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user-profile private or public / what is better?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by erich37, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    I am running a forum and wondering what is better or makes better sense:

    having user-profiles hidden or visible to guests ?

    How are you guys running your forums? Having user-profiles public or hidden to guests?
  2. M@rc

    M@rc Well-Known Member

    I guess it's okay to have member profiles visible to guests if your forum is dating related.

    I've disallowed guests from viewing user profiles on my xF forum, cause there is no need for them to view the content there, ;) .
    erich37 likes this.
  3. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    do you see any difference in sign-up-rates or number of spam-accounts when having user-profiles public versus private?
  4. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    I have run both types on my forum.

    Having viewable profiles has a couple of key advantages. Search engines will spider them so if you have commercial companies or the likes register, when someone googles their company, their profile on your forum quite often comes up which is quite handy. It also fosters a spirit of openness towards guests (ie. welcoming them) because when they click on a member they can see full details and contact details etc. And if you have site sponsors, having their profile visible to everyone is a good selling point for advert services.

    The only downside really is spam. It can encourage spammers to register just to try and peddle their wares, or leave spammy visitor messages which can be hard to find and remove (I reported a couple here on Xenforo profiles, for example).

    The best solution IMO is viewable profiles by guests but restrict the ability to leave (or view) visitor messages to established members - but you'd need to check the various forum packages for whether they can do this.

    Just a personal opinion, but when using forums I find profiles being hidden from guests quite annoying, and we must always put our readers first, so I would not ever stop access to profiles for guests just because I think it will encourage sign ups - it won't.
    erich37 likes this.
  5. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    well, the only thing which annoys me is that users are entering their Instant-Messenger-ID´s into their profile and then spammers will contact my members.... this is the downside, so I was trying to remove the IM-fields completely.....
  6. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    What I would suggest maybe (in the absence of any other options) is to wrap those parts of the user profile template in conditionals, so only logged in members can see them.

    It's a shame really we are not able to apply permission sets to user profile fields.
    erich37 likes this.
  7. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    yeah, would be great to have an option to show the "Instant Messenger ID's" of users to registered members only.
  8. ragtek

    ragtek Guest

    hm most bots can already register without problems?!:D
    BUT i agree, there should be some limits / permissions and the user should be able to set the visibility of everything (messenger IDs, profile fields,..) on the privacy page.
    erich37 likes this.
  9. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    I would not impose on having my members' profiles be publicly viewable. I would rather err on the cautious side and keep them private for the satisfaction of our members.
    erich37 likes this.

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