Forum is extremely unsuccessful due to rival site

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Comes across as dismissive. Gemma is one of the best designers around. Known as the Queen of Snazz. She took the time and effort to produce a demo for you.

I saw. Looks more Christmas themed as opposed to traffic signal/highway themed.

Look at Aaroads, another highway themed site, it's nice and colorful but it works:

I suggest you trust good people. Forget what looks good to YOU and remember this isn't about you. It's about the audience, the visitors, the members.
I suggest you trust good people. Forget what looks good to YOU and remember this isn't about you. It's about the audience, the visitors, the members.

I get your poinnt. That I should listen to the designers and not myself, but I'm also contacting the members of my forum and seeing what THEY think as opposed to just you guys.
You're not trying very hard. Not recognizing you're being dismissive.

If you know what you want to do, do it instead of wasting people's time?

Yeah, you're right. I am being dismissive. I'm thinking of just having dark mode as the default option for the forum as it looks better that way
The xF style is a grate modern user interface. On many levels. For being able to modify it and not make it worse the one should be not a noob in web design.

Now look at the picture you have - your forum is locked for several days for your design experiments. Wouldn't it be better if you post some good readings instead?

It's like you decided to open taxi business, bought a cool car, and stuck in a garage trying to paint it in a different color instead of driving people.

You should ask yourself - what do you administrate a forum for. For people? Or to show the world that you're cool as hell?
Slap a logo up and open your forum. Period. Work as you go, if you keep it closed over decisions like this, you will never open. Also many here have already helped with these questions, perhaps read the thread from the start to see all the valuable info. It seems you disagree and want to do your own thing, so just do it. Nothing wrong with that! But open up your site.
Yep. Just open the forum and let people on it. You can tweak it while it's open for discussions by members. That's what I did. I got the basic framework up (nodes) and then worked on the details as we went. I even tweaked the nodes while it was open.

Nothing is written in stone. Just publish / go live! Work on the details as you go.

Instead of: Ready.... aim.... aim.... aim.... aim.... aim..... aim... fire? Nope... aim some more.
Do: Ready... Aim... FIRE! Aim... Fire! Aim, fire! Aim, fire! Reload! Aim, Fire!
Not the final result for the forum. I was thinking of having the day theme be competely blank while the nodes are set up like this:

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That looks like a million % improvement. I think the longer you remain closed the less interest your existing members will have in coming back. If I were you, i'd make a little logo (even as a place holder) and get the forum back online with the default theme. Then I would build a new theme offline to switch to in the future.
I think it's very important to get listed and favorable (first page) positioning in Google's search results.

So, what do people find when they Google "your special interest forum?"

Look up "Google Search Console," and get that all set up. You'll need to add a line (Google's tag) to your website code. Then work on your Title and Description tags to include keywords that are likely to be used in a search for your forum topic.

I just got this today. Mind you, 250 clicks is nothing in the spectrum of what's out there. But my (relatively small niche) forum is brand new (3-1/2 months old). And, I started at zero.


I'm three away from 500 members at the moment. Past 8,700 messages posted in over 1,100 threads. Not bad, I think!

Get your "Google on!" :) You want your forum to be FOUND.
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