Do You White Label Your Forum Installs?

007

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I never saw a real benefit to white labeling forum software. It costs a bunch more and most users are familiar enough with different software that they know you didn't code it from scratch anyway.

What's the big draw here? I guess if you can afford it, you can avoid sending SEO link juice to another company?

Who here does this and why was white labeling important to your community?
 

LeadCrow

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It's a way to resell your services as a freelancer and deliver sooner, without the complications of recreating the wheel. Few scripts actually accomodate this like ocPortal/compo.sr.

Most paid forum scripts try to remove those professionals from the equation and directly charge the licence holder on file, since direct access allows them to keep charging them (for support/update renewals, paid addons, and expensive branding removal), without affecting their script's commercial performance since middlemen wouldnt be inflating costs to the point of hurting its reputation.

As webmasters, we dont mind leaving the branding and links to the software vendor and makers of the most notable addons used. We're aware of how hard and expensive it can be to gain visibility and would certainly appreciate the same curtesy ourselves in recognition to our contributions to your websites' success.
 

007

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I’m talking more from a forum owner perspective. For example, it’s clear IGN is on XenForo, but they paid for white labeling so branding is removed.


But the company who did their theme still got a nice shout out in the footer.

Why spend the money to remove the forum software if you’re still going to promote a developer? Granted, that may have been contractually arranged, but this board isn’t the only example. I see this everywhere.
 

ENF

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Why spend the money to remove the forum software if you’re still going to promote a developer? Granted, that may have been contractually arranged, but this board isn’t the only example. I see this everywhere.
What difference does it make? It's a personal choice by the people who run each site. Some prefer a cleaner look without the footer links, etc.
 

007

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What difference does it make? It's a personal choice by the people who run each site. Some prefer a cleaner look without the footer links, etc.

Yeah, and I completely get wanting it to look cleaner. I just have heard people say they don’t want people to know what for him software they are using, which I think remains pretty “discoverable” despite the white label.

I’m not against white labeling btw. I pay for it sometimes. Just haven’t yet with forum software.
 

zappaDPJ

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I do it for no other reason than a couple of of my commercial customers insist on it.

Having said that there's quite a number of add-ons I won't use on my personal forums because I don't want my footer to resemble a shopping list. I have no problem displaying links to the forum and theme developers but that's as far as it goes.
 

haqzore

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I do it for no other reason than a couple of of my commercial customers insist on it.

Having said that there's quite a number of add-ons I won't use on my personal forums because I don't want my footer to resemble a shopping list. I have no problem displaying links to the forum and theme developers but that's as far as it goes.
Interesting.

Why are you willing to have a theme link in but not add-ons? Simply because themes are usually 1 link, vs many links for many add-ons?
 
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zappaDPJ

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Why are willing to have a theme link in but not add-ons? Simply because themes are usually 1 link, vs many links for many add-ons?

That's certainly one reason but I guess another is habit. When I had all my forums running on vBulletin I used to copy the design elements from my forum themes (with permission) into a custom front end/CMS. I felt it only right that I should credit the designer for the extended use of their work.
 

haqzore

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That's certainly one reason but I guess another is habit. When I had all my forums running on vBulletin I used to copy the design elements from my forum themes (with permission) into a custom front end/CMS. I felt it only right that I should credit the designer for the extended use of their work.
Seems like an odd double standard... How do you work around this?

Just don't use add-ons?
Pay for copyright removal?
Code your own add-ons?
 

zappaDPJ

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Seems like an odd double standard... How do you work around this?

Just don't use add-ons?
Pay for copyright removal?
Code your own add-ons?

I agree, it is a bit of a double standard but I've had so many issues with add-on developers I've reached a point where I just want to avoid them. If I really need something coding I do have someone I can work with but his time is extremely limited these days so I often just do without.
 

haqzore

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I agree, it is a bit of a double standard but I've had so many issues with add-on developers I've reached a point where I just want to avoid them. If I really need something coding I do have someone I can work with but his time is extremely limited these days so I often just do without.
I'm with you. I have 3rd party phobia for sure.
 

007

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I agree, it is a bit of a double standard but I've had so many issues with add-on developers I've reached a point where I just want to avoid them. If I really need something coding I do have someone I can work with but his time is extremely limited these days so I often just do without.

Honestly, I feel the same way. Back in my vBulletin days, I had a ton of plugins added. On top of that, I had a ton that I had developed myself. Then, due to how simple their hook system was, I had added a ton of custom code in there too. I forget what they called it, plugin code vs. products or something, but basically I had customized it quite a bit.

Even without having to add copyrights to the footer for my own stuff, there were still many products I was running that all inserted their own code. I didn't mind it, but I agree that it started to feel like a "shopping list" as you mentioned.

I was also spending way too much money to keep the server fast at the time and it was due to bogging it down with added functionality. Now, I'm much more conservative with what I'll add, regardless of copyrights in the footer. I'm more concerned about page speed.
 

Pete

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I've done it a couple of times in the past when I've done things like porting a WP theme to SMF where whitelabelling as WP would be incorrect. I've also been known to reduce the three footer links that SMF jams in to a single link. (Permissible under the licence, but at the cost of 'no official support' but I think we're beyond the point where I'd ever need support from the SMF team for anything.) I've also removed theme links from themes where the original creator has gone away and the site was bought by domain squatters.

In my professional world it's a bit odd; it's very clear that people are using Moodle for things but they don't have the Moodle name in the footer (and aren't required to), though quite often will mention it in the domain name, or in contact details, even though they superficially don't brand it that way. It's really quite weird to me.
 

R0binHood

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Ummm, what exactly is "White Labeling" ?

Removing all the branding so it looks 'white label' or completely custom. You can then either leave it unbranded or rebrand it to look like your company created it.

For example there's plugins where you can 'White label' wordpress and replace all the login pages etc. with your company logo and business name to make it look more on brand.

Depends on the product if it's worth it. Most forums software is so unique or has such obvious design elements or source code that it's very easy for someone who really wants to know to find out what the software is.

Some white labelling in software will specify that all references to the original software is completely removed from all source code too, to make it harder to identify.

With tangible goods you can old order products white label and the company will fulfil the order for you and there will be no manufacturers branding on the box so you can resell the product or service yourself.
 

LeadCrow

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what exactly is "White Labeling" ?
Removing all original vendor's branding.
In the days this mostly covered copyright mention and vendor link removal. Since then, masking its origin enables freelancers and web service resellers to cost-effectively promote their services without directly competing with the vendor's pricing tiers or burdening it with support for their modifications.
 

Abizaga

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I never saw a real benefit to white labeling forum software. It costs a bunch more and most users are familiar enough with different software that they know you didn't code it from scratch anyway.

What's the big draw here? I guess if you can afford it, you can avoid sending SEO link juice to another company?

Who here does this and why was white labeling important to your community?
Ooohhh branding removal? I actually did this with my forum as it feels wierdly more professional to me to not be "tied down" to the software, I guess? I don't know.
 

NYCGuy76

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I remove all copyrights. I don’t like them showing on the forum. I pay for the product so I don’t need to have their copyright on my footer. I find them to be an eye sore.
 

Pete

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How do you find the pricing structure for branding-free installs (including of any addons/themes you might have)? Is it worth the often-hundreds of extra dollars? (I've never done it with a paid forum install, only open source ones in the past)
 

NYCGuy76

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How do you find the pricing structure for branding-free installs (including of any addons/themes you might have)? Is it worth the often-hundreds of extra dollars? (I've never done it with a paid forum install, only open source ones in the past)
That’s the problem. It costs money but in my opinion if you’re going to run a forum you should spend the money to get rid of the copyright links. If you can’t do it right away save up the cash. It just looks better and your forum will come off as being unique. Just my two sense. I’m running a XenForo and I haven’t purchased the branding fee removal but once I get the cash I’m paying to remove it.
 
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