YouthDebates - Youth Empowerment & Sociopolitical Debate


YouthDebates is a friendly community created for and by young people with the aim of reducing political apathy worldwide. We started as a UK-only site on myBB, later moving to .org and XenForo. In just 9 months we've managed hundreds of thousands of posts in thousands of topics, by thousands of users. I was 19 when I started this, and this is my first forum. I think it's doing quite well. We have an average of around 25 registered users online at any time in the day, with this rising to around 40 in the evening.

Here's a screenshot of part of the forum index on 07/03/2015


Our primary content is, as the title would suggest, political debate. However, we also encourage users to write longer guides, or articles, and feature a thriving off-topic section which I see a positive sign of our strong community feel. YouthDebates gives users the opportunity to start their own political campaign, for any cause anywhere in the world, and is completely impartial in doing so. We also feature the 'Atlantis Senate'; a popular senate/parliamentary roleplay with roughly 30,000 posts so far.

Our theme is Modest by PixelExit, and some of our more prominent add-ons include the official Resource Manager and Media Gallery, Taigachat Pro, ******* Credits Premium and Modern Statistics. We're sticking with ******* for now.

We utilise many add-ons, which did admittedly have a detrimental effect on page load speeds up until this weekend. I recently cut our index page from 2mb to 500kb, with little difference in aesthetics. I also had to enable KeepAlive, and installed a couple of performance add-ons, notably [bd] Cache and Defer js. I'd recommend these to anyone. Our Webpagetest scores are now looking spiffing:


Away from Xenforo, we also have a Wordpress install in the root, and a MediaWiki install for our 'partners' section.

Anyone is welcome, and feedback is appreciated :)