Welcome to Website Babble!

To get the most out of your visit, please make sure you watch the video and/or read the info and guidelines below.

Self Promotion is Not Allowed

What is self promotion? This is when you create a thread or post with the sole purpose of promoting or advertising your website or blog.

The only time you are allowed to include a link to your site in a post is...

1) You have a technical problem with your site and you need to illustrate the problem by showing us your page or code in question.

2) You are requesting a review in the Site Reviews forum

However, if you are just posting a general question about your site, please refrain from dropping a link when it's not really relevant to answering your question. Take advantage of the signature option (see below).

Also, "Look-what-I-did" posts are not allowed. This is when you've added something new or done something to your site and you create a new thread with a link to your website just to show it off. This is self promotion.

While I realize many of these posts are innocent, I cannot allow them because it will get out of hand by people whose intentions are to spam/self promote. It will become difficult for myself and the moderators to manage and determine which posts are innocent and which are not.

How to Avoid Getting Banned

Spam has become a huge problem on WB and there is a no-tolerance policy for it. If we suspect you are trying to self promote or you blatantly ignore the rules (which are presented to you before and after you register), then you will be banned without warning and all your posts will be deleted.

First make sure you read the guidelines.

The bottom line is, you should never create a thread or a post with the intent of calling attention (directly or indirectly) to your site, service, etc. Even if your site is only listed in your signature and not the post, it may still be considered spam.

That's really it in a nutshell. What complicates that rule is that members use sneaky tactics to exploit it.

Below is a list of sneaky, spam-like behavior that people often engage in. If you are spotted doing any of these things, you may be banned without warning.

1) Posting a bunch of short posts like "thanks", "great post", "thank you for your information" in a short period of time is a sign of a spammer.

Some people do this to quickly rack up posts so they can meet the requirement for adding a signature. Others do it if they've already earned the right to add a signature and want to increase the number of posts, thus creating more backlinks to their site.

Please don't let this scare you from creating short posts or thanking people. This behavior usually happens with newer members (under 100 posts) and the posts are made within a very short period of time. Short posts are not going to get you banned if your history looks normal.

2) Creating threads to recommend random hosts, domain registrars, or any other product or service out of the blue. (Some people get paid to drop recommendations on forums.)

A recommendation for GoDaddy or Bluehost would not raise a red flag because these are well-known companies. But when a new member just recommends a lesser known company, site or service, it looks suspicious.

3) Posting copyrighted content.

This is not necessarily spammy behavior, but it's illegal. Posting content that you do not own and do not have permission to post is against the rules. Some people do this to hopefully gain reputation points, and others do it to subtly promote their signature.

4) Posting a random article that doesn't really spark discussion or an information article that is related to your site.

If you are an SEO firm with a link in your site in your signature, and you post an article titled "10 Ways to Improve Your Page's SEO" then that looks like a subtle attempt to promote your site.

Nothing wrong with posting useful information if you want to share it, but just understand this may send up red flags if you are a new member and/or you do this too often (especially when the article is related to the site in your signature.)

New Member Alert

Newer members are more likely to get banned without warning because they are typically the violators of the items mentioned, however, spammers are getting sneaky. Some people will post 50 innocent posts and then suddenly start spamming.

Also, seasoned members may try to push the envelope after they've developed a reputation as a "respectable member." So no one is exempt from getting banned. It's just that newer members are more likely to spam, so it's natural to question the intent of their iffy posts.

Nevetheless, I have no problem banning an older member and deleting all posts if they violate the rules.

Why So Strict?

Some of you may be frustrated by all the rules. Trust me, I am just as frustrated for having to make them. You can thank the spammers.

Also, it's easier to have an all-or-nothing policy for links in posts than creating conditions or monitoring gray areas.

For example, if I created a rule that said, "You can recommend your site in a post only if it's relevant to the thread", that would get messy. Then you'll have sneaky people creating fake accounts to ask questions that they can answer with their other WB account. Also, relevancy can be subjective and I may disagree with a member's relevancy judgement.

Bottom Line: It's just easier to create a rule that says "No links to your site in a post except in your signature" than to create a bunch of conditional rules that could be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Rules can be frustrating, but I firmly believe that if you are here for the right reasons, you won't have any problems following them and avoiding spammy behavior. If you are in doubt about what's appropriate, you can always post a question in the Announcement or Lounge forums.

Usually the people who complain are the ones who intend to spam and push the envelope. There are plenty of active members here who enjoy the spam-free environment and understand why these rules exist.

I appreciate the members who fall into this category and thanks for your patience! I apologize if the spammers have clouded your experience here at WB.

No Articles Allowed

WB has a problem with many members trying to inflate their post count or subtly promote their signature by posting articles they've written or copyrighted content from other sites.

Since articles don't encourage discussion (the purpose of the forum), they are not allowed. It is too difficult to determine if a member is just trying to be helpful or if it's a subtle attempt to spam/inflate the post count.

New Posts are Moderated

All new posts are moderated and will not be displayed on the forum until they are approved by the Admin. Please be patient if you are a new member and your posts have not yet displayed.

New Members Cannot Post Links

Due to spam on Website Babble (i.e. spambots and people joining to either blatantly or subtly drop links to ther site), new members cannot post links.

To prevent abuse, there are no further details provided about the criteria needed.

Adding a Signature

You are allowed to add a signature to your posts after you reach a certain (undisclosed) post count. When you can add a signature the "Edit Signature" option will become available in the Settings area. So you'll have to keep checking.

Please do not manually add a signature to the body of your post. It will be removed. In extreme cases, your account will be banned.

Posting a Poll

You can create a poll after you've reached an undisclosed amount of posts. However, you can vote/participate in existing polls no matter how many posts you have.

Adding a Banner & Larger Avatar

You may have noticed that some members have a banner in their sig file and larger Avatars. You must have 400 posts before you can do both. Details on how to do this will become available at the top of the forum when you reach that status.

The WB Reputation System

The WB Reputation system allows forum members to rate other member's posts. So if someone posts a very helpful post, you can click on the star icon located at the bottom-left of their post and provide positive feedback.

How many points you can award depends on your own reputation. So those who have a higher reputation, can award more positive and negative points than those who have little or no reputation.

You can read notes about a member's reputation by hovering your mouse over the bar icon located on the top bar of their posts.

Gray bar = No reputation

Red bar = Poor reputation (Has negative points)

Green bar(s) = Positive reputation points. You earn 1 green bar for every 100 rep points you receive.

Not everyone can assign negative reputation points. In order to give negative reputation points, you must have a certain number of posts and reputation points (undisclosed).

The reputation point system is purposely vague to avoid abuse of the system. Currently there are no awards or punishments associated with the reputation system, but I may choose to use this feature later to grant certain privileges to those who reach a certain reputation level.

Please do NOT award negative points if you disagree with someone's opinion. That's not the purpose of the system. The purpose of assigning negative points is to discredit members who post inappropriate or spammy/sneaky posts.

Posting a Site Review Request

New members with low number of posts cannot post a new thread in the Site Reviews forum. The reason for this rule is that there were a large number of people joining the forum just to drop a link or promote their site using the Site Review section.

Once you reach the appropriate number of posts (undisclosed), you will be able to ask for a review. Keep in mind you can still reply to other review requests, you just cannot post a new thread and request your own review until you reach the desired number of posts.

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