Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jake Bunce, Jun 6, 2011.
As a user of a forum site, do you visit portal pages or do you skip to the forum?
It depends, if it has something that I can not find while posting then I will visit it, however it is just recent threads or something like that, I will skip to the forum.
I usually check portal if there's some useful informations & updates about regular sites that i visit often .
I don't think a basic Portal page pulling threads from the forums helps out that much. You need something more powerful like a true CMS or good Blog system to get real benefit from a front-page being used with your community. Portals are fine for using but add little overall value to a site if that's your main goal?
A CMS or Blog allows you to add extra content that's not listed on the forums making it worth bookmarking and visiting separately.
I visit it. the portal gives you a quick glance on what's going on on a site. it also helps you find info quickly. what would be nice, imo, is to let users customize the portal page.
(not sure about a cms vs a portal. is there really a big difference? thought they were the same thing)
Generally speaking, a portal is summary content from the forum. This is a typical portal page:
Depends on the site. One of my site it seems fitting, the other it doesn't I had users complain it was hard to find important content quickly (announcements). So a portal helped fixed quickly.
As a user i see little use for a portal, as an admin i will use any and all tools at my disposal to reel in the members.. I think a portal can be a good brief as to what the community is about and what it has t offer.. But once im on the inside so to speak i usually cant find much of a use for a portal.. Now as an administrator i love my Portal page and have fun adding content and blocks to make it more fun and dynamic..
It depends on the site, if the site's domain name has "forum" or "board" on it...I skip. This is why I never use portals for domains with "forum" [and similar names] on it.
I'm just using a simple Xenpage with some html, but the link you posted is very cool and would be more than enough for me.
If you could effectively run a site with just a forum ... why would vbulletin and xenforo have non-forum home pages ?
I think if your site was mere chit chat .... there is no reason to write and article ... and you don't need a portal. But if there is information to be organized and messages to communicate with your audience ... a blog and article section will provide your community with concise articles and blogs about key topics. New members and google searchers will be happy to see well laid out sections of key information.
This question is also inherently biased as vBulletin crowd here is used to relatively weak options available for non-forum content organization.
They are only good for guests, members will skip over them (I know I do).
Very true, most if they revisit that site would start bypassing it later as you say. Done same thing with many in the past.
Recently active Forum threads
Articles from forum
A Calendar for upcoming Events
Members in the Chat Room
Wiki article cloud
Recent Videos Media
able to add custom content via custom blocks.
...custom1...... ie. recent images from aflickr group - demo.
example - http://www.8wayrun.com/
Portals seem useful to me.
IMO, a portal (or homepage) is, and should be, for visitors only. And you have to make it interesting enough to catch their attention.
It's pretty much a given that regular members will bypass the portal/homepage and go straight for the forum, so when I use a portal/homepage, it's not with members in mind.
I use it as a teaser to draw the passerby into the forum. It always contains a welcome message for visitors (which should always contain an invitation to join, along with a link to the registration page), a block for recent news, upcoming events, links to important forum sections, or pages, etc. Again, all with the visitor in mind.
To me a portal page is a sampling of what is on the site for the benefit of new visitors. Members know where to go.
I don't even think it's useful for guests. In my opinion it's a total distraction for guests. When a guests arrives at the landing page, and that's if Home is different from the Forum root, then I want them to do one thing and one thing only, that is register.
A portal pulls a visitor in far too many directions which makes the one thing I want them to do less obvious and imho less likely.
Depends on what content is on the portal page - if it's just raw news along with a sidebar as I see on a lot of sites, then it would be better to use just the forum index. A portal page with some nice permanent text describing the site and/or a slider (or similar widget) can be quite nice for guests though.
I can't stand cluttered portals, the 3 or 4 columns of cluttered content. The VB portals I despised... all they did was confuse me. The portal Jaxel has made... I don't mind, providing the content is kept limited.
I do believe an overall homepage is required for a forum, outlining specific areas, key information, etc... I think Jaxel is about the first portal I have seen that really got it on the mark with forum software... admins however tend to still put too much information into blocks, as they don't know the golden rules for websites... less is better getting to content.
I skip straight to the good stuff.. never interested in the front page of any community.
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