Paid Programs Crowding out Other Website Posts?

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  • #11423
    mosered
    Participant

    There are so many posts relating to paid clubs, where you cannot read or comment on the posts if you are not paid members. Is this discouraging use of the website? At times most if if not all of the threads pertain to paid programs. Someone who is not a member of such programs, and clicks on such posts out of curiosity, may get discouraged from using the site. Is there a way to address this?

    #11576
    bcfrank
    Participant

    Maybe it’s a way to encourage members to sign up for our amazing training programs?

    We know it’s an issue and we are working on it. It was a very involved hard line coding on the old website that hid these posts from the general membership. The code did not transfer to the language of the new website, so we are having to re-invent the wheel for a very special requirement of a general forum technology.

    We have put out requests for people with WordPress and BuddyPress experience but have had very little response to them. So if you know someone with high level experience on these platforms, then please put us in contact with them. There are a lot of tweaks that we need to make with the Forum section of the site (as well as other areas of the website), and the Board is an all volunteer group who have their own full-time jobs, their own training & racing to do, and we are not experts on website programming! So we could use some expert help to keep up with all the issues that our members are reporting and to make your experience with the club website as best as we can!

    Bryan
    Treasurer | DC Triathlon Club

    #11588
    HappyRunner
    Participant

    Bryan, out of curiosity, is there any data on the percentage that posting traffic has risen or fallen since the change to the new website?  I’ve found it difficult to adjust, but that’s probably just me.

    #11593
    bcfrank
    Participant

    There might be real data in the webmanager somewhere about the traffic, but I don’t know where to look. 🙂 From my perception: posting traffic seems to be down for the general club members, but usage for the paid programs seems to be about equal to what it was in previous years and doesn’t seem to be affected by the change to the new website.

    I don’t think it’s just you. I’m sure there are a lot more people who have issues with it. I know there are a lot of quirks to this new forum technology and we are slowly realizing exactly what they are and doing the best we can to fix them with the limited knowledge that we (the board members) have and additionally are looking for someone with more expertise to help us out fixing them. The company that we hired to create the new website focus on web design. They are not experts on the specifics of plug-ins within the general site language. They have been helping out to the best of their knowledge, which is why we have been looking for people with more specific skills. We are working with the plug-in developers as well, but we have such specific requirements that it isn’t on top of their list to implement into newer versions of the plug-ins.

    I think this new forum has the potential to be much better than the old one. The forum on the old site was a complete mess built on a very old architecture. We had a LOT of custom code written into it and it still did not function that well. It was barely searchable and was not well organized. This new forum will eventually allow us a lot more functionality and even allow us to do RSS feeds among many other features.

    Moving to a new website and new forum was a necessity. I know some people have questioned the need, but there really was one. The old site was built on a language that was no longer being supported and the webmanager side, that very few members see, was a nightmare. There were a lot of things on the back-end of the site were crashing and no longer working. So we desperately needed the new website. The problem then becomes that we cannot find every single bug in the new site until it’s put under duress by our users. So we launched the new site back in November with the knowledge that there would be a lot of fixes and edits needed to make things better, especially in the forum.

    So I don’t think it’s just you and even I grow frustrated with it at times, but we are trying to fix the issues. It’s just a slow and learning process for us, which doesn’t tend to go over well with triathletes! 🙂

    Bryan
    Treasurer | DC Triathlon Club

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