One of the big challenges in maintaining a website is how to keep your to the ground in terms of your users’ current concerns, passions, and interests. Email feedback, and contacts with your helpdesk can provide useful pointers, but it’s hard to build up a complete picture from these.
One way in which you can get bigger picture is to set up a forum where your users gather online.
Should you choose website hosting with EUKHost, you will find that we provide message board (or forum) software as standard, which you can easily add to your site when ready.
However, you should not rush to set up a forum just because it’s easily to do. There are many advantages in having a forum, but also some pitfalls, which it’s helpful to be aware of.
The chief advantage of a forum is the immediate contact with users. They will give you a clear picture of what’s going on in their world, what they’d like to see next from your company.
Another benefit is the word-of-mouth interest your site can generate – in other words, a forum can become a self-managing informal marketing tool, helping generate and sustain site footfall.
But do make sure there’s sufficient interest in the first place: You want to avoid the negative impression created for your company of a virtually empty forum.
Also, bear in mind that users will be nothing if not honest, and you will need ways of accommodating negative feedback: there is a risk of your forum backfiring on you, unless you have constructive ways of handling negative feedback.
Site uptime is also essential to the health of your forum, as users will fast lose patience if their forum periodically goes down. With website hosting by EUKhost you will however benefit from very high levels of uptime.
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