Forem Creators and Builders

Andy
Andy

Posted on

Can Forem Handle 10,000 tags? + Post Navigation + Ads

Hi everyone! A Forem newbie here, loving the friendly people and posts!

Just a few questions about current and future things:

  1. How many tags can Forem realistically support? I would have a use-case of having more than 10,000 tags.
  2. Will the UI/UX support 10,000 tags properly (i.e. will the UI/UX not totally break, so users can easily go through all tags, search, etc)?
  3. When reading all posts in a particular tag, is there a navigation feature to go to "Previous" or "Next" post, sequentially? If not, are there any plans to introduce this?
  4. Can Forem support advertisements such as display ads from an ad network? Or is one of the core tenets of Forem to have a completely non-monetizable community? I am planning to self host and would like some way to pay the hosting bills, maintenance, etc.

Discussion (5)

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Hey @andyw Welcome to the community, and welcome to Forem!

How many tags can Forem realistically support? I would have a use-case of having more than 10,000 tags.

dev.to, the original Forem, currently has exactly 99,000 tags - although only 1,964 have at least 50 posts under them. I see no reason for that number of tags to break a Forem, based on my understanding of how they work, but @maestromac , @jamie , or @djuber might be able to shed more light on that (they definitely understand things way more than I do!).

When reading all posts in a particular tag, is there a navigation feature to go to "Previous" or "Next" post, sequentially? If not, are there any plans to introduce this?

Forem doesn't currently have sequential navigation (I'll let someone else elaborate on this if they want to), but all tags have their own landing page and content can be navigated from there.

Can Forem support advertisements such as display ads from an ad network? Or is one of the core tenets of Forem to have a completely non-monetizable community? I am planning to self host and would like some way to pay the hosting bills, maintenance, etc.

In a word, yes! DEV has consistently used display ads and sponsorship to self-fund. The Forem Admin documentation explains a little more about how Display Ads work. Additionally, each user can enable their own micropayments from their User Settings.

Thanks for asking these questions here - I hope the answers are helpful for you and for others who are wondering the same things! Keep 'em coming!

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yes, all of this!

A few additional thoughts:

When reading all posts in a particular tag, is there a navigation feature to go to "Previous" or "Next" post, sequentially?

Are we possibly talking about series? Example — It's at least related to what we're asking here, eh? Definitely willing to hear more about needs on this front.

Can Forem support advertisements such as display ads from an ad network?

We're not interested in adopting any third party ad networks which bring privacy or UX concerns with them, but as Ella mentioned, we have first-party tools we're looking to keep working to improve, and would be open to the right third party integrations a little later in our roadmap. Will we ever straight up support Adwords — not unless privacy and UX concerns are thoroughly accounted for.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

And yeah, Forem is designed to be extremely scalable — both technically and in terms of information architecture and mental model. DEV has forced us to answer for those concerns early on, we didn't design this thing in a vacuum.

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andyv profile image
Andy Author • Edited

Awesome, thanks for the replies!

Are we possibly talking about series? Example — It's at least related to what we're asking here, eh? Definitely willing to hear more about needs on this front.

I meant a more broader use-case than series actually. There are many forums/topics, where users want to read every new post in chronological order. One main reason for this is because the user doesn't want to miss any of the content i.e. they want to soak in every post.

Here's an example:
Say we have a Forem tag about investing in #bitcoin. Today there is some major news and the price of bitcoin drops by 30%. Naturally there will be a lot of new posts created discussing this price drop today. And as a user, I want to make sure I read every single post made today, because I want to read as many opinions/insights as possible about this 30% price drop. So I may start from the newest post, and from that post, at the bottom, I would click "Previous Post" and then read that post, and then click "Previous Post" again, and so forth until I've read all the posts from today.

I can see this type of use-case applied to a plethora of types of topics/tags/Forem themes.

Having these "Next Post" and "Previous Post" would be a great UX because I don't have to keep clicking the Back button on my browser and then manually click on the previous post from the #bitcoin tag's main page.

We're not interested in adopting any third party ad networks which bring privacy or UX concerns with them, but as Ella mentioned, we have first-party tools we're looking to keep working to improve, and would be open to the right third party integrations a little later in our roadmap. Will we ever straight up support Adwords — not unless privacy and UX concerns are thoroughly accounted for.

Ah, I was hoping that this decision would somewhat rest on the creator of the specific Forem. A lot of the third party ad networks (like Ezoic, Mediavine, etc) do the heavy lifting for you and so you as a Forem creator don't have to waste time and worry about setting up and managing ads manually. They also allow you to choose where ads will show so you have the control.

The current Forem ads feature seems to only allow ads on the homepage, and furthermore the ads have to be manually updated and managed. Using this method longer term would take away valuable time that the Forem creator can otherwise use to maintain and growth their Forem community and content.

Instead, a plugin or allowing third-party ads may make the process more seamless.

Here's a quick example of an ads plugin that Discourse maintains. It can support multiple ad platforms, and an attractive feature is that it allows you to choose where ads can show up on the forum:

Discourse available locations for Ads Display

Ad platforms like Ezoic and Mediavine are two large ones that many bloggers use on their sites.

Would love to hear your thoughts on whether this is something that can be considered. (I'm not too sure about what the privacy implications are or how they can be mitigated). Do you have any further thoughts/solutions for this?

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jamie profile image
Jamie Gaskins

I see no reason for that number of tags to break a Forem, based on my understanding of how they work

@ellativity Correct! We've done a lot of work to keep tags from bogging it down. For the most part, it'll just be the user's own feed that gets slower if (and only if) they subscribe to a huge number of tags and those tags collectively contain a huge number of posts. And even then, it's still pretty quick due to things we've done to play on the strengths of the database.

@andyw If your Forem instance is ever prohibitively slow at any scale, pleeeeease file a bug and tag @forem/sre (or request us to be tagged — I can't remember if someone outside the org can tag a team) on it. We try to keep it fast both for large communities like DEV and for average-sized ones, as well.