Pure Value: The English Forward Story

  • Combined audience of 500,000 (including the various social channels that sprung up from the community)
  • Reached Alexa Top 5000 ranking
  • Served nearly 300 million unique, international visitors — without any ad-spend or marketing
  • 2 million user-generated content, Question and Answer posts
  • 100% volunteer moderators team (no labor costs) to clean and maintain the community
  • Recognition, testimonials and thanks from international schools that use the site as a reference for their students
  • Google favored and historic strong relationships with Google
  • Now serves academic learners (students), professional (career, work, business) and native speakers (grammar, sentence structure) and industry professionals.
  • 100% organic traffic, 100% organic content (user-generated), 100% user moderated.
  • Select posts on the site have seen 4million+ views (for a single article).
  • Select members have contributed 100,000+ question/answer posts.
  • Entirely free to use.
Year to Year Cumulative Visitor Totals — EnglishForward.com
10 Year Traffic Stats — EnglishForward.com

| The Backstory: Francis West and English Forums

Francis West is an engineer, a code “architect”.

Vancouver enterpreneur, Markus Frind’s PlentyOfFish.com sold. Another “ugly”, high-utility site, that started the same year English Forums (now English Forward) started — exited for $575 Million 12 years after launch.
Click image for original press release on VentureBeat announcing the sale of the, then, English Forums.

| SOLD: English Forums

I flew out to Malta to meet Frank and learn more about what he had built.

My meeting and recorded video conversation with Frank West in Malta
An email Frank received after the sale of the former English Forums was announced.

| Advancing Forward: Mitch Rankin and English Forward

Mitch Rankin is a South Africa based entrepreneur and investor. He believes that the education system can use more upgrading and improvement.

Mitch Rankin, CEO and Founder of the new English Forward. (click image for video)
English Forward (formerly English Forums) — new logo, new brand.
  • The dated “forums” was swapped to “forward” suggesting progress not just for the site itself, but, more so, for any student or professional wanting to forward advance their language proficiency.
  • We moved from the blue and often tech-associated logo colors to orange, the color most often used for content, publishing and education brands.
  • The new logo font was bolded — to represent a bold and ambitious goal.
  • The forward arrow was worked into the logo icon to visually represent the same “forward” and progress concepts.
  • The negative space in the icon can be recognized from mobile devices as the home icon. This is, again, in-line with the company’s goal of “mobile first” and to further indicate that English Forward is for everyone in your home.
Ella, the English Forward Elephant
English Forward screenshots.
Learn Language / Learn English Comparables, Competitors and Industry Intersection



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Rob Toth

Rob Toth

CEO @ OODIENCE.com | M&A, Exit Advisory, Business Sales for Media Channel, Blog, Hyperlocal Media and P2P Marketplaces. | Toronto. Canary Islands.