Locking the forum to only registered members?

Discussion in 'Forum & Website Management' started by Allenafaith, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Allenafaith

    Allenafaith Adrenaline Junkie Valued Contributor

    Do you have your forum set up to where guests can't see the forums until they register?

    If you do, is it helping get more members or is it scaring them away?
  2. Champion

    Champion Paragon

    I would say open the forum scaring them away as they will get to see whats added to your forum how many post are there on and the lay=out is like etc.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  3. MasterA

    MasterA Administrator Retired Admin

    No, I don't set it up like this and I think it is a bad idea to do this because people can't view your posts as a guest and most likely they won't register on your forum because they can't look around. If I see one of these forums, unless it has a very good reputation outside of the forum, I will leave straight away. Before I join a forum, I want to browser around and see what they have to offer before registering. Hiding profiles to guests might be fine but hiding forums is a very bad idea. I wouldn't say they scare members away but they certainly would reduce your sign up rates as many members don't sign up unless they lurk around first.
  4. Shannon Apple

    Shannon Apple Resident

    @MasterA hit on it 100%.

    If I have to sign up for a forum to see what that forum is like, I'm not doing it. It feels like I'm being tricked into signing up, or something. 9 times out of 10, I've found a forum through a Google search where i was researching a topic and came upon a thread that helped me. This was the case with places like FP and TAZ. I had questions I needed an answer for. If that info wasn't publicly available, I'd have no reason to stick around or register. :)

    Also, bear in mind that a lot of newcomers will sign up because they want to reply to a thread that interested them. ;)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Empire

    Empire Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

    I used to have that option for an month to test it out on my old SMF board and it failed badly and now I don't allow that option. I Like to get the guest to see what they want to see then they can join if they want. I do have like 5 or so boards that only members see and that's all the rest are open for the world and even my files, they can see it but they have ti join to able to download.

    Years ago before I started doing my own based forums I was an member of an community board and they are always closed to the guests and they only way that you all can see it is to join. the reason that I think that they made it since they got hacked or something but never the less what I don't like that they set it up like that but they still had new people joining every day and they had like 30K members. The main point to the fact that why they had so much as the people that running it are full time YouTube gaming people and so they had like 100s and 10000s of views on there videos and that what made that site big. The website is no longer running anyway
  6. Bluezone777

    Bluezone777 Dinner Team Leader

    Expecting guests to join a forum that they can't read any of the posts is like expecting someone to sign a contract before letting the person read the contract that you want them to agree to. Any sensible person would just turn around and leave quickly because the first thing that would come to mind is what are they hiding that if I know about would compel me to not want to have any part of it.
  7. Jordan

    Jordan Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

    Not only is it a bad idea, Google will ding your website if you do this :laughing:
  8. Lord Saru

    Lord Saru Heart and Hands

    This is a definite turn around for me. I simply cant stand forums being closed off to guests. Infact, I think that forums closed to guests for browsing should not appear in the index in guest mode.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Empire

    Empire Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

  10. John

    John Retired Administrator Retired Admin

    If you open it to bots (as some softwares allow), will Google still penalize you?

    It's honestly a pretty stupid idea. If you want members to join your forum, you should want them to join your forum for the content/community, not for the illusion of getting to see your content. Most likely, members who do the later won't ever truly be active on your forum.
  11. Jason76

    Jason76 Package Team Member Package Team

    People need to see what is inside, but maybe not. There could be a mystery element and also you will get more members cause people - have to sign up to see anything. Nonetheless, though, with a hundred webmaster forums, what is going to be so great about another one?
  12. Corzhens

    Corzhens Addicted

    My husband used to be a member of a local forum. He deleted his account due to the chaotic situation when members have been quarreling. After a year, he checked the forum and he was surprised that he couldn't click on the menu. All he can access is the home page. It means you have to log in or register in order to see the details of the forum. Asking around (since he knows most of the members), the site was locked to guests as if the contents are confidential. I got the impression that the site has no intention of growing because showing the entirety of your forum can give guests a clear picture of what your forum is all about. And if it's not clear to a guest so why would he join?