Anyone have any luck with people landing on portal pages?

Discussion in 'XenForo' started by Soulwatcher, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Soulwatcher

    Soulwatcher Devotee

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    I have been looking at my options and I don't have a lot of money because I am on a fixed income. I want to use Wordpress and Xenforo but there is no way I can afford someone to make a custom skin for wordpress and xenforo to blend the two together. So I am either going to have to find two close matching skins or use a portal. So my question is have any of you had any luck with people landing on portal pages?

    P.S. I want the website to be a resource guide with a forum.
     
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    Landing, yes. Bookmarking, no. In my experience the majority of registered users instantly forget portals and bookmark the forum.
     
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  3. Soulwatcher

    Soulwatcher Devotee

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    Well that pretty much answers my question then. I am going to use WordPress as the front end of the website. Because form my past experience my bounce rate was insane like 80%. I want people to come to the website and bookmark the website itself. And maybe come back and ask questions on the forum. I know it may sound crazy but I want more people coming to the website then the forum. My thinking is if I can keep them coming back to the website. Sooner or later there going to ask a question. And of course I could be 100% wrong lol.
     
  4. Lisa

    Lisa The Black Widow

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    This. The first time I go to a site, chances are I'll hit the portal page. If it's becomes a site I visit regularly (and it's a forum) I bookmark the forum page and eternally skip the portal.
     
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  5. Soulwatcher

    Soulwatcher Devotee

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    That's ok, that's what I am after is regular visitors. I honestly believe the key is to get them to keep coming back.
     
  6. Num7

    Num7 Adherent

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    I agree with what's been said, as I experienced it too. Members will almost never check the portal page and keep going directly to the forum home page.
     
  7. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Well you have portals and you have sites that have great stuff on the landing page. Depending on what you do a landing page can be the place to be.
     
  8. Horizon

    Horizon Aspirant

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    Can I just ask here? I'm setting my site up and not sure what to do with regards to a home page, portal etc.

    I use Woltlab software which gives a page of activity across my whole site called the Dashboard which is assessed from its own menu item. And my thinking is to put as much clutter on there and keep it off the home/landing page and the forum index page. But, I would like news and or/featured items on my site. Perhaps some of these news items may be from the forum while others may not. Should I stick news/featured items on the landing/home page, or aim to keep it as clutter free as possible?

    As other have already said, when I visit forums, after the first visit I tend to ignore the home page/portal page and just go straight to the forum index. But as well as the forum index on my site, there are blogs, gallery and a calendar, but obviously the forum is central to everything.

    What do people think I should do?

    Many thanks!
     
  9. Drastic

    Drastic Habitué

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    Why do you need a forum? Just focus on your resource guides using WP and a Facebook group to see if it takes off. If you can get a lot of REAL comments and return users, then ask your audience if they want a forum. If they all do, THEN make it. By then you'll have probably earned some money with your site and can afford to explore options.
     
  10. Drastic

    Drastic Habitué

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    ps - Bob's Article system could be the answer you're looking for. But if your main focus is on the guides, then use whatever script will present those guides in the best way possible, which likely is not forum software unless they're downloadable via a resource manager, but that costs money so....

    What is your site about? That might help get you a better answer.
     
  11. The Sandman

    The Sandman Administrator

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    Using XenForo as an example, once you populate the forumhome sidebar with widgets full of links content links of various types what's the difference between the forumhome and a portal anymore?
     
  12. Drastic

    Drastic Habitué

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    Because the index of a forum is often horribly and throwing crap in a sidebar doesn't make it any better.

    A portal, done right, could resemble a very nice looking homepage that readers can enjoy and find content on. New readers these days can barely operate a fidget spinner, so throwing them at a forum where they have to search for info is outdated and useless. People need shiny things to click on.
     
  13. The Sandman

    The Sandman Administrator

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    Always the limiting factor, innit?
     
  14. Drastic

    Drastic Habitué

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    Agree 100%.

    People starting new forums these days need to do a little more research into their audience and cater to them in terms of content presentation. If designers wanted to make a killing, they would come up with some really cool portal homepages.

    Back in the day we could fire up a forum and it would do well because forums were the "social media" of 20 years ago. It was like everyone back then already knew how to navigate them.

    Would be a very cool case study to see how current 15-25-year-olds react when they go to a forum for the first time.

    Are they lost? Can they figure it out? ...etc.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Administrator

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    Presentation is everything especially if you cater to the younger crowd who glance at titles, images, and brief descriptions to see if they want to following a link.

    Just think of a portal page as a big sidebar :D

    The difference being the amount of info available, titles and brief excerpts take part in both but a portal page can display more of the content along with images which can be a benefit for giving an "explanation" of what's inside.

    Take AMS here for example, I'd more likely click to read the interviews because I can associate a graphic with the content giving it that "Oh what's this about" feeling. You can't do that in the sidebar, at least not easily.
     
  16. rastaX

    rastaX Aspirant

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    My experience has been that a VERY small percentage of members actually post. That means to me the vast majority of visitors and/or members come to the site to just read and learn. I would assume those people aren't much interested in the social aspects of the community so the presentation of content becomes important to them. I feel very strongly that a portal is important to present to visitors the best sampling of content your site has to offer. For me, that's the latest news and newest posts. You have to keep it fresh though. Old news is only going to appeal to those who haven't been to the site lately.

    I'm using WordPress for my frontend, as a portal, and xF as the forum with a number of add-ons for additional content. I can choose to easily display content from anywhere, on the sidebar using widgets. I am also using xenWord as a bridge between WP and xF.

    As for continuity of appearance, I had no trouble matching up a free WP theme (see bottom of page) and a purchased theme for xF. (xF theme is Gamer Time from PixelExit $25) Link to site is in my signature. Both themes had a good bit of customization capabilities and I had no problem getting them to match up nicely.
     
  17. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    IMHO, forumhome makes a great presentation of dates/times/titles of the latest post in each forum section. It makes a horrible presentation of links to non-forum content in the side bar. Portals make the content presentation front and center.
     
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