Did you know that some of the most popular video games in the world have server communities with tens of thousands of people who spend their spare time hanging out there?
Don’t underestimate the value of a website. Even for hobby-projects, creating an own homepage is really mandatory. There are lots of benefits to creating a website. First, it makes your community feel more like home by providing a space where people can post statuses, upload photos, and message each other privately; all without having to give out personal information or addresses. Secondly, it makes it easier for existing players and newbies alike to find each other and get into games with ease — as well as coordinate events such!
Reasons for Creating A Website For Game Servers
There are plenty of reasons why you may want to consider setting up a website for your game server.
- Your server gets more attention. People look up for new servers on Google, Bing and other search engines. So you should be sure that your server will at least be found here with a small landing page (or a one pager). Millions of people use search engines. Imagine the following scenario: You are looking for a FiveM server and google “the best 10 FiveM servers” or something similar. Now you find exactly one server, read through the information about it and you like it. So you join the community. And that’s exactly what it’s all about: You find new members and your community grows accordingly.
- Secondly, it’ll make your community feel more like a home (and more professional for sure). Instead of meeting on a forum, members can now log into a site that’s custom-made for their needs. Instead of needing to rely on third-party software like Discord, members can create and log into their own accounts. This makes it easier to get the information and support you need on-the-go, as well as create user profiles that are completely private. Where forums are hard to manage, websites are easier to control and keep organized. You can add new features at any time and invite members to suggest changes — all without needing to ask permission from a third-party host.
Step 1: What You Need To Know Before Starting
Before you dive into creating a website for your game server, there are a few things you need to know first. First and foremost, you need to know which games your server community plays:
- a webhosting plan.
It really depends on your needs, but a basic webhosting (for example from IONOS, Hetzner or ovh) is enough.
- we recommend using a CMS.
Ever heard about WordPress, Joomla or Blogger? These are all tools that let you create a website with your mouse pointer and keyboard, so to speak. The advantage here is that you don’t need to be able to program for this. So you can do it yourself.
I know it’s a bit frustrating when you have to write copy for your website. You can hire a copywriter or put into words what makes your project special. The text is one of the most important things your website needs. So be clear about what should be on your website. Tip: If you can’t figure out the rhyme on your own, you can get a friend (or another server member) to help you. I’m sure you have enough support.
…Optional: Find a web dev!
Most gamers have no experience with website development and design. We know that most gamers prefer to focus on the project itself (server setup, maintenance, care) etc. Therefore, there is also the possibility of obtaining external help. Web developers are a dime a dozen, but how do you find the right one?
There are several ways to do this:
- Fiverr. What is that? Fiverr is a marketplace for individual providers who offer their services (in this case web design). Attention: There are good, but also really bad providers. Pay attention to the language, skills and experiences/ratings of individual traders.
- Team members. Maybe one of your people is experienced enough with the project to take care of creating your gaming website.
Step 2: Install the CMS software (here: WordPress)How to install Wordpress is already explained everywhere on the internet. We refer to the official source of WP here: https://wordpress.org/support/article/how-to-install-wordpress/
The official tutorial of wordpress.org:
Here’s the quick version of the instructions for those who are already comfortable with performing such installations. More detailed instructions follow.
- Download and unzip the WordPress package if you haven’t already.
- Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL (or MariaDB) user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
- (Optional) Find and rename wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php, then edit the file (see Editing wp-config.php) and add your database information.
Note: If you are not comfortable with renaming files, step 3 is optional and you can skip it as the install program will create the wp-config.php file for you.
- Upload the WordPress files to the desired location on your web server:
- If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (excluding the WordPress directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
- If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your website (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), create the blog directory on your server and upload the contents of the unzipped WordPress package to the directory via FTP.
- Note: If your FTP client has an option to convert file names to lower case, make sure it’s disabled.
- Run the WordPress installation script by accessing the URL in a web browser. This should be the URL where you uploaded the WordPress files.
- If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/
- If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/
Fortunately, modern web hosts, such as IONOS, already have a 1-click installer with WordPress included.
In case you are using IONOS, you can simply use this tutorial to install Wordpress.
Step 3: Build, Test, Repeat (Finalization of the website)
With Wordpress you have the optimal solution to create simple (or complicated) websites. Be creative here, but don’t overdo it with too many plugins that end up cluttering up your website because they’re too big.
The good thing about web design is that the possibilities are endless and you can live it up. Every website is different, you should just be careful not to copy any text. Be sure to write them yourself and make sure they are well worded and have a clear path that you want your website visitor to take.
Whenever your page is ready to launch, you are free to present it to the public. Be sure that the page has been sufficiently tested and is displayed correctly. Most importantly, make sure your site has good content. Don’t spam them with text or keywords, but offer appropriate added value. If you’ve paid attention to everything from our guide, you’ll soon find new players through your gaming site.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then please leave a comment and I will answer you.
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