Okay, so after using it a few times to update a current project, I note the following items for feedback:
- Grid layout for "Projects" and "Showcase"
- Remove the "Projects" word from the projects layout (waste of space...and we know what we are looking at...generally remove the heading/where you are indication from all places as you have the "breadcrumbs" trail at the top of the page)
- Favorites figured out
- Improve speed for posting (assume this is an AWS or similar instance, so more capacity or mirroring or separating hosts for duties). Since it is a fresh conversion, the database is a clean as it will ever be at this point and things will only get worse from here.
- Reduce white space in general (make it look amazing on a desktop/laptop and passable on a phone versus how it is tailored now to be great on a phone and acceptable on a desktop/laptop). We are mostly older dudes. No offense to those who are not older dudes, just making an observation and mostly does not mean all. Given that fact, we access the site generally through a computer or similar. Your browser data should tell you the platforms used and I would wager most are coming to you from a large format device.
- Update the "Recommended Reading" algorithm to include recent activity (it is recommending items from years ago currently).
- Restore some of the previous separation between a project that is completed and one that is in process AND general forum traffic. The ability to create a blog series for a build then a final for the project was a good part of the site. Though if your intent is to convert blogs to threads, then find a way to make the OP's entries more stacked.
That is about all I could think of. XenForo should be able to customize the few items that would make it work for the audience. Keep in mind that LJ is a business. It has revenue and expenses and the first has to be greater than the second. The revenue comes from advertising. Advertising comes from traffic and traffic comes from content, so the LJ business is dependent on the free content provided by the members
. That content needs to be front and center (better looking projects pages, better and more focused build blogs for other to follow along). Putting the time into making the content attractive and interesting will at the same time keep the revenue flowing. Previously LJ was two things. It was a forum and it was a place where woodworkers could show what they made and how they made it. The two were commingled a small bit but projects and blogs were some of the amazing content that brought clicks to your site and ad views to your bank. The current software is all forum in nature and I think the long term effect will be to reduce traffic/clicks/adviews
I have done several migrations on a scale that equals this one and my hat is off to the LJ team for what must have been some massive stress. Also praise to the XenForo folks for creating a conversion algorithm that got it "mostly" right. I have written a few of those and there are many many late nights involved. It gives me chills just to recall! I am retired now and do woodwork!
Good luck with the new software. I am certain it will be a great home for LJ and will help you manage the business site better in the long run. The bugs will get solved.