3 Fears About Hosted Forum Software (And Why They’re Bogus)

Most site owners we talk to want to outsource the “grunt work” associated with running a forum so they can focus on their main site. Despite the trend for companies to migrate to cloud-based technologies there are reasonable concerns. In this post, we allay the most common fears.

Fear #1 – Customizing My Forum Will Be Impossible

Why this fear is bogus with Ninja Post:

The inability to customize the layout and look & feel is a serious problem with many forum platforms. However, that is not true with Ninja Post. Customizing your forum with Ninja Post is a non-issue. We have been proponents of an elegant design that is in sync with your main site from Day 1.

Fear #2 – Data Security & Portability

Why this fear is bogus with Ninja Post:

When it comes to working with any service provider, data security and portability are top concerns. We fiercely protect and encrypt client data. In the event that you decide to change service providers we will help you export your data. Some service providers might not care about security or try to “lock in” customers but that is not true about Ninja Post.

Fear #3 – Server Uptime and Potential Data Loss

Why this fear is bogus with Ninja Post:

Once again, relying a 3rd party service for any web application bears some risk. We take the responsibility to serve your users extremely seriously. That is why we have redundancy built into our platform and continuously monitor our systems for any unusual activity. We also perform data backups on a daily and weekly basis. Finally, while some cloud service providers might shut down tomorrow (and leave their customers high and dry) we are in business for the long haul.

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Before engaging with any service provider it makes sense to understand their policies regarding data retention, protecting user data, and service level agreement (SLA). We are committed to earning your trust as a business partner and we are happy to discuss any specific requirements you have. If your needs are extreme, we will guarantee our service under oath and in writing to ensure that your expectations are matched.

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Seven Reasons Why A Hosted Forum Solution Makes Sense For Your Company

Ninja Post is a hosted forum solution. We host your forum in the cloud and integrate it with your site and URL. The end user can’t tell the difference because the experience is seamless.

This approach represents a departure from traditional forum software in which a software package is installed and hosted locally. Installing, configuring, and designing a forum platform can be time consuming and frustrating.  But that’s only the first hurdle because hosting a heavily trafficked forum presents a unique set of challenges that can quickly bog down or even cripple a normal server.

Because we provide a hosted solution, we can extend the following benefits to our clients:

  1. Automatic configuration and automatic updates. It is a pain to set the initial configuration options and install weekly (or sometimes daily) software patches. Ninja Post is hosted in the cloud so it works without endless tinkering.  Updates (such as new features) are rolled out automatically.
  2. Elegant design. Forum software has a reputation for being ugly. We offer a WYSIWYG color picker and will customize the CSS on your forum to match your main site.
  3. High availability and reliability. A single server that hosts your main site and your forum could suffer from a single point of failure (SPOF): if your main site goes down (heaven forbid!), then the forum will go down with it. A Ninja Post forum can remain operational even if your main site is in maintenance mode for some reason. Bonus: We also provide automatic daily and weekly backups.
  4. Image hosting. Threads with lots of images must pull those images from a content delivery network (CDN) rather than directly from the server to remain alive. Ninja Post has a CDN built into its core.
  5. Automated email delivery and tracking. Sending a vast amount of email alerts requires a special relationship with ISPs, otherwise the messages will be flagged as spam. Ninja Post has solved this problem for you and we can even provide data regarding deliverability and total emails sent.
  6. Real-time updates. Most forum software is static: new posts only show up when the page is refreshed manually. Ninja Post solves what we call the “overlapping post” problem by updating threads instantaneously.
  7. Automated monthly reports. We help you understand what is being said and measuring the content. This will help you extract valuable information from the content, as opposed to simply having an area for your users to talk.

Hosting your forum yourself is a daunting challenge. For a heavily trafficked forum, it often makes sense to partner with a company that can help you surmount these challenges. By working together we can reap the benefits of a hosted forum solution which will provide more time to focus on the more important task of making your community as vibrant as possible.

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The Secret To Ninja Post’s Super Fast Forum Software

People often ask us how we keep Ninja Post forums running so fast. The answer of course is our state-of-the-art cloud computing technology, pictured below. It’s the steering wheel that makes Ninja Post forums load so quickly.

Ninja Post Cloud Computing Technology

(Actually, this photo was part of a Fark.com Photoshop contest. More background at Snopes.com.)

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Ninja Post: The Usain Bolt Of Forum Software

We are fanatical about speed. Why? Software that is fast and responsive—especially on the web—makes for a better user experience. When pages load quickly, users are more likely to stick around and participate. This is one of the ways that we combat participation inequality.

Forum software can be a resource hog. If you’re hosting your own forum, it can slow down (or sometimes crash) the rest of your site. Since Ninja Post is a cloud-based service that integrates with your URL, it not only ensures that your forum keeps moving quickly but it frees up resources on your own server to ensure that other aspects of your site load rapidly too.

Instead of saying that Ninja Post is insanely fast, we say that it is Usain-ly fast.

Usain Bolt

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