Land Surveyors Community
After months of planning, sweating and scheduling, I'm proud to showcase my popular forum for Land Surveyors, now fully functional in wpForo!
A little history: Prior to my forum, there was a rather awful forum that was owned by an industry magazine, and it was terrible from a user's perspective. People were tired of that format, so at the request of a few surveyors, I started a new one using a piece of software called "My Little Forum" in 2010. I seriously did not expect it to go very far, but by 2011 it grew to be far bigger than any other community website in the industry. In 2014, I paid a company to convert the forum to xenForo, since it seemed to be the "go to" forum software.
I'm here to tell you that xenForo sucks. I hated it the whole time we used it. I've been a WordPress user and designer for many years, and I was quite upset at myself for not moving the forum into something like bbpress instead of xenForo. I'm not much of a fan of bbpress either though. Anyway, I lived with xenForo for 3 years before I'd finally had enough. I did my research, and eventually stumbled upon wpForo. Yay! I could finally move away from xenForo and I didn't have to settle for bbpress. 🙂
I hired a third-party company at the recommendation of a couple of folks here, and it was a terrible experience. I would send them emails and (apparently) they didn't read them, because they'd follow up with questions that were already answered, multiple times. I finally got tired of dealing with them and I asked the gVectors team for help. They graciously offered to give me a hand and cleaned up the mess. They did a FANTASTIC job of the migration. They patiently answered my questions (even the dumb ones) and got the job done as promised. I am so HAPPY to be fully running on wpForo now!
The forum, as of this writing, has 7600+ members, 36400+ topics, and almost 425000 posts. We regularly get over 51000 unique visitors every month and wpForo is handling it very well. After the post-migration launch, I tested page load times and tweaked some settings for optimal performance. I also made some adjustments based on early user feedback, and the forum is chugging right along. We are hosted at WP Engine, who has been very helpful and supportive in this migration, so I highly recommend them as well.
There are a few features I'd still like to see in wpForo, but none of them are deal-breakers. wpForo is a great fit for RPLS Today and I'm excited about the future. 🙂
Thank you very much to the gVectors team!
As mentioned, I use WP Engine. Their support team has been phenomenal with helping me move everything from an old VPS to their managed hosting platform. They did lots of testing with an initial test migration and ran it through the paces. They identified issues that might be a problem, then proceeded to tweak those for me.
I'm also running the domain through CloudFlare and using their caching and minifying services. The overall experience between WP Engine and CloudFlare has been amazing. Even better, all of the CloudFlare services I'm using are totally free.
Other things I would like to credit for the speed are the GeneratePress theme, and a small collection of efficient plugins developed by Tom Usbourne, the developer of GeneratePress. I also bought into the pro addons for GeneratePress, and it's a great system that is light, efficient, and well-tuned to keep WP sites running fast and smooth.
I would also like to note that I just upgraded to GeneratePress 2.0. I then ran a test at GTMetrix, which shows the main Community page (where wpForo resides) as loading in 0.96 seconds. Amazing.
For me GTMetrix is not reliable enough. This summer it was showing 4 seconds load time for one of my pages, while all other tools showed under 1 sec.
Not sure how they work, but i don't trust them.
Well, you guys have done a phenomenal job of performance and features available for such a new forum plugin. I commend you on your efforts and the excellent support that you provide. There are only a few features left that my users desire, and one of them is pretty critical. But I am convinced that you will make it happen. 🙂