Critique my forum, please!



  • Hello!

    I've been running my forum for a couple months now, and we're hitting something resembling sane stability. However, the thing is, I've been looking at this site so long I can no longer tell whats good or bad, whats intentional or a bug, in a way.

    I'd appropriate anyone looking over it, and telling me what I should change, technically or aesthetically to improve my site. I'm sure its still rife with issues and bugs, I just am snow blind to them at this point.

    Thank you so much.


  • Translator

    So I've gone ahead and register on the site then proceed to creep around all the functions NodeBB has to offer. First thing I noticed is the IP will always show 127.0.0.1 instead of the users actual IP. Secondly the color for this group flare is so gray that it matches the background and cannot be seen unless you're really looking for it. Onto your rules, when I was editing my profile picture I saw that you sneakily placed them in the footer. Smart, but what you can also do is make them your ToS. You can do so from the admin panel under Settings->User->User Registration.

    Now I only focused on the bad :|. Lets move onto the good. The theme is a great example of how a good NodeBB site can stand out. (Thanks @pichalite) Your community seems friendly and alive that I will lurk around from time to time. Defaulted pagination :heart:, Good loading times. And generally the things a normal user should see are present, thats about it.

    Besides all of that I've also noticed (Or rather didn't notice due to Adblock) that your site uses ads. And I'm quite interested why. From experience small NodeBB forums don't use that much so I'm guessing that they don't cost that much either.



  • @Kowlin said:

    So I've gone ahead and register on the site then proceed to creep around all the functions NodeBB has to offer.

    Awesome- I appreciate it. Thanks!

    First thing I noticed is the IP will always show 127.0.0.1 instead of the users actual IP.

    Huh. You're right, I suppose I never checked. That's weird, though. I'll have to mess with that and hope no one notices before that becomes an issue.

    Secondly the color for this group flare is so gray that it matches the background and cannot be seen unless you're really looking for it.

    I'll make it a little darker!

    Onto your rules, when I was editing my profile picture I saw that you sneakily placed them in the footer. Smart, but what you can also do is make them your ToS. You can do so from the admin panel under Settings->User->User Registration.

    Does this actually do anything? I used to have some text in the TOS, and it didn't appear anywhere so I removed it again.

    Now I only focused on the bad :|. Lets move onto the good. The theme is a great example of how a good NodeBB site can stand out. (Thanks @pichalite) Your community seems friendly and alive that I will lurk around from time to time. Defaulted pagination :heart:, Good loading times. And generally the things a normal user should see are present, thats about it.

    Thanks! Thats good to hear!

    Besides all of that I've also noticed (Or rather didn't notice due to Adblock) that your site uses ads. And I'm quite interested why. From experience small NodeBB forums don't use that much so I'm guessing that they don't cost that much either.

    We do a lot of things outside of just the forum- for example, we're going to comic con this year if we can get accepted, have posters up on campuses, stuff like that. It all creates a fair bit of costs- The ads are totally useless for recouping that cost, mind, but its still a attempt to not have to pay every penny of it out of pocket I guess.


  • Translator

    The ToS appears when users register, So normal users won't be bothered by it. As a example I have added a screenshot below.

    Edit: I see that I linked the wrong page, I'm meaning this flare.


  • Admin

    Love the site :) Post it on FB/twitter and tag us we'll retweet etc

    Joining is fast and easy- We don't even require email verification.

    I have a feeling you might regret that one eventually :P

    I got an ad for one of our competitors on the footer, I really hope that people don't look at it and think they're the ones powering your site haha


  • Translator

    @psychobunny There's always the mighty blocking feature in Adsense ;)



  • @psychobunny said:

    Love the site :) Post it on FB/twitter and tag us we'll retweet etc

    I appreciate it- I'll tag you!

    I have a feeling you might regret that one eventually :P

    Yeah, probably at some point- I'll probably have to add email verification and captchas and similar as users abuse it, but for now I prefer the open approach. Assume the best until the users prove the worst, and all that.

    I got an ad for one of our competitors on the footer, I really hope that people don't look at it and think they're the ones powering your site haha

    Adsense is a constant trouble maker!
    Hopefully they'd scroll down just a little further and see the "Special thanks to NodeBB".


  • Admin

    Hmm... :bulb: Might be a good idea to build a widget that pays conversions to our hosting that anybody can embed on their NodeBB forum... How much do you get paid per click?



  • @psychobunny Despite paying per click, adsense doesn't actually tell us how much we get payed for a specific click. That would make it easy for us to understand whats going on, and they'd hate that.

    Instead they give us a totally useless metric, called RPM, which is an estimated rate of "per thousand visitors, you should make this much money (if the users all click at the current rate)". Which, for Coloradorks, hovers around 50 dollars.

    However, from past experience, I seem to get anywhere from 0.23 to 2.73 for a single click on an ad. And I average maybe one click every few weeks, so- yeah, that feels like a likely metric. Probably like an average of 2 bucks a click for a flash ad, a buck for an image ad, and 25 cents for a text ad I'd personally guess.

    Its worth noting there are entire forums dedicated to this very subject- Google is /very/ sketchy about telling us how they decide what to pay out.


  • Admin

    Don't know what @julian or @baris thinks, but I could see ourselves offering a certain % commission for conversions for any subscription that was referred by an ad from a 3rd party NodeBB forum... You'd continue making money as long as the customer is still on board. We'd have to build a proper backend + tracking pixel system etc first though.

    Something to think about :)


  • Anime Lovers

    Interesting forum. I was actually born and raised in Colorado Springs.



  • @psychobunny That would be awesome. DO's referral program is actually a big part of the reason we went with them, so one for nodeBB would be a big incentive to consider switching.

    @HolyPhoenix Great to hear- Although from how you put it, you've moved away, which is less great to hear.


  • Translator

    @psychobunny from my past experiences I earned from 20cents to 75 cents in Eur per click. And RPM is just plain aweful. I am actually quite interested in seeing on what you mentioned


  • Anime Lovers

    @Arc Yeah, housing is cheaper, jobs are more plentiful and pay better for a software engineer, and overall the community has more going for it in Kansas City. :p In terms of my life, things are much better here. I do miss family, the mountains and skiing though. But I can vacation in Colorado to visit those things.


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