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The Worst Things You Can Ever Do(tm)
by filburt1
24 Jul 2003 15:43

What follows is a list of things that you should always do, except in extraordinary circumstances, when operating vBulletin. If you have any extra points, you can reply. While these are IMO, they're also commonly accepted.

1. Never ban search bots. They may use a bit of bandwidth when crawling your site, but you'll get more users when people find your site via Google, Yahoo, etc.

2. Always allow guests to view your site. You may get many registrations if you turn off guest viewing, but virtually nobody will post because the majority of registrants will simply view your site and leave.

3. Don't use a graphics-heavy layout such as those like Yaxay and other sites. Some people think they look good, but remember the majority of computer users are using 800x600 on a 56Kb modem. Also, remember that search engine bots can't index the text within images.

4. Always allow guests to view forums and threads, as well as clearly being able to tell statistics like the number of people online and the number of total posts. You don't need to give them access to attachments, the actual Who's Online page, or the memberlist. Do let them view profiles. If your forums offer special features such as a Tip of the Day, entice them by showing them the first several hundred chars of the tip, and then require them to register to view the rest.

5. Participate in your forums' discussions. This is crucial when starting out because it makes your site look busy. Once you get many hundreds of users, you can sit back some more.

6. Don't even bother considering promoting those who ask to be moderators. Instead, promote a moderator when you feel that (s)he is a great asset to the forum in a sense of maturity, responsibility, and resourcefulness on your site.

7. If you want to ban a person's IP, ban just that exact IP. Never ban a partial IP because for ISPs such as AOL and other dialups, you risk banning random users by accident.

8. If you do ban somebody, remain firm in your decision. Never let down! If they keep trying to register, keep banning. Most importantly, don't keep in communication with them. It only gives them further incentive. Publicly and privately with them, just pretend that they never existed.

9. Never, under any circumstances except for corporate websites, have another administrator.

10. Likewise, never turn on HTML anywhere, including but not limited to posts, signatures, and private messages. It opens up cross-site scripting vulnerabilities (XSS) which, simply explained, allows a user to inject malicious Javascript into a page and eventually steal your password.

11. Always stay up to date on your version of vBulletin. There are literally no exceptions to this. Always use the absolute latest stable (non-beta and non-RC) version which contains the latest security and bug fixes.

12. Never install a hack unless you need it. I guarantee you that you don't need a stock ticker, a weather display, a welcome panel, a massive list of useless stats, and a coffee machine all crammed at the top of the page.

Any others?

corsacrazy 24 Jul 2003 16:20

i think u have just about covered the essenials :D here here

Xelation 24 Jul 2003 18:17

suggestion, instead of just saying that you shouldnt have a graphic intense skin. Say, If your going to have a graphic intense design for cable users, have an alternative skin for 56k users.

corsacrazy 24 Jul 2003 18:54


Today at 06:17 PM Xelation said this in Post #3
suggestion, instead of just saying that you shouldnt have a graphic intense skin. Say, If your going to have a graphic intense design for cable users, have an alternative skin for 56k users.

is that a hint to wot insidethepixel wil b like ? cant w8

filburt1 24 Jul 2003 18:57

Is that a hint to what Inside The Pixel will be like? I can't wait.

Xelation 24 Jul 2003 19:16

insidethepixel is not a graphics community, its a design firm. and is not graphic intense imo... the only reason we have done graphic intense sites is because the clients have wanted graphic intense designs... we can do "lite" skins.

corsacrazy 24 Jul 2003 20:06


Today at 06:57 PM filburt1 said this in Post #5
Is that a hint to what Inside The Pixel will be like? I can't wait.

im gald u understood my english :p

Xenon 24 Jul 2003 21:02

I'm glad he also translated it for the rest of us!

bvtonedog 24 Jul 2003 21:08

i'd love to have a coffee machine come with the forums...need it sometimes :)

indiamike 24 Jul 2003 23:12

Can I add for people starting sites-

On the first page of your site give a clear explanation of what the site is about and what it features.

So many vbulletin sites I have seen where people are asking why no one ever joins up is because it's not clearly defined what the site is about.

Example: Welcome to the Apple forums, this site is a discussion board for all Apple Enthusiasts.

Have a theme and stick to it and your guests should be able to figure out what the site is about in the first fifteen seconds.


Erwin 25 Jul 2003 04:19

Good advice from everyone. :)

Gavin B. 25 Jul 2003 15:04

Nothing wrong with having more than one a administrator. Many forums do this and I can't see any problem with it. :) Maybe it's your personal preference, I don't think it's a general tip though IMO. ;)

Good tip on not promoting people who ask to be moderators though - hate people who do that! (and I also never give them mod status if they ask, especially if they do it in public!)

filburt1 25 Jul 2003 15:11

It is a bad idea because you're effectively giving the keys to somebody else. They can then wreak havoc when they want.

Erwin 25 Jul 2003 15:41

The good thing about vB3 is that you can set Administrator Permissions, so you can block them from any options in the Admin CP individually. :)

S.Shady 30 Jul 2003 23:29

Also in vB3 you can make sure your other Admins can't change the locks on you. :)

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