How much is too much? A guide to creating your forum's board
Author:Spektral of Talkpark.net
Alright so going through a variety of forums here on SMF I noticed an all too familiar trend that plagues first-time form administrators: the creation of way too many boards.
But how much is too much? When do you decide that the boards you have are enough to satisfy your target demographic?
Nothing is worse than clicking a link and looking at a forum with 30+ boards and maybe 150 posts. Like I said in my previous guide, no new member is going to want to raise your forum from the dead for you.
The key to board creation is to keep quality over quantity. For example, 150 posts in five boards can make a potential new member think "hey, this forum looks kinda of active, I might join!" Likewise, if you have 5,000 posts in five boards, a potential new member might think that your forum is too cluttered and that the set-up is unwelcoming.
One thing a new forum should avoid at any cost is creating too many boards. Under no circumstance should you have more than 20 boards on a new forum. Some may argue that certain categories of forums require a lot more boards, and that's true, but let's look at the scenario from the proper perspective.
A new forum opens with 10 very well thought-out boards. Those 10 boards should encompass everything you want people to talk about on your site. For example, on my forum, we started out by having a board for media, video-games and debates. People eventually began requesting a sports and video board, so I had to split up the media board into three boards.
Now I have three very active boards, and all three are what people wanted. There is nothing superfluous. However, had I had those three (and potentially more) boards before getting a strong member base, I might have had people join that weren't interested in that subject and the boards would die.
What I'm saying is, forums are nothing more than a less complex version of "supply + demand." When the demand for a new board is high enough, you make it. Otherwise, no matter how much YOU may want it there, don't even bother.