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CC Clients who have blocked home pages?

Forums: Questions and Answers About Building Your Site
Created on: 09/06/10 11:30 PM Views: 1155 Replies: 9
Monday, September 6, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Hi Brad:

I imagine we all like to browse CC websites, especially when we see someone has asked a question here.

Every once in a while I find a class website where the home page is locked.

Do you have any statistics on what percentage of CC clients have locked home pages?

Maybe percentage of all clients and a percentage of 'active' CC clients -- however you define that.

For those who might be reading this, I highly recommend the Help Video on this topic. Idea

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 11:14 AM - Response #1

198 Admins currently have the home page password protected, or 1.7%.

We currently have no "Site Type" field so I can't tell you if a site here is a class site or a military site or church site, etc. The new system will include a Site type field so we can easily change any site here to any other type of site. For instance if you currently run a family site on Class Creator, when the new system is done we'll be able to toggle it over to the true family system, thereby adding those additional toolsets to what you have with Class Creator, such as gedcom files for family sites, etc.


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 11:24 AM - Response #2

Brad Switzer wrote:

198 Admins currently have the home page password protected, or 1.7%.

We currently have no "Site Type" field so I can't tell you if a site here is a class site or a military site or church site, etc. The new system will include a Site type field so we can easily change any site here to any other type of site. For instance if you currently run a family site on Class Creator, when the new system is done we'll be able to toggle it over to the true family system, thereby adding those additional toolsets to what you have with Class Creator, such as gedcom files for family sites, etc.

So if the Home Page is Password Protected, how are they providing for Classmates to Newly Register on the website? Do they have to call for password to see Profiles in order to register? I have everything on my left menu that is Password protected, except of course Profiles. I selectively have Announcements on Home Page to allow/disallow based upon setting up as Logged on or Not Logged On.

I feel reasonably protected in that manner.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 11:29 AM - Response #3

We don't recommend password protecting home pages for this very reason. Better to put confidential information in a home page announcement that only displays for logged in members just like you are doing.

Yes, if an Admin has the home page password protected and a potential new member runs across the page, they'd need to call or email to get the System Password to get past the barrier. And many won't -- there's nothing enticing about the password protect screen that comes up that would give many Classmates much reason to inquire if they've just stumbled across the site on their own. So again in general password protecting your home page is bad policy, however there certainly can be exceptions to this rule where somebody has to do it. In general though we do not recommend password protecting the home page or the Classmate Profiles page.


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM - Response #4

Good, that's what I figured. Case in point, over this past weekend, one of our "Location Unknown" classmates found the website and registered! She had been lost for contact for at least 30 years!!! Now she is on the website 2-3 times a day....LOL.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 12:37 PM - Response #5

I password protected pages on our site this weekend. John's email scared me into double-checking that I did not accidentally protect our home page. Whew! I didn't. It is always good to review one's work - especially a couple days after writing, opening or (now) protecting a page. Smile

By the way, I sent an email out to all classmates announcing the password protection of pages. I included a recommendation to only allow classmates to view their profiles - keeping out search engines and the like. Though I have not check stats, I have noticed the the flow of classmates checking into the site has picked up. Sometimes, you just have to give 'em the bait to get 'em in.

Thanks for the jolt, John.
Gwen


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM - Response #6

Thanks for answering my question, Brad...

The one I ran across yesterday that prompted this post did have a 'contact us' form below the log in areas.

So I guess the thinking was if you want access to this site, you've got to first send an internal email and ask for the contact information -- but the contact form didn't request any specific information to help the admin ID the sender -- other than name and email address.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 12:47 PM - Response #7

Thanks for answering my question, Brad...

The one I ran across yesterday that prompted this post did have a 'contact us' form below the log in areas.

So I guess the thinking was if you want access to this site, you've got to first send an internal email and ask for the contact information -- but the contact form didn't request any specific information to help the admin ID the sender -- other than name and email address.


Quote:

there's nothing enticing about the password protect screen that comes up that would give many Classmates much reason to inquire if they've just stumbled across the site on their own. Brad

I believe it's our duty as admins to provide enough information on our site -- seen by unregistered class members or the general public -- to want to register and learn more. That might be photos of the old day, news about the upcoming reunion, sharing memories with old friends, etc.

Without the home page being open to the public in some form or other, search engines won't find it. Your class members searching for "(your High School name) + (your graduation year)" won't find your site. Instead they'll see all those links from sites like classmates.com, alumni etc, etc. With such a home page, there's a good chance your CC site will rank on among the top 10 search finds. Exclamation

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 2:26 PM - Response #8

John Chidester wrote:

Thanks for answering my question, Brad...

The one I ran across yesterday that prompted this post did have a 'contact us' form below the log in areas.

So I guess the thinking was if you want access to this site, you've got to first send an internal email and ask for the contact information -- but the contact form didn't request any specific information to help the admin ID the sender -- other than name and email address.


Quote:

there's nothing enticing about the password protect screen that comes up that would give many Classmates much reason to inquire if they've just stumbled across the site on their own. Brad

I believe it's our duty as admins to provide enough information on our site -- seen by unregistered class members or the general public -- to want to register and learn more. That might be photos of the old day, news about the upcoming reunion, sharing memories with old friends, etc.

Without the home page being open to the public in some form or other, search engines won't find it. Your class members searching for "(your High School name) + (your graduation year)" won't find your site. Instead they'll see all those links from sites like classmates.com, alumni etc, etc. With such a home page, there's a good chance your CC site will rank on among the top 10 search finds. Exclamation

The password protected page states the following:

"If you need the system password please send a message to the Site Administrator. All fields below are required."

And then requires Name, Subject, and Email address. What else do you recommend we add here? Phone number? The theory is once the contact is made it's up to the Admin of the specific site to determine in what fashion to best verify somebody's identity.

Yes, you're absolutely correct again of course -- password protecting your home page is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. If you don't want your Classmates to find your web site, you don't want them to see any enticing info that would encourage them to join if they do find it, and you want to make it really hard for them to join and participate, just password protect your home page and you can be sure your site won't be anywhere near as successful as it would have been by simply leaving the home page open.


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Edited 09/07/10 3:22 PM
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 2:37 PM - Response #9


Quote:

So I guess the thinking was if you want access to this site, you've got to first send an internal email and ask for the contact information -- but the contact form didn't request any specific information to help the admin ID the sender -- other than name and email address.

I wasn't looking for any other info to be collected. Just pointing out that locking visitors out from the home page and requiring class members fill in the email form might not give the Admin enough information to make a call whether this person gets access or not. ie. "Sue Smith" might be her married name and she might have been on the lost list for 25 years. Rolling Eyes

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