Sign up call to action

(leggetter) #1

I’ve just set up a Discourse forum and have had reasonable success in promoting it to a small target audience. I’m basing “success” on interactions on twitter (follows/mentions) and views on my install. However, I’ve had no signups.

I’ve a couple of theories about this:

  1. The content I’ve seeded the site with isn’t interesting enough and so nobody wants to reply
  2. It’s clear there aren’t a lot of other users on the site so it deters others from signing up
  3. It isn’t obvious how to simply “sign up”.

Ignoring 1. and 2. and focusing in on 3. what do people think of providing the ability to customise the “Log In” and “Login In to Reply” button text? Given the choice I’d probably change it to “Log In / Sign Up” because I don’t think that all users will see “Log In” as the first step of a sign up process.

I may change the source myself and test this theory out. But I’d be interested in hearing what others think? Normally sites do distinguish between “Sign Up” and “Log In”.

Also see: 301 Moved Permanently

(Jeff Atwood) #2

You can certainly change the English localization file to make the text whatever you want there.

However, I remember having this argument with Stack Exchange 1.0 sites (for pay Q&A sites) back in the day where they consistently blamed the “login” process for their lack of users. I found that rather ironic since Stack Exchange never required any kind of login whatsover to post questions or answers.

Moral of the story: you basically need to be famous, or nearly so, to start a successful forum.

The context is “how do I get people to use my thing” which is a much broader problem than Discourse. You can try the copy change but I think this is a far deeper problem that doesn’t have much to do with Discourse proper. Do you have enough cheese?

(thepractice) #3

What about the principle of keeping the barriers to entry as low as possible?

If you assume that most people are not very subtle and need to be hit in the face to be impressed upon, then having a button that says “Sign up” would lower the barrier to entry in terms of joining the conversation.

Also, the “call to action” graphic shown below would go a long way towards making an impression upon such people:

@codinghorror, in general it seems like your philosophy is to cater to the smartest people instead of the lowest common denominator. Surely this works well with a coding Q&A site like, but maybe the principle should be relaxed a bit for applications geared more towards the general public?

Is there empirical evidence for this? What successful forums were started by celebrities?

(Brian) #4

I’m interested in a more “direct” sign up message option too.

Being able to set the login button text to “Login / Sign Up” would help but also being able to directly link to a page with a sign up overlay would be very useful (with similar options to the quora page above … not as the default page view, but perhaps if directly referring to “” etc.)

There are instances when I will promote our forum with the intention/hope that users will sign up but, while they may stay and read on that occasion, most will leave without signing up. I realize this is perfectly normal for any forum but if attempting a campaign to attract new users I’d like the call to action to be the first thing they see when they land on the site.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

One step closer here: for anonymous users, we do show both Sign Up and Log In now.

These go to the dialogs you would expect. @eviltrout can we have a route URL trigger the sign up page? Is that possible?

(James Milligan) #6

Looks like he’s one step ahead of you - /signup works for me (redirects to homepage and shows signup form)

(Salman, Freelance Developer) #7

I would also suggest ‘first mover’ advantage for certain categories of forums like e.g. a new car model is released and your are one of the first forums to come out.

(thepractice) #8

One issue–a new user clicks the ‘Sign up’ button. But he is not given the option to sign up (sign in) using google, facebook, twitter, etc…

I think it would be better if the new user were given this option.

(James Milligan) #9

@thepractice see: