Like all institutions <wink> yours seems to be suffering some from some "bloat".
Maybe you could archive or back burner some topics that have not been used for a while in order to keep the current topics front and center.
Seems you are collecting quite a database of information, not all of it being worthless, so I would not recomend deleting dead topics, just moving them to warehouse of sorts.
I love the way you deliver exactly what you promise, this trait will serve you well in the future.
Dont think it's overloading the server.
But as far as I remember, our good old no0bie4life had once trunctaed the forum a lot, i mean deleted a lot of old topics, and thats the reason you dont find anything frm before Sept 05 on this forum (excepting wat the team left), for which i was furious when it was done, but...
Anyways, I dont like the idea of truncation. So leave the forum the way it is.
Yeah, let's only turn on forum pruning if the server can't take it. Otherwise, there's no reason. Some forums, like the tutorials, should never be pruned, but perhaps others, like the marketplace, could stand some pruning.
That would only be to reduce the load on the server, though. The newest topics are always kept up front because they get bumped up to the top with every reply.
The only time having a big database affects usage is when somebody searches so I don't think pruning needs to be done in any case. Get another hard drive in the server or something if space is an issue.
I would suggest creating an archives subforum. That way everybody could access the information, but they would not be able to reply to it and it would not be in the way of the other topics in the other forums. I have used it in previous forums of my own (although only small) and it work out perfectly.
I mean, I do not think that the forum will be taking up much server or database space with this supposed bloating, but archives are always a nice feature to implement.
Yeah I think that alot of the old (inactive and not stickied) topics could be deleted...