Common Webmaster Mistakes

Meeko79

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Meeko79 submitted a new Article:

Common Webmaster Mistakes

Common Webmaster Mistakes

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes… Every webmaster makes them, young and old. You can't stop yourself from making them, but with the help of this guide you can kick those noobish mistakes out the window. It's not your fault, you don't know! So, this guide is here to teach you. ^_^

Mistake 1: - Pick a Good Niche
Before we can discuss any other part of the forum, we have to discuss the niche. It seems like more and more, webmasters are wanting to make successful gaming & general forum. And, I'm sure that if Mybb allowed it, hacking forums.

This is not a good road to go down if you want to have a successful forum. While having a forum for a specific game (assuming there aren't many websites for that game) may lead you to success, having a general gaming forum will not. Same for general discussion forums. Therefore, please choose wisely when you create your site.

Mistake 2: - Top Level Domains
Alright, you got your forum set up. Now, you see all those other awesome forums with those .com, .net & .org domains. But, you simply can't afford one. No problem, right? Just use .tk! That's just as good.

No. Just no. If you want to start a serious website, it costs money. So if you want us to take you seriously, then treat us seriously with a REAL domain. It's $10/yr, ask your parents or mow a lawn or something..

Mistake 3: - Hosting
If you're in a position where you can't afford a domain, chances are you can't spend $5-$10 a month (just a random price) on hosting. While it isn't bad you use free hosting (that's what I started with), don't advertise the fact. It harms the opinion of your website. Also, read up on the host you use before you buy/register with it, just to make sure they have good service.

Mistake 4: - Themes
Think you're ready for the world? Wrong. Themes are just as important as the other stuff, don't sell them short. When a visitor views their website, within a few seconds they've already decided if they like it or not, and if they wish to stay or visit again. The key factor to pulling in as many people as you can, is having a good design.

I cannot stress that fact enough. There are so many sites who completely blow off this factor and then wonder why they aren't getting any users. We want to see something that looks good, makes us feel like we're really discussing your topic, whatever it may be. And it really has to tie the site together. If you...

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64North

geospatially inclined
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May 31, 2006
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848
"Mistake 1: - Pick a Good Niche"

It would probably me more accurate to say "Mistake 1: - Not Picking a Good Niche"

This applies to many of the other points as well.
 

Dyonis

Real Sugar Certified
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Aug 3, 2012
Messages
150
Have you ever seen a topic title that sounds promising, albeit generalized? Upon opening it, you see a simple one word phrase, 'discuss'. That is a generalized discussion forum stuck into a niche category.

Specialty forums and sites were the way of the Internet circa-2000. GameFAQs may be a general gaming site, but it started out as an FAQ repository. Likewise, you should think about doing something special for your audience - then focusing on general. Otherwise you are a generic site like so many others out there. Outside of a site's layout and community quirks, your site is no different from anything else.

[Edit] And frankly put, in a world of consumers, I'm going after the community that fits my interests or stands out from the others.
 

MichaelAllen

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Dec 27, 2011
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21
The ads part is actually pretty controversial subject. It may be easy to just say no ads in the beginning, but on the other hand people don't always like new things. If you don't have ads then all of a sudden ads pop up it could drive people away. Just a thought and something to discuss :)



Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
 

T3chn0

Fan
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Apr 13, 2007
Messages
591
In regards to a dead forum, knowing when to call it quits is indeed hard and I think in some cases, it's often the best option but when you come back for a second try, need to make sure to don't make the same mistakes. I failed a few times before I got to where I am today.
 

Hellsing

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Sep 23, 2011
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Great article ...

Thanks very much for this article. I'm "dreaming" about starting my own Forum one day, and these tips are VERY useful. I must say I agree about the anti-chatbox tip. A Forum should be a Forum. I also like the idea of having a minimum of staff. The domain also is a give away - i.e. if it were a .tk, I wouldn't even consider visiting it.

An article that would really be great for me right now is on the technical side of setting up a Forum. Step by step Guide and particularly what NOT to do :)
 

meetdilip

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
6,675
First decide which software you want to use. My choice will be SMF. You can find videos for popular forums scripts. If not many here will be help you install your forum.

To do :

1. Decide the forum script

2. Get hosting

3. Get domain

4. Ask here.

You can also use free hosted forums. But once with them, always with them.
 

Jack_Rouse

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If the OP had written this article in 2005 or 2009 then it could possibly right in all respects, it certainly isn't correct for 2012 or today in 2013, and this is one of the biggest problems with the internet, it is full of outdates information,and this post contains some of it.

Mistake 2: - Top Level Domains
Alright, you got your forum set up. Now, you see all those other awesome forums with those .com, .net & .org domains. But, you simply can't afford one. No problem, right? Just use .tk! That's just as good.

No. Just no. If you want to start a serious website, it costs money. So if you want us to take you seriously, then treat us seriously with a REAL domain. It's $10/yr, ask your parents or mow a lawn or something..

.tk is a TLD fact, so as far as search engines are concerned it is treated in exactly the same way as .com and .net, Google have said in the past couple of weeks that as far as they are concerned there is no difference in TLDS.
However Google does treat some TLDs differently, ones to avoid are .info and .name, Google says that it treats these as second level domains and considers them spammy.
If you are thinking of localising searches there is no benefit in using a country code, while it may look good, you can geotarget your audience in Webmaster tools, Google rolled this out in 2009.

Mistake 4: - Themes
Think you're ready for the world? Wrong. Themes are just as important as the other stuff, don't sell them short. When a visitor views their website, within a few seconds they've already decided if they like it or not, and if they wish to stay or visit again. The key factor to pulling in as many people as you can, is having a good design.

I cannot stress that fact enough. There are so many sites who completely blow off this factor and then wonder why they aren't getting any users. We want to see something that looks good, makes us feel like we're really discussing your topic, whatever it may be. And it really has to tie the site together. If you can't afford a custom theme, find a pre-made theme (paid or free) and customize it a bit to fit your needs. No problem!

ALSO please keep in mind the logo should also be a good looking logo. Not some crappy thing made off of a website. We want a good logo to match the theme.

Total myth, a sites ranking is affected by content and PR, not by how it looks, if you get the content right, and can get traffic, it will rise to the top of the rankings, I can show you literally hundreds of site in the top two pages of Google that are on a basic theme, or with minimal customising.

Mistake 11: - Presentation
Whenever you are posting on your forum, making forum descriptions, or advertisements, you need to present yourself in a proper manner. You should have good grammar/spelling, act maturely, and be open to feedback. Even if you don't agree with what they are saying, politely thank them or make an argument defending yourself. People aren't always right, but you shouldn't think you know everything either.

Again while this may be important in your eyes, it depends on the genre of forum, look around some really top forums, you will see awful spelling and grammar and it's in the top five.
If you start telling people how to spell and type properly you will soon become known as officious and members will leave in their droves.

Just my two pennorth, but when you post idea's like this which new admins are going to read, and accept, you have to do proper research into the latest articles, and not express an opinion.
 

cheat_master30

Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
3,874
If the OP had written this article in 2005 or 2009 then it could possibly right in all respects, it certainly isn't correct for 2012 or today in 2013, and this is one of the biggest problems with the internet, it is full of outdates information,and this post contains some of it.


.tk is a TLD fact, so as far as search engines are concerned it is treated in exactly the same way as .com and .net, Google have said in the past couple of weeks that as far as they are concerned there is no difference in TLDS.
However Google does treat some TLDs differently, ones to avoid are .info and .name, Google says that it treats these as second level domains and considers them spammy.
If you are thinking of localising searches there is no benefit in using a country code, while it may look good, you can geotarget your audience in Webmaster tools, Google rolled this out in 2009.

Except .tk has a bad reputation for other reasons. Yes it's not punished in Google ranking wise, but it's got a bad reputation due to being given away as a free domain and often abused by dodgy websites in general. Not everything is 'the world according to Google rankings'.

Total myth, a sites ranking is affected by content and PR, not by how it looks, if you get the content right, and can get traffic, it will rise to the top of the rankings, I can show you literally hundreds of site in the top two pages of Google that are on a basic theme, or with minimal customising.

Err, call me insane here... but where the hell did he say the theme was important for SEO reasons?

Because a custom theme and how a site looks is important... for the visitor experience and popularity. Hence it's still good advice. Not everything revolves around whether a site ranks in Google.

Again while this may be important in your eyes, it depends on the genre of forum, look around some really top forums, you will see awful spelling and grammar and it's in the top five.
If you start telling people how to spell and type properly you will soon become known as officious and members will leave in their droves.

Just my two pennorth, but when you post idea's like this which new admins are going to read, and accept, you have to do proper research into the latest articles, and not express an opinion.

That's true to a degree, although you can easily drive away other members by leaving all the badly written posts with awful spelling and grammar. See any webmaster forum after the hordes of fluff posters descend on it, that drives away all the real 'experts' and people who want a decent conversation.

Secondly... not every site needs to be super popular in the same sense to be successful. Yes huge sites like Gaia Online or the like have a lot of poorly written posts and what not, but not everyone wants their site to draw in that type of crowd.

For a forum aimed at a certain demographic, letting awful spelling and grammar slide is the wise decision. For certain other demographics (think, an 'intellectual' site about the future of the games industry or philosophy or perhaps science), then you might want to be at least a little harsh on how well posts are written and things like spelling and grammar.
 

SportsBomb

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Aug 22, 2013
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Spelling and grammar are important for a lot of reasons. First of all, as the administrator / site owner you set the precedent for how your site is going to operate. If you post like a 14 year old retard so will your members. That will draw 14 year old retards to your site but cause more mature members to leave. If you operate a gaming site perhaps you want to cater to members with the mental acuity of a rock but most site owners aspire to something more.

Secondly, spelling, grammar and punctuation are extremely important to content indexing. Search engines can't properly index misspelled titles and content. Capitalized and lower case words take on entirely different meanings, as do words with different spellings.

Thirdly, if there's a wall of text without any semblance of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and basic writing skill, no one will bother to read it. Brevity and clarity are cornerstones of quality posting, even if the post is only a few words. If a site allows complete gibberish it's asking for every discussion to go astray. May as well post a lorem ipsum instead.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In molestie mi diam, in aliquam dui cursus in. Maecenas in posuere enim. Pellentesque risus mauris, tempus et varius ut, tincidunt ut felis. Sed luctus pellentesque dolor, eu faucibus elit euismod vel. Morbi nibh urna, consequat sed commodo id, gravida eget purus. Cras iaculis sapien quis sollicitudin consequat. Integer vel laoreet sapien, et iaculis sem. Phasellus gravida justo lorem, sagittis pharetra orci molestie quis. Nam nisl eros, fringilla a commodo non, tristique congue nibh. Aliquam sollicitudin feugiat nulla, vel consequat magna pharetra eu. Aenean quis rutrum massa. Sed sapien tortor, cursus eu leo sit amet, porttitor faucibus eros. Integer faucibus eu odio a auctor. Duis fringilla ligula urna, vitae tincidunt lacus viverra non. Donec laoreet eleifend sapien vel scelerisque. Aenean fermentum, eros vitae porta aliquam, arcu urna feugiat dui, vitae varius ante lacus ac augue. Vestibulum vestibulum dolor ac nisl commodo, id malesuada risus posuere. In ante augue, pellentesque eu est sit amet, sodales iaculis lectus. Cras erat nisl, cursus sed odio nec, malesuada scelerisque erat. Vestibulum malesuada sollicitudin ligula, vel blandit arcu bibendum vitae. Donec hendrerit porta metus, in fringilla dolor pretium sit amet. Vivamus varius, nisi convallis venenatis congue, sapien ligula pretium turpis, non molestie est nibh vel ligula. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque leo ligula, pellentesque sit amet tincidunt vitae, rhoncus quis leo. Nulla elementum vel purus ut ornare. Maecenas eget accumsan orci. In faucibus purus a odio gravida convallis. Phasellus faucibus facilisis est, et rutrum mauris lacinia et. Sed id egestas mauris, sed molestie tortor. In at tellus eros. Nulla felis elit, vulputate vitae orci id, lacinia faucibus mauris. Mauris pharetra venenatis magna sed lacinia. Vivamus volutpat accumsan fringilla. Nullam aliquam, dui sit amet euismod rhoncus, elit purus laoreet nisl, blandit consequat tortor sapien in ligula. Phasellus molestie mi malesuada ornare bibendum. Duis tincidunt luctus nisl. Suspendisse consectetur nisl vel pretium scelerisque. Proin consequat nibh in bibendum interdum. Nullam ac sagittis massa. Nullam aliquet aliquet sapien. Cras urna orci, condimentum a convallis et, auctor vitae est. Quisque vitae urna dolor. Nam quis enim volutpat nisl feugiat imperdiet. Aliquam erat volutpat. Integer tincidunt, purus eu posuere aliquam, nibh nisl tincidunt nibh, nec laoreet ante elit at mauris. Curabitur ac dictum justo. Vestibulum quam nulla, porttitor quis erat eu, mattis tristique libero. Nulla aliquet, mauris id lacinia viverra, quam purus elementum erat, pellentesque tempor velit odio elementum odio. Morbi facilisis dolor non diam porta, nec molestie libero congue. Donec mattis nunc ut massa mattis, sit amet laoreet ligula sagittis.

If you post gibberish you're asking for gibberish responses.

Or, imagine, if you will:

You, as a new administrator, just spent hours writing your heart out on your forum topic, which you feel strongly enough about to have founded a forum on the topic. You have followed every guideline and piece of advice from a forum such as this one in effort to make your site all it can be. The amount of blood, sweat and tears poured into your new venture is immeasurable.

You open your forums and among the first members you have is a postwhore who replies to every piece you have spent hours writing with short, poorly thought out and grammatically debase posts. "Yeh dud thiz rox. Iz tha skizzle fo shizzle." Your first inclination is to delete it because your first thought is not only did this person not read the post but they have also posted meaningless nonsense in something that isn't even quite English. The average forum member doesn't keep an urban dictionary on-hand for such posts either. It's a thread killer. After one post.

You can make all the excuses you want to about how you might be alienating certain members or prospective members by asking for an effort to post with basic English skills but it's in the best interest of your forum and your own sanity to do so. An entire forum can devolve into a pile of garbage posts quickly. Unless that's the purpose of your forum it's not the best choice.
 

Jack_Rouse

Use The Force
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We are going to differ over this I can see, whilst I agree that spelling and grammar should be good on forums, how do you moderate every post ?

If you have a foreign members where English is not their first language, you have to be tolerant of spelling and grammar mistakes.
 

webcosmo

Neophyte
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
1
great points.
there is no alternative for dedication and knowledge on the niche. some marketing knowledge sure would make the success path smoother.
 

Meeko79

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Nov 8, 2012
Messages
26
We are going to differ over this I can see, whilst I agree that spelling and grammar should be good on forums, how do you moderate every post ?

If you have a foreign members where English is not their first language, you have to be tolerant of spelling and grammar mistakes.
Let's assume that your forum gets to the point that you cannot moderate every post. Then you simply hire moderators to assist you. As an administrator it is your job to decide how your site is to be ran, and what kind of standards you wish to set for your members.

This article is really set to help a webmaster improve their website to the end user. I'm not addressing SEO at all in here. It's more if I was to look at a site, what I and other potential members may want to see. None of these are actually required for success though, they just help.
 

rhens

Adherent
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Jul 23, 2013
Messages
285
nick's ghost lives on, doesnt it, mike?

the original post looks to be a good example for a new forum owner. it may not completely translate to an established forum, but still a good guideline. oldschool says "content is king", but in today's world...a new forum has a precious few seconds to convince a browser to stay....before he/she reads one word of content. i'm going to google a topic.....i will read the results of that topic, but i'm not joining a website as a result of that topic search.

if i'm looking for a website, i'm asking friends or doing a search for the genre i'm seeking, so as far as that goes....at least 80% of google searches will net you pageviews....not posting members. someone googling specific topics will need to find you as the source a few times before they decide to register. when i look for a forum specifically, i look for presentation, activity, and ease of navigation...in that order. if those three demands are met...i start reading. after i've read a couple things i liked...i register
 

alen_peter

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Feb 28, 2014
Messages
4
1. Not tagging images correctly

Google can’t understand what images are about so you need to provide some clues that will help:

a). Configure a file name with relevant keywords

b). Create Alt text. Within your blogging tool you should be able to configure the Alt tag. Google looks for this Alt tag to understand what the image is about.

c). Create a relevant title for the image. When someone hovers over your image with their mouse the title of the image appears.
2. Using too much Flash on your site.

If you go to a website and see all fancy moving graphics that’s probably made with flash. Google can’t read flash so it’s hard to index it. So best to avoid flash completely if you can!

3: including the wrong words on your web pages

Using the wrong words on your web pages is the second biggest mistake. For example, he says that you should write "How high is Mount Everest" instead of "Mt. Everest Height" on your pages because that is how people search on Google.

The keyword research tools in SEOprofiler help you to find the best keywords for your website. SEOprofiler offers at least 26% more keywords than other services. The keyword suggestion tool in SEOprofiler is available for 25 different countries and regions.


There are just some of the common SEO mistakes.

Have you any you would like to add?
 

HypeFeeder

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Jun 3, 2014
Messages
18
I probably think point 13 is the most important one there. At least for any serious Admin. The rest of the stuff is the basics for first time admins, but point 13 can apply to anyone at any stage of their career.
 

Kyrie

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Sep 2, 2009
Messages
1,018
With Google's later updates I find no decrease in traffic using free domain names. I use a bunch of .cf's
 
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