No forum link on homepage

If I visit https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/ there is no FORUM link (it is normally to the right of the BUY DOG FOOD link)

If I visit https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/forum/ the link is back in the correct place.

Thank you for this information. I will pass it on to David.

Bump

This is still the case. I’ll drop him an email now too

Thanks for your post JJ and apologies for my very slow reply.

I’m sorry to say that the forum has become a bit of a burden of late. As you’ve no doubt discovered if you have ever tried to browse it on your phone, it is far from ‘mobile friendly’ which means that Google has been pushing the whole site (including the non-forum pages) down its rankings as a result.

The forum is built upon an old third party platform which stopped updating some time ago. In order to fix it, it basically needs rebuilding from the ground up but right now I just don’t have the time for such a huge endeavour on top of everything else.

Naturally, with so much amazingly useful information compiled over the years, it would be a crime to just take the whole thing down so I am in a bit of a quandary.

I am looking for solutions but until it gets fixed, I’ve been advised to remove the links from the main site.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on all this.

Thank you for the explanation David. You asked for our thoughts on the forum so here are mine:

I have moderated the AADF forum since it first opened and throughout that time it has been impossible to find additional moderators with experience and interest in the subject. I have done my best but am acutely aware that we need input from other people. A variety of opinions is usually useful. However, it has to be unbiased and not of the type ‘I feed so and so food and my dog is healthy’. Tinyplanets and myself have tried very hard to be objective when replying to queries and that needs to be continued.

The other problem is lack of feedback from members. This is unfortunate because feedback helps everyone, including helpers. It also makes the helper feel that the time spent on research and advice is probably wasted.

I have noticed that when you post on Facebook you have many, many replies so clearly the interest in this subject is there. The shift from forums to Facebook seems to continue unabated.

I am conflicted about the forum because we haven’t been able to advance and build it up due to lack of volunteers. It has been extremely quiet in the past few months. I can understand why now that you have explained. I totally agree with you about the potential loss of all the information on this forum - it would be such a shame. I have put a lot of time and effort into the forum but I cannot suggest anything else but to leave it online, archived. Building it up from scratch would be extremely time consuming and you are already very busy. It would perhaps be worth making that effort if we could acquire more volunteers to push the work of the forum forward, but you and I know that this has not been achievable in the past. It goes without saying that I would be sad to see it closed but I can’t see any alternative.

I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ for all the work you do David. I have learned such a lot from your website over the years and have been proud to be a part of it. Thanks to you I now have two healthy dogs due to the dietary choices I made via AADF

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Thank you for posting Dottie - I appreciate your input as always.

I’ll continue looking for a viable solution and will certainly keep you posted with any developments.

But wherever the forum goes from here, it has helped a huge number of dogs and their owners over the years and none of it would have been possible without your amazing work as moderator.

So thank you so much Dottie - I for one will be forever in your debt.

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Might I comment that it would be (in my view David) a travesty if the forum no longer exists…

If it becomes as ‘hidden’ as it is currently - yes it was absolutely no easy feat to find the forum just now - that is indeed not helpful for current/future dog owners with their issues around their dogs, of which there may be several, as we all know only too well.

The forum information is particularly of importance right now as the pandemic appears to be promoting novel dog ownership for many.

The information it contains already is so very useful to all of us and as others come across the information in the forum they too can learn.

And indeed with the wonderful way in which Dottie and Tinyplanets are moderating the forum they really let people be themselves to be able to ask anything, and they do indeed both help the forum enormously to feel at ease and able to post what to some may seem like a trivial question.

Facebook is a different platform of communication and serves for (again my view) quicker, shorter answers, and by definition of such a platform the information from others is often not as in-depth as in the forum.

Possibly the answer may lie in promoting the forum as a resource of the overall site, maybe as a standalone? How this affects search engines will remain to be seen. However, I believe the logo “allaboutdogfood” has established itself to the point where it would really not be in the best interests of a search engine to demote it.

I do maintain that many folks have larger screens than mobile phones and these are adequate in themselves to use the forum as a desktop site, and do not warrant use as a mobile option.

Whatever you decide David may I urge you not to simply archive the forum, yet if you do decide to do that, then please promote links to it as a resource of the site as the information and advice it contains is invaluable.

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… Just to add to my last post…

In the top 10 Pet Food Forums list of January 19 2022 the forum allaboutdogfoods is ranked 2nd.

Here is the link:
https://blog.feedspot.com/pet_food_forums/

“The best Pet Food forums from thousands of forums on the web ranked by traffic, social media followers, domain authority & freshness”

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Hello Meg. It really is great to hear from you again. I hope that you are well. :slight_smile: I have to say that I had no idea about the forum ranking so thank you for that. Also thanks for your useful comments.

I too would be really sorry to see the forum go. The problem is that Tinyplanets has had to retire from moderating the forum so that leaves just me. I am elderly myself and I feel that if the forum is to continue being successful we really do need more input from experienced, unbiased and younger dog owners with an interest in canine nutrition. Unfortunately it has proved to be impossible to find anyone.

To lighten the load a bit I researched some common conditions and wrote up my findings so that when we had questions I could refer the member to those instead of repeating myself. That has helped but I would love to hear what other people think and do with regards to diet because as we know, one size doesn’t fit all.

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Hello Dottie and Seaweed and everyone, and thank you, yes I am well and I do hope you are all too.

I had a headsup re the forum and felt a need to offer my two penn’orth, if that may, in any way, be helpful to save the forum.

I do wonder whether David might begin an appeal, perhaps to put out a call amongst his many followers to ask for further help towards moderating the forum. And this may be tasked in a variety of ways, including through his contacts, his facebook, possibly twitter, et al, including on the forum itself.

That said however, without David linking to the forum from the site’s main page, nor actively promoting the forum ( which I believe is something long overdue) , there is far less chance of a raft of helpers seeing the appeal on the forum.

He may ask for a rota of volunteers, each committing for a few hours/days. This could be an answer to continue the forum as it is, namely as a respectful and safe place in which to ask and to find information.

The role of those volunteers would be to help maintain the high standards of respect amongst users of the forum, and may not necessarily encompass a wealth of knowledge regarding dog food. It may be that people are not forthcoming as they do not have that in-depth knowledge.

And also David might actively encourage others to come forward with their experience regarding their dogs, and to promote sharing any of their information on the forum as questions arise. This could encourage extra knowledge from others.

Hi everyone and great to see you back Meg!

Many thanks for all of your suggestions and your collective passion has really helped me to appreciate just how crucial a fully functional and supported forum is.

I’ve therefore put all other non-essential work on hold until I get this sorted. I’ve already spent a couple of days investigating and testing possible solutions (many thanks to JJ for his insights) and I believe I now have the answer.

The forum will continue to run on the SMF platform so much of the functionality will be the same. I’ve found an individual that can help me with bringing it up to speed and making it mobile friendly so the only big hurdle will be getting it to work with the new login system from the main site (I don’t want users to have to log in to the forum and the rest of the site separately).

I’ve already been making good progress so I’m hoping to have something to show you within a week or two.

Once that’s done, I can start a new search for moderators.

In the meantime, please bear with me and if you have any requests for the new forum, do let me know!

Requests for the new forum?..

I do wonder if this may stray away from the emphasis surrounding dog food and of course helping dogs to be/become healthy/healthier …yet I also wonder too if it may be helpful to add additional areas to the forum; perhaps in the form of further topics which may serve as helpful guidance to dog owners in other areas of dog care.

A balance needs to be struck to maintain the substance of the overall message that food and health are paramount. So nothing too diverse methinks.

A useful topic along the lines of if your dog does go missing then what may be the practical steps to take? Has anyone knowledge they might share which may help others in this situation? Are dog food/dog treats and if so what types (plus how to go about using such) may be of great help to encourage a dog to come home.

Another important topic which I’d like to encourage - if it may be acceptable of course - and there ought be mentioned a vet should be consulted if a dog is unwell - encompasses canine first aid, a subject likely to be useful to many dog owners and carers. And this too may be linked back to food/diet/homeopathy. We could learn so much from others on this subject.

And the absolute role of dog food/dog treats as an aid for helping dogs to understand what we would like them to do.

Also it is important to help dogs who are not food motivated. Perhaps are having a tricky time eating, due to surgery or illness for example. And any help keeping a dog on a healthy diet in these circumstances would help many an owner through sleepless nights, myself included!