SitePoint is a webmaster community that I was active on when I first got involved in internet marketing in 2000 and 2001. It was, in my opinion, the best webmaster forum around at the time (and there were a lot). Therefore, I still have a soft sport for it.
Sadly, the SitePoint forums had become less active over the years, in part because they moved away popular forum areas into separate websites (e.g. Flippa, 99designs etc).
I received an email from SitePoint today announcing that they have switched their discussion forum from vBulletin to Discourse. They have also moved their URL from www.sitepoint.com/forums to community.sitepoint.com.
The SitePoint Forums have a new home and we can’t wait for you to visit. We have changed platform from vBulletin to Discourse, which means things work a bit differently and look a whole lot better. This is your opportunity to join us on an exciting journey that marks the beginning of a new era. If you would like more information on this change, have a read of this post.
SitePoint used a modified version of vBulletin since their launch. The new forum software seems fast. Normally, I am a fan of minimum designs, however I am not so sure on the new design of their forum.
Without doubt, the forum home page looks great. It is clean and very professional looking.
However, I am not so sure of the overall look in threads. It feels more like a question and answer support forum than a true community.
My view on the forum design will probably change over time. It always takes time to adjust to a new web design and to new software; particularly with a forum that has had the same design for many years.
I have never used Discourse myself, but the software looks good. It is clean and modern; however it does seem a little pricey for small forum owners. Their cheapest plan retails at $200 per month for 250,000 page views and 50GB storage, and jumps to $1,000 per month for 3 million page views per month.
Another thing I did notice with is that my profile is only showing 7 posts (despite me having a thousand or more). Some of the posts that have been retained date back to 2001 and 2002; therefore there is a possibility that they have deleted a lot of threads. Or perhaps they are still importing all of the threads to the new forum software. Time will tell.
What’s your initial thoughts of the new design? Check it out at community.sitepoint.com and let me know what you think.