I have been using SMF1.x for years on a semi-popular forum (50k daily page views) for years, and it has been a rock solid performer, and runs great on my cheap & slim VPS. I am now looking at the SMF2.x upgrade path, but one thing has made me look for alternative platforms. However the conversion process if something I would really not like to do.
What I would like to see on SMF is a theme that "breaks" the old traditional and so 90's forum layout:
- Looks more like "web 2.0" (Twitter, Facebook, etc). I really like the layout of Vanilla Forum hxxp:vanillaforums.org/discussions [nonactive]
- Would enable me to use square ad units, for example 250x250. I am under the impression that these still yield better than leaderboard 728x90. Good positioning could be achieved by a theme that has a 2-column layout, so that there is a panel on the left or right, instead of the top.
- I also would be interested in mods that would enable more user content creation, like users posting their own photos or user blogging/micro-blogging.
Any tips or suggestions?
I think a plain discussion forum is quite old fashioned nowadays - after all the basic concept is pretty similar to BBS's from the 80's or newsgroups. But the new and young audience is used to and "grown up" by Facebook and Twitter, and they might and old fashioned forum somewhat spartan and limiting as it does not allow the same content creation possibilities. To have a more modern theme would be my starting point to further develop the site - I would look into potential mods after that.