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The effect of requiring a signup?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Hecky, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. #1
    I'm getting ready to launch a forum and although the site recieves ~300 hits daily, the forum will obviously have to start from scratch with no posts.

    Will people be more likely to sign up if I require them to in order to view anything, because otherwise they'll see an empty board and leave?

    Please let me know the advantages/disadvantages of doing this, thanks :)
    SEMrush
     
    Hecky, Apr 11, 2011 IP
    SEMrush
  2. -Aw-

    -Aw- Active Member

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    #2
    It would be hard for them to view an empty forum, so you should at least pump in 10-25 threads so that at least they have something to talk about.
     
    -Aw-, Apr 11, 2011 IP
  3. ~kev~

    ~kev~ Well-Known Member

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    #3
    No, requiring a sign up will probably make them leave. Requiring a signup usually only works with well established forums that have been around for years.

    Once your forum raches 4 or 5 years old, then maybe you could switch it over to have must register to view
     
    ~kev~, Apr 11, 2011 IP
  4. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #4
    I'd say let them view for free. What do you have to gain by forcing them to sign up? Even if someone signs up to view content, that doesn't mean they are going to contribute to the community and post. So in the end I think you will end up with a lot of users with zero posts and don't return.

    When was the last time you signed up for an account so you could view content, and if you did... did you become a contributing member to that site afterwards?
     
    digitalpoint, Apr 11, 2011 IP
  5. Hecky

    Hecky Like a Dungeon Dragon!

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    #5
    But then again, I don't think I've signed up to an inactive/forum ever. Perhaps once people have signed up, they'll be more inclined to post having got that far? Lots of forums like mine require a signup before you can view anything, it's sort of the norm.
     
    Hecky, Apr 12, 2011 IP
  6. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #6
    Well... Maybe it would work for your niche I suppose. Definitely would not work for me as an end user though. If a site forced me to sign up to view content, my registration would be with a fake/disposable email so I wouldn't be back to participate even if I wanted to.
     
    digitalpoint, Apr 12, 2011 IP
  7. rain21

    rain21 Active Member

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    #7
    you should let them view the forum without signup, but for posting, 100% need sign up. Otherwise your forum will be spammed to hell.
     
    rain21, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  8. Hecky

    Hecky Like a Dungeon Dragon!

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    #8
    Well I decided to make them need to sign up for a while, and I've seen many more people sign up. Not many posts, but it's better than it was :)
     
    Hecky, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  9. JPMiddleton

    JPMiddleton Well-Known Member

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    #9
    How many signed up?
     
    JPMiddleton, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  10. Hecky

    Hecky Like a Dungeon Dragon!

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    #10
    Just over 10 in a day
     
    Hecky, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  11. JPMiddleton

    JPMiddleton Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Did your activity increase or stay the same?

    What effect does it have on search engine bots? Can they still Crawl content?
     
    JPMiddleton, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  12. Hecky

    Hecky Like a Dungeon Dragon!

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    #12
    Uhh, well it was a blank forum and I didn't get an extra posts, just signups. I put some content into the unregistered member message on the forum to make sure the search engine had some content to see, but it can't crawl it.
     
    Hecky, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  13. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #13
    Well if you are blocking search engines, how are people finding your site to begin with? 76% of ALL our traffic is from people coming in from Google searches (and we get a lot of repeat/referral traffic, so it's really saying something)...
     
    digitalpoint, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  14. Hecky

    Hecky Like a Dungeon Dragon!

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    #14
    I was ranking #1 in my keyword with some off-page SEO and little more than a paragraph of keyword text on one page, so I don't think it'll have too much of an effect right now (the forums used to be in a /forums/ directory, now they're replacing the homepage). I'll take off the registration required when there are some more posts :)
     
    Hecky, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  15. petertdavis

    petertdavis Notable Member

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    #15
    Well, I'd be really pissed off if I had to join a forum to see the content, then went through the trouble of joining only to find there was no content. You really should build up some posts and activity on the forum before you try to launch it. I have one I'm working on that has just passed 2,000 posts and I'm not ready to do a hard-launch yet. it's got to be more active before I put a lot into marketing it.
     
    petertdavis, Apr 15, 2011 IP
  16. hyperboards

    hyperboards Peon

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    #16
    From all the successful forum owners I've spoken with, your initial user base consists of your close friends who share the interests laid out in your forum. They also help provide you with the initial content. You generally need to have relevant and interesting content to get people involved and engaged.

    If you are waiting for other people to join your forum and create your content, that may work since you are getting so much traffic already. However, I am certain the process is going to be much slower than the tried and true method of providing content to attract users. Your strategy is backwards from this, though I hope it works out for you and your forum. If not, you can always switch things up. Good luck!
     
    hyperboards, May 2, 2011 IP
  17. sstudios

    sstudios Peon

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    #17
    My forum is currently set so you must join to view any content. I feel it works quite well.
     
    sstudios, May 14, 2011 IP