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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

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Name:	welcome_headers_nopost.gif
Views:	4109
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ID:	73358  

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Similar Mod
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  #76  
Old 07 Aug 2006, 23:28
Dermo-MIO Dermo-MIO is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
love this new version thanks
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  #77  
Old 08 Aug 2006, 00:54
armstrong armstrong is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
My guests are seeing this message:

Welcome to the [ARG:3 UNDEFINED] forums.
I edited the "Standard Phrase: welcome_guest" from "Welcome to the <strong>{3}</strong> forums." to "Welcome to my forum." But the error remains. Should I be looking at a different phrase?

EDIT: Fixed. I had to reapply the template changes, as I had reverted some during the upgrade.

Last edited by armstrong; 08 Aug 2006 at 01:04.
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  #78  
Old 08 Aug 2006, 04:52
Staxed's Avatar
Staxed Staxed is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Real name: Daniel
i know there was a problem where the post more often message was showing whether you posted or not...

now a question about this update...
Originally Posted by Ted S
Updated
4.1.1 - Changed "post more often" message to never show for admin or mods.
does that mean the error was fixed...or that now admins just can't see it...but everyone else can??...
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  #79  
Old 08 Aug 2006, 04:56
ConqSoft's Avatar
ConqSoft ConqSoft is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
It was a bug with an earlier version of vB 3.6.0 that was fixed for Gold.
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  #80  
Old 08 Aug 2006, 05:05
Staxed's Avatar
Staxed Staxed is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Real name: Daniel
thanks
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  #81  
Old 09 Aug 2006, 05:59
Kwak Kwak is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Hi, I've added this hack on 3.6.0.
How can you locate the header above the nav and just below the main banner (forum logo)?

Currently, I added the welcome code below the nav as instructed (vbseo).
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  #82  
Old 09 Aug 2006, 11:18
Darwa Darwa is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Absolutely blooming brilliant!

Thanks for making this Ted
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  #83  
Old 10 Aug 2006, 02:03
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Originally Posted by Kwak
Hi, I've added this hack on 3.6.0.
How can you locate the header above the nav and just below the main banner (forum logo)?

Currently, I added the welcome code below the nav as instructed (vbseo).
If you are using vbseo or perscribe to their ideas, you should not be moving the welcome headers anywhere. If however this is nto an issue, just plae the variable in the template of your chosing (i.e. the header template).
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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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  #84  
Old 11 Aug 2006, 02:20
adwade adwade is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Real name: A.D.
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.
For someone that's never done a 'Template Edit', is there anything besides your instructions or the vBulletin Manual that explains it to new users? I've read thru both, but am still a little nervous.

Your instructions are well written, but for someone like me not knowing code structure I'm just unsure of a thing or two.

For instance, when you say:

Step 2) Adding the new headers
1. Select the header by double clicking on it.
2. Scroll to the very end of the template code.
3. Add the code $welcomeheaders
I read the note about vbSEO's recommendation and opened up the 'navbar' template to look at it. The last lines of code I see are:

<!-- / PAGENAV POPUP -->
</if>
So would you put the $welcomeheaders 'after' the </if> statement? Or does everyone (else) know it has to go just before such?

Anyway, thanxx for any more information anyone can give me.
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  #85  
Old 11 Aug 2006, 02:46
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
After it. At the very very end of the file.
__________________
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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  #86  
Old 11 Aug 2006, 02:50
adwade adwade is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Real name: A.D.
Thanxx. Will read thru everything again and give it a try.
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  #87  
Old 11 Aug 2006, 07:56
GoldenP51 GoldenP51 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Just wanted to add my thanks! This will help out a lot of newer members to the web (and forums mainly).

NICE JOB!
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  #88  
Old 11 Aug 2006, 12:29
iran.gs's Avatar
iran.gs iran.gs is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
lnstalled the most funny thing happend i got an error after deleting the part u mention so the hack did not work but after i repost the part i deleted set it to the oll and original way it works loooooooooooooooooooooooooooool so if anyone do get error just re do the part u deleted and it will work like a charm and by the way this also give a welcome after a new member joins which i was looking for this for a long time.
So thank for this hack.............
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  #89  
Old 13 Aug 2006, 14:31
karlm's Avatar
karlm karlm is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Real name: Karl
Great product, installed faultlessly!!
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  #90  
Old 13 Aug 2006, 16:43
Hunne Hunne is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Does this post in any way affect google page indexing because it shows the welcome header on every page?
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