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Must read tips that will help make your site a success

Forums: General Discussion [Sticky]
Created on: 07/26/09 12:25 AM Views: 5162 Replies: 12
Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 12:25 AM

Class Creator Administrator Tom Perry posted the following in another thread. I'm posting a copy here in the General forum because I think these tips should be seen by everyone.

I used to work at one of the largest internet companies in the world running several huge portal sites reaching well over 70 million people and we would put links on the front page to drive traffic into the areas we wanted traffic (either hot topics or things we had monetized).

You can and should do the same thing with your class home page, putting links in the middle areas to places you want people to see -- and that can include your Forum.

Instead of building out custom pages, we put our Forum to work over the past month on our reunion as we needed to quickly get information out there with a list of who was coming (which I updated daily and it got over a thousand views in a week), golf tee times, event information, calls for help and a lot more. I'd post the announcement in the Forum, and then put a link to that message thread on the home page. And the fun part is that people could reply to it as well.

So here's a tip from a longtime internet pro - don't depend on people magically finding great content in your Forum -- link to messages on your home page and bubble that content up. And change up your home page every few days or weeks. A static home page is a dead page that kills traffic.

Don't have any discussions going on? Post seeder messages: a message that makes your point and ends with a question like, "what do you think?" that invites people to reply. I was part of a group that invented the Forum over 25 years ago and long ago we realized a Forum is like an online cocktail party. If nobody's talking, the host needs to break the ice and encourage people to talk. If someone gets unruly, you privately let them know that or if they're especially troublesome, you quietly escort them out the door (not that I'd expect that in a class site).

Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 7:30 AM - Response #1

These are great ideas. I visited your site and saw the links, which add a lot of interest and user friendliness. I would appreciate a brief set of instructions about "how to add links to other pages", or a reminder about where that is in the Help Forum. Thanks -

Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 3:23 PM - Response #2

1) In your editor, select the text or image you wish to be the link.
2) Click on the chain link icon in the toolbar.
3) Type in your link

That's all there is to creating a link. If you want to create a link to another page, and then have the linked page jump to a specific section of that page, you need to include an anchor on the page you're linking to.

Here's a helpful thread on this topic.

And here's another helpful thread with some specific anchor instructions.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 2:57 PM - Response #3

Ok, I can put a link on the home page to another page on the site but, it is a little tedious the way I am doing it. Copy paste change the name ect. What is the easy way? Aparently I need more direction than I would like to admit so step by step please.


Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 3:15 PM - Response #4

If you right click most links, you will find a "Copy shortcut" option. Nothing happens, but the shortcut is copied. This can then be pasted into the link dialogue after the link icon is clicked. This seems to have worked for me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 3:18 PM - Response #5

Brad, the traffic on our site has quieted down, but I expected that. However, one thing you promised we could do, which I thought might be easy, was to have multiple years (say all four or five high school years) available for the history and video. Since looking at this twice is about all you would do, I think it would stimulate traffic and interest if we sent out a blast email noting that the history and videos page has been expanded to cover (in my case) 1959-1963. Is that really difficult? Or just down a ways on the task list? Thanks for letting me know. Larry Gilbert,

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 5:03 PM - Response #6

It's on the list and will get implemented. We're working on several major features right now that I need to let the programmers focus on, then we'll hit a variety of smaller things like this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 5:13 PM - Response #7

Thanks for the reply.

Would you give me a how to example. I have put the suggestion box like yours on the home page and I clicked save shortcut and pasted it where the suggestion box is. It puts the shortcut there around and on both sides of the suggestion box. I would like it to work like yours so that when you click on the suggestion box it takes you to the contact us page.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 5:50 PM - Response #8

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Right-click on the "Contact Us" link and choose "copy link location" or "Copy Shortcut".
2. Edit Site Pages, Home Page Contents
3. Select the suggestion box with the mouse (It will change colors when it is selected)
5. Paste the URL that you copied in step 1, Click OK
6. Notice the BLUE LINE around the Suggestion Box. This means there is a link for the graphic.

All Done.

Edited 10/01/09 5:51 PM
Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:05 PM - Response #9

Ok sounds good I will try it again because it didn't work the first time I did it although I go the blue line around the suggestion box. I'll let you know and thanks again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:17 PM - Response #10

What it does is put the link in and replace the suggestion box icon with the link. Take a look.
I would really like to be able to do this procedure so I can make my site more interesting with links to other site pages. Please be patient with me and tell me what I am doing wrong.

Edited 10/01/09 6:17 PM
Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:44 PM - Response #11

Dave Salyers wrote:

What it does is put the link in and replace the suggestion box icon with the link. Take a look.
I would really like to be able to do this procedure so I can make my site more interesting with links to other site pages. Please be patient with me and tell me what I am doing wrong.


I restored the graphic, then did what I said to do and it worked for me.

1. Copy the link location from Contact Us
2. I selected the graphic (this has to be a text-type select, click the mouse at the top of the table cell and drag over the top of the image until it changes colors)
3. Insert Edit LINK, pasted link from step 1, OK
4. Save the contents of the page.

This is what I did and it worked.

Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 8:46 PM - Response #12

Thanks again, I will try some more and see how I do.

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