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advice on forum structure


  • carterlongbeach
    Participant

    @carterlongbeach

    Hi.
    I’d like feedback on the best way to organize the structure of my forums.

    I plan to have a large list of countries, followed by about 6 subcategories under each country.

    What would be best?…
    1. Make each country be a Category, and each subcategory a forum.
    2. Make each country be a forum, and each subcategory be sticky topic, where people would reply rather than make new topics.

    Any advice on ease of use and on speed of the site would be appreciated. One thing I am wondering is if 100s of forums (lots of country categories * six forums each) would bog down bbpress.

    Thanks.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You will start to hit performance issues with that many forums on a single page, in fact bbPress limits this to 50 forums per page for that reason. It can be adjusted but the performance issues would still be there.

    Probably I’d suggest

    – America’s (Category)
    — Canada (Category)
    — Forum1
    — Forum2
    — Forum3
    — United States (Category)
    — Forum1
    — Forum2
    — Forum3
    -Europe (Category)
    — Germany (Category)
    — Forum1
    — Forum2
    — Forum3
    — Switzerland (Category)
    — Forum1
    — Forum2
    — Forum3
    etc.

    This way when viewing your primary /forums page you will only see:

    – America’s (Category)
    — Canada (Category)
    — United States (Category)
    -Europe (Category)
    — Germany (Category)
    — Switzerland (Category)

    Drill down into America’s then you see:

    — Canada (Category)
    — Forum1
    — Forum2
    — Forum3
    — United States (Category)
    — Forum1
    — Forum2
    — Forum3

    Or in pictures ;)


    carterlongbeach
    Participant

    @carterlongbeach

    Thanks for the suggestions. However, it seems that I would still have over 50 forums on one page if, as on your first picture, I had Americas (Canada, US), Europe (… about 50 countries), Latin American (… more countries), etc.

    Maybe I could do…
    Regions Category
    -North America Category
    -Latin America Category
    -Europe Category
    -etc…

    then under Europe…
    –Germany Category
    –France Category
    –etc…

    and under Germany…
    — forum 1
    — forum 2
    — etc.

    Would that work from a user’s perspective and a functional perspective?

    Or, I was playing around with this solution…

    (see http://studyabroad.orbisint.com/)

    Home page… links directly to each country without using the forums page

    Then users see the country (category) and the 6 forums for that country.

    With this solution is it possible to remove the “forums” link in the breadcrumb?

    How does that solution compare in terms of user and software functionality?

    I would still have hundreds of forums in the database, but they would not all be visible on a single page that way. I assume that would not cause performance issues?

    Thanks for your help!

    You won’t really be able to determine the ‘usability’ until you set up a good subset of the forums you want to use and then go exploring yourself to determine what works best for what you are trying to achieve.

    See my answer here on removing the ‘forums’ link in the breadcrumb.


    carterlongbeach
    Participant

    @carterlongbeach

    Thanks for the remove ‘forums’ link. Looks good.

    I’ll set up a country forums structure and see how it goes. I just don’t want to create something that will bog down or crash the system with too many separate forums. I ran into this problem with Vanilla, which I was trying to work with previously. So far bbPress seems to be working better.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

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