[vBulletin] What Information to show to guests?


I run several health related forums in Germany.

In the last few month I made lots of changes to my forums especially in regards to what I show to guests.

After spending hours on thinking about my main forum and how to make it even more attractive for my visitors I came up with the idea to remove all unnecessary information to improve the signal to noise ratio.

First of, why does a guest need to see the “what is going on” box?
What valuable information does your visitor get from it?
Some will say that it shows that the community is active. Yeah, maybe.
But Post and Thread count do the trick as well.

Lots of noise removed.

Then what about the Forum posting rules? Did you ever checked them?
As a guest? More noise removed.
What about the thread tags. Nice idea for a blog but poorly implemented into vBulletin. Just look at the admin interface for Tags and you want to puke.

Tags disabled and more noise removed.

What about active members browsing a forum or thread?
Do I really need to know as guest that member XY is currently reading the same thread as I do?

No? Do I want to know this as member? No? More noise removed.

On your forum homepage, does a guest really need to know how many threads and posts were written in each forum? For what purpose? To see that a forum is “not that active”
because it has less posts then he/she expects? Does that really tell the guest about the quality of your service and/or content? No?

More noise removed.

Think about it! It’s good for SEO too by the way.

And what about all the features of your forum that you installed or are build in by default?

My users hardly used the vBulletin Blog but many got confused by it and wrote questions that never got answered because they wrote them in their blog.

Blog removed, more noise for members removed.

CMS? Never used it in the first place.
Thread tags? My member didn’t use them, I didn’t.

More noise removed.


This entry was posted in Website Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to [vBulletin] What Information to show to guests?

  1. BirdOPrey5 says:
    I've removed signatures as viewable to guests. If a user has a signature a guest will see a message to register to view it. I think this should be the default behavior of vBulletin with all the signature spammers these days, that would eliminate the entire sig spamming genre if it was built it.

    You could allow sigs of admins or mods to be viewable if you so chose.
  2. admin says:
    I think removing signatures depends on the kind of forum you run.

    For some forums it is actually the best choice you can do to not allow it for guests to see them.

    Signatures are the reason for the big success of digitalpoint forum for example.

    Without them I doubt it would have become the biggest webmaster forum.

    For this forum here I also take another approach and allow signatures.

    My medical forums however users need to have at least 15 posts and their post need to have at least 100 characters before their signature appears for guest and then it only appears once per page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *