Continuing the discussion from Gamekult, a popular video game forum, migrated from vBulletin to Discourse. A failure?:
Ok so I was postponing this for some time now because I simply had one hell of a month between work and health. I have decided for a new topic as it’s not really about Gamekult and it would probably have better visibility this way.
I must say, in the first couple of weeks I was being increasingly worried, not because numbers but because the mood I was perceiving was not great. That seemed to be a distorted perception. After all, complains are more visible that praises and people that are even just content, don’t tend to bother going out of their way to say “Hey, I’m fine with this”.
However, due to not having stats from when our community was on vBulletin, I could only check the traffic via Cloudflare and the data is interesting.
We migrated the 7th of March. It took basically a morning and part of the afternoon.
These are unique visitors we had prior to the migration (no bots, include lurkers):
And these are taken just now:
Now this is not really a rigorous approach as I should have taken the same time period last year but for the purpose of the next point, it’s enough.
The thing I was expecting and surprised me is the number of visit we get from mobile devices.
I was expecting at least 50/50 if not more from mobile and we do in fact get 8.2k users visit in a month from mobile from the 16.3k total users visits which is a split 50/50.
However, I’ve seen many (subjective) topic/replies asking how to make the forum works on tapatalk since the migration. Reasons varies from habit to “I’ve all my communities in one place” and while some are less understandable, I can see the point for some.
When migrating we also had built a script that created redirect for every single link existing in the previous vbulletin installation. Which means that direct link to the sub-forums, link to users profile, link to specific topics (when mentioned inside other topics) are all mapped. This should help crawlers not get lost as well.
The reason we lost a whole 20k unique visits in a month is not easy to discern right now as it’s most probably lurkers and the reason could be ranging from not understanding how to navigate (we reorganized some sections due to how subcategories bubble up by default in parent ones) as to plain old “refusing” a different system but also “this forum doesn’t open anymore with tapatalk, too bad”.
Which is something that should be considered. As much as I understand that Discourse offer it’s own mobile view thanks to responsive design, some people will simply prefer other ways and it should be considered, not just ignored.
Talking about actual registered users, in this case I cannot find data prior to the migration but I would say that we are doing fine.
These are the total users visits. Traffic tend to peak during workdays and decrease during weekends, so, well done users for using the weekend to take a break from the screens:
And these are the consolidated pageviews:
I don’t know why we are getting inundated by crawlers in the past days, maybe it’s that time of the month?
The rest of the reports are very specific so a simple overview of the dashboard should suffice. We have not much new topics according to the evaluation of Discourse. It would be nice to know what are the criteria for this evaluations as it feels to me that we have a good amount of new topics and most importantly, a lot of replies which means that rather than having new topic of discussions, the discussions are of actuality and engage the community.
Discourse, could we have the dasboard show the charts only up to “yesterday” in the dashboard? Seeing the dip in every chart is really triggering me
In terms of signups, that 41 is already enough for us (again, Discourse, let me set my own expected numbers?) as we are a very weird community, basically old ex/non-ex-yet gamers with different opinions and taste in pretty much everything. New users are always welcome but it can be hard to fit it.
Overall, I’d say that the community is still settling and some requests will need me and who is willing to help, to write some not so simple plugins but we are getting there but apart from that, the vast majority of users are going on with their “forum lives” as before. We had some major scenes going on in the first week with people threatening to “leave the forum” etc etc, but in the end, after being silenced to give them time to cool down a bit, they are now participating as before.
On the moderation side, the big bad issue is the fact that we thought Category Moderators were going to be just like moderators, but only for their own category, with the exception of being able to ban users. Instead they seems to be just cleaning service, closing or splitting topics. They can’t even enable slow mode or move a topic into another category if needed be. It’s severely limited and it’s one of my main priority in terms of plugins to write.
If there is enough interest, I can update this in a month or so.
Feel free to ask specific question I may have not covered.