobile friendly is it ? Before if I was looking at something and wanted to go back when I'd finished I'd just press " back ", now if I do that it takes me to that new fangled piece of rubbish and I have start again, wasting my credit ! ! !

                      Also, what are the numbers for by the posts on the new page and why have some got orange lines ?

                      You say the forums " are the focus and heart of the site ".... Is so why bury them out of view, they should be on the front page out and proud for all to see.
                       
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                      • Zigs

                        Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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                        Sussed it :phew:

                        Bookmark gardenerscorner.co.uk/forums

                        Then you'll get the main page we're all used to.

                        When you've looked at something and want to go back to the main page, click on Forums instead of clicking on the banner :)
                         
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                        • Michael Hewett

                          Michael Hewett Super Gardener

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                          Thank you @Zigs, done that now :smile:
                           
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                          • Zigs

                            Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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                            It's ok for us, but I just googled Gardeners Corner and it took me to the page with just the posts on :yikes:

                            Bang goes any new members then, they'll take one look at it and think it's just unstructured gobbledegook :hate-shocked:
                             
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                            • Nudaii

                              Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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                              actually thats the plan to build two sets of serps (google indexing records) for GC one with the forum and another with the posts/homepage and research shows that the homepage style has a better guest to member conversion rate than a traditonal forum list:)

                              so Gc will now get the benefit of both the tradional forum and the new look once google updates its records.
                               
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                              • Anthony Rogers

                                Anthony Rogers Total Gardener

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                                That was exactly my point Zigs...
                                 
                              • Nudaii

                                Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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                                Actually 80% GC traffic comes from people landing into threads from google searching the old homepage had a very poor converstion rate almost equal to the dismal conversation rate of people landing onto a profile page.

                                as for mobile friendly you are misunderstanding the term, it refers to the way the software adapts to the mobile screen/interface, regular users normally avoid both forum and home pages and build their own routine of watched threads/forums, new users are now presented with just another avenue to view GC content.

                                No one expects established users to stop using the /forums, its never been implied even once, the new home page has no ability to create content it instead presents to users/ guests both old and new to view a stream of the latest and most viewed/replied/liked content that the forum has to offer, and to present that data also to google in a format it better index.

                                unsure how a list of threads pulled purely from the gardening only sections have little to do with gardening? all off topic related feeds are excluded from that homepage not to mention that the original homepage is linked in the navbar and still exists as its own url as always Gardeners Corner - The Friendly Gardening Forum, having the forum exist at basically the same url it always has isnt burying it, its using a former barron patch of ground for a crop (the root domain previously was a traffic damging redirect without value)

                                The points can be rehased over and over, I however understand, the average member doesnt have the traffic data i have availible from working with GC since 2008 in a technical capiciity, the long and short of it go to Gardeners Corner - The Friendly Gardening Forum and nothing changes for you, except the lighter load on server as the massive forum index is no longer being pulled with every single casual guest/bot visit, putting obscene pressure on the server.
                                 
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                                • Nudaii

                                  Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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                                  one point i missed to address from an earlier post is the colours, the software flags threads 3 ways.

                                  Standard Threads > just your normal every day thread
                                  Hot threads > threads with replies over the limit set by admins show as hot threads, and have a star after the title, this number by default i believe is 250-300 replies but can be modified by any member of admin staff to a better suited number if too many or too few threads become hot due to trends in posting/traffic.
                                  Orange title threads > these threads are stickies, same as normal threads except they have been set to stick/pinned by staff and normally mean they deserve slightly more attention than a standard thread, hence their colour.
                                   
                                • wiseowl

                                  wiseowl Friendly Admin Staff Member

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                                  Good afternoon I'm all for progress and thank you @Nudaii for all your excellent work always in the background,very much appreciated my friend.as you say member's still have the choice to use the old style or can remain Dinosaurs :lunapic 130165696578242 5:(only joking)
                                   
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                                  • Nudaii

                                    Nudaii Developer Staff Member

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                                    Exactly this was planned out to make sure that in no way members would be forced to swap to a new look for their forum use, the forum powers the new page, if people stopped using the old way (forum) there would be nothing for the new second option to show, as it can only show whats happening on the forum, think of it as a constantly updating flyer for the site allowing people to at a glance see what people are talking about right then.

                                    GC has over the years aqquired a long list of forums which is great for organistion, but is murder to the server, our load time for google for forum page is horrific in their eyes (consideirng google classes a 0.2 second differance as a red alert level of lag/slow) our google traffic has suffered under progressive roll out of new requirements google imposes for speed, mobile friendly layout, and presenting content, this change allows the old and the new to co exist, without having to severely cut back the forums/categories by a huge margin (50-70%), this method allowed 100% of the sites normal categories to remain, allowing the past to flurish and welcome the future is the only way that sites can keep competitive in a market where 0.1 seconds longer load time is enough to knock you off the main page for some terms.

                                    One of the major misunderstandings about google traffic is the amount of people who search anything related to "gardeners corner" is very small and mostly returning members who use the /forums anyway, the vast majority of traffic comes on terms like "how to grow roses" "best seeds for planting in spring" and other such question related terms, in that market we are competing with dozens if not thousands of sites,blogs, facebook groups, reddits, if we lag even 0.1ms behind them, even if we outclassed them and provided a far better source of info they would get a better share of traffic, those people will now have 2 ways of finding us, threads they land on (which will remain the majority share of traffic most likely) and now the second way, through the new homepage which displays titles of threads.

                                    I appreciate all concerns, but as life for a "forum user" remains the same this is not an actual issue that is affecting anyone who isnt choosing to let it affect them (by not using the updated url for forums or the forum link on maine page and in breadcrumb).

                                    Pending any bugs in the software, which due to exhaustive testing on other sites is unlikely, this is my last post in the thread as this post and my previous ones address every related point.

                                    Spring is coming, looking for some sunny days.

                                    Nudaii
                                    Developer

                                    as an added note, the new homepage loads in 928 ms which is Faster than 91% of sites tested by the leading speed test used to rate websites, while the forum takes betwen 1.8-4 seconds to load.

                                    To us thats peanuts, 3 seconds differance, to google thats like a lifetime, when even 0.1ms over their guideline incurs big penalties
                                     
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                                    • Scrungee

                                      Scrungee Well known for it

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                                      Why is Forums underlined in red when selecting Home?

                                      Would it better if Home was re-named? and if clicking on the Masthead took users to Forums?

                                      GC Home.png
                                       
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