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  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    This post may be a waste of time...but - I closed your site down at the first pop-up. I won't go back. I maintain this policy across the board.

    I could have simply not replied....but I thought you deserved to know why you were missing out on at least one visitor.


    H
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  2. #27
    SitePoint Member
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    Here are some tips-- Please take them as Constructive advice.

    1. I connect @ 128k (ISDN). It took 15-20 seconds to download your site each time. What this means that tne majority of users are probably taking 30+ seconds. Not good for trying to develop alot of interaction.

    You can't rely on what "you" get for download speed, you have to rely on what others tell you they get, and adjust your site accordingly.

    2. Your download size is around 130k. You need to reduce this by half if you want to optimize download time.

    Reduce your banner size some, turn some of it into transparency, utilizing your background to fill in the remaining base color.

    3. Popups. Looking at the code under the hood, so to speak, it seems that a) you have an error, where multiple popups show up (thereby increasing download time) and b) you have the ability to control the popups. You need to add a DoOnce script to download the popup only once per visitor per day. If you do this, you are being curteous to your customers, and they will accept the popups easier and not refer you as a popup junkie. This helps in getting referrals to join your forum. This also helps the Host/Advertiser to get accurate results for the money they spend on the popup. Who know, maybe one day you might try to sell advertising, and when potential advertisers ask you what the stats are, it will be better to say that "we only deliver a couple hundred banners per month, But the conversion rate is higher than most other sites".

    4. Your Visitors count is very misleading and almost a downright lie. I refreshed the home page 5 times in a row, and each time it counts the downloads for everything, not just the download for the home page per my visit Per each day that I show up. It is also hard to believe that you have had over 2 million visitors, yet you are asking members here how to get more. In the time I reviewed your site, the visitor counter increased about 300 visitors. I doubt this activity occured, because I refreshed 5 times in under 1 minute. (300x60x24= 432000 visitors a day? Don't think so.) Having worked for sites such as MSN.com, if you were getting that kind of traffic, you would be listed on the marketing top 100 lists everywhere (like http://statmarket.com), and major advertisers would be knocking at your door.

    5. The attitude of hosting solely thru one host is a closed minded approach to getting more members. Sure you are satisfied, but did you ever consider if your visitors are satisfied? By looking at the posts here, I don't think any one of these members would be interested in joining your forum. Sure, this is only a small group of people, But I have seen the power of word-of-mouth. If it was a hot site, clean, minimal advertising, fast download, and alot of information, you would be getting referrals from these members. (It doesn't help that some of your replies are a little less than courteous. This is not good for business in general, let alone for getting advice from a quality group).

    later.
    David McCauley, 1WebUSA, LLC, http://hosting.1webusa.com
    Hosting Successful Small Business Web sites since 1998
    and we still take pride in knowing the name and
    business needs of every customer!

  3. #28
    What's HTML?
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    ::round of applause::

    Beautifully stated David.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  4. #29
    SitePoint Zealot gymaholic7's Avatar
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    Hey guys!
    I read through this post and found some interesting suggestions. I'm going to do what MMJ said about making the message board link stand out but what else can I do? I just created my forums last week. How can I get MEMBERS? Are there places to promote this???
    http://www.pandapages.f2s.com/cgi-bi.../ikonboard.cgi

    Thanks!
    "I don't believe in people I don't know.
    Strangers are just friends I haven't met."
    ~Inspection 12 (Jacksonville natives, wahoo!)

  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    JMulder,

    I admire your loyalty to your current provider but if there are factors which are detrimental to the success of your site, you will need to make changes.

    To be successful in this business, you have to adapt. If you don't adapt and stay close minded, you may as well close your site up as you will not get return visitors.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Enthusiast AgentX's Avatar
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    I agree, get rid of the popups. They are extremely annoying, and popups almost always irritate me -AWAY- from a site.

    I'll give you a classic example of how annoying popups can be.

    My employer wanted a popup on his website. I advised him against it as it annoys the hell out of people and turns them away, however he insisted. So I put one there. By the end of the day he was so frustrated with this popup that he asked me to remove it.

    See what I mean? There's nothing more annoying than going to a site that might have something that interests you or has something you want only to be presented with a whole bunch of popups that take over your screen.

    By the time people are finished clicking 'X' to get rid of popups, your site has unfortunatly gone with them.

    Seriously, switch to paid hosting. You are quite possibly annoying your casual visitors away from your forum before they even get to it.

    AgentX

  7. #32
    1-800-JMULDER JMulder's Avatar
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    Mkay, I am back now =)

    W. Luke, that's an excellent idea! Thank you very much for your input. Also, I'd like to mention only ONE forum of the network is dedicated to my site, that's the one I am directing users too. About co-branding, we are experiencing matching problems
    The design didnt look good on it but we'll figure it out.
    Jeroen Mulder

    w: www.jeroenmulder.com

  8. #33
    1-800-JMULDER JMulder's Avatar
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    Mkay, now I am back from vacation I noticed the popups are gone, Behind The Wheel Inc. has setup a mediakit etc.

    David: I agree with you, but the counter thing isn't true at all. The counter displays the pageviews at the site and not the unique pageviews on the mainpage, if you noticed the counter is included on every page.

    Also, if the counter increases with 300, that doesn't mean the site receives 300 all day long. So your calculation is very wrong. The site receives around 3000-4000 unique mainpage visitors a day and that's why I am not satisfied with my forumactivity. I have followed suggestions mentioned here and I am still having a problem, but that's a JAVAscript question. I will also keep these suggestions in mind when re-designing, which is very soon.

    Thanks all.
    Jeroen Mulder

    w: www.jeroenmulder.com

  9. #34
    SitePoint Enthusiast bteeter's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JMulder
    Oooh k, great reply, not!

    Anyone else?
    You get what you pay for.

    If you don't pay, you get a site littered with ads that annoy your visitors, and scare them away. You can get a paid site for less than $5/month at most hosting companies. That is about the cost of a value meal at McDonalds.

    If you cannot afford that, you should sell your computer as you obviously need the money!

    Take care,

    Brian

  10. #35
    1-800-JMULDER JMulder's Avatar
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    bteeter: If you would have read the previous posts, you would have read the popups are gone and I can afford the money, but just I won't change the company.

    No offense, but that's one thing I dislike.
    Jeroen Mulder

    w: www.jeroenmulder.com


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