Introduction to Toytown Germany

Toytown Germany logo

Toytown Germany is an English-language community website for Germany.

It is an information resource, a meeting point, and a communication platform for English-speakers throughout the country.

Toytown Germany, known as TT for short, collects information about local bars and restaurants, events and meetups, job offers, housing, cinemas, taxes, and pretty much everything to do with moving to Germany and living here. The heart of the site is the discussion forum where English speakers can share news, ask questions, post answers, make advertisements, organise sports and social events, discuss current affairs, make friends, and generally engage with each other.

Who uses the site:

TT is read primarily by British, American, Canadian, Irish, Australian, New Zealander, and South African citizens living in Germany. Anyone who can speak English to a native standard, regardless of nationality, is welcome to read and take part. As of November 2014 there are over 45,000 active members. According to Google Analytics the total readership is just over 1,000,000 absolute unique visitors per month. The total population of native English-speakers living in Germany is 230,000. See the map of member locations.

History of the site:

TT was dreamt up and created by Editor Bob in August 2002, together with help from co-administrator Malcolm Spudbury. Originally TT was a Munich-specific website. Due to popular demand the site expanded in April 2006 to cover the whole of Germany. From 2002 to 2008 TT was owned and run by Bob as a one-man business. In January 2009 the site partnered with The Local. The site is now operated out of their headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Funding comes via advertising.

Origin of the name "Toytown":

The name came from the observation that Munich is not a real town. Real towns have litter, crime, visible poverty, heroin addicts lurking at the railway station, vomit on the pavements, and so on. Munich has none of this. Munich is not real. It's an ideological town where everything is perfect. The environment is clean, crime is very low, and the public transport runs on time to the second. In general, the quality of life here is very high. In early 2006 the website expanded to cover the whole of Germany. The name "Toytown" was preserved for the sake of branding.

Webserver technical details:

The Toytown Germany website is run from a dedicated server in a server-farm in Baden-Baden, Germany. The hosting provider is 1&1 Internet. The server has two Quad-Core AMD Opteron CPUs. Each of the eight CPU cores runs at 2.1 GHz. It has 16 GB of RAM. The server currently serves around 180 GB of data per month.

For the software we use a typical so-called LAMP architecture. That is: SuSE Linux operating system, Apache 2 webserver, MySQL database, and PHP 5. The forum software is Invision Power Board.

Further reading: