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 Forums or Portal?
Forums or Portal?
For our front page would you prefer a list of our forums or should we keep our portal?
Forums [ 2 ]  [8.00%]
Keep the Portal [ 23 ]  [92.00%]
Total Votes: 25
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marko
Apr 29 2010, 10:13 AM
Post #1


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Because we're soon to upgrade the site to the latest version of Invision software, we're now asking members whether they want us to keep the portal style front page or revert back to a more traditional style of forum front page.

Here's how the front will possibly look when we upgrade ...
(IMG:https://freewarebb.com/images/Capture.PNG)

So, the burning question is, forums or portal?
 
steve c
Apr 29 2010, 11:57 AM
Post #2


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if it aint broke dont fix it
steve c
 
marko
Apr 29 2010, 12:21 PM
Post #3


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QUOTE (steve c @ Apr 29 2010, 11:57 AM)
if it aint broke dont fix it
steve c

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif) thanks Steve, just to explain a little more ... our stats show us that the front end links are not clicked a great deal, thus got us thinking the portal may not be the best front-end solution and when we upgrade we'll automatically loose the portal. Obviously, we wanted to make sure the type of front end we have at the moment is the most appealing, hence our question (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

However, if the poll shows the portal is favoured, we think we may have an even better solution from the makers of Invision which is similar to a portal but much more powerful and can offer a great deal more information than our current portal system but there is a lot of testing required for this. As for the upgrade itself, this is something we really should be doing as the developers at Invision will no doubt phase our support for all but the new version of their forum software, as it stands we're still looking at a few months more testing before anything happens anyway (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Cheers
Marko
 
dstrout
Apr 29 2010, 01:23 PM
Post #4


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I like the current portal, especially compared to what you say the forum interface will look like. The portal shows a lot of useful programs I may never have found any other way. And if the portal links aren't clicked much, it's probably because people use the search form more.
 
Guest_JamesM_*
Apr 29 2010, 02:14 PM
Post #5




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I think the reason the front end links are not clicked on much is because people link directly in to the issue or software they are interested in, recommending to others, or clicking through an email link - all of which go directly to the target and not to the home page.
That said, I relay like the homepage as it is now. It is nice to see what new programs or updates are fresh, even if I don't click on them. The current home page design is relevant to the subject, i.e. finding useful software. Forums tend to be about comments, most of which are less than enlightening.

I find it anoying when researching something to be wading though pages of comments by people who know less than they should to have obtained their internet driving licence. There are thousands of forums on the internet, most of which are full of people looking for help followed by others making ill-informed suggestions.

I think you miss the mark. Your portal is the email - that is often peoples regular access point. When i get the email it makes me think, oh yes, when I get a minute I will follow some of the links in it, just like I did when I followed this link to post comments on this subject. The question is, How many people access the site directly from links in the email, or from links on other sites going directly to software or a subject?

My vote - I like the current homepage.
 
Guest_Guest_janni_*_*
Apr 29 2010, 04:52 PM
Post #6




Guests






leave it as is
 
campart
Apr 29 2010, 09:34 PM
Post #7


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The decision to change is really more about emphasis. Is FreewareBB a freeware download and review site or a discussion site? I prefer the new software and update news as a lead-in but I would still visit this site even after an entry page change. I would, however, like to see a database type search facility so that in any category one could find, say, the members favourite program or the most downloaded and so on. Perhaps being able to do this already exists and I have missed it. Thank you for the opportunity to make a comment.
 
marko
Apr 29 2010, 11:46 PM
Post #8


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As always, thanks for the responses guys and to respond ...

dstrout, yes I think a lot of people prefer to use the search facility (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Guest_JamesM, our stats show most of our traffic does indeed come from search engines which leads most to the internal pages and not the front page and your comments regarding other forums make a great deal of sense, certainly a perspective with merit and as you say the portal can be a reference point for many, possibly not always something of interest to some, but nevertheless a good reference (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Guest_Guest_janni, thanks for the comment

campart, I like to think we're a bit of both, a download site and a discussion site, one of the reasons we have both forums and downloads visible on the front end - as for your search enquiry this is indeed already possible using a manual search (i.e. you have to perform the search yourself) but when we upgrade we're planning to introduce a new front end style which will be like the current portal but will also contain far more information on a variety of subjects, such as the most downloaded software from the previous week, the top titles from each category, and so on. For now though, if you want that info here's how to perform the search yourself ...
  • Goto the downloads search form: https://freewarebb.com/downloads-search.html
  • In the box "In categories" select a category (you can select more than one by pressing the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and clicking on the individual categories you want to include in the search).
  • Once you've chosen the categories your interested in, under the "Will Run On" box you'll notice a few drop-down options, probably the most relevant for your particular enquiry would be the "sort results by" drop-down. If, for example, you wanted to find the most downloaded title in the "Audio Rippers" section, you would choose that category, hit the "sort results by" drop-down and choose "downloads".
  • Then just hit the "Do Search!" button and you will be presented with a list of the most downloaded titles in that category. The list will contain all titles in that category but they are sorted by the most downloaded first.
  • Using the "sort results by" drop-down box you can also list titles by "submission date" (newest first), by "title" (alphabetical), by "views" (most viewed first), by "rating" (most rated first) and by "date updated" (most recent first).

Hope that helps (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Marko
 
James (Jim) Hill...
Apr 30 2010, 12:08 AM
Post #9


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QUOTE (campart @ Apr 30 2010, 07:34 AM)
I would, however, like to see a database type search facility so that in any category one could find, say, the members favourite program or the most downloaded and so on.


Hey campart,

I am assuming you are looking for ways to help with the selection process, when dealing with multiple choices? I agree 100% that any help in that area is most welcome. I always find user comments are most helpful and that facility is already in place but very few are using it!!!

Perhaps members do not realise they would be helping other members greatly by adding succinct and useful comments for products they have tried.

I rate user input much higher than reviews from editors. Editorial reviews can be tainted by affiliations or favouritism whereas user comments are generally very honest and always based on personal experience.

If every member submitted a helpful comment for each product they tried, be it negative or positive, can you imagine the wealth of useful information that would accumulate.


Cheers all....Jim
 
marko
Apr 30 2010, 12:31 AM
Post #10


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Jim, thanks for reiterating what campart said, I totally missed what was said in that part (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sorry.gif)

That's hopefully another feature for the front-end, the latest comments from the support topics (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
 


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