Most of the time you can find a big collection of themes on the support forum of your forum software. But there are also people that make their own themes and only put them on their own forum to download (or sell).
Of course you can also just try to make your own, or tweak the default a bit to give it a more unique look.
Why would I change the theme? The default one looks great!
The default theme (the one that you get when you download the forum software) looks very nice sometimes.
I personally like the default of SMF a lot.
But if the default looks so great, then why would you change it to something else?
To make a forum a success, you have to give people something unique or something that they don’t see on every forum the visit. This applies to the content of your forum, but also the design, features…
So when you use the default theme, it’s not very unique, right?
Of course, a theme you download from somewhere is also not unique. But at least it’ll give your forum another look then most of the other forums.
Best is of course to get a unique theme. But not everybody has the skills to do it themselves. And buying a unique theme can be pretty expensive.
So downloading another theme, and use that, or modify it a bit, is a good alternative.
With some basic CSS skills, it shouldn’t be too difficult to modify it a bit.
Which theme is good for my forum?
There are a lot of free and paid themes available for all the forum systems.
So how do you know that the one you chose is a good one for your forum?
It all depends on the subject of your forum.
Professional forums usually use a light theme. Most of the times it’s white/blue.
Gaming communities have darker (black) themes most of the time; they often are more “graphical” as well. Bigger banner, more graphic images used as links instead of plain text links, more graphics for the entire layout,….
so if you have a professional forum, look for a professional theme. If it’s entertainment, look for something funny or “cool”.
But definitely use something else then the default theme that comes when you download your forum software package, even when it looks great!
About the author: Diether Wuyts is the administrator of Forum Affiliates Network [http://www.forumaffiliates.net]
It’s a network for forums that need both advertising and more activity.
But it’s also a place where (new) forum administrators can go to to get help, share tips or just have a nice chat.