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Ideas wanted creating Forum

By VBAssassin
Oct 10, 2008
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  1. I currently have a forum that i have developed over a period of about 4 years (on and off since the forum is not the main part of the site). Over the years a lot of forum software has popped up and many people such as yourself have used that software (like this site uses vBulletin) and you start to get used to specific features of forums.

    So, all in all... i want your opinion on what it is that you LOVE and what you HATE about forums both in general and for specific types of forums (IPB, vBulletin, SMF, etc). This way, i could improve my forum to what others are used too... instead of just the people using my forum already used to the features it has and what i "think" people would like.

    Thanks in advance for any members who decide to share their thoughts.

    Kind regards,
    Scott
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I'll just say one point of interest regarding "General layout"

    I believe a forum should be extremely simple to View and Navigate around (such as TS) . Lots of space, and lots of direction (ie Start Here)

    Existing members will always hopefully stay, but to capture new members the Front Page should be inviting and infomative, showing specific interest and possibly new news, in easy to read format.

    Another point. I believe that at least, the main pages should load quickly and without extra non relevant information.

    Clear; Direct; Informative
     
  3. VBAssassin

    VBAssassin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    I agree with that.

    That i generally do anyway and every page has performance logging for it so i can keep track of page performance right down to the microsecond via my admin panel. Pages load in less than 0.05 seconds even during peak times. I think that is more general to any website though, not just forums.

    Now what minor details would you suggest? Such as when i created the forum i used to take people to the FIRST post of the topic... which some people liked, but those who had read the topic before didn't. They wanted to go to the LAST post. So i added a double arrow icon to take them to the last post - results were perfect. But it was something that because it wasn't there, started to annoy people.

    Another thing is "new topic" needs to be at the top of the board, not just at the bottom... again what i have now that annoys people (the next update in a few weeks fixes that problem).

    Another thing is i never started off the forum with quick reply - but since many of todays forums now have that, they missed it! So i ended up added a quick reply feature.

    The list goes on... but i want to know the habbits of you guys so i can make sure my forum caters for people coming from other forum software. I hope you see my logic behind wanting this information.

    Kind regards,
    Scott

    P.S. Thanks kimsland for your feedback :) It's appreciated.
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    That's a good question
    TS takes you to the last post
    But Technet shows all the posts (headings only)

    I like going to the last post automatically too. But I hate how TS (as an example only) changes pages. I'm forever checking Page 1 then Page 2 and so on
    It would be nice to automatically expand page 2 (similar to explorer in Windows)

    Hmm the Expand explorer, would fix that too :)
    Actually what ever happened to Guest post? No sign in required
    They could have very limited text, no html, or any pics, or anything except for text, and possibly limited to only 10 words or less
    Everyone has to "sign up" these days. In the old days, I jumped on a forum (board) and just posted away. Oh well that's gone.
     
  5. VBAssassin

    VBAssassin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    You mean like threaded view? Where all the threads and replies to a thread are shown on a single page? Like how this forum software lets you change the view to threaded (unless TS has disabled that feature).

    Yeah there well gone. Guests to my site is the same as read only access. Spam bots are a pain and they keep getting smarter. A member account with email validation gets around it 100% at the moment since brute forcing the validation code would take way to long to create 1 account. Back in the old days, bots weren't a problem like they are now. The damn marketing and advertising industry is to blame for those damn bots.

    Kind regards,
    Scott
     
  6. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Enthusiast Posts: 221

    I dont know why this is dont here on TS, but its the only thing i would pick on regarding this site. It is the 30 second wait between searches...sometimes when going through pages too fast i click the wrong link and then i have to watch my screen for 30 seconds until i can proceed. Maybe this is done to keep traffic or give faster loading times but this is the only forum i belong to in which i have to wait for seaches. So my advice is to rid that from your forum if you can. But I love TS anyway!
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Pretty sure it's just to lower the amount of Spam posts, in a row
    Instead of Posting a thread then immediately posting another, you need to wait; but the forum has also put this "wait" on searches as well. I agree, annoying.

    Actually the safest option is to Moderate all posts before they show in the forum, and then allow the post/thread to then become public. ie "waiting Moderation confirmation" Although this would require someone (or 2 or 3, rather) on full time checking as each post is made. Now that would stop spam!
     
  8. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +645

    From the perspective of a site admin (like myself here), what I love about vBulletin is the community feedback and free mods available for it.

    I understand you are coding your own, which basically beats the whole purpose of my comment, but if you were to consider other free forum software, some of which are excellent like phpBB, the kind of community support behind vB is unmatched as far as I'm concerned.

    For about 80% of the cases I can customize the forum to my needs based on the modifications already available, usually needing little to no coding on my part.
     

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