Update 2/29/16: Website Babble is not closing just yet. See my update here.

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With much sadness (but relief at the same time), the time has come. Actually it's LOOOOOOOONG overdue. Anyone who has been a long time member of this forum knows what a pain in the you-know-what this has been to deal with malware and spammers.

If this forum wasn't costing me extra money every month to secure and time to manage -- AND if it was something I was monetizing well, I would keep it around.

However, it's gotten to the point where this is too much work and money for what it's worth.

I learned a big lesson about running a forum that I will pass on to the rest of you...

1) Never start a forum just to have a forum. Have a plan in place to monetize it to make it worth the effort. I never really had a strategy in place for this forum and that was not a good idea. It's always been like a stepchild to the rest of my sites. If I could do this all over again I would integrate it into my domain.

2) Never run a forum on shared hosting. I've known for years I need to move this to my dedicated server but I was intimidated by the move.

3) Never run a forum without some kind of firewall or malware cleaner in place. vBulletin has so many exploit issues and it's why I had to use SiteLock for the past 2 years. However, I haven't been happy with their services either. As you can see, there are still issues with logging in and they can't seem to fix it. A lot of it has to do with it being on shared hosting.

4) Drop the superman(woman) syndrome and stop trying to do everything yourself. Years ago when the forum was really active, I should have hired part-time people to help out instead of volunteers. I am thoroughly grateful for James, Scott, TG, etc. but they were volunteers and they did more than I ever asked. But you really need to hire people.

I don't think I'd ever use vBulletin again for any kind of forum or membership site. I'd probably use a WordPress plugin of some sort and would definitely have a private/paid section to make the forum worth my time.

Lesson learned!

I just want to give a big thanks to all of you guys who supported WB over the years. I've kept this site up running a lot longer than I should have...partly due to pride and I wanted it to be here to help you! But this site has become a HUGE pain to run and not worth the effort anymore.

This morning is a prime example. I got up to upgrade the software and broke the site and was denied access to my own site! I called SiteLock and they blamed my host. Called my host and they blamed SiteLock. I've spent hours on the phone with SiteLock and GoDaddy and still have gotten nowhere. I had planned to spend the day recording videos for courses and got NOTHING done. What a pain. Enough is enough.

And even if I did keep it up, I'd have to move it to a dedicated server. At this point, however, it's not really worth it.

We've had our fun, but it's time for WB to say goodbye... at least for now. I may have another forum-like site in the future but it would integrated into my site and definitely be monetized better than this ever was.

Now that I'm heavily into course creation I'm considering doing a site with a private forum/membership for those who want to learn. But that's waaay down the line.

I can't lie. I feel a little sad because I'll miss our chats, but I'm also relieved at the same time. This is like a weight being lifted off my shoulders!! I already feel 10 pounds lighter.