Essential 10 Tips For New vBulletin Admins

This was posted by one of our members on vBulletinSetup, and I was given permission to share it with you guys. I think they are some good tips for new vBulletin admins.
I’ve put this little article together today after sheer frustration with the complete and utter basic questions that are repeatedly asked at almost all sites. First if you want to be a webmaster for whatever reason, that’s great. I’ve got a nice warm fuzzy feeling in my heart for you. But you need to learn how to act like one too, and that includes learning how to utilize search features, no matter how crappy they maybe, researching on your own, how to ask for advice/help, and what to do when you get it.
1. Do not post thread titles with the words “pls, omg, hax0rd, sux, urgent! zomg, help now!, I’m dieing” and other stupid annoying abbreviations that 12 year olds wouldn’t use. Instead try something in complete English (if you’re on a English speaking board of course ). Or whatever native language the board is in. You’ll notice a lot more friendly and knowledgeable people will respond.
2. When you get the advice you ask for, take it. Don’t say thats not what I want, after you clearly explained thats what you wanted. EX here and Every post this guys ever made. There’s a reason you’re asking for help, and there’s a reason people take time to respond. Generally its going to be good solid advice. Failure to do so, will probably get you ignored by whoever helped you in the future.
3. You bought vBulletin, so you’re probably aware of its features. One of these features is the search function. Its even a feature found on many other sites. Learn to use it, even as inaccurate as you may think it is, everyone else uses it to find solutions to your problems, you should too!
4. Don’t ask for help that requires more then 15 minutes to figure out or solve from a free community and expect to get a ton of accurate replies. Everyone is there to learn and help yes, but thats pretty time consuming. Instead research the problem yourself, or hire someone to fix it. Lets face it, you can’t even use the search feature yet, you sure in the hell can’t find bugs or problems someone else already hasn’t had.
5. Create a test site, make changes there first if you can’t figure it out, then come to the community for answers. If you screw something up, and I have 100% of my faith in you that you will, no harm will be done. Simply delete it, revert the changes or whatever and start again. The only bad thing that will happen is you’ll learn something.
6. There is no “best host” “great hosts” “cheap hosts” “unlimited hosts” “endless hosts”. There are horrible and crappy ones for sure though. If you’ve purchased hosting from a site that claims any of the former, you’ve been duped. You should seek new hosting right away or prepare to face a load of problems. There is no problem in looking for hosts that post deals on forums as you’ll find a lot of the good ones do. But, do not complain about your site crashing and not having a backup cause your host said they’d do it, or that your host ran by a 15yr high school kid from his moms basement packed up shop with your files and left you high and dry. Do your research before choosing a host It will save you a headache and a half
7. Do not load your forum with a bunch of modifications and useless add-ons you really have no use for. First it creates extra load on your server and could potentially get you kicked off your hosting plan. If you’ve installed TopX stats and have 3 members, chances are good you do not need it. Not only that it clutters everything up, and will make your forum look like its ran by a 6 year old kid with autism.* Especially do not load your forum full of JavaScript/Ajax effects. These take forever to load and will only drive users away
8. Do not load your forums with a ton of advertisements and expect to make money. Sure all the cool websites have adsense or some sort of CPC program these days but you aren’t going to make anything with 3489023 ads per page, and 5 people looking at them. If you want to use advertisements thats great, but for the love of God/Allah/Buddha/Zeus/whoever you worship keep it simple and unobtrusive to the end user experience.
9. Get a nice theme. Having a black theme with glowing red text that burns retinas and rotates colors every click is a bit of a waste. vBulletin has a awesome powerful CSS editor built in that will let you create awesome looking styles in under 15 minutes. That is seriously no lie. Finding and uploading some spiffy new buttons and graphics is as easy as browsing around the internet and looking for a icon pack as well ┬áNot only that but you’ll notice alot more activity, traffic and new member signups the better your style is.
10. Do not go forum spamming. Sure its a great way to promote your site, get 2-3 new visitors that won’t sign up but you’re wasting your time. First your post will surely be deleted by the end of the day. Boom never to be seen again. Second you’re ruining your forums reputation. If you’re forum lasts longer then 2 months(I’d like for you to credit me for making you read this article first ) you may actually start to see some traffic and people coming to it. Then the problem you’ll have is you’ll get people from the site you spammed. Think they’ll sign up? Umm probably not. Instead create a non-self-identifying account on your competitors forum. Create a few posts, including a intro thread if the forum is there, add something valuable to their content. Place your sites link in your signature and make one final contributor post that is worthwhile and then vanish! Check back a few days later, if you’re link is still there great, if not simply remove the content you contributed
Well look at that, 10 easy tips and tricks to make YOU a better webmaster. Ok there is really only 9 there that will help, but I’ll let you figure out which one really doesn’t help. If you make money from becoming a better webmaster from this article, i expect a hefty donation too:-)

6 comments

  1. Kathleen Frias

    Ive got a forum running on vBulletin, and i need to know if there is any way to automatically ban the IP address of users who are banned.

    So basically, if i ban a user, i want their IP address to automatically get banned. Any help is appreciated. Cheers.

    • Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> User Banning Options -> Ban IP Addresses

      This will stop it from seeing any content on your site, but it won’t stop them from trying. For that you’d need to set up a robots.txt file

  2. Janet Somerville

    Or is just for forums? I want to make a news, link portal and picture gallery website and was wondering if vBulletin could support this? Can I incorporate my own pages into a vBulletin website to? If not, could someone recommend else. Thank you!

  3. I would like to create a vBulletin forum, but I need to have my own server. I can either use my own server, or use a server-hosting website.

    What is the best website to use, (Cheap, Good Connection, Easy to understand etc) to host a server for a vBulletin forum?

    • I know you have requested a server, but let me just confirm you definitely don’t want a shared hosting package.

      Shared hosting is much more efficient on the wallet, and as the server is fully managed with a shared hosting account, you can concentrate on running your forum than managing the server at the same time.

      If you are just starting out with your forum, i’d recommend shared hosting as it is cheap, and if you choose the right web host, they will upgrade your website with your needs.

      If you do want a dedicated server on the other hand, they can cost hundreds of dollars a year based on the specification, and any less just means they are not reliable, and will probably leave your forum with downtime.

      So to summarise, in my experience the best shared hosting provider definitely has to be http://www.belira.com (cheapest option – best quality & up time though) as they have great up time (they are never down) and for dedicated servers, i’d probably go to http://www.hostgator.com (expensive option – and harder work)

      I hope this will help you
      Thanks

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