In 2017, we're planning to move vanillaforums.org onto our standard .com naming scheme (e.g. open.vanillaforums.com or opensource.vanillaforums.com). We'll have 1:1 redirects in place for all discussions, categories, and addons. Links and bookmarks shouldn't break at all.
There are a few reasons for this:
- We still see a great deal of confusion from folks not being able to disambiguate between .org and .com.
- We'll no longer need a disambiguation page on the open source site.
- Combining domains should give us all a nice search engine boost from un-splitting our content.
We modeled our .com / .org split on the WordPress project. Unfortunately, it just isn't working out for us very well as currently executed. We repeatedly hear thru both our support and sales channels that people think they are looking at cloud and are actually on this site, and vice versa. We hope a clear subdomain will make this easier to understand.
Additionally, neither .org nor our "marketing" site on vanillaforums.com is getting the weight they deserve while our sites are divided. We're not even following our own advice that we give to customers, which is to put your community on a subdomain of your main site and make sure they are linked in Google Webmaster Tools et. al. It makes a lot of sense to combine "SEO juice" between a site and community, including ours. A successful marking team means a successful sales team, which means we get to hire more developers to move the product forward for everyone. And everyone wants Vanilla to show up first when folks want a new forum!
This arrangement also absolves us from needing the "disambiguation" page currently sitting on our homepage, which is a really nice bonus. At first, the homepage will simply default to the discussions list. In time, I hope that'll grow into a really nice resource for the community as we build widgets for it to help folks find the various pieces of our open source efforts.
We don't have a firm timeline for this yet, but I expect it to happen sometime in the first 3 months of 2017. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on the plans so you're not surprised, and you understand that it wasn't some executive ploy to undermine the community. We've been thinking about these issues for a few years and have decided it's pretty good win for both open source and marketing to reshuffle things.