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Now that the ExpressionEngine StackExchange site has hit 90 days of public beta, can we can get feedback on the site from the folks who decide if a site is launched? What are we doing well? What do we need to work on?

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I think the Stack Exchange team should really remove mentions of 90 days from Area51 altogether. From reading posts on Meta Stack Overflow and digging around on Area51, it's clear that 90 days is an absolute minimum, and most sites stay in beta much longer than that. However, the good news is that it's very unlikely for sites to "fail" after they reach beta, this has only happened a few times with sites which were clearly unpopular.

I find this list really interesting. Filtering by the different options, it's clear that questions per day is the main statistic correlated with whether a site is in beta or not, and we are doing really well in this regard (better even than a few launched sites).

The other statistic which seems to be really important is traffic. We're not doing as well on this, but only because we're sitting next to sites which have been around 2-3 years. Our traffic numbers are growing, and each day brings more great questions, which lead to backlinks, which will help drive our traffic. So I don't really think traffic is something we need to actively work on, as it will grow organically as long as our questions per day remains constant.

So. I would not be surprised if this site stays in beta for another 90 days. Even then, we would be doing quite well (as it seems we are). But it doesn't really matter - the only thing a live site gets over a beta is a nice fancy design, and that will obviously take time.

Most importantly, I think all mentions of 90 days should be removed from Area51, because even if it's "just a guide" and a "minimum", it's very misleading and sends the wrong impression to us, the dedicated community.

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  • Other folks in the teacher's lounge were very impressed by our stats to date. I agree on the 90 days if it doesn't mean anything. – Anna_MediaGirl Feb 21 '13 at 17:21

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