Community: Improve your community registration & posting rates in 3 simple steps.

Ted S

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
6,127
Ted S submitted a new Article:

Community: Improve your community registration & posting rates in 3 simple steps.

This article and its associated code was last updated on May 28th, 2006. This modification now works as a vb product plugin.

The out of the box vBulletin style does not have a robust method of informing users about their current activity status or user level. As a result, guests entering on a page other than the homepage (which is most often the case) have no idea what a forum is about. Additionally, there is no visible status indicator for users making it hard for users to know their account status. Unactivated users may be uncertain why they can’t post, and new members may not be certain where to start.

To help solve these problems I have created a 4-part set of conditionals to better introduce members to your community while pushing them to register, activate or post. The default templates are just that, default – I highly encourage you to tweak the language and functions to meet the needs of your actual community environment.

Modifications/ Instructions:
Template edits: 2
Plugins: 1 (adds 4 phrases and 1 template)

This template hack should take under 15 minutes to implement and customize.

About the versions:
- The default version of this plugin adds messages near the top of the page in the most visible place possible.
- The vbSEO version of this plugin incorporates a minor change to the welcome headers and pushes them down into the navbar area.

Both versions have the same options and configuration settings.

Details on how it all works:
Step One: Turning lurkers into Members
After looking at my own referral statistics it was evident that almost all of my traffic was coming in through subpages from Google or other search engines. This raised an immediate concern as I realized that vBulletin 3.5 only contains a welcome message on the forum homepage. While it may be evident to any forum admin what a forum is about and why you should register I would imagine that a lot of users in a non-technical area might have no clue what my site was about or how they could join. Therefore it seemed important to move the welcome message to every page and to customize it to speak out about the exact community the user was visiting.

Step Two: Making Users Confirm their Account
Just because a user isn't confirmed doesn't mean they don't want to use your site; often time a user signs up with the wrong email address, forgets to confirm or their spam filter blocks...

Read more about this article here...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

KeithMcL

Freelance Web Designer
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
5,728
Wonderful article Ted. I'm sure plenty of admins will use the info you've provided here on their forums. I know I will be :) I have some of the steps implemented already but definitely plan to do the rest.
 

Syn

Dance Maniac
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
406
Ted, you are truly awesome at writing these articles, I have spent quite a while looking that these articles and the ones at your website. I definitely will try to integrate some if not all of these into my site. :]

They definitely look like close to fool-proof plans.
 

Quiet Anders

Adherent
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
250
Just added the "Never Posted Message" to my header. As always I am amazed when the stuff I do actually works and nothing breaks! :whew: Thanks for a great tweak!
 

Anonymous

Habitué
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
1,319
Excellent article Ted. Thanks for posting it.

I'm gonna dig in on this one and give it a try. Hopefully I'll have results to post.
 

tamarian

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
212
Great idea Ted, thanks for sharing.

I wonder if it's a good idea to do the same for the archive pages, since many search engine hits lead to the archives.
 

Lugh

Habitué
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Messages
1,814
Another great contribution Ted--thanks, much appreciated :)
 

tamarian

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
212
Ted, I'd like to recommend a slight modification, in order to reduce the conditional logic, thus improving performance, without changing the behaviour.

The current logic is:

Code:
<if condition="is_member_of($bbuserinfo, 3)">
    <show non activated message>
</if>

<if condition="$show['guest']">
    <show guest welcome message>
</if>

<if condition="$bbuserinfo[posts]<1 && !$show['guest'] && !is_member_of($bbuserinfo, 3)">
    <show zero posts message>
</if>

Optimized conditionals:

Code:
<if condition="$show['guest']">
<show guest welcome message>

<else>

      <if condition="is_member_of($bbuserinfo, 3)">
          <show non activated message>

     <else>

          <if condition="$bbuserinfo[posts]<1">
              <show zero posts message>
          </if>

      </if>

</if>
 

tammikuu

vBulletin User
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
390
Excellent article!
We added the notification for Users Awaiting e-mail verification and changed our Guest message.

Other measures are being thought through also :)
 

Mudusa

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
14
I'm having problems attempting to insert the code. When I edited the FORUMHOME template per instructions, it changed the structure of the forum. I retried it, with the optimized conditionals and it gave me a nasty error message.

I wonder if anyone would be kind enough to post the full FORUMHOME template text example for me, so that I can see where exactly the conditionals need to be placed?

I am using vB 3.0.1, but using my vB 2 Default style settings.

Thank you!
Mudusa
 

asiansINC

asiansINC.com
Joined
May 4, 2004
Messages
98
Is there any code that can be used if a member hasn't visited in a while?

For example,

"Hello user.

It's been awhile since your last visit. Won't you join us in the latest discussion at xxx?"
 

Anonymous

Habitué
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
1,319
After using the "never posted" message for a little while now, I can say it has definetly converted non posters and got them to post and intro.

We can't say for sure what exactly gets um signing up, but we are using an enhanced welcome message for guests as well.

Thanks again for the tips.
 

outdoorzman

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Messages
171
I need some more explicit direction on how to modify the FORUMHONE template as described in the initial post.
 

KeithMcL

Freelance Web Designer
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
5,728
wacnstac, do you know how to get to the edit template area?
 

KeithMcL

Freelance Web Designer
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
5,728
I just realised this on my own forums and thought it was worth passing on.

For those with new communities where you have few threads and few posts you might want to consider changing the Default View Age for each forum.

Why?
If one of your forums hasn't had a post in the period you have set for the default view age it displays a message saying there have been no new posts. If a guest (or member for that matter) sees this message it's quite likely the wont know how to change the setting to view older threads and will therefore leave. I recommend you change it to show all threads. Once your forum becomes active enough you can change the setting to something more appropriate.

How?
Log into your AdminCP and go to the Forum Manager section under Forums & Moderators. Then click the Go button beside the forum you want to change. The Default View Age is the fifth option down.
I couldn't see a way to change all them in one go so you'll have to change them all manually.

Btw, if you have any hidden forums you don't really need to change them, but that's up to you :)

I hope this helps some people out :D
 

Lisa

Chaotically Proportional
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
27,488
Is that what you were doing in the THZ admin cp earlier this evening? ;) I saw you!!!! lol
 
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