The Solid Signal Blog started out as a very minor adventure back in 2007. You can view the earliest version here, although it’s likely that it looked a bit different back then. The Internet Archive doesn’t always preserve things perfectly. Back in 2007 blogs were a new, hot thing and every company wanted to have one. Most of those company blogs fizzled in a few months.
Rise of the blog, part 1: 2007-2011
In its earliest days the Solid Signal Blog resembled nearly every other company blog. It was updated occasionally with some news of the day but it wasn’t much to look at. The site moved away from its original WordPress roots to Google’s Blogger platform. Back then it seemed like Google was taking over the world and it made sense to jump on the bandwagon. Blogger never really conquered the world, though; ironically it was WordPress that did.
Rise of the blog, part 2: 2012-2017
In 2012, I came aboard at Solid Signal to revive our social media efforts. The recession had made for some tough decision making, but with the economy on the rebound, Solid Signal was once again ready to grow and a serious jump into social media was part of that effort. The blog relaunched on the vBulletin platform along with revived support forums. You can take a look at its 2012 version here.
The new blog took off explosively, and for the first few years, the support forum did too. Support forums had really peaked in 2010 or so but the train was still going strong until about 2015 when Facebook Groups, Reddit, and other more direct forms of communication started taking over. The old forum ideal petered out after that.
The Solid Signal Blog won awards and followers and by 2015 it was in the top 10 company-sponsored blogs in the country. It also became the largest company-sponsored tech blog, period.
Unfortunately all that praise and all that traffic had a bit of a downside. The vBulletin CMS structure wasn’t up to the traffic of 200,000 visits a month and it wasn’t designed to handle 7,500 articles. In fact I believe that The Solid Signal Blog was the largest vBulletin CMS blog ever created. That’s impressive, but it caused a lot of problems.
Back to WordPress: 2018
In 2018, the Solid Signal Blog moved back to its original WordPress platform. WordPress’s mobile-friendly design meant that there was an immediate increase in viewers from cell phones and tablets. Today, about 55% of the blog’s views are from mobile devices, and that’s meant a roughly 50% increase in blog viewership!
Now, with so much traffic, we’ve moved to a new and more robust server that can handle up to 900,000 visits a month. After culling about 50% of our content last year we’re back up over 4,500 articles and things are looking great!
Our self-serve support has moved to a Facebook group which means we’re out of the “vBulletin business” for now. vBulletin has been a good partner for us for a lot of years and I wish them well. Unfortunately the idea of a separate forum doesn’t seem to be growing.
In the next year you’ll notice even more authors, more content and more of what you really love about the blog… my cranky rants! We’re continuing to grow and it’s all because of you! Thanks for supporting us for the last 11 years and now it’s on to year 12!
Stuart Sweet, Editor-in-Chief