This blog entry is just for the techies, currently implementing 'HTTP Strict Transport Security' (HSTS) on the pomsinoz domain
Once properly implemented, HSTS will not allow unsecure versions of pages from the domain to be visited.
Can you help us?
The strength of a forum is in it's membership and the knowledge and experience that the collective membership possess.
With this in mind, I'd like encourage all members to contribute as much as possible on the forum.
One of the ways you can do this is through browsing the 'Unanswered topics' to see which members are waiting for an answer to a particular query.
To view topics without a reply, from the homepage, check the righthand menubar for 'Topics with Zero Replies'
Of course, your contribution on all topics on the forum is much appreciated.
Link to us
If you're a website owner and promote your site on the forum through the use of a signature, then consider placing a link back to us.
The bigger we grow, the more traffic will flow on to your own website from us.
If you have a website / blog etc related to Australia and have any advertising options, just Message @Cerberus1 if you'd like to discuss further.
Help us spread the word - Consider sharing any content you find useful.
We have social sharing links at the top right of the homepage (lower down if you're viewing on a mobile device)
Each topic also has social sharing links at the bottom of the page.
Register for our monthly newsletter at https://www.pomsinoz.com/newsletter.html/
You can view previous newsletters at: http://aumigforu.ms/2r3LpFM
Are you good at researching and writing articles ? We have a list of topics we'd like articles written for. If we use your article, we will remunerate you for it. Private Message @Cerberus1 or @The Pom Queen if you're interested.
Some examples or articles we'd like are:
Internet options - nbn (fixed, wireless & Satellite) ADSL, 4G Wireless / availability / costs in Australia, speeds etc.
Utilities in Australia - gas (mains or bottled) / water / electricity - costs / choices (if any) state by state etc.
Health System - Medicare, Private Health Insurance, PBS, safety net, gp choice, out of pocket fees, medicare levy etc
Electrical goods from overseas - will they work in Aus - TV, digital radios, variety of consoles etc.
Schools - state, faith based, private, fees, voluntary contributions, naplan, myschools website, zoning etc
Buying a house in each state - stamp duty, first home owner grant etc
Due to health issues and other reasons, I'll be first to admit that I've let the forum go to pot in the past 3 years or so, which as admin, is a terrible thing to admit. I pretty much left The Pom Queen and the moderators to run the front end of the site and I did the bare minimum of work on it behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, during that time, the site took a whole series of hits in Google's Search Engine Rankings which I did nothing about, to the point where traffic had dropped to almost nothing from mid December until mid March.
Along with some other reasons, we were penalised for the site not being mobile friendly, the site not being served via https / SSL secured and the final nail in the coffin occurred while I was overseas in December and a site add-on (vbseo) was compromised causing visitors to the site to be redirected elsewhere. (I must stress that member data wasn't compromised in any way, this was purely a redirection type exploit). Unsurprisingly, this and fact that I'd to hastily remove the add on which also resulted in every forum URL changing, caused a massive hit in Google.
In March I upgraded the forum software, it's now mobile friendly, SSL secured (but unfortunately, all the forum URL's changed again) so our presence in Google is/was at rock bottom.
Then of course, with numerous monolithic social networks available, it's difficult to attract people to forums, some of the Australian Visa changes haven't helped and neither has the woeful GBP/AUD exchange rate for people wanting to move to Australia. All in all, a perfect storm.
Suffice to say, the last couple of months has been a bit of a shock to the system. However, it has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for the forum again. I'm working hard behind the scenes to improve the forum for the members, and to increase it's search engine presence to bring new members to the forum. Again, not the easiest of tasks when one of the sites in the same niche as PIO is owned by a huge company running over 600 websites and has multiple offices in different countries (I can only imagine what marketing budget they have).
Anyway, a huge thanks to The Pom Queen, the moderators and to all the members who have stayed with the forum over the past few years, without you, there really would be no pomsinoz site.
Although any recovery will probably be medium to long term, there are some early signs of improvement already, so fingers crossed, we can 'MAKE PIO GREAT AGAIN'
Currently working through the forum categories & main threads on the forum giving them proper META titles & descriptions. I expect there's a good few hours (days work) there. Also fixing broken links from when we migrated from the old forum software and a few other bits and pieces.
Currently in the process of installing 'Arrowchat' which will be used for our quarterly chat events.
Besides chat rooms, the software can also be used as an instant messenger service between members. It also supports video messaging. I'm unsure which of the facilities to utilise at the moment or when they'll go live, so watch this space. If you're interested in having instant messaging / video messaging on the site, just comment on the post.
Spent the morning creating a Pomsinoz App for submission to the ios & Google stores. The Pomsinoz app is based on the Tapatalk engine and will be free. All being well, it should be available for download in around 10 - 14 days after it's gone through the approval process.