Hello People of SitePoint,
I created a forum called "Nerd Chat" I have been looking for biased reviews.
Here is the forum link http://nerdchat.net
Here is what I need to know:
1) Good theme?
2) Good Logo?
I also need members to help with the activity if you could give me advise on that...
I like it. It's simple and clean. The logo looks good.
A few things stick out for me:
Those sub-forum icons - I think some vector icons would better suit the clean design.
The thread body text (including links) - slightly too light. I feel that if I was browsing your forum for an extended period, I'd start to feel the eye strain.
Thread posts - It's a bit hard to discern the beginning and end, making the threads feel a bit cluttered. I'd suggest darkening up the post headers.
About section and/or page? - Perhaps I'm being pedantic, but what is your site about? Entice people to join. Assumptions based on a logo wouldn't be enough to get me to register.
The first thing I always look for in a site is a clear, upfront explanation of what it's for—in big lettering, with a clear notion of why I might want to stay and use it. Without that, I would quickly leave and forget about your site.
I am always with Ralph on this point--right where you have your Minecraft ad at the top, I'm looking for a couple of sentences or a catchy phrase about what your site does. I don't need the word "welcome," but I need information about who the target audience is--and it takes too long to figure that out.
The logo/title looks appropriate, and it's easy to read--not sure if a quick catch phrase next to it in the top black header would solve the "what does this site do?" problem described above.
I love the look of your top breadcrumbs--useful and sleek (I'd love to be able to make that work on my site--I was trying to do that in a very similar style to what you've done here).
Your categories are organized logically, and I could see you drawing a lot of people with these groups of interests--gaming, site development, and so on. I wonder if under the "Computing" tab, the computing and Graphics forum sections should be reversed--both because it makes sense alphabetically, and because users who click there are looking for "computing," since that's what the label said it would be.
Under your gaming forum sections, do you really need the descriptions? For example, under World of Warcraft it says "Here you can discuss world of warcraft," but it's a forum and it has a wow label.
I like the suggestion of adding games to the site--it may encourage visitors to hang around, and possibly post more frequently. Good luck!
I use the pro version of Weebly, but they have a free version that is ad-free and just requires a footer with their name. They offer a discussion forum feature, but it's not as extensive as you'd need for this project
I've looked into WordPress,too--not just for blogs, but supposedly you can transfer your existing site into one of their templates. Not sure about their forum features, but it's worth checking them out. Since so many people use them, there's a lot of online information about plug-ins and code with WP.
Overall, it's a clean, tidy layout, with great color uses.
The main issue is, as ralph.m pointed out, that your website provides no proper introduction. When a user visits nerdchat.net, he will ask himself:
- What is this site?
- What's it's purpose?
- Why should I look further into it?
When your site is able to answer those questions, you can start taking the next steps towards getting users and activity. Providing a reason for users to choose your site over others is the main key to gain users. As you have already implemented, games is a nice addition, but it still doesn't make your site differ from the rest. Figure out a clever feature to attract new user because the others have a head start. For instance: The reason I just joined SitePoint is the number of members and the maturity of the userbase. You won't have this advantage, and therefore you should compensate in some other way. I can't give you an exact suggestion, because if I could, I would be using it right away