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About GTServices

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  1. I think in 3-5 years, there will be less successful forums on the Web. It's just not enough these days. That's the key right there! We can't continue doing the same thing. We NEED to change. We NEED to make the whole "community experience" better. We need to... Focus on members. Focus on your diamonds ... build them up. Focus on Community Management. Focus on other content types (instead of sending them away why not point internally to your content) eg. videos, whitepapers, etc Focus on directories and landing pages (Pages). If you find that your members are constantly directing readers to XYZ site then why not create a directory out of it? For example, if your target are students you can have a Scholarship Directory or a School Directory. Heck, I can go on... how about a Videos Directory (of all the Youtube videos you are working on 😜), Articles, etc Focus on User Experience. Make sure there is nothing that turns people off. Test. Test. Test. Focus on Speed. Focus on ALL devices. Focus on quality content. Any other ideas?
  2. Version 1.0.0


    Sharing the love 💖 ... This is the first of many FREE apps provided by GT Services. Troubleshooting member's account is what we do on a daily basis. Oftentimes, you Sign in as member to see what they are seeing. To do this, you normally log in to your Admin Control Panel and run a search for the member. Open their account and click Account Actions > Sign In as That's a lot of steps. What's worse is that sometimes the search feature in Admin Control Panel is not successful (eg. special characters in username). All of this takes up a lot of time. Time is money. I'm a strong believer that Admins should be focused on building relationships and/or new content. Because of this we created an easier way for Admins to "LogIn as XYZ User". It's a simple link provided to Admins with the proper permissions so they can Sign In As XYZ User via a member's Profile page. Not available anywhere else - just in Profiles. No settings. Just install. More FREE apps coming soon... (The more LIKES we get the more free apps we will make available.)


  3. Depending on audience, I stay away from using the term "forum". I don't even use it on the site.
  4. Love this... I think I'll share it with my team. Deep... on point...
  5. It all depends on audience. This really doesn't apply to us as we already favor forum communities. Yes, it makes a lot of sense for someone to convert over to a forum community from an fb group/page. They may even save assuming they can generate the same participation. One thing is definite - they will lose big in the short run. (The same participation won't carry over immediately.) On a personal note, I will say that having our own FB Group/Page actually saves us money. (We have over 1 millions fb followers - Pages + Group.) Traffic costs money. We get anywhere from 20,000 - 150,000 users visiting our forum site from our FB group/pages per week. It generally costs us $500 to generate just 4,000 clicks with Adwords. To get that much traffic using Adwords would cost us thousands of dollars more per week. So my recommendation... - Be aware of what you are reading. Be aware of its intended audience. - Use fb group/pages as a traffic channel.
  6. 2 decades as vbulletin big board admin/programmer A few things to be aware of... With every major conversion there will be a loss in traffic. If done correctly, you should see traffic levels close to normal in a few months. Prepare for the worse and you will come out on top. This will happen regardless of platform you select. Create a test site and run conversion. I recommend you do this a few times. This will give you an idea of how long the process will take. You will end up making mistakes so I recommend duplicating your test database first. eg, on one you can prune all private messages and see if that will speed up conversion ... if you have millions and millions of posts you definitely need to have a plan of action Start changing your old site so that it starts looking like the new. This decreases the shock in change. For example, I changed posts style on old site so that it looks similar to the new theme that I will be using. I also changed main page and directories so that it looks the same. If you haven't done so switch to HTTPS. Attachments (images) is a big generator of traffic for many sites - especially if you've been around for years. Although attachments are converted over without issues they are not redirected (old to new url). On a personal note, I literally lost thousands and thousands of Google image placements because of this oversight. This hurts backlinks. SEO. If you use vbseo/dbseo, if forum friendly urls include forum id then no issues redirecting old urls to new. If in the form of /forum-name/ then these will not be redirected properly. Topic urls will redirect regardless of type. Learn everything you can on how to use IPS Pages app. It's a very powerful system. You can create any type of directory or custom page with it. For search, use IPS built in elasticsearch feature if possible. You won't regret it. For cache method, use Redis for everything if possible. Finally, be smart with number of plugins you install. IPS is fast but when you start adding a lot of plugins you could hurt performance.
  7. ✔️ I agree with a lot of things in the article but a group can be a community. You don't need a platform to create a "community". ✔️ We (admins) should see facebook as another traffic channel. Just like we focus on Google, email, word of mouth ... we should also focus on facebook. ✔️ You don't need access to specific tools to be a community manager. I know of a large fb group that continues to grow because they are focused on helping a particular profession. The have meetups, create videos, start discussions, etc. Yes , it's not the best setup but saying it's not a community is a bunch of hogwash.
  8. Thank you Stuart. Can you tell me what table the converted/old attachment ids are saved?
  9. There are reasons why Staff hierarchies exist. Each group is treated differently for specific reasons. Many Big Boards/Enterprise sites pay tons of money on legal fees to reduce liability. (They now have to look into this. eg. TOS rewrite, etc) ---- I have a vbulletin background... I'm a developer myself but... This was a complete surprise. Now, the only way around this is... Site owners must remove REPORTS access from Moderators. (Basically, their responsibilities are diminished.) Or, Create app/plugin My point to all of this... I'm aware that it's called 'Personal Conversations' here on IPS. But for Big Boards migrating over (and their members), it's still private messages. I know there's a big focus on Big Boards/Enterprise these days ... I can see that with the development of the software ... Unlike smaller boards, Big Boards/Enterprise actually do their homework. They review EVERYTHING before deciding who to go with. It was a surprise to me so others in similar shoes will be just as surprised/disappointed. (The difference is that I can actually do something while many will have to rely on 3rd-parties to fix.)
  10. I was surprised this wasn't an option. Maybe vbulletin is ingrained in me. Anyway, I think this should be available by default. There should be a Moderator permission option for reading Private Messages. Right now, if they have access to Reports they also have access to private messages. (Link available to read entire private message in Report.)
  11. This is great. I'm glad you put it together. Something like this would have helped me months ago. You want to convert more people over to IPS? Create more videos, articles, and better guides and show how easy it is to use. Think of small AND big board admins when creating these. Each group want to hear something specific ... something that helps them make a decision. Something that helps them take that first step. I can tell you this... Big Board admins would love to hear that IPS conversion script saves old topicids for mapping purposes (to redirect old urls to new). The more info you provide the better. (It was hard to find this info last year.) One question that bugs me but haven't checked... Does the conversion script save old attachment ids?? (Specifically images.) To redirect old attachment image URLs to new. I'm only asking because I know a lot of vbulletin sites that have accumulated many many images over the years. (Thinking SEO here.)
  12. I love this ... I hope something is done sooner rather than later. I want to make sure we maximize every opportunity to increase traffic. The fact is having an alt value will help index/rank your images. At the same time, it will improve ranking signals for your page.
  13. Another great article Joel! You should have your own column by now. 😁 This is the type of content I love reading about. I love that I can find it here. I love that IPS finds it useful enough to post here. Being an admin/owner of a board is hard enough. It's time consuming. The more time you put in the more ROI right? That's not the case with most admins. What I recommend... You don't have to do this alone. It's impossible to know everything that is going on. Every board admin has a team. They could be paid or volunteer staff. It doesn't matter. Start having weekly/monthyly team meetings. Each team member has their own task. Talk about them ... What is the progress? What news do you have to share? How is the project coming along? Etc. By doing this.. You will find that you will learn from your staff. You will find that you are getting things done on time. You will start creating new opportunities. More importantly, you will start reacting opportunistically to changes that you may not have been aware of. (Yeah, that's often the case for many admins - they didn't know about ABC/XYZ until it's too late.) For small board admins, ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. I've been doing this for 20 years, I still ask stupid questions. I still make mistakes. I'm still learning.
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