How to Change the Layout of Your Ning Network's Main Page - dummies

How to Change the Layout of Your Ning Network’s Main Page

By Manny Hernandez

You can move features around the main page of your Ning network through the Add Features to Your Network page, changing the layout until it’s just what you want. To get to this page, click the Manage link in your navigation and then click the Features option under Your Network.


Add Features to Your Network page by dragging the feature and dropping it where you want it to appear on the main page — it’s that easy.

You have a lot of freedom to move things around, but you do have a couple of restrictions:

  • Username: You can’t move the Username box anywhere or remove it under any circumstance.

  • Ads: You can move the Ads feature only if you purchase the Ning premium service that lets you run your own ads.

  • Created By: You can move or remove the Created By feature only if you purchase the Remove Ning Promotion links premium service.

How you arrange features on the main page of your network directly affects the way in which your members participate, how compelled they may feel to go past the main page during their visits, and how much a visiting nonmember will want to join the network. The following considerations should come in handy:

  • Show members prominently. Members are the lifeblood of a network. Displaying members on your main page prominently gives people visiting your network a feel for the members in your network and even hint at the overall type of network you run.

  • People love to chat. The Ning chat feature lets people do just that in real-time.

  • Latest Activity pays off. Your network’s Latest Activity feature gives current and prospective members an idea of how active your network is. You should show this feature as close to the top of the main page as possible.

  • Show your pictures and videos. You may be surprised at how quickly your members start to share photos and videos on your network. Give prominence in your network to the Photos and Videos features.

  • Discussion topics galore. Because of the ease of use (you don’t need a photo or video camera to contribute to it), the discussion forum is another incredibly popular feature. Make some room for it in the middle column.

  • Groups are your member’s networks. Because your members are bound to come up with ideas you didn’t even dream of, groups that become popular are great candidates to feature on the main page as a means to attract new members into the network and give existing members more reasons to come back.

  • Feature blog posts on the main page. When you see your members engage in writing blog posts, you may want to feature your members’ posts more prominently on your main page as a way to highlight content that is relevant to current and potential new members.