Did you know that forcing people to register on your forum just to see a single article on your forum is bad ? If you don’t know about that already, here are the top reasons on why you should make your forum available to search engine and at the same time also allow normal visitors to read some articles on your forum without registering first …
1. Most people are just lazy, and in the end you’ll risk losing potential returning site visitors
I’ve to admit that sometime i don’t really like when i have to register a username first just to check a forum, even for a big forum that has incredibly large userbase such as Webmasterworld, but in my case that’s because i just love to read without registering first (eventhough i have automatic web-form filler in place and ready to use) although that may change depending on the forum itself (if i see lots of friendly people there, of course i’ll join the discussion too) … and you know what ? most people also think that way
2. Say goodbye to search engine, and any search engine traffic
Eventually you’ll realize that your forum can’t be found anywhere in the search engine although you have some good content in your forum that is created by your regular visitors, and that’s all thanks to your decision to prevent search engine from visiting your forum by forcing user registration
3. Forget about monetization
Although making a forum can be considered as an easy task, but paying your monthly hosting bill and other bills can not be considered as an easy task, and that’s why you should monetize your site at least to pay your monthly hosting bill and your internet bill, but because you didn’t allow search engine to crawl your forum, you just missed another opportunity to monetize your forum. Simply because even though those visitors (read: lurkers) are just reading your forum without registering, your statistics still counts. And just in case you didn’t know, those statistics can be useful especially if you’re going to monetize your forum later
Now … the question is … are you going to force user registration after thinking about it carefully ?