I am working a blog like site (with a specific niche) where users can come and makes posts. I have been thinking about whether to make the site open, closed or semi-closed. Here are my thoughts:
In case of open site, when the users come in, in the homepage they can see the latest postings, categorized content etc and then they can click on these contents and read them freely.
- Might succeed in getting more readership for the postings and encourage readers to come back as it is easy to access the postings without registration etc
- Easier access to many content in homepage can pique reader's interest and get them going.
- Writers might get discouraged, because anonymous reading means, lesser chance of getting feedback/comments. Having a high readership with no comments is pretty discouraging.
- The homepage can get pretty cluttered and overwhelming
In case of closed site, when the users come in, they only see a few sections stating what the site is and what the benefits of registration are. They will be needed to register/sign in before they can access any postings. PROS & CONS are opposite of an open site.
The homepage can be made more clean and professional.
Since the reader went through the trouble of registration (which will be a VERY short form), we can expect the reader to be more participating in providing feedback etc.
- Hitting a registration required screen in the homepage can cause massive dropoffs
A semi-closed site is where users can view SOME of the postings without registering. Like say, N number of postings a day or so.
- If content is good, users will be encouraged to register to continue
- Seems fair to both readers and writers
- Harder to maintain/manage
- There is a chance that the user hit the unregistered usage limit for the day, and let to never return.
So what are your thoughts/comments? What kind of the above three options would you prefer as a reader, writer? What user experience do you think will have most engagement?
All feedback welcome!