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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: Nov 2020 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: 2440
Released: 24 Jun 2006 Last Update: 20 Jun 2007 Downloads: 10471
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.

Support
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.

Updates
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

Download Now

Only licensed members can download files, Click Here for more information.

Screenshots

Click image for larger version

Name:	ACP-Screenshot.gif
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Size:	74.3 KB
ID:	49927   Click image for larger version

Name:	welcome_headers.gif
Views:	5916
Size:	72.5 KB
ID:	73357   Click image for larger version

Name:	welcome_headers_nopost.gif
Views:	4162
Size:	69.7 KB
ID:	73358  

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Similar Mod
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Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates Ted S vBulletin 3.5 Add-ons 1165 28 Mar 2012 00:17
Mini Mods Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates Ted S vBulletin 3.7 Add-ons 331 28 Oct 2010 04:18

  #781  
Old 29 May 2007, 03:02
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
What do you think? IMO you should always show the message "on approval" until it gets approved.
That's what it does. The check for the approval usergroup comes first -- so long as the user is still in that group, that's the first message they will see.
__________________
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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  #782  
Old 30 May 2007, 13:51
carwash carwash is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Is there any way to hide these from google since they always show up in the description on search results?
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  #783  
Old 30 May 2007, 14:39
Smitty's Avatar
Smitty Smitty is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Real name: Marc Smith
For AdSense:

<!-- google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) -->

<header code>

<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

But if your guest can see it so can Google as far as I know.
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  #784  
Old 30 May 2007, 15:23
Fireproof Fireproof is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by carwash View Post
Is there any way to hide these from google since they always show up in the description on search results?
You could use it to display an image with your text in it, and the spiders will look right past it (other than the alt tag which could be a few keywords. )
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  #785  
Old 01 Jun 2007, 18:38
skubaman skubaman is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
I am running version 4.1.3 and have just updated my Vbulletin to the latest 3.6.7 PL1 version. Do I need to do anything about the templates? I am getting a message that I have for templates that are not updated.
Thanks
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  #786  
Old 02 Jun 2007, 08:13
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Nothing on the hack's end, no.
__________________
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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  #787  
Old 03 Jun 2007, 15:02
RedTyger RedTyger is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
I'd definitely like to see the Guest message only displayed to those with cookies enabled, to avoid running into trouble with search engines.

Anyway, great stuff, thank you! I'm making use of the rest of it.
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  #788  
Old 03 Jun 2007, 20:53
wolf32 wolf32 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Real name: Wolf
Any way to keep the message from showing up on certain pages?
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  #789  
Old 03 Jun 2007, 22:25
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
You can use conditionals to exclude it from any page you like. Just edit the welcome_headers template (there are some examples to get you started).
__________________
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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  #790  
Old 03 Jun 2007, 22:58
wolf32 wolf32 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Real name: Wolf
Originally Posted by Ted S View Post
You can use conditionals to exclude it from any page you like. Just edit the welcome_headers template (there are some examples to get you started).
Why didn't I think of that ....Thanks
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  #791  
Old 05 Jun 2007, 21:30
unknowngiver unknowngiver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
hm
for some reasons my guests see:


Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.

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  #792  
Old 06 Jun 2007, 00:32
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
It sounds like you have yet to change the forumhome template.
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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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  #793  
Old 06 Jun 2007, 16:06
txsbmw's Avatar
txsbmw txsbmw is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
I searched and did not pull up anything, but do you know that if you have a moderated usergroup and the 0 post welcome header is enabled it will not update that usergroups post count. I know weird, lol. Here is what I mean:

I have the default Registered Users group (all members get placed here upon registering). This group has it's posts moderated so we can catch Spammers. Once they have made 5 posts they are promoted to another usergroup that is not moderated.

Ok now if I enable the welcome header for those who have 0 posts. The posts do get moderated, BUT when you validate the post the users post count remains the same. You have to go to AdminCP ==> Maintenance ==> Update Counters ==> Update Post Count and run that to get it to reflect their correct post count.

Now how do I know it is this Mod doing this? Simple, the problem started as soon as I installed this mod. So for grins I set the Enable Never Posted Message to no and poof the user count for the moderated usergroup is working again correctly. I turn it back to yes and nope no longer working.

So any idea on a fix for this because I would really like to use it for those who have not posted to let them know what to do and that their posts are moderated for the first 5 posts!
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  #794  
Old 08 Jun 2007, 03:08
unknowngiver unknowngiver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
nvm everything works now..need 2 read more often lol

Last edited by unknowngiver; 08 Jun 2007 at 03:17.
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  #795  
Old 11 Jun 2007, 03:35
MMiz MMiz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Hi,

I tried searching, and it seems as though someone else had this problem, but a response/fix wasn't posted.

After fully uninstalling the old version of the hack, I resinstalled and put the snip under the navbar so it wouldn't cause a problem with vBSEO. Unfortunately there is now a space that I can't seem to get rid of. Webpage can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/3c3ut.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
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