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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: 2439
Released: 25 Jun 2006 Last Update: 20 Jun 2007 Downloads: 10429
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

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Name:	welcome_headers_nopost.gif
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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 01:17
Mini Mods Welcome headers - Improve community registration rates Ted S vBulletin 3.7 Add-ons 331 28 Oct 2010 05:18

  #391  
Old 12 Dec 2006, 16:15
tthome tthome is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
I must be the only one who can't get this installed. After installing I can't see any welcome message and when I try to put everything back and uninstall I don't see the default welcome message either. I followed the direction to the "T". I have 4 skins plus the default style and decided to use the default style as a test since your instructions states I have to do this for every style.

I found the FORUMHOME only after I expanded the Forum Home Templates section of the default style, deleted the code as stated in the instructions and proceeded to edit the header template by adding the $welcomeheaders. After doing this and installing the vbwelcome_headers_3_6.xml I do not see the new welcome message. I do however see configuration options under vBulletin options, they are all set to display however I can't see anything at all. I've tried to put everything back and I now can't get the default welcome message.

I need some help making sure I've done this correctly. Should I do all my skins before installing and then reinsall or can I do this for 1 of the 5 skins I have that include the default style?

UPDATE: I GOT IT, I HAD TO LOGOUT AND THEN REFRESH TO SEE THE WELCOME MESSAGE...IM SLOW...

Last edited by tthome; 12 Dec 2006 at 16:31.
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  #392  
Old 12 Dec 2006, 16:30
s25 s25 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Try removing it from FORUMHOME and putting it in navbar that is where i have mine (looks better imo) and see if it works
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  #393  
Old 12 Dec 2006, 18:15
tthome tthome is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Oh yeah, I like that too...and also in the future when I buy the VBSEO I'll be ready because I think VBSEO requires it in navbar...thanks for the tip.

Last edited by tthome; 12 Dec 2006 at 18:19.
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  #394  
Old 12 Dec 2006, 21:30
sam anders sam anders is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
great hack and works well but i was wondering if any one knows how to remove the normal vb welcome message, i have followed the instructions about removing but no joy i have both the vb and this hacks boxes displayed any ideas on what templates i can check?
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  #395  
Old 13 Dec 2006, 09:37
Parture Parture is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Request:

1) Why not create an extra welcome header for coppa separate from unconfirmed user! (I did this manually)

2) Create optional welcome headers based on:

(a) different user groups (I have added several myself manually, but it would be nicer if it was streamlined),

(b) answering certain sets of questions in Edit Profile (some sort of automatic detect would be needed) produces a unique welcome header,

(c) separate headers for Infractions groups. But note that if a person goes into moderation or banned, they are not yet permanently banned so they are not actually physically moved into those groups (so you have to figure out how to take that into account, because presently I don't know how to identify them to give them a welcome message they are in Infractions).

I would be most excited by number #2, because look at the number of questions I have at registration, that I would like to create unique welcome headers for.

http://biblocality.com/forums
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  #396  
Old 13 Dec 2006, 18:02
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Parture - Welcome headers is meant as a framework to get you started, and thinking about how to personalize your forum messaging. As every forum is different, I encourage everyone to develop their own messages in a way that makes the most sense.
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  #397  
Old 13 Dec 2006, 20:15
Parture Parture is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Ted S,

Of course, but don't you think these enhancements would be nice?

1. create an extra welcome message for coppa to separate it from unconfirmed user.

2. create welcome headers for answering questions in Edit Profile, and for other user groups one might create, and for Infraction groups (temporary infractions don't put the person in that group, so they would have to be identified some other way).

If this is something you were not interested in programming further, can you tell us how we would do it? How do you create welcome headers if a person answers a question in Edit profile a certain way?
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  #398  
Old 13 Dec 2006, 21:23
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
The system distributed is intended to work for as many sites as possible. Because every forum uses different profile settings the system does not address that portion of the profile. There are an endless number of factors which can influence what messages you show and again, this is meant as a framework and a starting place. Not an end-all solution.

You can add your own messages by editing the template welcome_headers and adding conditionals that fit your specific needs. If you need assistance with conditionals you can get help from the general coding area of vb.org.
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  #399  
Old 13 Dec 2006, 21:59
Algren_San Algren_San is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Real name: Karl
upgrade.html say 4.1.0 upgrade instructions :P its supose to say 4.1.3 i think.
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  #400  
Old 14 Dec 2006, 03:14
Parture Parture is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Paul,

That is why I said in post #395, "some sort of automatic detect would be needed" for the fact that people use different profile settings.

It would be nice if you took this further, particularly for Edit Profile questions that can be automatically detected with if/else statements in programming, and those questions chosen for their responses to provide for different welcome messages in the control panel.

For example, if someon answered "No" to the Trinity in question 2, but "Yes" to question 1 on the Substition and Co-death, a welcome message could be produced since it is the first item on the list of questions that the person got wrong at registration, http://biblocality.com/forums

A welcome message showing the proof of the Trinity easily could be displayed with key Scriptures in the most concise fashion possible, rathe than just putting a link in the question itself at registration to that information.

I know that there is a way to do it, so it has the flexibility to meet 95+% of peoples' needs.

You could have one column of all the various Edit profile options on one side for a welcome message, and if at a minimum various options you select are answered in a specific way, then that welcome message is displayed. And make this welcome message IN ADDITION TO the basice welcome message that will be displayed.

I have wanted this for about 5 years now even before I owned vBulletin. I presently have it also so that Googlemaps HSE, you can't see the "Add Location" button unless you first join a particular user group that allows for that (as an Apostle or an Elder). But it would also be nice in addition to joining a public user group that the person also fulfill the condition of answering all 19 questions with a Yes for Elders and Yes all 37 questions for apostles, to be able to edit the map, as well as access to the particular kinds of map entries for different kinds of apostles and elders.

Do you see what I am trying to do?

Last edited by Parture; 14 Dec 2006 at 03:29.
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  #401  
Old 14 Dec 2006, 04:06
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Thank you for your feedback however I am not looking to create an end-all solution that contains so much code as to be a hindrance unto the system, nor am I a developer looking to make a major module. I do marketing and I saw a basic feature lacking from an otherwise robust product -- welcome headers is meant to solve that problem and let sites go from there. Out of the box welcome headers works, it's light weight, requires minimal install time, runs fast and is simple. Customizing it is ideal although not required. And that's exactly what I'm looking for it to be.

As someone who has been in the Internet Marketing and Community Development market for over a decade I am in complete agreement that things should be as personalized and as versatile as possible, but that's something I leave up to each forum to do as they see fit. If you want to delve into the code and create something that brings more participation to your community I encourage you to do so; that's how I got the idea in the first place.
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  #402  
Old 14 Dec 2006, 07:07
Parture Parture is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Ok.
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  #403  
Old 14 Dec 2006, 08:12
sam anders sam anders is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
Originally Posted by sam anders View Post
great hack and works well but i was wondering if any one knows how to remove the normal vb welcome message, i have followed the instructions about removing but no joy i have both the vb and this hacks boxes displayed any ideas on what templates i can check?
have fixed it now custom skin i made had a line of code that still displayed the welcome box, great hack thank you
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  #404  
Old 14 Dec 2006, 23:57
Parture Parture is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Ted S,

The Enable One-View Welcome Headers does not work as you probably intended Ted. If someone registers after seeing the guest message, they don't see the subsequent welcome messages.

It would be preferrable that viewers see any single welcome message at least once while logged on as they go through the various stages of welcome messages after registering.

When you fix this, could you set it up so the message is seen 3 times for any single welcome message, then disappears for that session while browsing?

Last edited by Parture; 15 Dec 2006 at 00:01.
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  #405  
Old 15 Dec 2006, 00:15
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Thank you for the bug report. I will look into this and an issue an update as needed.
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