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Double traffic drop after moving from vB 3.8

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by mono, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. mono

    mono Active Member

    It's almost a year after I've imported my largest forum from vB 3.8 to XF and the most disappointment for now is a drastic drop of traffic if I could compare this week with a week a year ago: 22000 page views with 48000 pw on mondays.
    I'm seriously thinking of going back on 3.8. But I'd like to find out if something was wrong during import or there is something wrong with redirection in .htaccess. Why it is happening? Any thoughts?
    Thanks a lot!
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Page views are counted differently between vB and XF so it's not a valid comparison to make.

    Check GA to see the real stat's related to visitors, time on site, bounce rate, etc.

    Also note that the Google algorithm has changed drastically since last year so your site may no longer rank well depending on content, etc.

    Presumably you implemented redirects for the old vB URLs?
    Chimpie likes this.
  3. mono

    mono Active Member

    Okay. If we look at GA there are about 6000 users and 8800 sessions, on mondays with BR=54% and about 7 min on site for 2013. For now it's about 3900 users and 5600 sessions with BR=47% and little less that 7 min on site in average (also on mondays).

    Redirects for new URLs were written through .htaccess file and I've checked them.

    Also I can say that traffic hadn't dropped right now, it took about a month to come to situation we could see for now.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Looks like a general reduction in visitors.

    You will need to go through the GA data and see why that is.

    If your forum is running without errors, the redirects are in place and work, then there's nothing wrong with your installation.
  5. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    People say the two don't compare but none the less Facebook groups are killing my forum no question about it and the decline really started about a year ago.
  6. mono

    mono Active Member

    I can't see any serious errors.
    So It looks like about a month after import search engines were making changes and then traffic just dropped.
  7. Gregory Lynn

    Gregory Lynn Active Member

    Facebook is killing a lot of forums, that why you need more then a forum these days. I am running wordpress on the front end and I am running Xenforo and a Xenforo bridge on the back end. The website is brand new. Time will tell if its going to work or not.

    Markos likes this.
  8. mono

    mono Active Member

    @FredC @Gregory Lynn Guys, this issue absolute has no relation on facebook. I'm talking of dropping traffic after import to xF.
    @Brogan Here is a graph from GA that shows how it was just after import:
    How it could be explained? Is it problem with XenForo or is it something else?
  9. DaveM

    DaveM Well-Known Member

    I must admit that I have found the same thing. On VB4 we would at least have one new registration per day and averaging on 5. Now we lucky if we get 1 a week. :oops:

    This is also making me wonder about XF SEO
  10. mono

    mono Active Member

    As for registrations I could say the same:
    And we hadn't change the registration system, both were Q&A.
  11. DaveM

    DaveM Well-Known Member

    Yeah it looks familiar to me as well, hope the stats have a negative value as it looks like I will be needing it soon :D


  12. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Dave, one thing that really struck me when browsing your site was the absolutely mammoth size of your postbit!

    Did you radically change your site style when you migrated to XF?

    Using this thread as an example: http://www.triumphtalk.com/threads/two-stroke-road-legal-superbike.32291/#post-207600 - here's the text of the reply (a few pixels high):


    Here's that same text complete with the avatar and additional info that makes up the postbit (514 pixels high!!! :eek:):


    Now I realise you're probably quite attached to the additional user info, but removing it makes for a good reduction in post height (you could possibly shorten it even further by using formatted text for the ribbons):


    Now I'm not suggesting this is the cause of your lack of visitors / new registrations, but I'd personally find it a big turn-off if I had to scroll so heavily for such short replies.

    Perhaps it would be worth creating a "minimal" child style and polling your moderators and regulars to see which they prefer? Maybe ask if there are other (small) changes you could make that would improve the experience for your key members? It may help to increase user engagement and might help win back some of those who aren't posting as often.

    Shaun :D

    Note: I have personal experience of a change of style making long-term members walk away; it was an expensive lesson to learn. ;)
    Bram, AzzidReign and Martok like this.
  13. mono

    mono Active Member

    @DaveM You'd better use daily or weekly statistics, because monthly is not very fair when month hasn't ended.
  14. DaveM

    DaveM Well-Known Member

    @Clickfinity On our VB install we had a postbits collapse mod and we are looking at having this ported to XF because of this issue. the problem here is the members were so used to being able to find this info on the postbits that for now we running it as it is :p
    CyclingTribe likes this.
  15. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    You only appear to have 3,000 threads - did you have more than this before you migrated to XF? Did you archive, delete or remove any forums from public view?
  16. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    I don't use this add-on but it offers a collapsible postbit.

    CyclingTribe likes this.
  17. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Fair enough - I'd be inclined to remove them until a collapse fix is found though [Ninja'd by @Martok]. I must admit that I find your site much better when I switch to the default XF layout - was the layout change quite radical compared to your vB4 style?

    Your site has 30,000 results when I check Google [ site:www.triumphtalk.com ] which seems to tally well with the number of threads you have, and you appear on the second page when I search for "triumph motorcycle forum" and "triumph forum" - do you know where you used to be positioned for those phrases? And did you change them when you moved from vB to XF?
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  18. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Not sure if this will help either of you with your search results positions, but one thing I do for all my forums is put a custom title on the home page - one that is different to the Board Title and one that contains the key words or phrases I think people will be searching for.

    Edit the template PAGE_CONTAINER and replace:
    <title><xen:if is="{$title}">{xen:raw $title} | {$xenOptions.boardTitle}<xen:else />{$xenOptions.boardTitle}</xen:if></title>
    ... with:
    <xen:if is="{$contentTemplate} == 'forum_list'">
       <title>YOUR CUSTOM TITLE HERE</title>
    <xen:else />
       <title><xen:if is="{$title}">{xen:raw $title} | {$xenOptions.boardTitle}<xen:else />{$xenOptions.boardTitle}</xen:if></title>
    Obviously replacing YOUR CUSTOM TITLE HERE with your custom title text ... (y)

    Shaun :D
  19. DaveM

    DaveM Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  20. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Seems like your custom style (UI.X) is for XF 1.3.1 and you have XF 1.3.2 installed.

    Clicking the Merge Changes link should show you what the differences are - is it just the custom title code I gave you or are there other parts showing as outdated too?

    Looks like someone had a similar issue with the same style: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/outdated-templates-issues.73679/

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