Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 126.96.36.199
1: I have a one word excellent domain for my niche and market.
2: I can send lots of traffic from other sites
3: I havent put any ads yet! (im planning to do so maybe in 6 months - 1 year once it picks up)
4: I have disabled images and videos and the option to upload files in order to decrease the download time.
I personally find forums which take forever annoying sometimes, esp. when users post images as their signature on every post
I am debating whether to allow hyperlinks or allow URL's in text mode only.
I am planning to send in traffic from other sites within the next few days. I have so far only posted one thread just to give it a start.
So, any advice? Any recommendations based on your experience? This is my first forum.
What should I watch out for?
What other steps should I take?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of running a forum?
What other advice do you have? Anything interesting you experienced throughout managing a forum that you would like to share?
Thanks in advance,
Lay Down a Substantial Base of Posts
Before you start promoting your forum, you need to make it appear to be busy and popular. People do not join a new forum or an inactive forum. So make 5-20 fake accounts (some people frown on this but if you only use it as an initial catalyst then it is ok… I don’t see how you could start a new forum without fake accounts these days). Get some quality posts going with these accounts, and try to fill up at least one whole page of each different category of your forum with posts (roughly 20 posts or so).
The main page of your forum will show when the last posts were made in each category. You never want this to say “Yesterday” or that no one has posted in over two days. You need to make posts in every category every day so it looks like you have a very busy forum. I can tell you first hand that seeing that no one has posted anything in two or three days is a huge turn off when I am considering joining a message board.
Make sure each post has strong keywords, especially in the titles
Many users when posting make a thread entitled “I have a question.” This title in no way helps you optimize for search engines. You must change the title the user submits to make it more relevant, anticipating keywords that people will search for. This method has helped me get a lot of traffic to my website. vBulletin lets you change the titles fairly easy.
Change the default design, but don’t overdo it
If you try to run a forum with the default design it came with, you will probably fail, as it sends the clear message that this is a new forum. You don’t want that image—you want to look established and professional. So change the default design, you can probably download and adapt a skin that someone made fairly easy. But don’t do anything too crazy; remember to follow the usual accessibility principles that apply to regular websites.
Thanks for the tips. It's nice to hear from the more experienced ones. :) More tips and advice are appreciated...
No. I would make the investment in vBulletinThanks. You are probably right and I will probably do that next week. :)
I had called the Sales Dep and they suggested that I could use a free software until my forum takes off and then transfer over. They said there is a software that does that for you which comes with the installation package.
But now that you mentioned it, ~ $300's isnt gonna break me or make me! :) [I must say, the yearly license fee is annoying]