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Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates Details »
Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates
Mod Version: 4.2, by Ted S (Coder) Ted S is offline
Developer Last Online: Dec 2016 I like it Show Printable Version Email this Page

This modification is in the archives.
vB Version: 3.6.x Rating: (162 votes - 4.86 average) Installs: 2439
Released: 25 Jun 2006 Last Update: 20 Jun 2007 Downloads: 10428
Not Supported Uses Plugins Template Edits  

Attention vB 3.7 users: Please see the 3.7 version of this add-on.

The out of the box vBulletin style does not have a robust method of informing users about their current activity status or user level. As a result, guests entering on a page other than the homepage (which is most often the case) have no idea what a forum is about or that they may need to register. Additionally, there are no visible status indicators, making it confusing for unconfirmed, unapproved or new members to know what to do or where to begin.

To help solve these problems, the welcome headers plugin creates a 5-part set of conditionals to better introduce members to your community while pushing them to register, activate or post. The default templates are just that, default – I highly encourage you to tweak the language and functions to meet the needs of your actual community environment.

Modifications/ Instructions:
Template edits: 2
Plugins: 1 (adds 1 template and several settings)

This template hack should take under 5 minutes to implement and customize.

What’s new in 4.2
The 4.2 version of this addon functions in the same way as previous versions but with modifications to the backend code. The addon is now designed to independently review conditional statements to make it easier to add new messages. If you are upgrading from a previous version and have changed the template welcome_headers, this version will revert your changes. There is no new functionality in this upgrade and it is optional.

Install Instructions:
Full install instructions can be found in the attached file. This addon requires adding a plugin and modifying one template.

Customizing the content / messages
To customize which messages appear or what they say, go to vBulletin options, select the "Welcome Header System" group and configure the options as desired. Each phase can be modified by adding translation text.

Details on how it all works:
Step One: Turning lurkers into Members
For most forums, upwards of 50% of traffic comes through search engines or deep links to threads, profiles and categories. Out of the box, vBulletin only displays a welcome message on the forum-homepage, meaning someone who enters through any other page does not have the benefit of seeing an explanation of the site or welcome message. The guest welcome header is used to explain the purpose of your site, sell users on the benefits of joining the community and push them to proactively register.

Step Two: Making Users Confirm their Account
Many vBulletin sites require email confirmation prior to being able to post or access an account. However, activation emails are often misdirected to spam folders, ignored or simply deleted, leaving unconfirmed users with little access rights and no explanation as to what is wrong with their account. The unconfirmed welcome header is used to inform unconfirmed members of their account status and to direct them to automatically resend their activation email, or to contact the webmaster for support.

Step Three: Get non-posting users to post
Another chronic problem faced by many forums is insuring users post after registering. Many new visitors register in order to access certain features with the intent of posting, but never do so. The never posted welcome header is used to encourage users to post for their first time and should ideally be linked directly to an introductions or new member forum to help users "break the ice".

Step Four: Getting inactive users to become more active
Many members start out as lurkers, register, post once or twice and then go back to being lurkers. Often time these members are not actively thinking about participating in topics or are still shy about interacting. The inactivity welcome header reminds members to make a post after a predetermined amount of time as specified by the forum administrator.

Step Five: General Announcements
Unfortunately the standard announcements are often overlooked or never even seen by members who use the "new posts feature". As a result, urgent notices may be missed by users causing problems and high volumes of support requests. The global announcement welcome header creates a message shown to all members who do not fall into the other welcome header groups (guest, unconfirmed, never posted, inactive). Whether it be a scheduled outage/ upgrade, an important request or the need to display an advertisement in a prominent spot, global announcements allow an administrator to effectively and quickly display messages in a way that is certain to be read.

Optional: One-View Messages
Some forums find that users grow tired of seeing the messages thus there is an option to show the welcome messages only once per browser session as determined by using a cookie.

Optional: Custom Messages
Welcome Headers addresses 5 common needs, your forum probably has more. I highly encourage you to add messages based on profile fields, user states and other criteria that may impact your users.

The results:
At first glance this system may seem a bit superfluous, however, the numbers rarely lie, nor does the feedback. On ScubaBoard.Com, the site the system was originally tested on, posting rates increased by over 100%; new user registration rates by over 60%; user activity by 50% and the welcome/ intro & greets forum has exploded over 400%. If you browse through the pages of this thread you will find even more real life testimonials and experiences from the thousands of people using the system.

vbSEO Add-ons
Some forums have found that after adding welcome headers, the welcome message shows up in their search descriptions. To address this issue, user's at vbSEO have recommended turning the guest welcome header into an image -- this way there's no duplicate content for the bots to spider. To learn more click here. My recommendation is that you test this option if you are allowing bots to spider your front-end pages.

Limited Guest Viewing compatibility
The Welcome Headers System is designed to work with the Limited Guest Viewing without any conflict. To insure that welcome header messages do not show up at the same time as the limited guest viewing message, please be sure you are running welcome headers version 4.1.3 or greater and have enabled the suppression option.

Please post any enhancement or technical questions you may have and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner. Please note: I can not guarantee an immediate response and am unable to assist with integrating this addon with other addons or with HTML related questions.

4.2.1 - Fixed bug with global message
4.2.0 - Changed template conditionals to simplify customizations
4.1.9 - Added ability to disable messages if using Limited Guest Viewing system
4.1.3 - Added support for Limited Guest Viewing system

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Click image for larger version

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Name:	welcome_headers_nopost.gif
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ID:	73358  

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Similar Mod
Mod Developer Type Replies Last Post
Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates Ted S vBulletin 3.5 Add-ons 1165 28 Mar 2012 01:17
Mini Mods Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates Ted S vBulletin 3.7 Add-ons 331 28 Oct 2010 05:18

Old 19 Oct 2009, 01:30
Stormlilly's Avatar
Stormlilly Stormlilly is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Originally Posted by Ted S View Post
Information on vbulletin 4 compatibility will come out when vBulletin 4 is far enough along to know what development changes are required and of course, what features are contained. There won't be a version if this is all built in.
Thanks Ted for your reply, I really appreciate it.
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Old 12 Aug 2011, 02:56
dalreardon dalreardon is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Real name: Dale Reardon

I am using VBulletin 4.1.5 Will this plugin work with that version?

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Old 12 Aug 2011, 03:01
HMBeaty HMBeaty is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Real name: Brooks
Originally Posted by dalreardon View Post

I am using VBulletin 4.1.5 Will this plugin work with that version?

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Old 12 Aug 2011, 03:03
HMBeaty HMBeaty is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Real name: Brooks
Originally Posted by dalreardon View Post

I am using VBulletin 4.1.5 Will this plugin work with that version?

Try searching the vB 4 forum for modifications. THIS one is for vB 4 though
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Old 12 Aug 2011, 08:07
Ted S Ted S is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Originally Posted by dalreardon View Post

I am using VBulletin 4.1.5 Will this plugin work with that version?


With the search tool you can limit yourself to a specific version, like 4.0.
New features released for Product Review Forums 1.3 (4.0)
Helpful Answers (3.8) (4.0) | Limited Guest Viewing (3.8) (4.0)
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Old 14 Oct 2015, 09:17
friendlymela's Avatar
friendlymela friendlymela is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Real name: Zeeshan Shams
It will work on 4.2.2 ?
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