In this Wealthy Affiliate Overview, we take a look at the Platform, otherwise known as the Dashboard – the website interface between the members and the instructional elements. In an unusual twist in a membership site, unlike that of any other, Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim, two very highly successful entrepreneurs became extremely passionate and strongly committed to taking what they have learnt and helping others take the exact same blueprint to build successful online businesses. From the very beginning, the Wealthy Affiliate Dashboard was designed with this in mind.
A Short Historic Perspective on the Dashboard
I would love to get my hands on an image of what the earliest Dashboard looked like. My best guess is that the Dashboard (aka: Members’ Area) shared the same header as the Wealthy Affiliate sales home page, though this is conjecture. To be sure however, the Dashboard was simpler in every way due to the smaller amount of elements on it.
Shown above is the earliest of the Wealthy Affiliate sales home page. In just two months after the launch of Wealthy Affiliate, the website to the right appeared first, as a pre-sale promotion of the media which taught the early members how to set up and run Adwords campaigns. This sister site to Wealthy Affiliate targeted folks outside of the membership though it is unknown by me at this time whether or not this promotion included the members as well or that it was offered at a discount or even free. It shows however, that Wealthy Affiliate experienced rapid growth, even during the earliest months of its existence.
There was of course, the weekly keyword lists, some sort of instructional elements on (or links) to the featured helps, such as AdWords, various advertising methods going at the time and other points of interest that Kyle and Carson shared with the early membership.
The main medium of communication has always been the Forum from the start. It is erroneously thought that the Forum came after about the 50th member on board, but depending on when this 50th or so, came along, it would have had to have been before the official launch date. In fact, the first Forum (there were two versions of a stand alone forum software, separate and apart from the WA website, interlinked.) was commissioned on September 7, 2005.
The earliest updates to the Platform came roughly as followed:
From the launch date, the membership unprecedentedly grew, gradually during the first few days and then picking up pace quite dramatically. This keyword list site quickly became the most popular due to the sheer caring attitude of the owners. Paying it forward was not, nor still isn’t a popular element used by most marketers. Kyle and Carson approached their marketing campaigns with utmost integrity and honesty and most of all, the sheer passion of showing others how to sort out the awful mess that simply turned many off from wanting anything to do with affiliate marketing. Outside of what I found when I first stumbled onto Wealthy Affiliate in 2008, the straight forwardness of what I was reading on the Wealthy Affiliate sales site impressed me. It shockingly stood out above everything else I’ve seen to that point, and yet today, such is very rarely found today.
Like myself, tens of thousands of people over the last 13 years have found Wealthy Affiliate, saw what I had seen and grew to love these two amazing men and their creation. Over the years, I have seen tears shed because for some reason, they were being pulled away. Aside from the many success stories and lives forever changed, from 2005, Wealthy Affiliate has been a legacy.
Training modules were amongst the earliest additions to the Platform. This aspect grew very quickly and helped take the growing problem of trying to answer many recurring questions. The overall theme of these modules were to help members learn how to implement the keyword lists and drive traffic to their websites. They also featured Pay-Per-Click and various other advertising methods as well as organic search engine optimization.
The monthly price at this point, went up from $29.99 to $39.99. The reason being, the need for more server space, hired employees and upkeep of the member site. In a few months’ time, Wealthy Affiliate was already growing out of the keyword list site parameters.
The basic shape of today’s Wealthy Affiliate Platform takes place with the addition of “WA Spaces,” which was (and still is) the familiar member biographical area. In forum style, members could communicate back and forth between their WA Spaces. It is not know by me at this time whether or not blogs were included as yet, and it seems these were added later.
The Basic Elements in the Dashboard
By June of 2007, Wealthy Affiliate was a busy beehive humming with activity and already the familiar place to get lost in, which was the chiefest of complaints amongst new members. It indeed was a maze to get around in, though it was still quite easy to become accustomed to. The directory tree (using the left sidebar menu) shows us what was inside Wealthy Affiliate’s Dashboard at the time:
> My Profile
> My Campaigns
> My Passwords
> My Tasks & Goals
> My Courses
> Welcome Message
> Video Vault
> Launch WA Spaces
> WA Spaces Help
WA Jobs (New!)
> Launch WA Jobs
> WA Jobs Help
> Launch Forum
> WA Forum Help
> Google Match Types
> Keyword Phrase Builder
> Research Top Listings
> Keyword Research Tool
> Keyword Generator
> Clickbank Research Tool
> Pay-per-click Networks
> Affiliate Networks
> Keyword Lists
Kyle & Carson
> About Wealthy Affiliate
> About Beating Adwords
> About Inside the List
> View Feeder Sites
> Feeder Site Help
> My Control Panel
> WA Promo Guide
> Incentive Program
By the end of 2007, Kyle, Carson & team added one more major element to the Dashboard – WA Hosting. This wasn’t all – to make the update complete, SiteRubix also came into being. Over time, with a completely self-sufficient setup aimed at providing members everything onboard that they would have to otherwise get outside, Wealthy Affiliate left all the competition in the dust. From this point on, no other company of this kind would ever touch the skirt of Kyle and Carson’s creation.
From here on, whatever became dated was dropped and whatever was new came into the horizen was picked up and adopted. Literally everything in the way of keyword tools, hosting, domain registration, website builders, content builders, and more, Kyle and Carson, not only adopted their own, but made them better than any of the others. The Wealthy Affiliate Dashboard, to this day, is a masterpiece and a legacy of our time!
The Basic Layout of the Dashboard
For the most part, the left sidebar has always been the area where navigational links go. Most versions featured the accordion-type menu system though the later, and the latest works a little differently, with a popup containing sub-links to various areas within each group. Near future articles in this series will explore each of these groups in detail.
The content area down to 2012, consisted of the most pertinent information, news, latest members, the top Clickbank opportunities, currentn WA Jobs, news about the Forum, basically the place to go for all of the latest happenings on Wealthy Affiliate.
From what was known as the Open Education Project (OEP,) forward, a right sidebar was added and has since, housed the Live Chat area, Wealthy Affiliate’s chat engine.
Tweaks were made over time from 2012, to the new Dashboard such that, by the time the most recent complete overhaul was done early in 2018, it bore little resemblance to what it looked like at first.
Finally, one of the major purposes of the 2012 updates was to retire the old Forum. This had to be done because the Forum, as nostalgic as it had become, was now full of dated material which caused much confusion for the new members.
The Latest Version – Built for Simplicity
The current Dashboard looks a little like the previous, but is packed with new and updated elements and most importantly, aids in the removal of a number of repeating, redundant links that riddled several of the older Dashboards. Today there is essentially only one link for every element, making the new Dashboard streamlined, clean and very simple to get around in.
The Dashboard is bright, completely up to date and colourful. The idea of a pop-up instead of the accordion-type menu system was carried over to the new Dashboard, each with a fresh new look. The elements themselves have been updated to match the new decor.
There’s no doubt about it. Wealthy Affiliate is thriving even more than ever. The health of the community and the platform have not only persisted, but has increased well beyond the lifespans of many of the competitors. Again, it goes without saying that Wealthy Affiliate, that is to say, everything that makes up this astounding training facility, makes it one to be proud of and is indeed, an Internet legacy of our time.
The next installment in this Series will explore the Wealthy Affiliate community. If you would like more information about Wealthy Affiliate, please visit my Wealthy Affiliate Review – As I Experience WA. Else, please click forward to the next Installment below.