Sanguine What would you recommend a new Flarum forum owner to do as the first 10 steps?
I would like to go back to the point before you have decided to use flarum at all.
Don't get me wrong, I have chosen flarum myself, so it's obviously the best solution for me. But I recommend everyone to clearly define the needs and goals of their targeted audience as the very first step of the whole project.
Often I see people falling in love with a software, then they install it, and then they start thinking what to do with it. That's not the way I would recommend.
So let's assume that these considerations have been worked out carefully and flarum is the software of your choice. Then you should already have a strong vision what your audience needs and more so what they don't need. I have seen countless aspirating new forum owners who saw a need for e.g. a chat in there forum before there were any users who could use this chat. Now ask yourself:
- How attractive is a chat if you have let's say 10 visitors per day, each one of them dropping by for a minute or two?
- Even if if people were using your chat, wouldn't you rather like them to write content in your forum?
A similarly not so wise idea is to think of making money from your forum from the get go. This is one of the most reliable ways to prevent your forum from getting successful. You need a really thriving community to attract new users despite the annoyance of advertising. Think about monetarisation when there is a real prospect of making an amount per month that's changing your life (the number may vary in different parts of the world). It's stupid to invest tens of hours on your forum every month (and you will need to do that) only to thwart your success for let's say 10 Dollars per month of revenue. Many times I can guess it's even much less than that.
As a general advice: Limit the number of extensions you use and think about whether you really need them all. If your forum is still tiny and you have never had a spammer bothering to register on your forum, why would you want to annoy your legit users with captchas? The list goes on and on. Use the possibilities wisely. And if you are not sure ask your users.
The more the better? No, surely not.
Other than that @Sanguine's introductory guide is a good list of the more obvious things to do. I might add to have you notified of newly registered members per e-mail, it would be perfect if you could say hello to them while they are still on your website.