We came across a blog that also featured a phpBB forum under the folder “/forum”, The blog was pretty successful but the webmaster didn’t have time to maintain the phpBB forum. For unknown a reason, a PHP error started to show up at the bottom of every page of the forum. Also, there were 5 spammy threads on the forum. The webmaster updated phpBB to the last version and it removed the php errors. Then, he deleted the 5 spammy threads on the forum.
After 24 hours, the traffic of his blog doubled.
We started to investigate. Was the culprit the php errors or the spammy threads. Then, we googled “thedomain.com/forum/” and we understood the issue. The php errors appeared on every snippet as the description. Either the displays of PHP errors or the spammy threads caused the website traffic drop because nothing else was changed on the website and the traffic of this was steady for the last year. This echoes our brainstorming about forums. Should forums be installed on a subfolder, subdomain or a different domain?