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How useful is a portal page to you? (as a user)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jake Bunce, Jun 6, 2011.

?

portal or forum?

  1. I visit portals.

    12 vote(s)
    35.3%
  2. I skip to the forum.

    19 vote(s)
    55.9%
  3. I have no preference.

    3 vote(s)
    8.8%
  1. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    As a user of a forum site, do you visit portal pages or do you skip to the forum?
     
  2. a legacy reborn

    a legacy reborn Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  3. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    I usually check portal if there's some useful informations & updates about regular sites that i visit often .
     
  4. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Active Member

    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.
     
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  5. pk698

    pk698 Active Member

    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)
     
  6. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Generally speaking, a portal is summary content from the forum. This is a typical portal page:

    http://www.xendirectory.net/
     
  7. John L.

    John L. Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  8. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    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..
     
  9. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  11. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  12. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    They are only good for guests, members will skip over them (I know I do).
     
    Vodkaholic, FredC and Dark Matter like this.
  13. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Active Member

    Very true, most if they revisit that site would start bypassing it later as you say. Done same thing with many in the past.
     
    Darkimmortal likes this.
  14. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    XenPorta shows:

    Forum related
    • Members online
    • Recently active Forum threads
    • Staff Online
    • Articles from forum
    Non-forum related
    • A Calendar for upcoming Events
    • Members in the Chat Room
    • Facebook Group
    • Wiki article cloud
    • Twitter Feed
    • 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.
     
  15. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    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.
     
    Cool, FredC and Digital Doctor like this.
  16. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    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.
     
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  17. User

    User Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  18. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    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.
     
    Anthony Parsons and Peggy like this.
  19. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    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.
     
  20. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    I skip straight to the good stuff.. never interested in the front page of any community.
     
    Darkimmortal likes this.

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