03-14-2010, 12:12 AM
please tell me what you would change in this forum, to make it more user friendly, maybe more functional...
I am running this forum for almost 2 years, but very few people register (usually spammers)... I need to understand what probably needs to be changed.
Your opinion is important to me.
The site is here: Information Security Forum (http://www.security-exchange.net)
03-14-2010, 05:15 AM
My quick 2 cents -
I would scrap the 'Forum/ Thread Tag Cloud'; it's very distracting to me. I would also clean up the interface in general. Take a look at codingforums.com as an example. When looking at a thread here, I can see the entire first post as soon as the page loads. On your forum, the entire initial view is taken up by headers, tag clouds, and side bars. I have to do a full page down before seeing the post, and that's on full screen 1680x1050.
But I would suspect that the real issue is not the forums and layout (after all, both sites are using vBulletin with little in the way of the interface modifications) but instead with getting quality traffic to the forums in the first place. I'm afraid I don't have much expertise in that area though :/
Best of luck moving forward!
- C. Aaron Smith
03-14-2010, 05:49 AM
The forum itself looks pretty good, but the 'Notices' seem in the wrong place and destorys the look.
You have popular tags on the side which is fine, but then Tag Cloud at the bottom as well, which just seem to be a repeat mess.
I look at the forum...
Top is fine, don't mine the login and top navigation thats good but will come back to it only if worth my time.
Notices is gross and off putting, skip.
Welcome to the Security Exchange is okay, a little bit more info on what it's all about might help, also it looks wide. 'You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.' should be on a new line.
'Security Exchange – Information Security Forum – Computer Questions' looks repeated from before and is way too long and big.
Nothing much in the 'Security-Exchange' left side box, 'Information Security Forum' is wrapping which it probably should be shorter or at least not wrap.
Voting Poll is fine, don't really care placing a vote though.
'Security Exchange General' should be down the list more, not where I would go first.
'General Chat' is good, this probably would be first. But 'Hacking' hmm isn't this a security forum? Maybe too strong and the wrong words.
'Software Security', the category 'Antivirus - Antispam - Antispyware - Pop up/Pop under blockers & Firewall Software' is far too long and avoid using the '-' rather than ',' which would be easier. Maybe break it down into different areas. 'Antivirus and Malware', 'Firewall Protection', 'Anti-Spam', 'Popup Blockers', etc.
Rest looks fine. Remember people will look around first and only join if they have a question, want to answer a question or need help. Make it focused mostly on helping people. You need a staff/mods to look after a forum like this as you will get a lot of people trying to over take it for spamming. Registering needs to be easy for real members but also prevent spammers.
Fill up your forum, make it look alive and well worth signing up to. Post more content, get friends and people to discuss, etc. Even fake some popular questions and answers if you need to. Someone might be looking for that information and join in. If the forum is however empty, they are more likely just to move on elsewhere.
You probably just need to get some good backlinks to your site to feed traffic.
You need some really helpful unique content to interest them in coming back.
Good luck, these forums can be a lot of work.
03-14-2010, 10:48 AM
Many, many thanks for your messages!!
I have to say I agree with everything you said.
I have deleted the bigger notices box, leaving the little one, where I added few words, and I went on the next line as suggested.
I wanted the big colored tag cloud to be on the bottom, but I have to edit the add-in somehow, but I don't know how and I didn't get the support yet. So for now I just deactivated it. It looks cleaner now.
I moved the "General" section to the bottom.
"Hacking" too strong? Maybe, I changed it. I thought that being stronger can attract more people.
Do you know how much can cost to hire some writer? For sure there are expensive and not expensive... I am interested on cheap one, but not so cheap that copy content from other pages. I have no idea where to search.
One more question ... what about you? Do you like it? Do you find it useful?
P.s. thank you a lot, for your help - if you or somebody else still want to comment, it's much appreciated
04-10-2010, 06:07 AM
I viewed the site in 1024 resolution and the 'forum' column seem to be too narrow compared to "Last Post" column.