Will you get more signups if you put the signup form on the front page or on another page that users access via a link on the front page?
Form on the front page might make it a bit cluttered - I'm trying to keep it simple.
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If your site is even halfway properly designed, the link to the signup form should be prominent and easily accessible from every relevant location on the site. So getting to it shouldn't be the problem, wherever it's located. The problem is convincing your users to sign up. That's what the front page and most other pages should be dedicated to. Depending on the size of the form, it might scare the users off before they've had a chance to understand why they should sign up in the first place.
In any case on the front page it draws attention away from the marketing messages, it can be annoying and can be perceived as aggressive. Focus on convincing users to sign up, and provide an easy and clear way to do it once they're convinced - but don't shove the form in their faces as soon as they've landed on the homepage.
I like this idea. I use on my sites as do other people. AppTrajectory.com is a great example of having the sign up on the front page. I like better than a separate sign up page. But, DO NOT put first thing. Added some nice text tell about your site first.
A reported 47% of signups can come from the home page, Sidebar area and exit popup while at the bottom of your content can be up to 73% effective. Here is my source. I believe your answers are there.
Home Page 47%
In Content 47%
Main Navigation 47%
Timed pop-up 13%
Exit Pop- Up 47%
Content Upgrades 47%
Menu Above 7%
Under the header: 7%
I've also read today that the more complex your content is the better it will perform at lower sections of your content. The more simplistic your content the higher the form should be. Just a rule of thumb with stats behind it.