Coffee Forums is a long-standing, highly reputable forum for coffee lovers, with total members approaching 30,000 users, and over 789,000 posts covering over 52,000 coffee-based topics.
Renowned as the UK’s premier coffee forum, and often acclaimed as the friendliest forum on the web, Coffee Forums is a community as warm as the perfect cup of Joe. A place where brands talk to fans and connoisseurs alike, all coming together to share their love of coffee.
Years ago, Coffee Forums realised their need for some strategic investment in digital expertise. Their popular forum was neither particularly secure nor mobile friendly. They had no real KPIs to guide their success. The forum was stagnating, and the community were making do with a less than ideal experience.
Coffee Forums’ owners were well aware of Pivotal’s services, and had long planned into their roadmap the decision to engage us in a collaboration that would upgrade them to the website their users deserve. With an already vast community known for being sensitive to changes, however, we all knew the road ahead was a delicate one.
Security and Stability
Coffee Forums entered our partnership with one primary concern; the outdated and insecure nature of their site, and resolving this without upsetting their users.
We identified their forum platform as vBulletin, a less intuitive platform than ideal; and one not regularly updated with the latest security and features that modern forum communities require. Being a significant potential risk to the forum’s members, from here, we had found our starting point.
Selecting Invision Power Suite as vBulletin’s replacement, we began the website migration process. An upgrade in quality made necessary by Coffee Forums’ widespread success and growth.
This decision came after extensive research and trials of various forum platforms. This helped us make sure we landed on the most intuitive and suitable platform possible. Future proof, regularly updated, more commercial and professional, Invision ticked every box.
Search Engine Optimisation
Upgrading to Invision was the first part in a plan to expand the growth of the Coffee Forums community. The aim was growing the forum from 21,000 to 30,000 members in a 2 year span; a goal nearly achieved as of 2021, with members rising consistently by between 100 and 150 a week.
In order to grow and foster a more engaging and user friendly forum, encouraging new and existing members alike, we knew careful attention to Coffee Forums’ search engine optimisation (SEO) was essential.
Through meticulous efforts and advanced experience, we were able to safeguard Coffee Forums website during its transition to Invision, ensuring the forum did not drop its SEO ranking status in any way (one of the main challenges to any website migration).
Migrating Coffee Forums to a more modern, stable platform was an optimal move for site security and usability. However, to ensure the highest quality experience possible for mobile and desktop users, careful optimisation was still required.
Thanks to our website optimisation efforts, we were able to not only boost the security and privacy of Coffee Forums, but also vastly improve the mobile experience, responsiveness, overall user engagement and cross-platform cross-device usability.
Advertisements and Subscriptions
Following our optimisation work, we have seen significant improvements in the eCommerce and advertising experience on Coffee Forums. This, in turn, has helped to draw in greater revenue streams and attract major advertisers like Bella Barista, Crown and Canvas, and Osmio.
As part of our ongoing data restructuring work with Coffee Forums, we’ve been able to implement an advertising subscription service. This involves advertisers subscribing and uploading their ads directly to the forum, which remain live until their subscription ends.
This replaced an entirely manual process for ads on the forum, and opened up data visibility to help lead business decisions. It also helped position Coffee Forums aptly for increased revenue streams and to build their brand further as an authoritative, industry-led community of coffee aficionados.