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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: 24 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.

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
Views:	9525
Size:	74.3 KB
ID:	49927   Click image for larger version

Name:	welcome_headers.gif
Views:	5859
Size:	72.5 KB
ID:	73357   Click image for larger version

Name:	welcome_headers_nopost.gif
Views:	4108
Size:	69.7 KB
ID:	73358  

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  #1036  
Old 22 Sep 2007, 19:38
schford schford is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Could you tell me how to stop the welcome headers being displayed on the main index page (CMPS) of my site.

I am guessing I need to wrap the $welcomeheaders in some sort of code which says dont diaply if the page is index.php ?

Thanks

Stuart
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  #1037  
Old 22 Sep 2007, 19:56
Masiello's Avatar
Masiello Masiello is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Real name: Antonio
Originally Posted by schford View Post
Could you tell me how to stop the welcome headers being displayed on the main index page (CMPS) of my site.

I am guessing I need to wrap the $welcomeheaders in some sort of code which says dont diaply if the page is index.php ?

Thanks

Stuart
Good question, I need the same.
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  #1038  
Old 22 Sep 2007, 21:34
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
You can either edit the variable as follows:


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

Or edit the template welcome_headers which already includes a few script checks like this one.

Where pagename is the name of the page.
__________________
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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  #1039  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 12:11
schford schford is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Thanks - tried it but really struggling......
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  #1040  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 12:18
BuRaCh BuRaCh is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Real name: Burak Akyıldız
thank you sir
good hack..
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  #1041  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 15:52
triff's Avatar
triff triff is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Real name: Sverre
Thanks a lot for the good product!

Just one question: When tweaking the messages, what coding language do I use for hyperlinking, etc.? BBC, html, or something new for me to learn? ;-)

Cheers!
Sverre.
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Basic Roleplaying Central - the best d100 RPG website there is!
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  #1042  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 17:18
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
HTML should be used.
__________________
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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  #1043  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 19:36
triff's Avatar
triff triff is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Real name: Sverre
Smile

:-) That makes it a bit easier!

Now, is there any way I can preview these messages? Or will I just have to hope I coded it right?

SGL.
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Basic Roleplaying Central - the best d100 RPG website there is!
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  #1044  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 19:43
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
You can setup users who fall into the various categories or just view the html in a browser but there is no preview functionality.
__________________
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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  #1045  
Old 23 Sep 2007, 21:45
triff's Avatar
triff triff is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Real name: Sverre
Okay, thanks a lot! Works like a dream!

SGL.
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  #1046  
Old 27 Sep 2007, 07:02
needaltuna needaltuna is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
What a great add-on! Initially, I was interested in this solely to spruce up vBulletin's drab welcome message, but having read through all the other nifty things this add-on can do, I'll definitely be making use of its plethora of other useful features.

Kudos and thanks to the developer.
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  #1047  
Old 28 Sep 2007, 06:44
sadiq6210 sadiq6210 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Real name: Sadiq
Thanks
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  #1048  
Old 29 Sep 2007, 11:40
htscpl's Avatar
htscpl htscpl is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Houston
Real name: Henry
Great solution to getting browsers to sign up! I don't know why I didn't install it before! Thanks!
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  #1049  
Old 29 Sep 2007, 18:53
PurpleButterfly's Avatar
PurpleButterfly PurpleButterfly is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Awesome, so easy and such a great tool! Thanks much! *smooch*
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  #1050  
Old 29 Sep 2007, 19:09
Nathan2006's Avatar
Nathan2006 Nathan2006 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Hi,

Is there anyway I can stop this from displaying for banned member?

Thank you for any help
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