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Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

I am wondering if there is going to be increasing confusion within these forums concerning the various different hosting platforms....
Does anyone think it might be helpful to have various sub-forums for each hosting platform?
Currently there is the straight http server, the ageing ccgi server, the shiny new PAYH accounts and now Plushost.co.uk trials (similar but limited versions of the PAYH platform). I have already seen a few posts where it appears that people are misunderstanding the features of each, and as more people start talking about PAYH features & the Plushost subset of them, it could get more confusing still for those on the old platforms and the uninitiated may well end up talking at crossed purposes or getting very confused.
If during the trial there was a separate sub-forum, then a body of contained information could be developed, that post trial (when everyone is forced onboard), that knowledge is clearly available in a contained place rather than sprinkled throughout the other threads here. It is about easily finding the combined wisdom that is contained here.
Over to you... should there be multiple sub-fora? How should they be split? What would they be called? Would there still be a main forum, and the sub-forums, or would you make the existing main forum one of the subforum options.
16 REPLIES 16
Oldjim
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,035
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

As a minimum I would suggest having a separate sub forum for non http hosting.
The reason for this is that it would separate the casual/non expert hosting users (like me) from the more advanced
SoulBriski
Grafter
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

I would like to see one forum specific to php, cgi and payh hosting in order to concentrate topics of this nature and then another forum for non scripting issues like HTML questions.
I find it helps if these forum are segregated in this way so that you can ask and find answers in the appropriate areas
xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

I must confess I am torn as to the best solution myself.
I certainly think there should be at least a sub-forum for the new trial. I also take Jim's point that there could be an http general forum, and one or more for the rest of the platforms. Users of the simple http webspace will want to get the info that they need easily without having to wade through complex coding examples.
If the forums are too granular, then it might get too confusing as to which to post in and problems which might help users in a different sub-forum might not see it.
I guess another option is to have 3 forums.
Http.
Old CCGI
PAYH/Plushost
The concern I would have there would be regarding Plushost & PAYH diverging in feature set. There is already items in PAYH not available in the Plushost accounts. I could quite see PAYH getting even more "toys" than us in the future so the gap widens. However on the other hand, they are fundamentally (at the moment at least) based on the same platform, so there could be a lot of cross learning to be had by keeping them in the same forum.
My initial suggestion to do something is to try and capture the knowledge of the trial users to help make the FAQ in the future for the release of the new platform next year. That is best served (in my opinion) by having Plushost sub-forum (either without or without PAYH threads). Whether it is worth breaking out CCGI since it will be decommissioned in 6 months anyway.
I guess the other question that would feed into this would be what would be the ideal look of these forums AFTER the trial finishes, because it might be good to think of what would be required then, and whether it would be easy to achieve with the layout chosen now (maybe forums might be merged?). With that in mind, does the long term plan involve keeping the existing HTTP servers for simple websites, with the Plushost versions being for those who would have selected the CCGI option now, or will EVERYONE be moved to the new platform next year?
If HTTP servers will remain, and CCGI is phased out in favour of Plushost, that will leave 3 platforms next year. We should have fora to reflect them. Should PAYH and Plushost be in the same space then? Maybe some behind the scenes staff can give an insight into the future plans, and whether PAYH will remain a close relative, or whether the platforms will diverge in future.
xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

I've added some new options:
An alternative 2 forum option for HTTP and Advanced (ccgi, PHP etc) forums
A 3 forums option. HTTP; CCGI; PAYH/Plushost
SoulBriski
Grafter
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

I think just the two
1. HTTP
2. PHP, PAYH & CCGI all in one because CCGI will disappear in time but PHP is common to both platforms
Oldjim
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,035
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

Why can't I change my vote
xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

I thought I'd selected it so that votes could be changed.
I noticed that they couldn't as well. I don't think I can change that after the fact though.... maybe a moderator can tweak it to allow changing your vote?
Mike
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

Guys, can I suggest one more thing:
We keep one forum (I'm on a mission to reduce them!) and tag new threads with something like this in the subject:
[PAYH] - For posts about the PAYH platform.
[CGI] - For posts about CGI
[Homepages] - For posts about the homepages platform
[Preview] - For posts about the current plushost preview / trial.
We can probably even think about nominating a sub moderator or similar who can help manage this, and certainly between us making that work shouldn't be too hard.
I'd rather that than any more forums to look at 🙂
Ian

xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

Ian,
That seems a reasonable argument. The downside of splitting any forums is always that each ends up with reduced eyeball views, and therefore potentially less help is available to solve problems.
Having a Basic & Advanced type split would make this worse, as advanced users would tend towards keeping their knowledge locked away in the advanced forum.
Would it be good to keep the platform names over 3 characters in length which would help with searching the forums and finding relevant content. So maybe the CGI one could be called CCGI instead???
(My experience with forum search tools is that they seldom find content with 3 or less characters in the name - which is a nightmare with so many TLA (three letter acronyms) being used in the IT world).
If people could get on-board with the naming of threads, it could help the finding of relevant info. As you say, Moderator help with that (adding it where it is missing/wrong) would help it flow smoothly.
Does everyone else agree?
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

Yep - good point on CCGI.
Happy to run through this tomorrow on the last few threads if no one else has time.
Ian
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

One objection I have to this is that if you have no interest in a particular forum, say PAYH, you can go to the forum and do a blanket mark as read, if the are all in one with just a title you wont be able to do that, take a lot more time to clear what you dont want to read.
xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

It doesn't have to be the final answer I guess....
The last page or so of topics could be tagged for now (relatively quickly I guess), and hopefully all future ones will be tagged too by the thread creator. That is still much better than the setup is now. If it was decided that the forums should still be split at a later date, the pre-tagged threads could be moved into their corresponding fora to pre-load the new fora with relevant topics.
So this could be seen as a trial and the idea of splitting forums could be revisited in the future if the level of traffic or confusion was such that splitting became more necessary.
It is a helpful start...
Mike
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

If it's at the beginning of the subject rather than the end it will make it a lot easier to scan too.
Ian
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Do we need sub-forums to match the various hosting platforms?

Done a few - Not every post needs a tag.
Does that make it easier?
We can do more as they pop up, if posters themselves don't get the idea?
Ian