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Promoting the forum

 
 
mworld
 
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 01:46 am
I have poured a load of advert banners into promoting serveral of my forums although the sign up rates is virtually 0%. I always used to point my banners to the forum index page or once a topic although this never seemed to help.

I noticed Able2Know went straight to the site up page. Does this help? What other methods are good for getting people to sign up and post? I have new members introductions boards on almost all my forums.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 5,209 • Replies: 21
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 02:29 am
Hmm one day I'll write a manual on this. Here is the short short version:

A) Start with an existing group of people. Nobody likes to be the first one to show up at a party.

B) Get your ducks in order. Establish the rules and moderators before you go live. You don;t want to learn on the fly.

C) Make the site searchable. Able2Know's growth is almost entirely due to search engine optimization. Almost all forum software has unsearchable session IDs. Find a way to make them work with spiders.

D) Make registration easy. Forum software signup pages are ridiculously unuseable. This is because most forum software has horrible "usability" they are made with advanced web users in mind.

E) Skip the banners. I have used banners in tests and got 0 results. I don't advertise this site much as SEO gets me more members than ads but you might remember me saying that I don't get any return from banners. If you want to advertise use PPC ads. Contextual ads get members. Banners don't. Make sure your ad is for forums. Don't advertise wigets, advertise "wiget forum". Forums don't work like most sites. Internet users for the most part ignore forums. You need to target the ones who are interested because the majority of surfers are not interactive users.

F) SEO SEO SEO SEO! I get millions of hits from seach engines here. That is where all the new people come from.

G) SEO! he he, i do stress this.

H) A referral program. Word of mouth is the second most important source.

BTW, all the 404 pages go right to the sign up form but this is only temporary as I eliminated an old portal that had a few hundred thousand links in various search engines. When i tool them down i figured I'd send all the 404 traffic to the signup pages as the user might think registration is required to view the content he/she was searching for. This trick has netted a few hundred visitors (I guess, about 50 since I started tracking) but it only works if you have intentional 404 traffic.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 02:35 am
BTW, I'll soon release a SEO manual for phpbb. That should help.
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 02:36 am
I caught craven fixing a typo in the big post! ..and I always thought it was against your religions Laughing

nemmind...jus bein weird
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 02:42 am
LOL, I only fixed it because I was editing the post to add my BTW anyway. ;-)
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 01:52 am
I am also having a phpBB based forum..
Can u tell me something about 404 cutom pages...??
i.e. how can i redirect that to signup forM?????
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 11:49 am
That needs to be done on the server end. On Linux i use a htacess file that simply directs all the 404 errors to the sign up page.

I will be creating a better way to do this in the future but to do this just place something like this in your htaccess file:

Code:ErrorDocument 404 http://www.able2know.com/forums/profile.php?mode=register&agreed=true
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RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 11:00 pm
I m pretty new in this field so can u please tell me where i can find the htaccess file?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 01:32 am
It's a hidden file. Each folder can have their own or they will use the parent folder's file until they reach the root folder.

You might not be able to see it with your FTP client.
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 03:20 am
So where it could be??
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 03:28 am
Any of your folders can have one, and if they don't you can always create one.

It's just a text file with no name and a .htaccess filetype.
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 04:13 am
so should i place that in my root of site or in every directory??
and anything else is required to put in it??
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 04:42 am
Place that in whatever directory whose 404 traffic you'd like to send to the registration script.

As to what else you need in it, if you do not have an existing htaccess file then you don't need anything (and like I said, it's invidible to most FTP clients).
0 Replies
 
celcom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 09:48 pm
How to make custom registration form like you does?
0 Replies
 
Dabuek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 10:06 pm
Customizing the registration form.....
To customize your registration form....

Craven de Kere wrote:
Make a template (start with your profile_add_body.tpl) with the items you want on your form and name it 'profile_register_body.tpl'

Then in includes/usercp_register.php

find


Code:$template->set_filenames(array(
'body' => 'profile_add_body.tpl')
);


replace with

Code:if ($mode=='register')
$template->set_filenames(array( 'body' => 'profile_register_body.tpl'));
else $template->set_filenames(array('body' => 'profile_add_body.tpl'));


To recap...
Strip profile_add_body.tpl of what you don't want, and then rename it and ftp it over after you've made the changes in the usercp_register.php file. (posting this to a sticky mostly so I can find it a month from now when I revisit this forum lol)
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 10:08 pm
The featured threads tend to change, an easy way to find it is to just look up your post history or search the webdev forum for "registration".
0 Replies
 
hotmale
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2005 10:07 am
Re: Customizing the registration form.....
Dabuek wrote:
To customize your registration form....

Craven de Kere wrote:
Make a template (start with your profile_add_body.tpl) with the items you want on your form and name it 'profile_register_body.tpl'

Then in includes/usercp_register.php

find


Code:$template->set_filenames(array(
'body' => 'profile_add_body.tpl')
);


replace with

Code:if ($mode=='register')
$template->set_filenames(array( 'body' => 'profile_register_body.tpl'));
else $template->set_filenames(array('body' => 'profile_add_body.tpl'));


To recap...
Strip profile_add_body.tpl of what you don't want, and then rename it and ftp it over after you've made the changes in the usercp_register.php file. (posting this to a sticky mostly so I can find it a month from now when I revisit this forum lol)
What would happen if I directly edit the profile_add_body.tpl?
0 Replies
 
brahmin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2005 09:49 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
BTW, I'll soon release a SEO manual for phpbb. That should help.



er... i am trying to start a forum.. its up and ready only i dont have too many members Sad.


and its not in phpbb.. it uses invision software.


could you post some sort of a SEO manual for invixion to.. or will the phpbb manual of yours also help me there??


i specially need to learn about creating meta tags. do they really help?


thanks.
0 Replies
 
hotmale
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2005 09:06 am
Re: Customizing the registration form.....
hotmale wrote:
What would happen if I directly edit the profile_add_body.tpl?
Just tell me whether it would screw things up or not Smile
0 Replies
 
brahmin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2005 01:01 am
?????????????

pls answer me someone Sad.
0 Replies
 
 

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