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How do you keep up interest in your site?

Forums: General Discussion [Sticky]
Created on: 04/13/09 04:04 PM Views: 45565 Replies: 138
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:06 AM - Response #99


One more thing, I activated BOTH of the objects that I saw by moving them from the text area to the SOURCE area. So you have TWO of the same gallery displaying as a slide show. Just delete the one you don't want.

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM - Response #100

Dawn, we are in the planning stages for our 2011 reunion and I would appreciate if you would allow me to also view your website. I am looking for ideas. Thank you.


Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 2:32 PM - Response #101

Judy (and all),

I've got seven ideas noted on our ERHS Alumni site you can read. Maybe you'll find something interesting. Be happy to talk about any. You will find some of them familar as I've borrowed a few from other sites. Most of my pages are closed to the public but you can get in the "REUNIONS" page.

Anyway, I'm looking for ideas for our next reunion, too.

Go to REUNIONS and go down the page.


Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:30 PM - Response #102

Hi Dawn,

I love the ideas on your site. Can you please make me a guest so I can look at what you've done?


Ellen Barker

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 8:48 PM - Response #103

I stay interested by checking for new ideas here in the Help Forum.

Then it is always great to see what other admins are online. I see Brad is a "Demo User" at the moment and another has a picture of Opie. Never know what you will find. Wink

Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 9:33 PM - Response #104

I have a unique situation in that my community has changed and the schools have even split into two high schools. We are having our 50th reunion this August 2011. Not one of my classmates live in the town that where we attended school. I began this site for the purpose of finding classmates since very few live in the community. The site started in May 2008 and we have close to 17,000 hits on our site. I wrote a monthly newsletter and send out newsletters to those that do not have computers. We change or add to ever single link every month. We update as much as possible on each link. We were a class of 250 and are still searching for 73 classmates. It takes hundreds of hours but the class has enjoyed it. Photos seem to be the #1 pleasure enjoyed by classmates writing about memories. I will let people view the site.

Monday, January 3, 2011 at 11:53 PM - Response #105

Dare I write... Go Bears! Very Happy

Our school is North of Chicago and many are obviously Bears fans. During this weekend's game against the Packers I started a survey: What NFL team did you support during regular season. That led to another about the upcoming Wild Card Weekend, which had to wait to go live until the schedule was posted on NFL's site. That led to a page, where I placed both survey links. As it was a holiday weekend, I waited until now to write an email announcing the new pages.

Due to the banter at the reunion between Bears and Packers fans in our class, I thought this may be a good idea. I hope this will generate traffic at least up to the Superbowl.

I've added more volunteer opportunities to my volunteer page. They are for NBA, hockey and other page hosts. I even suggested forum moderators and Live Chat hosts for the same. If I can touch on one thing since the reunion that will bring classmates here instead of sitting on Facebook, maybe another will catch on and we can grow from there. Since I am searching for employment, I need help to do it all.

That is the lastest on my end.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM - Response #106

Wanted to share this unusual occurrence with you all - one that brought 194 log ons in a 24 hour period. We normally have between 30-40. Here is the email and photo (if I can figure out how to attach it)that was sent to our classmates and resulted in such a huge number of people coming to the website. Incidentally, we had 62 emails sent between classmates that day.

My Email Message:
"Two of our classmates, after knowing each other for 57 years, having never dated each other, and presently living in different states, are engaged! How did this happen? Well here's what one of them said: “Just wanted to let all my friends know that I am officially engaged to my classmate of 57 years ago. Thanks to our upcoming reunion and internet site, we reconnected.” And, you thought our website was just to let you know about the 50th Reunion plans!

To find out who this twosome is, click here. (For those of you who have not joined the site, you will not be able to view the photo of the engaged couple. If you want to join, now that you know the additional benefits of the site, go to and click on "CLASSMATE PROFILES" under JFK's photo. Find your name in the list and click on it. Then follow the instructions. Two areas you must respond to are your email address and the establishment of your personal password. The other questions can be answered now, later or never. It's your choice. If you still don't want to join in on the fun, below is a photo of the couple. Perhaps you can guess their names.)"

Edited 05/10/11 8:49 PM
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 11:49 PM - Response #107

Absolutely awesome.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 10:25 PM - Response #108

Here are some random thoughts about what has helped us:
1. The poll is my single biggest traffic draw. Poll questions about parking, skinny dippy, first kiss, etc always get great traffic for me even if I don't get many responses. I am now changing our poll daily or every other day.
2. Someone suggested a tag your it where a person writes a profile, posts in the message forum and then tags someone else to do the same thing. I started and then posted three people just to make sure it doesn't die out. In three days,I've had five profiles posted. If I had asked people to write a profile everyone would have ignored me.
3. I've used the music too. I have a page with the player titled this day in 1966 and post the number one song from the week in 1966. You can find out what was number one by searching Wikipedia. If a song stays #1 for multiple weeks, sometimes I'll put a you tube video of the song on the home page. Just be careful. They will end up asking you to do the music for the reunion.
4. One thing I've not done well with is pictures. Everyone says they want more but all I have available is the yearbook. Thinking of starting a photo contest of some sort.
5. Put up a class cross word puzzle widget. I thought it was great. Drew no traffic at all. I would avoid it.
6. I found a classmate who had the words to our school song so I put it up on a page. She even wrote a 2nd verse. It grew great traffic. I'm trying to track down an auto recording to put on a 2nd music widget that plays just on that page.
7. I try to email about something new every two or three days. Traffic always spikes after the email.
8. One of my biggest challenges is sign up. We've been up since august and we only have about 35% penetration. One e-mail I cut and pasted the missing classmates page and e-mail it out and asked them to pick one of their old friends and make a contact. We go two or three signups out of it so I'm planning to do again in a while.

I've run on and on enough. The feed back is all very, very positive from the classmates that are on line. I might to the reunion after all. Smile

Very few of the ideas I have are original. When I run dry, I start clicking on logos here on the forum and look at other people's front pages. I always get an idea or two I can steal and develop.

Richard Elliott
Bear River HIgh
Tremonton, Utah
Class of 66

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 10:30 PM - Response #109

Has anyone done a photo contest to generate either old or new photos? If so, how did it go and how did you do it?

Thanks in Advance.

Richard Elliott
Bear River High School
Tremonton, Utah
Class of 66

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 2:34 PM - Response #110

We are having our 50th Birthday Bash next month at a classmate's log cabin in the woods and we are roasting a donated pig and requesting each classmate to bring a covered dish. We will be playing music from our era and a big birthday cake will be arriving later in the evening. It should be great fun!

I wanted to share an idea that I just started and hoping it will generate more interest on our site. I am sending an email out as a reminder about our bash but also want them to answer the question, WHAT DOES TURNING 50 MEAN TO ME. I plan to read some of the answers along with some other "turning 50" stuff that a friend on here shared with me (THANKS KRIS!!!). I actually went ahead and answered it myself in our Message Forum to get the ball rolling.

I also plan to have 2 prizes ~ one for the classmate who turned 50 first and the one who will be last at turning 50. The prizes will be various things such as Geritol, Depends, etc. Any other ideas will be greatly appreciated! Very Happy

Thanks so much,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM - Response #111


I love the time capsule - how did you set that up?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM - Response #112

Ann, how did you get those cool floating valentines on your home page?
Thanks, Judy

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 4:40 PM - Response #113

I have been active on the ClassCreator website for close to 3 years. We had a very successful 50th reunion in August and you can view it on our website Home Page, Spring Valley High School, New York.
The number one interest is photos of classmates and their families.
The number two interest is reading classmate profiles.
We had a huge response a few years ago when we started the game of tag.
We posted many photos from high school & student events from that period.
We did polls, surveys and monthly newsletters.
I would recommend monthly newsletters to inform everyone about the planning of the reunion and keeping them current on finding classmates.
I changed the Home Page every month.
If anyone wants to view the website, please contact me as we will end it in May.

Monday, August 6, 2012 at 11:55 PM - Response #114

Someone previously mentioned getting a certain number of hits. Is there a Class Creator (CC) widget, CC created device or HTML or CSS source code incorporated into the overall site that account holders have the opportunity to use at this time or is it still left to us to find a third party source software application and then add it to our site ourselves to see the hits we are getting? (I understand the concept of hits and how there are devices to determine and show a total number that is displayed but I'm just asking if CC now has one available or if we still have to get our own and installed it from elsewhere.)

Edited 08/07/12 12:39 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 12:35 AM - Response #115

Hey, Gary... on the bottom of your Preference page, check out Google Analytics.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 12:40 AM - Response #116

Thanks Gwen but I meant something besides that such as putting that info onto a particular page.

Edited 08/07/12 12:44 AM
Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 2:27 PM - Response #117

Gary, I believe Dick R. asked that question in a chat and did post here in the forums.

I need a refresher course in Google Analytics. Speaking of... who here recently mentioned they watch their stats using Google Analytics? I'd like to invite you to be a 'chat speaker' in Chat on TAP. From how to set-up through screen shots of the stats... especially the key stats you watch.
... Now who are you? Cool

Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM - Response #118

The inquiry was made in order to seek to learn how to accomplish the task, if it was or is possible, because it was not seen in other threads that were previously read, by me, in these user forum threads.
As for being a 'chat speaker', wow! Thanks a lot! We should discuss that privately though. I do, in fact, have some ideas.

Edited 08/11/12 3:18 PM
Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 9:02 PM - Response #119

Gwen, I just recently started using Google Analytics. I'm still trying to figure out what it all means and how to use the statistics, so I'd be the wrong person to have talk about it.

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM - Response #120

I just had a lot of classmates log in today due to a video I put on the Home Page. I just sent an email saying Guaranteed to Make you Smile. Here is the video

Then again maybe not. Go to my website to view. I have had a lot of response that they loved it.

Monday, September 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM - Response #121

I started my site 2 years ago. now we're 6 months out from the reunion date. Recently, I've been adding quips on the homepage, different pictures, polls & surveys,different on line activities (i.e. puzzles relating to our school life, etc.). But I also, at the bottom of your 'edit site pages' 'edit announcements'-- after the edit, there's a check box that says 'notify all classmates that this announcement has been updated'. check it and click on 'save changes'. It works great. Everyone wnts to go to a free website and remember things.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:32 PM - Response #122

Are you sure about the command-click? On my iMac it's Control-Click

Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 7:42 AM - Response #123

Here are some factors which have helped keep interest in our site. Feel free to copy any ideas that may work for you. These factors have evolved over the nearly four years our site has been active, and will surely continue to grow:

Home page layout

I try to make the page welcoming and uplifting in appearance.

I really like the new flyout menus, which allow us to group similar topics.

For those who have music on their home page, I think it's important to consider the effect. Some sites force it on you when you click on the home page. Others give you the choice of listening to it or not, which I think is better.

Opening pages for public viewing

Right from the beginning we made a decision to make all pages available to anyone on the internet, i.e. no password protection, except for individual profiles on the Classmate Profile pages, which members make a decision about. We feel it's nice for those visiting the site for the first time, especially those who found it on a search engine, to have a preview of the site before joining.

To make pages publicly viewable: Admin Functions > Edit Site Pages > for the page of interest, click on "Edit Link" > uncheck the "Restrict to Classmates only" module.

Locating classmates

The more classmates you can locate, the more can join, and the more that join, the more interesting it is. Our main tools for locating classmates are,,,,, and and give the name, location, and if someone has passed away, the year of passing, and allow for the birth date to be input (that really helps narrow the search). gives us searchable access to every newspaper article published in our hometown newspaper. It has been fantastic for locating classmates, obituaries, and seeing engagement/marriage notices for female classmates so you know their last names. Obituaries for parents of classmates list the surviving kids, our classmates, and where they live. This is especially helpful for finding female classmates who may have married --- you find their married name and where they live in one sentence. Not every newspaper is included in the list of newspapers, so be sure to see if your hometown newspaper is included before you sign up.

You may also check with your town library or city hall to see if they have original attendance rosters that you can look at. We found the parents' names on our rosters, which has helped track down classmates.

With a lot of work, we have found 100% of our classmates.

Readability of the text

I've visited some sites where you really have to strain to read the text, or the combination of text and background makes it tough to read. After a lot of experimentation, we changed the text font to Georgia, with a mix of font sizes: 16 for main text and 14 for photo captions.

With the Georgia font, the tone of the site has taken on a different demeanor, seeming now to be more dignified, friendly, and inviting. The captions are easier to read and a feeling of relaxation is present when reading the text. We have a ton of text and captions, so this is a welcome change.

Latest News page

We have a Latest News page for current class news, with links to obituaries for classmates and faculty members who have passed away, and links to news stories.

Who to invite as members

Some sites just invite graduates. We started out that way, but found it was not enough for us. We invite graduates, former classmates (see discussion below), faculty members going back to first grade, relatives of classmates, and alumni from other classes. Everyone knows the graduates. Inviting these extra people really adds interest and opens up nice possibilities for reconnection.

Including former classmates as regular classmates, not guest members

We welcome former classmates, who were in our class for varying lengths of time between kindergarten and twelfth grade, to join. We've created a Former Classmates page, detailing their years of attendance in our class, and current location or year of passing. Twenty-nine formers have joined to date. We treat them as regular classmates, not guest members, i.e. when they join, we put their names are on the classmates section of the Classmate Profiles page, not in the Guest Members section, where we put relatives, faculty and staff personnel, and alumni from other classes.

We all have classmates who were in our class, sometimes from kindergarten through 11th or into 12th grade, and then left, for various reasons. Some have a tremendous loyalty to our class, even though they didn't graduate. We have had some very emotional reconnections with these classmates, who are delighted to have the opportunity to join our site. The ones who showed up at our 40th reunion were thrilled to reunite with their old friends. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of including them.

Photos and memorabilia from years prior to high school

Our site goes all the way back to kindergarten, with well developed pages for kindergarten through 8th grade schools (see Kindergarten thru 8th Grade link). We have a separate page for each school prior to high school.

Faculty and staff page

We have a Faculty & Staff Update page on which we list all our faculty members and their current location or the year of passing. It's organized by specialty, i.e. English teachers, etc., and includes a photo from our yearbook. We contact faculty and staff members by phone and invite them to join as guest members. Several have done so.

Amount and quality of photos and memorabilia

We've scanned and posted nearly every photo from our yearbooks that includes classmates. We've also added the yearbook introductions, newspaper articles from our school newspaper and lots of memorabilia. Same thing for the schools we attended prior to high school. Every time I speak with a classmate I ask, "Do you have any memorabilia?"

Yearbook photos come with captions below them. We crop out the caption and only post the photo. Then we type in the caption below the photo. When search engines scan the site, they scan the text, then display it in search results, leading people to our site. The more text you can type in, the more the search engines will work for you.

Consider investing in a high resolution scanner, like the Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner, so you can scan yearbook and other photos at a bit higher resolution than normal. We use 300 dots per inch. I've visited sites where the photos are so small or out of focus, and with no captions, that they don't compel me to come back and look at them again.

Quality of the In Memory page entries

We have very developed In Memory page entries for classmates who have passed away, including photos from our yearbooks and full obituaries from the newspaper. It takes some time to create a meaningful tribute to those who have passed. I often contact family members, asking for a current photo if we don't have one.

We also have additional In Memory pages for high school Faculty & Staff and Kindergarten thru 8th grade personnel. They include excerpts from their obituaries plus photos when available. These pages have generated as much interest as the In Memory pages of classmates, for teachers and staff are as dear to us as our classmates.

Useful Links section

At the bottom of our home page we have a Useful Links section with links to our high school site, other class sites, SAT questions (you can test yourself on current questions), etc. One classcreator site I saw has a link to the current weather for the town.

Responsive Design option

So far, I'm not a fan of the Responsive Design option. To access it: Admin Functions > Change Design. My main objection is the width of the text on large screen monitors. On some of the sites I've seen, the text stretches all the way across the screen, making it tedious to read.

Visiting other sites for ideas

Classcreator hosts over 15,000 sites. No one has a monopoly on good ideas. Check out a variety of sites for inspiring ways to improve your site. Feel free to copy anything on our site that you wish.

I hope some of these ideas are useful. As I think of more, I'll edit this page. Having and maintaining a nice site takes an enormous amount of research, scanning of photos, phone calls, etc. and it usually falls on the shoulders of one individual at each site. You know that if you're reading this. But the rewards of seeing members reunite make it all worthwhile!

Edited 04/01/17 4:55 AM
Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM - Response #124

Sounds great, Scott Moore! I'm going to be visiting your site this evening!

Thanks for sharing! Smile

Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 6:27 PM - Response #125

Ha! I couldn't wait! Looked at your Latest News page first and I am impressed and making notes! Thanks for giving me more work on my sites, Scott! Laughing

Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM - Response #126

What an unbelievable job you are doing, running not one class site but over 50! My hat is off to you for this mega project, bringing all the classes together under one roof.

Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 11:54 PM - Response #127

Wow, I sound like Wonder Woman! I must admit, there are several alumni sites that are tops, Scott! On my end, it is one class at a time.

The Class of 1983 has such great participation on their Facebook page that I have been working on the alumni site due to what I saw as a great opportunity. That class has 273 classmates found with only 74 missing. They are focused on finding 100%. Classmates continue to add so many photos to their Facebook page that I set up a class page with their reunion info, missing classmate list link and albums waiting for them to come on over and upload those photos!

Thanks, Scott. Hope to see you on TAP, soon!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 8:18 AM - Response #128

I have a similar problem, trying to keep website interesting, & actually already have done many of the things you propose.

And, while everyone LOVED the website so much that they gave us enough money to prepay for FIVE YEARS! OMG, it's not even been 1 year yet, and I'm struggling with how to maintain interest. I've asked & asked for help in searching for people, (I live in another state, and work 30 hours a week-), but not getting any response.

I just tried something new yesterday with regard to new info on classmates... instead of sending out an email, I offered the info as an announcement on the home page. We'll see if that drives up the stats any...

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM - Response #129

If you are on Facebook, make an announcement as your status with a link to the site. It works for me.

Friday, June 20, 2014 at 9:56 AM - Response #130

GREAT idea! Where/how did you post the 25 things to get it all started?


Friday, July 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM - Response #131

I work on putting up new things ever so many days/weeks. Holidays help... I solicit ideas from anyone... I search other class sites and borrow ideas etc... I focus on old pics, school buildings, activities you name it .... feel free to check out our site I have left several pages open to the public... just added a tribute to those who served in the military today.... hope this helps

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 8:40 PM - Response #132

Dawn. I really liked several things on your site. Do you mind if I use your "easy instructions". My class is older than yours and many of them and not computer friendly.
Thanks, Rick Reynolds

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM - Response #133

Under the administrator's 'Announcement Page' I have created all the bigger holiday's and tweak them as I tick them on and off for each holiday.

Timely info sent to alums, You Tubes like Carol Mackey has done for different holidays, events etc.

Although it requires more work, I send out individual e-mails to alums on their birthday (not all and not all the time) A site generated 'Happy Birthdy' message would be a nice feature! ;o)

Lots of music on our left panel. At one time I was told that we had the biggest 'home page' on the internet....
I have toned it down immensely.

Like others have said (I haven't read all the responses)
I come on here occasionally to seek info and ideas.

I also go on many of 'Your' pages and poke my nose around to see what I can steal.Shocked
(To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research -Steven Wright)

I think it is pretty cyclical on traffic according to various holidays & events e.g.: homecoming and major year reunions.

We have gone to an annual gathering around homecoming and for the 10 year reunions on a much grander scale.
e.g.: I'm now putting forth the idea of two reunions for our 40th (four years away), one in spring out west in Las Vegas and one around homecoming at our home town as usual. I think the one out west will allow many to attend that had not in the past. In addition, it is a cheap vacation and a great hub world wide.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 1:21 PM - Response #134


We just finished a multi-year reunion where we had to keep the interest up for nearly 2 years. We ended up selling nearly 2000 tickets. We had 1300 students registered on this site and had 3840 members on the accompanying Facebook page.

We found it easier to keep people interested on Facebook - it is setup better for that. We found a lot of old websites and a CD from our geneological association and scanned pictures into the Facebook site daily. We scanned old yearbooks also, but concentrated a lot on the city and surrounding area.

We used this site for data storage - people registering and for selling tickets with a PayPal account.

The weekend was a huge success.

Monday, September 17, 2018 at 2:30 AM - Response #135

Our site,, is mainly concerned with content. That and almost daily announcements.

Our class of about 350 is having a 50th reunion in October, 2018.

We like to keep the interest up, getting from 25 to 60 unique logins per day.

Once we stop putting new stuff up, we dip into the teens.

We have 160 people signed up for the 50th Reunion and another 115 going to the Meet and Greet the day before. “Golf With Gary” has attracted 21 guests, so far.

I have no idea if this is a good turnout or not. We just keep plugging away. We find out what works and what does not.

As is normal, we have a deceased rate of about 20%, 70 classmates in our case.

Content includes:
Photos of all classmates (not just graduates)
Photos of all teachers throughout our four years at South
Favorite Teacher Poll
Area dedicated to selling the Meet & Greet
Survey to decide the “next appetiser” for the M&G, as people continue to sign up
Many photos from all past reunions (5th, 10th, 25th, 35th, 41st)
In memory photos and obits/remembrances
Senior Photo Pages — just like they were in the yearbook
Other yearbooks — junior highs, etc.
Several forums, including an Admin Blog where I tell everybody what we are thinking of doing next. Gets lots of hits.

We are saving the best for last. We ran across a scrap book that somebody put together 50 years ago about our school year, 1967-68. Includes mostly newspaper articles, programs, and more. 300 pages. Quite unique.

We’ve also talked to about 10 teachers who are excited about coming to our 50th reunion. Not a lot of teachers left to attend a 50th. Youngsters are in their mid-70s. Most are in their 80s.

Our goal is to top 200 attendees for the 50th reunion. We would NEVER consider staging a reunion for a multi-class event. Just our opinion. Kinda defeats the purpose of a reunion.

Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 12:03 PM - Response #136

Followup to above message.

We had 200 at the 50th Reunion (with spouses and friends), 130 at the Meet & Greet, 30 at the golf event, and 10 teachers (plus spouses).

We actually made money on the events, even though everything was pretty inexpensive ($55 Reunion, $25 M&G). All due to really good turnout.

Had pro photogs at the event and now own all digital images (about 1000). Have been publishing them to the web for the past few months — with names. Seems to keep people interested in coming back.

I write thought pieces on the Home Page and publish my own photo stories and short videos, which also seems to catch their interest. It’s a lot of work.

Sometimes I wonder about why I keep doing this.

Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 3:40 PM - Response #137

I do it because I enjoy it and a small percentage of my classmates remain fairly frequent visitors to the site.

I'm on the west coast but the locals have a breakfast once a month. Pictures taken at each one are posted and that brings a flurry of activity on the site each time.

Having had a classmate recently do a tandem skydive and post a video of same sure helps too. Classmates are speculating as to what her next adventure might be. The only activity she has ruled out thus far is bungee jumping.

Not bad for a class where most are pushing 80, a few have already reached and a couple have exceeded.

Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 6:12 PM - Response #138

Thanks for the detailed info, James Reynolds. I'd say you had an excellent turnout for sure!

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