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

  #31  
Old 14 Jul 2006, 12:23
Neal-UK's Avatar
Neal-UK Neal-UK is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Real name: Neal
get the message, "You've not posted for over....." even though i've been posting today. Just upgraded to 3.6 rc1 so wonder if that's the problem?
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  #32  
Old 14 Jul 2006, 13:22
Sean James's Avatar
Sean James Sean James is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Real name: Sean James
Great hack been using it for ages.
Ive just updated this script and now i get this "Welcome to the [ARG:3 UNDEFINED] forums"

any ideas?
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  #33  
Old 15 Jul 2006, 01:15
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Originally Posted by Griffin80
Great hack been using it for ages.
Ive just updated this script and now i get this "Welcome to the [ARG:3 UNDEFINED] forums"

any ideas?
Check that you did indeed install all 4 phrases and that your template was updated to the latest version.
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  #34  
Old 21 Jul 2006, 00:13
Hostboard's Avatar
Hostboard Hostboard is offline
 
Join Date: May 2002
Real name: Steven
Just want to report same problem. Posted but it says I have not in some time. Running 3.6 RC2

This is one of those MUST HAVE additions. Anyone not runing this is missing out...
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  #35  
Old 21 Jul 2006, 04:26
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Unfortunately I have yet to figure out why this would plague one membergroup and not the others. I'm going to be running some tests this weekend and hope to have it all sorted out.

In the meantime, you can disable the "post more often" message in your ACP.

Thanks for your patience.
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  #36  
Old 21 Jul 2006, 13:07
Hostboard's Avatar
Hostboard Hostboard is offline
 
Join Date: May 2002
Real name: Steven
If it helps at all my ID is set in the admin group.
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  #37  
Old 22 Jul 2006, 00:12
Tungsten's Avatar
Tungsten Tungsten is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Ted...

The problem seems to affect only users who are marked as Invisible. If you will note, when you are marked as invisible, the forum indicates your last activity date as whatever date it was when you were last VISIBLE. Apparently your code calcuates the most recent posts based off of the value that the forum stores as your last date of activity.

To test this theory, I turned Invisible mode OFF for my account and went into the Admin CP and ran the "Update User Ranks and Titles" maintenance routine. As soon as the update finished, the welcome header stating that I hadn't posted recently went away.

You might want to look into this.
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  #38  
Old 22 Jul 2006, 07:37
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Tungsten
Thanks!
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  #39  
Old 22 Jul 2006, 17:43
EdQ EdQ is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
That makes sense, since I am set to invisible.
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  #40  
Old 22 Jul 2006, 21:42
EdQ EdQ is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
I made myself visible, posted and I still get that message. Another Mod just started getting it too.
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  #41  
Old 22 Jul 2006, 21:45
JGNYC JGNYC is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Whenever I try to edit the paragraph I get a sql error like this:
Database error in vBulletin 3.5.4:

Invalid SQL:

SELECT * FROM phrase
WHERE varname = 'welcome_guest' AND
phrasetypeid = global
ORDER BY languageid
LIMIT 1;

MySQL Error : Unknown column 'global' in 'where clause'
Error Number : 1054
Am I doing something wrong?
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  #42  
Old 23 Jul 2006, 04:42
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
JGNYC,
What version of vb do you have?
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  #43  
Old 23 Jul 2006, 07:48
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
It appears that for whatever reason, the last post date for mods is not being updated in realtime (although it is for regular members). As a result, administrators see the message when they shouldn't.

To get around this, I have modified the script to never show the message to administrators or moderators. This is not a final solution but should work for the time being.

Anyone who wishes to can upgrade by installing the new xml file and overriding the old version, or by updating the template directly.
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  #44  
Old 23 Jul 2006, 08:06
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
This plugin has been tested for rc 2 compliance and updated accordingly. No changes were made to the source.
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  #45  
Old 23 Jul 2006, 14:38
Tungsten's Avatar
Tungsten Tungsten is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Originally Posted by EdQ
I made myself visible, posted and I still get that message. Another Mod just started getting it too.
You'd have to update your counters after posting as I described for TedS (see above) and then the message would go away. I believe vBulletin updates ranks and titles once exery XX minutes via a cron job so if you also just wait a while, you will notice that the message will stop being displayed to you w/o having to run the update manually.

As TedS has reported, for some reason moderator activity is not being updated in real time. I guess that's a question to be posed to Jelsoft.
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