Putting your best Main Page forward

A few weeks ago we introduced the 4-Second Rule as a key to your Ning Network’s growth and success. Since you have 4 seconds to wow people on your Ning Network, it’s crucial to have a focused, speedy Main Page. Based on the data we’ve seen and the conversations we’ve had with Network Creators, it’s clear that having too many features on the Main Page — especially when those features are rich with embedded photos and widgets from other websites — gets in the way of your Ning Network’s growth. If your Main Page is slow and people can’t figure out what to do next, they don’t come back — that’s the essence of the 4-Second Rule.

In order to support these findings, tonight we’ve built some best practices directly into your Ning Network. You’ll now see the following structure on the Features page of your Manage tab:

  • A cap of 20 features on the Main Page, including Text Boxes and RSS feeds.
  • A cap of 5 RSS feeds and 5 Text Boxes on the Main Page.

Since these changes are targeted at Ning Networks that take about 10 seconds to load, they probably won’t impact your Ning Network at all. But if your Main Page exceeds these caps today, not to worry:

If your Ning Network has more than 20 feature modules on the Main Page today: You’ll just be prompted to remove some features from the Main Page when you go to the Features page from the Manage tab. None of your content will be affected.

If your Ning Network has more than 5 RSS feeds or 5 Text Boxes on the Main Page today: You’ll still be able to edit and save the RSS feeds and Text Boxes you currently have on the Main Page. When you go to the Features page from the Manage tab, bring the count of RSS feeds or Text Boxes down to 4 to add a new one.

Later this month, we’ll establish some similar structure behind the number of embeds that can display on the Main Page. Again, these will only impact Ning Networks that take about 10 seconds to load. The point of these updates is to position your Ning Network for success by creating a framework for features that encourages speed without stifling creativity or flexibility. If you’re finding that these changes aren’t working out for your Ning Network, we’ll be happy to come up with a solution together in the Ning Help Center. We value these conversations, and they help us understand how we can continue to support growth and activity on your Ning Network.

About the Author:

Nick Barr – who has written posts on Ning's Official Blog on Social Networking Sites.


  • http://www.swapsavers.com/ Swap Savers

    I think you should be able to have more than 5 text boxes. The text boxes are a way for me to organize the ads and other features on my network on the side bar (i.e the one at the top of my website which helps people figure out where to go).