Absolutely ridiculous advertising sizes... again.

Patriot

Administrator
Hey Warby,

I am not sure you really are adding any more to the story now. I get it - you will never pay. I get it, you want great content and a great user experience and everything working and not pay a cent for it. That's fine. The vast majority of people are like that. Or, to be more accurate, the vasts majority read the forums and never join. This is a huge thing. The vast majority will only lurk, which is OK (not great! :) )

We made a deliberate decision a long time ago not to lock away the valuable content because people new to 4 wheel driving would never pay for it. This means they would be less well prepared to go offroad. These people are the key people in our community, getting them out offroad means 1 more 4 wheel driver, going out, enjoying themselves and being responsible. If they have a bad time, wreck their vehicle, that is probably 1 less person in our community for the long term. If they aren't responsible then there is one more of the idiots who wreck tracks and/or leave rubbish in places where it is very expensive to clean up. So restricting the good info has never really been an option for us.

For the site, this wedges us with not being able to charge for the content that is most valuable, but I think it is important. We are always under threat for ongoing track closures. Companies like ARB focus on the latte set wanting bull bars for their Toorak tractors as a secondary market after their main source of income - mining and other big fleets. Very few of those go offroad, so we really do face a problem with getting more people to go offroad.

At the end of the day, I am just someone who wants to give my kids the option to enjoy 4 wheel driving and the bush as much as I have, with a great range of tracks, and the ability to get out there and enjoy some peace and quiet.

As for the site, that is why it exists. It is something I am passionate about but I am not going to spend $$$ on it so the site needs to pay part of its way.

The site exists because of the community, which is all 4x4earth is - a place for the community to come together, and help newbies get into 4 wheel driving so that we are free to go offroad. People with a lot more knowledge about 4 wheel driving spend a lot of time helping people out all over the country on all sorts of 4WD problems, this is incredibly valuable. :) There are 4WDers who have 'born and grown up' on 4x4earth. Many leave and life their own life 4WDer around, which is fine, but as long as newbies keep coming looking for ideas and help, we will still be here for them.

  • The tracks DB doesn't work too well, (lots of people still use it), because it is a lot of money to fix. We revisit it from time to time, and there are options we are throwing around, but they take time.
  • The podcast (different audience - a lot of listeners who aren't on the site) has suffered this year because I have been flat out with COVID-19 work. Next year should be better. The podcast is a bit of a dark horse, it is routinely in the top 5 podcasts in autos and ranks in countries around the world. It has had a good increase in traffic with Spotify lately. We are not too far off 500,000 downloads, which in the podcast world is pretty big and huge when you think we have only 56 episodes. :)
  • @peterfermtech - let me know which security issues there are, we are keen to fix those.
  • Didn't know about the insurance pages, but will fix that.
  • What else is there?

The monetisation is a tough question and I am not sure that anyone really has the right answer. Putting ads back on after not running them for years was a good move. Still looking to tweak things so that we can deliver a few more cool tools for everyone.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
If it was my site I would be looking at free for all for 6 months, see it all and post on it all, after 6 months if you still want to participate in the forum you pay a small annual fee to be able to post in threads or post your own threads, pay a little see a few adds, pay a bit more less adds, pay more no adds and a Tshirt.
Sorry but to expect it for nothing is BS and you can just go else where as far as I am concerned
 

Patriot

Administrator
Memberships have been tried in other places and it usually ends quite badly. If I get time next year, I am going to try and lean on some of the big 4wd gear manufacturers. They have been super busy with everyone stuck in their own States and they are natural supporters of the community. The podcasts are now average over 7,000 downloads each, which is a very big number and when compared to what they would pay for a 4x4 show, it is cheap as chips with a lot better engagement with their target audience.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
The vast majority of people are like that. Or, to be more accurate, the vasts majority read the forums and never join. This is a huge thing. The vast majority will only lurk, which is OK (not great! :) )
Now I am getting this at the top & side of every page, fair enough I guess but can I add further suggestions re increasing membership & possible paid membership.

I still think a tiered memebrship is the way to go where free joined members get limited access but the thing that could increase free membership sign up & intern increase possible paid membership is to not allow anyone who has not signed up as a member cannot veiw any part of the forum.

Plenty of sites do not give permission/access unless you sign up.

At this stage you can plug the benifit of paid membership, plug site sponsors & products etc.

But as I mentioned before, the fact that paying just gives me ad removal over free members means nothing, there needs to be more incentive to become a paid member other than having to buy a shirt every year to remove ads!



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patrolgu4

Active Member
I stopped visiting not because advertising (easily dealt with) but of incessant java scripts popups nagging me to sign up or pay up! That itself is easily defeated too but it starts to affect the browsing experience so I'm not going there. Thanks for having me.....

Regards
 
I am lucky I guess...I use Chrome as a browser have not got adblocker and have no issues... a bar of ads at the top that stay there when i scroll down and a couple of ads at the bottom that just sit there ..maybe the problem is with the browser you choose to use. My wife is a web designer/builder and the honest truth of it is that not all browsers are website friendly and it can be a nightmare to build a website/forum to work seamlessly across several browsers and device sizes.. Why not just change browsers ??
 
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CaptainBanana

Well-Known Member
If it was my site I would be looking at free for all for 6 months, see it all and post on it all, after 6 months if you still want to participate in the forum you pay a small annual fee to be able to post in threads or post your own threads, pay a little see a few adds, pay a bit more less adds, pay more no adds and a Tshirt.
Sorry but to expect it for nothing is BS and you can just go else where as far as I am concerned

The problem is mate so many forums have been lost to these horrible unusable Facebook groups. Any form of paying for membership is likely to drive new users to Facebook instead. I am a paying member here but I think that system is going to cause more harm than good because every tight ass that swings by here will end up on a Facebook group instead.
 
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Patriot

Administrator
Hi Peter, I had a quick look at the email. There are thousands of those reports that are out there, and there are a huge number of things to do to fix them.
Most are developed by IT companies selling web security packages. The critical issues get fixed as soon as they are released. The next big thing that will be down is a series of upgrades across the stack. These fix both the known and the unkown issues. This needs to be balanced with a significant decrease in adsense revenue this month. :)

What Does My Site Cost: WPT 201217_DiWS_834e55940c29fe64ac6ef8a76b5492c0 - this is really not much of an issue in Australia, which is where most of our visits come from. We are a lot more interested in page speed, that is something that is a lot more important for a user expereince point of view.

James
 

peterfermtech

Well-Known Member
Hi Peter, I had a quick look at the email. There are thousands of those reports that are out there, and there are a huge number of things to do to fix them.
Most are developed by IT companies selling web security packages. The critical issues get fixed as soon as they are released. The next big thing that will be down is a series of upgrades across the stack. These fix both the known and the unkown issues. This needs to be balanced with a significant decrease in adsense revenue this month. :)

What Does My Site Cost: WPT 201217_DiWS_834e55940c29fe64ac6ef8a76b5492c0 - this is really not much of an issue in Australia, which is where most of our visits come from. We are a lot more interested in page speed, that is something that is a lot more important for a user expereince point of view.

James
I guess you can lead a horse to water
The following references are from GOOGLE.
According to google "A score of 90 or above is considered good. 50 to 90 is a score that needs improvement, and below 50 is considered poor. "
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/security/https See "HSTS"
What does my site cost is a good indication of how bloated your page is and how slow it will load.
And one last thing HTTP servers aren't just for serving web pages so you shouldn't expect them to securely serve web pages out of the box.
 

Patriot

Administrator
Do you get those Viagra ads too?
There certainly shouldn't be any Viagra ads. Firstly, there would be so few 4WDers who need Viagra, and also I have blocked those kinds of ads. I hope. Let me know if you do see any. I blocked gambler and some of the other crappy types as well.
 

allanmac

4x4 Earth Contributer
The problem is mate so many forums have been lost to these horrible unusable Facebook groups. Any form of paying for membership is likely to drive new users to Facebook instead. I am a paying member here but I think that system is going to cause more harm than good because every tight ass that swings by here will end up on a Facebook group instead.

Think you are on the money there. Many forums, not just 4wd stuff, have fallen by the wayside due to 'Faceache'. I joined this site many years ago with the sole purpose of going on 4wd trips and meet new people, which happened on a regular basis in the early years. It has all changed now, no trips other than annual gatherings, as I suspect many of the early forum members are now doing their 'own stuff together' as a result of friendships formed here. Other issues, such as liability etc, may have also played a part in the demise of trips here...:confused:.

I still applaud James in keeping the forum going and appreciate that revenue is required, re adverts, for him to keep the site operational. For me, whilst I visit the site every few days or so, I am not prepared to pay the $$$ to go add free as the site no longer has the appeal it once had, partly due to the lack of trips plus any topics of interest seem to go totally off track with so much unrelated crap posted.
 
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