I just wanted to let you know that in January 2017 we'll be retiring the School History forums as they currently are and moving them over to the main site. This was a very tough decision to make, because I know that many of you have been members for up to a decade and have come to rely on the forums here.
In this post I just wanted to explain why I've decided to do this, and what's going to happen next.
Why close these forums down?
There are a few reasons guiding this decision:
- Technical issues. We currently maintain two forums in addition to the main site, and this puts significant stress on our web servers. If you've ever noticed School History not loading, or showing an error, it's because of the forum database size (over 1GB).
- Software issues. The software we use is very comprehensive, but also an older and out of date version. It's really hard to update templates or modernise the forums.
- Ongoing costs. Our server costs to run the forums alone are over £1,000 a year and that doesn't factor in the time it takes to handle database errors, technical issues, or hiring freelancers to help us with other forum related problems.
- They don't integrate with the main site. There has been a lot of confusion for members between the main site and the forums. They are different pieces of software, each with their own usernames and passwords and they can't be connected.
So what happens next?
This forum will remain online until January 2017. I wanted to give you plenty of notice for the change so it's not a complete surprise in January.
Over the next 4 months I'll be working to move over some of the popular forum posts manually but most will be redirected to the closest relevant page on the main site. Where possible, resources attached to posts will be added as free downloads, although this forum has 4,000+ attachments and no easy way to download them in bulk, so I'm not sure how feasible this will be yet.
If you have uploaded resources to this forum and would prefer not to have them as a download on the main site, please let me know and I'll honour that.
This is your community and I want to do right by every member so if you do have any thoughts, feedbacks, or concerns then you can comment below or contact me directly.