Why are forum styles so boring?

Harry P

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I visited dozen of forums daily for gaining my knowledge about online marketing & SEO but most of them are having styles so boring. I am wondering why forum owners don't improve their templates to make them better and look better like a website/blog or webmastersun.com? Does everyone like simple forum styles?
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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The vast majority of forums are built using pre-written engines such as PHP-BB and vB. Often they are written by programmers who emphasize functionality over style. Good programmers tend to lack in design aesthetics (lol). I don't know why but they do. It's just something I noticed.

So the answer is because they are using pre-written engines that already do everything they need it to do without much modification.
 

Ron Killian

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I wonder where you are finding a dozen or even close to a dozen IM related forums that are worth visiting?

There use to be some descent ones, but so many of them turned into ghost towns. Long abandoned.
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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Ron, he didn't say he was visiting good ones.
 

Mike001

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Ron, as observant as you are I would be surprised if you miss much of anything. That is a compliment by the way.

I am with you through, there are not many good sites out there anymore dealing with marketing. Even the development sites are drying up as more and more people move to those out-of-the-box systems.

Thank goodness for businesses and the need for security. That is what keeps my business booming. The best thing that ever happened to professional web developers was the introduction of WordPress and Joomla. Over the last year I have had more businesses approach me to move to secure custom systems that were on those platforms than I have in the 5 previous years combined.

Getting back to his question though, I think a big part of the forum design limitations has to do with the amount of content that must be displayed on the landing page above the fold. It is really difficult to display that much information, because after all that is what captures your audience, in a way other than a tabulator format.

And I agree with EGW, most developers are not artsy fartsy, I can confirm that hands down. I have the same issue myself and my staff has the same limitations. We can write code for most anything, but one it comes to making it look nice, color balance, etc. I hire a graphics designer to lay everything out, then we code around it.

I think has to do with the sides of the brain that are used for the different tasks. Programmers are very analytic and artsy people are very conceptual. I think God might have said the two brains shall meet ...... of course, that is a joke.
 
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Ron Killian

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Ron Killian
Oh sure I miss plenty. But thank you. :)

I am always looking for new forums, social sites, ect, so was curious for sure. Just a shame there are not that many IM related forums these days.

I stopped by WF last night. I had not been there for a while, but I knew it was going down hill. Wow, is it ever. Just so much spam, promotion and totally junk useless posts. It's like no one is manning the ship. It's like FL is a slumlord, buying up properties, not putting anything into them, not maintaining them, just milking them for all they can. Sad really.

Course, good news for the quality forums like Webmastersun. (do I get brownie points?)

Out of curiosity I went to Alexa and just as I thought, looks like a major drop in reach and traffic for the WF. Not surprised.

And gee has Alexa changed. They sure don't give out much data for free these days. Well, something has to pay the bills.

Did I get off topic enough? I'll try harder next time.
 

Harry P

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I wonder where you are finding a dozen or even close to a dozen IM related forums that are worth visiting?

There use to be some descent ones, but so many of them turned into ghost towns. Long abandoned.
Yex I am saying a dozen, there are some good ones and some are bad but they are still worth visiting to get some traffic.

And gee has Alexa changed. They sure don't give out much data for free these days. Well, something has to pay the bills.

Did I get off topic enough? I'll try harder next time.
You are quite right on this, if you pay for bills on Alexa then Alexa will make your Alexa ranking skyrocket

alexaranking-skyrocket.png
 

ulterios

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I have always liked the nicer looking forums but there are not that many around. Most of them are plain and real basic. I really do not know why the owners haven't tried to make them look nicer and make a better impression.

There are some good looking styles/themes/etc. out there for the different forum scripts, especially the paid ones. Most of the forum owners just stick with the basics.

Our forum here is a real nice looking one and I know the owner here has worked hard to make sure it looks nice and makes a good impression to guests and members. If more forum owners did that it would make visiting those other forums much nicer, but I wouldn't hold my breath. ;)
 

The Ebook Giant

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So what we're all getting to here is.. Forums are dying?

Seriously like Ron up there explained there used to be a ton of these "IM" forums and most ones have just gone dark. This applies to every other niche forum aswell. It's only the few ones who have been adapting to the 'current generation' who are staying in the game. One of them being WF.
 

Ron Killian

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Well, we know why forums are not as popular these days. Most people are doing everything on the social networks, even marketers. Like Facebook, so many have moved there. Nor surprising really because the traffic potential is huge.

Not that I am saying forums are going to be a thing of history, just saying the traffic has shifted.

It also doesn't help that forums seem to be prime spots for spammers. Can't imagine the spam this forum alone has to fight ott.
 

mantra

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I agree with the notion that forum styles do need a bit updating to keep up with all the social components and web design aspects out there. I prefer a simple, easy, and navigable layout with all the features at your fingertips.

NodeBB and Discourse are a bit different in style.
 
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