Question

Best Practices for Reorganizing Forums

  • 12 July 2021
  • 3 replies
  • 31 views

Userlevel 4
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Hi All,

I’d love a bit of advice about reorganizing our forums. After nearly 2 years, we’ve realized we need a few new categories - essentially moving a bunch of content from one category to a new one. Things that we had grouped together at launch need their own areas now. A lot of it is based on tags. So, a couple questions:

What is the best way to bulk do this? It looks like you can do 50 topics at a time from the mod console, based on the search. There’s no way to sort by tags right? I just need to use the search?

Is there a way to move all the content in staging and then push it to live? Rather than me moving content after hours and hope no one notices I’m reorganizing everything? We’ve got global users, so not really much “after hours.”

It’d be nice if I could do all this on the backend, then “go live” when it’s done. Should my community be taken offline for a day for me to sort it all out? 

Any advice if you’ve done this before would be great! 

 

 


3 replies

Userlevel 4
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@Kgastaldo The only way to make bulk changes in staging and then push them to production would be with the help of our Dev team; however, the wait time for work orders are relatively long. (up to 3-6 weeks) I’m not sure how quickly your team was hoping to accomplish the re-organization. Maybe the best option would be going offline for the day and placing an announcement before the outage happens. 

Userlevel 6
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In actual fact, @timcavey is the master of reorganising forums. He’s just recently completed one so no doubt he’ll have some tips!

I can also offer another option. Once you’ve had some time to play with Staging and are happy with how things look, you can start to apply the changes to Production “live”. What I define that by, is creating the new categories first so that people can start to use them immediately, and then move content around afterwards as needed while the community remains open. And of course, making sure to let people know first before you do anything! The Featured Topics Banner is ideal for that. :)

It’s not perfect for every use case, but if you want to keep the downtime to an absolute minimum, it’s an option you can consider.

Userlevel 5
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I’d love a bit of advice about reorganizing our forums. After nearly 2 years, we’ve realized we need a few new categories - essentially moving a bunch of content from one category to a new one. Things that we had grouped together at launch need their own areas now. 

 

 

Nice @Kgastaldo - it’s a good sign that after 2 years, you need MORE categories and not less. Sounds like things are buzzing over there. Are there any categories you have that fail the ‘Aliveness’ test? A restructure might be a good time to fold these inactive categories into one whilst you’re at it. 

 

What is the best way to bulk do this? It looks like you can do 50 topics at a time from the mod console, based on the search. There’s no way to sort by tags right? I just need to use the search?

Is there a way to move all the content in staging and then push it to live? Rather than me moving content after hours and hope no one notices I’m reorganizing everything? We’ve got global users, so not really much “after hours.”

It’d be nice if I could do all this on the backend, then “go live” when it’s done. Should my community be taken offline for a day for me to sort it all out? 

 

 

I’m unaware of any way to do this other then from the mod console, manually. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. I’m just unaware of it ;)

 

If you’re separating a category into two, that no doubt means you’ll have some topics that need to stay and some that need to move. That sounds manual so I totally understand why you’d want to do this stuff on staging first. 

 

If there isn’t any other option but to go ahead and do this in Prod via mod console, then there’s some tips I can think of:

 

As @Blastoise186 mentioned, letting regulars know of the restructure beforehand, and having a nice and prominent message (such as a featured_banner) to advise visitors of the work, will go a long way to clearing up any confusion. 

 

The work that Insided have done to avoid ‘subscribed to category’ members from getting multiple emails when moving topics will help avoid any annoying and unnecessary comms. Also Insided’s auto-redirects should ensure anyone using a URL gets to the topic they need. 

 

As a result, there isn’t too much of a risk in just rolling your sleeves up and getting this work done in as few hours as possible. People should be understanding if they see half finished categories, IF they can also easily see a notification topic advising about the work. 

 

If there is a time of the day when your global community gets less traffic, that’s the time to aim for.   

 

Best of luck!

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