It lets us work on only what we’re supposed to: developing and maintaining our resources. I think we have to follow the universal practice and outsource all of our non-core functions.
Mastercity.ru is a fourm and advertising platform. The resource is visited by over 50 thousand users daily. Services used from Selectel: Dedicated Servers, Colocation.
— Alex, in the age of Facebook, how can somewhat outdated communication tools like forums survive? How great is the marketing potential?
— Forums aren’t outdated at all! The forum is an ancient practice. It’s even how the Greeks and Romans socialized. If you need expert advice--a collective discussion that’s not just 2-3 sentences long, but more developed, then the best place to go is a specialized forum with long-standing members. The marketing potential is fantastic, but the exact data is an industry secret.
— Tell us more about Mastercity.ru.
— It’s an old DIY (Do-It-Yourself) forum on RUnet, one of the biggest. In CIS countries, it floats between first and second place in terms of popularity.
Our company bought out the project and took over its development in 2015. We redid the code, structure, and site design. All that’s left of the original forum is the database with user information and media content. We then added new sections: News, Blogs, Sales, and Academy. Out of the forum topics, the standalone marketplace service “Barakholka” (Rummage Sale) grew on its own. The number of visitors to the site significantly increased, as did the workload.
— What difficulties did you face while reconstructing the site?
— The technical side of the project was in a pretty sad state since the equipment was not maintained by professionals. Its server was hosted in a small data center and worked at limited capacity—there was always the threat it would crash. And so the first task was to host the server element in a reliable data center. The decision went to Selectel.
— What was so attractive about our offer?
— We were looking for something like a Russian Amazon. Selectel is one of the largest and most well-known providers in Russia. We were mainly drawn by the fact that Selectel has its own data centers and a wide variety of services and equipment. We now rent a few servers, and we can add that another advantage is the high-quality tech support; they’re quick to respond and professional. We’d like it if you had a 24/7 hot-line.
— How has working with us affected the forum’s performance?
— Positively. It lets us work on only what we’re supposed to: developing and maintaining our resources. I think we have to follow the universal practice and outsource all of our non-core functions.
— Do you use any other Selectel services?
— We occasionally use Smart & Remote Hands, but since we have our own team of system administrators, we only run to your specialists in emergency situations. In the future, we’ll be trying out Cloud Storage.
— What does the future hold for the forum?
— We plan on growing in every which way: increasing the number of online and offline services, users, and content. We’re a fairly major resource already; our indicators are growing exponentially. In the future, we plan on securing the leading position in CIS countries, even though the competition is tough.