I am transferring an old 3.7.1 forum to Xenforo. Really liking it so far but I have a couple of issues. My main issue is that I would really like to see better content categorisation to help with SEO. In VBulletin with VBSEO I was able to have the URL structure as I like to have it, not just in forums but in all sites I run. I like to categorise as I believe the URL structure helps with relevancy and therefore SEO. I have been making sites and doing SEO since 1999 and while I appreciate that many will not see URL structure as a big deal I would much prefer a system with more URL control so if you have any suggestions or help as to how I can achieve my goals I would be most grateful.
For example, if you have a content category on your site about widgets:
I would expect content in that section to be placed in that virtual directory. So if you post something about the benefits of blue widgets you would get:
I do not like seeing all articles dumped in the virtual root:
Unfortunately this is how Xenforo appears to act. I have a node on my forum for Graphic Design, currently the URL is:
Threads in that forum look like this:
This is the most sensible structure and I would dearly like to replicate this, this is the only short-coming that I have found with Xenforo and I would be a truly happy customer if you could fix this...
My second issue is that even though I have installed Xenforo in the root of the site it still insisted in putting /forums when looking at the node:
I have changed this using a Route Filter to be:
As even though I love to see content rich URL structures I don't want to see too much of it! If I wanted that directory structure to be relayed in the URL I would install it in that folder. Why oh why can't I just have this?
Lastly, I have implemented the full redirection so that now:
This may be a better demonstration as to the lack of virtual folder structure not giving as good a keyword structure to the site. I would also really like to be able to choose to have a .whatever (html php etc) file extension on the end as I do feel that Google prefers this, it helps the bot to understand what is a page and what is a directory IMO.
Anyway, that wasn't the point I was about to make! The point is this. On my existing VB install the forum is this:
But on my test install if I hit this page I get a page not found, I would expect it to route to:
So I put a new route filter in:
Find Route: graphic-design-forum/
Incoming URL conversion only: ticked
Still results in a page not found. Yes, I know I can accomplish this with Apache rewrites but would have hoped I could do it all from the admin area. Any idea why this doesn't work? And also this is a good note for anyone else moving from VB to XF, yes make sure your threads are redirecting but also don't forget to check your main forum paths!
The site I am transferring currently ranks at 4 for Graphic Design Forum in the UK and if I had put the site live without checking the paths then it could have lost traffic. This isn't a high traffic domain for me anyway, it has lapsed and I am hoping a shiny new interface and some hard marketing work will bring it back to life. But I do have some bigger sites that I would look to transfer to XF if, and only if, the URL structure can be tightened up. This is a big failing of the system for me at present.