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Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by JavaWizKid, Apr 27, 2009.
My forum is failing trying to become popular. Any suggestions as to what I should do?
Make some popular friends?
Actually, that's one good suggestion. The more links you have to your forum, the better (however, links like this one probably don't count for much, which is to say, if you're trying to use this to spam the boards, it's not likely to be effective). Another suggestion, with any forum, is to make sure you're specialized enough to be unique, though not so specialized as to limit your audience too much.
As far as the site itself goes, that theme is really difficult to read and sort through, so it makes me want to quickly go back or close the window. Get a more inviting theme and you'll find your visitors stay longer on average. Something not quite as dark (a background of a very dark gray instead of black I find makes things easier to read, and throw in some lighter areas).
Then just promote, promote, promote (without being annoying about it, that's a surefire way of killing a site).
But I'm struggling as to where to promote it. I know posting links like that is pestering and spam like. I'll change the theme, it's just people were complaining about the original theme looked boring, now I'm too extreme lol.
Heh, see if you can match the main site a little better too. In fact, on your main site, try making the link to the forum a bit more obvious and enticing.
As far as where to promote, I don't think I can help you there (not directly). Not sure the best option (in fact, I'm not seeing any mention of Mac software, so while PC sites might be the best place, I'm very unfamiliar with that territory).
The odds are stacked against you right from the start in creating a successful forum. I built three forums that went nowhere (God knows how much time and effort went into those), but hit on a successful forum on the fourth try.
It takes a lot of nurturing, and you'll need a team of dedicated users to help keep the place alive during those early stages.
Like the poster above, I would ditch the black theme. Personally, black themes don't do too well, unless they are sports or gaming related. On first view on your forum, it's hard to know what the forum is about. You may want to limit the forums to your area of expertise, and then expand the sub-forums as the board grows.
The site is about beta software whether is bet windows, leopard or linux.
I've changed the theme now, does that look more pleasing?
Yes, although you'll be wanting to change the default theme logo .
Agree with the above points.
I don't know what quality of site traffic analysis your host gives you, but Google Analytics will help you see whether people are hitting the main site and not bothering with the forum, or going to the forum main page and no further, etc. etc., all of which can help you see what needs attending to on the site itself.
BTW you may want to look at the file size of the images on your main site - e.g. 274KB for the background is very large and slow to load.
i have no idea what your forum is about by looking at it. maybe thats an issue?
How can I make it obvious? Apart from the logo (I'm working to make it better before I put it on the forum). I've put the General forum at the bottom so you can see the main forums at the top of the forum.
One thing I'd recommend is re-doing your "About" Page. When I go to your site, I think "Ok, it's about beta testing. what credentials does this person have to be running a beta testing website?" Then, when I go to your About page to find out, I just see a basic summary of what your site is about and a thinly veiled plea for more traffic.
I've changed it now. How's that?
Is there anything I should do to excite any audiences that come to the site like giveaways? Contests, polls etc?
Why do I feel like every time I come by this board I see a thread by you about how your site is failing and you need help maturing it and making it successful?
Spamming the board won't help you make your site popular.
Sorry it seems that way, I'm just interested on how the likes of this site has such a great community and how it obtained it.
Well, for one, there's a larger Mac community than people who are into beta software. There's also much more to discuss related to Macs than simply beta testing. Your site's community could likely exist inside Mac Rumors as a sub forum (that's not meant to sound mean) and beta software is discussed here as well. There's a current active thread in Applications about Firefox 3.5B4.
Also, Mac Rumors started with a hand full of people as well, just like every other forum site. Mac Rumors has been around since 2001 so has had 8 years to grow and mature. A forum needs time to grow and for people to find it. You also need to make sure you add content as well that draws people in. Also once you get some members who are helpful contributors it'll draw other people in to see their expert like discussions. These things don't happen over night, and a lot just don't make it anywhere. It's a lot of work, just ask Arn.
I might add that you need the right kind of people to find it. Honestly, there aren't a whole lot of people interested in beta testing that are also interested in startup forums discussing it.