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One of the things is that it reduces the "branding" of your community. When people look at the community the first thing they notice is the visual aspect and appeal of the site. Only then do they observe content.

I've seen dozens of communities that use multiple visual themes selectable from the browser. This is good for a forum styles development community but not for a regular, discussion community. People need some visual indication as to your community and having multiple selectable themes will reduce the "recall" factor of a website.

I personally think that any community website should have something unique about it and try and cash in on that rather than trying to satisfy everybody's idea of what looks good. Capturing a niche audience means that you cannot cater to everybody's tastes.

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think you improve a community by having multiple styles?

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Last Post by roryt
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Honestly, I feel you should have one unique design. One that sets your brand and that people are able to remember your website/community by.

If after you brand your forum, you would like to additional styles as an option for members, then I don't see how that would hurt. I wouldn't, however, revolve around a theme-set of pre-designed styles/skins.

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Yes, that makes sense. But I think guests should see only a single theme. :) Also theming a forum makes it less customizable because you need to apply modifications on all the themes.

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I don't do multiple themes because it is a lot more work to keep up for me. I don't really think it hurts you much if you use one style as long as the majority of your members enjoy the style.

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I don't do multiple themes because it is a lot more work to keep up for me. I don't really think it hurts you much if you use one style as long as the majority of your members enjoy the style.

One set of templates. Lots of CSS styles. That's as far as you should go on a single site IMO.

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Everyone knows what to expect when they come to daniweb. And I know I wouldn't change it because "IT JUST WORKS" and that is all forum needs to do. I don't think people would really visit you forums more if there were different themes. I really just don't think it is worth all the effort.

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Like Dani said, it's all about the branding, if you have a selection your just going to confuse the consumer, seriously when people are marketed to they need a consistent style of branding and anyway unless you have good reasons to allow multiple templates then it makes the community look ameaturish, when was the last time Apple, microsoft gave you an option to choose design?

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> Everyone knows what to expect when they come to daniweb.
I take it you weren't a member when I was all indecisive and changing the design of this place every other week? :)

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No, I think when I joined it was a different skin but I didn't post much back then and now I am on it every spare minute so if then were now I would have noticed. But TBH you have to try different things on real people to make sure they work before you come to a decision on which one works.

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Trying different things I definitely agree with. But I think you eventually have to settle down with something to get the user to feel comfortable and "settled in".

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Trying different things I definitely agree with. But I think you eventually have to settle down with something to get the user to feel comfortable and "settled in".

That is exactly what I meant, because it would be terrible if the admin member just concentrated in the site design instead of the content. Which is why you are one the best:!:

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