This is one of the most important, opinionated, and complicated decision in the game: when to upgrade your town hall. Many people regret upgrading so soon, and some wish they went sooner. Some max out their base before upgrading, some believe gemming (with real money) their town hall is smart to receive a new defense such as an inferno tower or the x-bow, and thousands of opinions in the middle of these. My goal here today is to not make you upgrade your town hall when I would, but to allow you a more expanded explanation of when it is smart to upgrade it.
The reason why the town hall upgrade is such a difficult decision of when to upgrade it is because when you upgrade your town hall, you get new: cannons, archer towers, other defenses, walls (except going to town hall 10), sometimes a new weapon (x bow or inferno tower), and being able to upgrade your buildings to a higher level. However, there is one thing that makes clashing very difficult for people who upgraded their town hall too fast: the loot penalty (for those of you who don't know what this is, it allows lower level town halls to steal more from higher town halls, and so that higher level town halls won't be able to steal as much from lower town halls). This is basically the only downfall to upgrading your town hall, but it definitely does hurt big time. I'm not exactly sure how much the loot penalty is for each upgrade, but I know it's enough to stay at a lower level town hall for a longer time.
In my opinion, you should upgrade your town hall when you are:
1.) Confident with your base (most people getting less than 50% on you, being able to keep a lot of resources without having opponents take it, not being 100% for a long time, etc.)
2.) DEFINITELY having the troops you use in battle maxed out (level 6 troops for town hall 9, level 5 troops for town hall 8, etc.)
3.) Being able to steal a lot from people on every raid (I would say try to shoot for 150k PROFIT before going to town hall 10, and probably a drop by 25k each for every lower town hall level. NOTE: this loot may be more or less depending on what you're saving for)
4.) Ask your clan mates whether they think you should upgrade your town hall (compare and contrast what they say with your own opinions to try to find the perfect time to upgrade it. I would advise to ask this to some of your higher level, more knowledgeable members)
All in all, this is YOUR CLASH. I can't give you the perfect answer of when to upgrade your town hall, YOU are the only person who attacks every time and sees all of your defensive replays. Granted it is almost impossible to know exactly when to upgrade it, you have to find the best estimate. I would again advise you to ask your clan mates that are high levels (if you don't have any, maybe even try to see if people will help you out on global chat). In addition, try to consider how the loot penalty would affect you. Are you willing to give up let's say 10% of your loot for better troops and better weapons? Can you afford it with ease? Are the new weapons going to be worth the loot penalty.
Keep in mind that you are going to have to upgrade your town hall to improve at some point, whether you max out everything or go sooner than that. Also, I would like to inform you that you will be your weakest right after your town hall is finished because it will be the first time the loot penalty will hit you before you have all your new defenses and more upgraded troops. Try to have most of your builders open when your town hall finishes and quite a bit of resources saved up to get the new defenses as soon as possible. I will be doing this in 10 days when my town hall finishes to level 10 (feel free to look out my base to see when I thought was a good time to upgrade my town hall.
Hope this guide helped and hope you liked it!
If you're interested in seeing my base, look at my profile and check out my bases. Currently I am using "Trophy Push of Summer 2013" (but I changed it a bit to make it a farming base), but I am looking forward to remodeling my base to try out my other setups. My favorite one now is "The Witch Repellent" (it's a town hall 10 trophy hunting base). If you are REALLY curious to see my base: Search up the clan "APOCALYPSE3" and find 'ross is da boss' (that's me). And if your good enough (level 5 Archers) and looking for a great, chill clan that LOVES to donate, feel free to join! And if your better than that and trophy hunting, feel free to join APOCALYPSE 1 or 2 (APOCALYPSE is in the top 50 right now!). I believe we are starting an APOCALYPSE4 soon so if your curious to see that check it out!
The next thing I would like to say has nothing to do with helping you with your clash, I just think it's some good ideas that Supercell should incorporate into Clash of Clans. First of all, I think it woud be a REALLY cool idea if Supercell allowed us to upgrade walls with elixir and gold because when you get higher up, there's a lot more things to spend on gold than elixir (I have had max or close to max elixir storage's for at least a week now). Also, it would be awesome if the time limit was pushed back to 4 minutes or 3 and a half minutes because some of my clan mates and I sometimes get frustrated that the time limit disallows us to get that one star or those extra resources. Lastly, if Supercell would drop the building times on some of the buildings it'd be cool because at level 85, I am happy with only a 5 day upgrade. I have 5 builder huts and its hard lots of times to upgrade things as I would like. Any of these changes wouldn't make me stop playing clash of clans, I still LOVE the game, but I just think there are some improvements that Supercell could make the game perfect :) Anyways, hope you liked!