the layout is not that catching as like your name try to shange the layout..
Interesting comments, my main priority is to create a website that is usable by a complete novice, something that does not overwhelm, hence it's relatively simple layout.
Maybe i should go down the PHP route as most of my website is written in HTML using PERL scripts for the server-side stuff. Could anyone recommend which software i could use for designing a PHP based website, preferably something which uses templates.
You can even use notepad for php, but I tend to like dreamweaver since it makes everything into nice color-coded stuff which helps out a lot. As for templates though... php is not that hard to learn. The site will be better if you just make your own stuff. I would look for php scripts on many sites but none really provided what I was looking for. But anyways, most of the php stuff is for programing things like a login system, forum, photo gallery, etc. It is not really for the layout of your site. You still should be using html and css for that.
About your site:
I really like it. I love simple designs and free stuff. It just seems to me like you need more content. One suggestion is to have less topics on your forums until you get more users.
Nice work and good luck.