Jump to content
Web Marketing Help Forum

Forum traffic drops 50% after software upgrade and re direct to sub domain URL

Recommended Posts

In the first full month since I upgraded my forum to SMF 2.0.10 the number of visitors has halved (google analytics)
The  number of page views (as indicated by the forum) is down 26% too.

I have set up Optimus Brave, Google Tagged (don't work!) and MetaTags Mod (some of it is in German so cannot understand all features)

I have added a sitemap.xml to the root of the url and submitted it.

I did change the URL to forum.brand-newhomes.co.uk but have set up the right .htaccess re directs and tested a few and they all worked.

Could this just be as a result of the SMF 2.0.10 not being 'mobile friendly' as considered by Google?

I've just checked Analytics for devices and Desktops are down 50% Mobile down 30% and Tablet down 50% so it isnt the mobile friendly thing.  That said google referrals are down 60% and Direct down 50%.

I've done a hell of a lot of work and lost half my traffic!


My .htaccess in the www.brand-newhomes.co.uk root has this in it:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.brand-newhomes\.co\.uk
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.brand-newhomes.co.uk/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^index.php$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^index.shtml$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^index.asp$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^index.aspx$ /index.htm 
RewriteRule ^index.cfm$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^index.pl$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^default.asp$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^default.aspx$ /index.htm
RewriteRule ^default.htm /index.htm

Redirect permanent /forum/smf/ http://forum.brand-newhomes.co.uk/

RewriteRule ^(.*)index.htm$ http://www.brand-newhomes.co.uk/$1 [R=301,L]
ErrorDocument 404 /404-re-direct.htm



I have no idea why traffic would drop after a software upgrade. or re direct
The new URL is a new sub domain and as such it would not have any backlinks to it other than the redirected backlinks. Perhaps this is one of the causes?


Any ideas?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the site operator to have a look at what Google has indexed.
At first it said you had 1200+ pages.  As I worked through the listings looking for the sitemap.xml it ended up with only showing 211 with the note:

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 211 already displayed.


Have you tried to figure out if the upgrade created some duplicate content on the forum?


The good news is that the forum links I found are redirected to the new location and Google has picked up your breadcrumbs.


The min. width to get rid of the horizontal scroll is 800 x 600 (small tablet in landscape).


Not having a mobile friendly version could affect your rankings in the mobile search with Google (and Bing).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Using webmaster tools, Search Console > Google Index > Index status there are 2576 URLs on the site added to Google's index.

The sitemap.xml says: submitted 824 indexed 595.  

The main website www.brand-newhomes.co.uk shows that before the sub domain re direct I had 2,134 indexed pages and now have 1,068 indexed URLs. The main website has around 170 pages.


But I don't think there is any duplicate content. I have deleted all the forum folders and files from the main website root. 

Unless perhaps the database duplicated it during the upgrade.

I do have separate MySql databases for this forum but they are not used with any other forum or website url.


On the forum software's community forum, someone replied that my .htaccess re direct should also re direct www.brand-newhomes.co.uk/forum/smf

(the old location of the forum files) saying:- 

that is the root or main folder that your old forum was in, it should also redirect to the new location without issue.


I am not sure if this is true or even how to do it. Surely this is just a file?

Like you, I have checked several URL re directs and they all worked fine thanks to your previous help.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea.

I have 1918 Posts in 775 Topics by 142 Members


On the other forum it was suggested the redircet shoudl have been

Redirect permanent /forum/smf http://forum.brand-newhomes.co.uk



Redirect permanent /forum/smf/ http://forum.brand-newhomes.co.uk


difference being the removal of the  '/'  after  'smf'

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now