Forum Home Page Changes

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bob

Administrator
Staff member
After talking with several new members, they all told me the same thing. When they got to the forum, and saw the long list of categories, they didn't have any idea where to start or how to find their way around.

Most members navigate the forum using the "New Posts" option. However, if you don't know it's there, you will feel a bit lost with all of the forum options.

Given that, we've changed the landing page to display new topics now. So how do you find the forum categories now? You click on the tab that says "Forums". That will take you to the forums page. That's the page that was also previously the home page.

So everything is the same as before, but you may have to click a new tab to get there.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
I think this version will please everyone! We now have the 10 most recent posts shown on the home page (and a link to the rest), along with the forum listing that the regulars are used to. So both are easy to find now.
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
I've always gone right to the Forums/New Posts section. However, the link I have saved to My Favorites always gives me an error message about Page Not Found. I've changed the favorite a few times with the same result.

Dumb question - what page should we save to Favorites?
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
No, not April Fools. Imagine you’re somebody brand new. You don’t know about “active topics” and all you see is that huge list of categories.
Now, if you’re searching for a specific subject, like scenery or DCC, it’s all good. But if you just want to talk trains? You’re left feeling a bit lost.
It came about because of a member of my garden forum. She joined but could not figure where to go to find the conversation. Others quickly chimed in saying the same thing. So I’m trying to solve that issue.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
I've always gone right to the Forums/New Posts section. However, the link I have saved to My Favorites always gives me an error message about Page Not Found. I've changed the favorite a few times with the same result.

Dumb question - what page should we save to Favorites?
“New Posts/Active Topics” is “dynamic”, it updates every time. So, yes, it doesn’t bookmark well.

I suggest simply bookmarking the top level domain. https://modelrailroadforums.com

New topics would be this, and that link is general and should work.
https://modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?whats-new/
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
By the way. If you have ideas, comments or suggestions, PLEASE speak up. If something is confusing or doesn’t seem to work right, tell me.
Or, if you think something would work better if... Make a suggestion. We can’t always fix stuff, but sometimes we can.
And, yes, I’m working on fine tuning the ads. Yes, they’re annoying. No, I’m not making money. There’s a significant cost to running the place, probably about what you pay for cable TV. I’m just trying to break even for now. Eventually making a few bucks would be cool. But for now I’m trying to avoid being a “not for profit” entity. My tax accountant says that’s only good if you’re doing it intentionally. ;)
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I hate it that no matter how I go where, I have to scroll down a whole page to see anything significant to the forum other than the oversized header.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
I seldom if ever visit the home page on this forum, but I do on the railroad forums it seems easy enough to me.

I will say I enjoy many of the enhancements to this forum. I especially like that it saves my posts when I forget to hit the post button!

I don't complain about advertising. My Hungarian wife would complain about all the commercials on broadcast TV and other cable channels. That is until I asked her "do you like the shows on American TV with commercials, better than the shows with no commercials on TV when you lived in communist Hungary?" She stopped complaining about commercials, but she still prefers pay TV with no commercials. She does watch "Law and Order SVU" with commercials.

You get what you pay for. Advertising is a better alternative to out of pocket expense in my mind, but I'm cheap!

Thanks Bob!
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
I'll be honest, I don't like ads. I'd prefer we didn't have any ads at all.

However, here's the problem. Leasing the server costs me well over $100 per month. That's before you add in things like domain fees, software licensing, Facebook ads, etc. On a good month, before this recent mess, I'd make close to $100 for ads. On my best months. (For all of my websites, not just this one. Websites that take me hours a day to keep going.)

So, obviously, I'm not getting rich. I'm not making money. I'm happy when I get close to breaking even! So, the ads are something we just have to live with, otherwise I can't afford to operate this place. I have tried to keep them to a moderate quantity and not be too obnoxious.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
I don't think your ads are excessive. But more and more lately as I visit 'over-the-air digital TV broadcast of NBC, CBS, ABC I see SO MANY ads I have to turn the damn thing off. Its just ridiculous, the ad times exceed the content times, or at least are approaching them.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
The ads are in the same place every page. We don't use popup ads, or sound ads. Basically, they're there, but it's like reading a magazine, you know you'll find ads in some places. You also know where to find the content. Hopefully the ads are relevant and useful on occasion.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
I've moved the railroaddata promo to the bottom of the page. That was a temporary thing anyway, trying to give that page a boost. That should shorten things up a bit.
 

twforeman

Well-Known Member
I like that Featured page (and not just because three of my threads are on it ;) )

Thanks for all you do Bob. This is my favorite forum on the internet and I belong to a large number (most of them are not railroad related.)

I run a forum and several websites, it can be a hassle. Your work here is appreciated.
 




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