Do you use sub-forums?


I'm using XF to create a Russian politics and history forum, and here's the thing: My front page now has about 75 different forums.

For instance, the history category has a list of forums ordered by chronology, aka early Slavs -> Kievan Rus -> Mongol period -> Rise of Muscovy -> etc, etc.

I was wondering if people might perhaps be frustrated to see so many forums on the front page. It is possible to make them all into subforums under a General History-type forum, but the problem then is that people would have to move one level deeper if they want to talk about a specific period.

So what are you opinions? Do you use sub-forums or not?


Well-known member
I have about 82 main forums and 41 sub-froums. I don't have more than three sub-forum on any main forum. I also made template modification so the sub-forums show like they did in vBulletin, that way they can be easily seen and clicked.

I put the most popular forums first based on post count. I like to be able to organize data in the correct forum so that it makes it easier to search and find in the future. If you do move threads often, your members will need to use the What's New? link to find new threads.


Well-known member
Is this a brand new forum meursault, or one you've migrated over to XF?

If it's new it may be worth starting with a single history forum and then branching out into sub-forums once you've established what the most popular time periods are - you may find, for example, the Mongol period is very popular whilst Kievan Rus isn't - and just develop the sub-forum structure over time.

You can use the same principle for the rest of your main categories and build them out over time.

Note: The often repeated advice to forum owners is not to start with too many forums / sub-forums - but personally I like to have the majority in place at the beginning - it just makes it easier for me and my moderators because we don't have to move things around too much. ;)

Could we have a link to your forum to see how it looks?

Another thing that may help - XF doesn't display sub-forums on the homepage by default, but you can make a template edit to display them (making it easier for your members to find and use them):

You can see it in action on CycleChat. (y)

Shaun :D


Well-known member
My suggestion is to condense these forums into subforums... like this


- Slavs
- Kievan Rus
- Mongol period
- Rise of Muscovy

So, you don't have to put Kievan Rus in Slavs, just make it a separate subforum.

A lot of members don't like "deep" sub forums, as in - You need to click 3 sub forums to reach Rise of Memory, for example.

I have a Call of Duty Forum with a media forum in it, and it has multiple subforums.

Like this:

Call of Duty Media
- MW4 Videos and Movies
- MW3 Videos and Movies
- MW2 Videos and Movies
- BO Videos and Movies
- BO2 Videos and Movies


Well-known member
If you are unsure whether you should start a subforum or not, you might also consider adding prefixes to the forum instead, it can basically work the same way. Indeed, people prefer busy forums, but not too busy.