New forum - Advice appreciated.

  chris6891 18:48 27 Jan 2008

Hi all. I had some spare webspace, and domain names are cheap so decided to try out something new.
I have interest in sports and fitness so created a forum based on this - mainly due to other forums
not offering certain things i like. The website is click here , so please go over and take a look (and sign up if you taken an interest ;) )

I'd like some opinion on the current design. It's the basic phpBB style, but I like it. If anyone can recommend any phpBB resources, such as styles
mods etc then that'd be much appreciated.

My main problem, however, is going to be getting users to it. There is currently no content, so nothing to really entice members.
Yet, I cannot get content on there without members contributing. So it's kind of a vicious circle.

I've used adwords to promote other websites I've created in the past...this wasn't too bad, but can't really see this working for this. I'd therefore like to hear your experiences on attracting members to a new forum and which works best.

On a side note. I'd be interesting in hearing how much bandwidth etc a forum is likely to use, dependent on the number of users. I know there is
obviously no definitive answer, but some sort of idea would also be appreciated.

Thanks all

  djbenny 22:08 27 Jan 2008

first thing i'd do it change the phpbb logo: click here

to something or just blank... there are a lot of good styles available out there!

forums will not use much banbdwidth unless there are loads of images been hosted on the site, as its usually mainly just text and that doesnt suck much bandwidth

and for attracting members, word of mouth, posting or having a sigiture link on other related forums, asking fitness centres if you could put a poster up or something, SEO is important too you need to find the right keywords and add them to the website so google and other search engines can pick it up

  Forum Editor 18:17 30 Jan 2008

Having a forum area that invites "Discussion of a sexual nature." might not be such a good idea either - people will post all kinds of inappropriate stuff, and links to adult sites. That will deter others - my advice is to drop the idea.

That forum software is almost infitely customisable, and as djbenny has said, there are loads of downloadable skins on the web - just type 'phpBB skins' into Google, and you'll see for yourself.

Traffic is mainly driven to forum sites by word of mouth, and by reciprocal linking with other relevant sites. Google will find you without you having to do anything, so don't worry unduly about that aspect of things. Concentrate on the look of the forum - you would be surprised by how important it is. Get your friends to seed the forum area with threads, and ask everyone to tell all their friends, too.

Bandwidth isn't something you should worry about until you are getting thousands of visitors a day.

  chris6891 17:59 01 Feb 2008

Thanks for your input guys. Made a few changes based on your advice, still need to change the php logo but will do this once I've had time to create a new one. If there's any other input out there then it'd be much appreciated.


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