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Too many vbulletin sites look like vBulletin.com

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  • Floris
    replied
    Originally posted by Steve Machol
    I seriously doubt the using the default style is a key factor in whether or not a site is popular and successful. More likely, the people that put extra effort into branding their forums also put extra effort into promoting them and building a serious community in which people want to participate.
    Besides that, vBulletin has an enhanced Style manager and Language manager from where the CSS classes (design) and templates (layout in XHTML) and phrases (the text) can be changed very quickly. There are a lot of unique sites out there, even big sites (like valve.com or community.yourpsp.com, etc) that are recognizable as vBulletin, but definitely don't look like a vBulletin.

    vBulletin is filled with features and options. And many features can be turned off, or customized per registered member. And by the admin also very easy to be moved from top to bottom, or used in an innovating manner (see the many template modifications). And then we're not even mentioning the abilities of modifying the look by using the enhanced plugin system.

    It's a matter of bandwidth / page loading / traffic / etc vs costs per month for big web sites that have thousends of users online and many gigabytes to render. Simplicity wins in those cases, ergo simple designs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Red Country
    replied
    I would if i knew how

    I would love to customise my vbullettin but to be honest I am a novice and dont know how to....

    I currently pay for hacks and instillations from a guy in America but my site is non profit so i cant afford to be getting it to where i would like it to be unfortunately..as i learn more i hope to customize it more...any help would be greatly appreciated though if someone is interrested

    my site is here www.countrybns.com

    Leave a comment:


  • Vtec44
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Bolton
    I'd say the most important things are a good niche to attract members, and great content. I'd say the skin comes around 3rd place myself.

    Again, that a good assessment. Some members will think that looks the same as all the rest, so why bother. But I still think if you have great content there and lots of it to interest them. That can be overcome though.
    I totally agree. A good looking site without substance is not going to retain members. I've been to plenty of crappy looking sites, and keep on going back because they have exactly what I look for.

    Leave a comment:


  • MGM
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Bolton
    I agree with you, there are more people running forums on the net today than every before. So it's so much harder!



    I'd say the most important things are a good niche to attract members, and great content. I'd say the skin comes around 3rd place myself.

    Again, that a good assessment. Some members will think that looks the same as all the rest, so why bother. But I still think if you have great content there and lots of it to interest them. That can be overcome though.
    In the past I would have argued against that, but now I realize that yes, content is king. A site with many, many more articles and a good reputation for delivering good content would probably do pretty good even if they are using the default style.

    MGM out

    Leave a comment:


  • steven s
    replied
    But when you have content that is unique, does the style and skin still make that much of a difference? I have visited some sites that look nice but take forever to load. Maybe you need something fancy to get the attention but it is still content and flavor that keeps people.

    Leave a comment:


  • MRGTB
    replied
    Originally posted by MGM
    Today, almost every niche is taken. A forum cannot succeed on its own unless a new, never-before-done niche is created that is popular and well-known. That is hard to do.
    I agree with you, there are more people running forums on the net today than every before. So it's so much harder!

    Originally posted by MGM
    A style is very important in that it's the first thing a person sees, and if its the same thing that the person has seen at a hundred other sites (same niche or not, doesn't matter), then he/she will think "This looks just like those hundred other sites, I'm not gonna bother with this"....
    I'd say the most important things are a good niche to attract members, and great content. I'd say the skin comes around 3rd place myself.

    Again, that a good assessment. Some members will think that looks the same as all the rest, so why bother. But I still think if you have great content there and lots of it to interest them. That can be overcome though.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheDon-VBB
    replied
    I also agree, customising the board is fundamental out there, you have to be unique to beat the competition (they will always exist). And also, stangette.com has a nice unique forum - obviously some thought went into the customisation of this, and the one unique thing I've noticed (within 2 seconds of visiting) is that the forums (Stangette Lounge and Garage) have sub-forums on the main forum (root of tree).

    I haven't seen it laid out like that before, and I'm subscribed to a number of forums. I do like it

    As I studied a Degree in Multimedia, training the eye in colour schemes and innovation are the key areas. I have seen many forums out their that are identical in appearance to this one which honestly bores me, I won't be visiting those sites again (and not even some added / custom smilies), it's these little things that make the difference.

    Leave a comment:


  • steven s
    replied
    I dug up this old thread because of a recent review of my car website.
    "The site itself is easy to navigate and easy on the eye to boot,"
    The rest of the review is of no interest to others but there is something to be said for the default skin.
    It's the content and flavor of the board that makes the site. Thanks vB.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vtec44
    replied
    Originally posted by conqsoft
    What site is this that's getting 500 new members a day?
    http://www.off-topic.com ?

    I'm using the default skin, and I'm happy with it. Plus, it's not that hard to change the icons, but I like the default icons darn it!

    Leave a comment:


  • MRGTB
    replied
    500 members per day = 3,500 members per week.

    Thats 182,000 members a year

    In 5 years you will have neally 1 million users.

    Leave a comment:


  • conqsoft
    replied
    Originally posted by prows
    Well i think that default skin is exactly what brings peoploe, is the simplicity, if you put 100 mods and things like that it will make your forum childish, yeah its good but not for everyone, i am having atleast 500 new members each day and i am using a normal skin with no mods. SO SKIN IS NOT A FACTOR. ITS THE CONTENT.
    What site is this that's getting 500 new members a day?

    Leave a comment:


  • MRGTB
    replied
    Well I think it all revolves around a lot of things. Skins can look nice and help out a site. Sure!!! But it just amazes me how you can view some sites that have skins that look out of this world and yet they are finding it really hard to grab members.

    I honestly think a lot depends on how much effort you are will to put into promoting your site first. To many people setup a board and then just sit on there asses waiting for people to come to them first. Also as mentioned above, content as to be a major factor also. I also feel a god dam lot of luck is also needed.

    Being able to offer downloads of some sort to members is another good way to get people joining - but then you run the risk of them joining just to download. I created a Cloak Mod for Freelancer. I have 20 people join the site in one week just to get the mod. The bad side was NOT ONE person posted to say thanks or anything.
    Last edited by MRGTB; Mon 14 Nov '05, 8:32am.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisLM2001
    replied
    It doesn't. Tell me how many large boards use the default skin? Do you see, say, WHT with a default skin?

    Branding is a essential part for a forum success. The default skin will do for a board that's starting out, but if the board doesn't want to be a "cookie-cutter" type, it'll have to customize -- it's the only way for it look professional and unique.

    I do agree on the abuse of Flash (it needs to be small and to the point, not BE the forum itself).

    Chris

    Leave a comment:


  • steven s
    replied
    Originally posted by ChrisLM2001
    Content is king, but if the site looks like something the cat dragged in, it's not going to have the mass appeal. As much as folks like to be PC about diversity and all, mankind is a vain creature, and he likes pretty things -- he's even drawn to them.
    A look can scare people away too. I know when I come across a site that might be of interest to me, I have no patience waiting for flash files to load or slow downloads because of all the graphics. Also some sites look like they they need to have every mod and hack under the sun. They may have some great content but I quickly move on. The default skin sets a balance.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisLM2001
    replied
    Content is king, but if the site looks like something the cat dragged in, it's not going to have the mass appeal. As much as folks like to be PC about diversity and all, mankind is a vain creature, and he likes pretty things -- he's even drawn to them.

    Chris

    Leave a comment:

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