Brain Clutter

December 21, 2006

Hosting an MMORPG guild website

MMO Guildsites banner

I HAVE AN UPDATED REVIEW OF 3 NEW FEATURES HERE! Please note that there has been a policy change for their billing system, which I cover in my newest review.

This is not a paid advertisement – it’s a “friend”ly promotion! 😉

A couple good friends of mine from 8tasp.com finally put together their first major website — a service aimed to help host your MMORPG guild website. If you’re not interested in reading my review and would rather dive in to see for yourself, feel free to create a FREE trial or take their mini-tour.

On with the show…

As stated above, MMOGuildsites.com is a very easy way to build a website for your guild. You could compare it to Guildportal.com in theory except that the former is taking a fresh, Web 2.0 approach to the idea, while the latter is still stuck in the 90’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Guildportal; I think they’ve helped tens of thousands of people make a home for their guild on the web but to be honest their technology is limited and their style is dated. You want to attract guild members right?! At their cores, both services share the same vision — Easy guild management and communication — except MMOGuildsites does it with style.

Features

I’ll highlight some key features of MMOGuildsites in this review but you can view the entire list here.

  • Admin Panel (You get to sit in the big chair) – A very intuitive, simple, Ajax-enabled admin panel gives you full control of your guild’s website. You can create and assign ranks (linked to permission if you desire), modify your site’s layout (2-column, 3-column, fixed or liquid, etc.) with drag-and-drop functionality, maintain your billing options, and much more.
  • Theming (Pick up that paint brush and create… or trace) – So, you’ve got a great vision for how you want your site to look but you don’t know how to code HTML or CSS. No problem! They’ve built a fantastic visual themeing tool that makes customizing the look and feel of your site a breeze. Think: “paint by numbers.” You can save themes privately or publicly. To view a list of community-submitted themes, click here. Here’s one I created by using Wikipedia.com as an inspiration: Guild Wiki. If you just can’t find inspiration from within, you can actually take one of the public themes and modify it to suit your needs (kind of like tracing)!
  • Components (drag ’em and drop ’em) – Here’s a quick list of just SOME of the components you can drop into your guild’s website through the admin panel: Shout Box (real-time chat between all logged-in members), Forums (customize your own subforums for guild discussion), Guild Applications (potentials can apply for membership directly from your guild page — great for recruiting purposes), Events Calendar (plan raids, guild meetings, or simply let people know about upcoming birthdays), Image Galleries (guild members can upload images into their own personal gallery), and a DKP System (custom-made DKP system for raiding guilds – links with Allakhazam‘s item database).

Payment Options

MMOGuildsites has 4 subscriptions:

  1. FREE 7-day trial (a great way to “try before you buy”)
  2. $8.99/month (gallery upload of 100MB/month)
  3. $12.99/month (gallery upload of 200MB/month)
  4. $16.99/month (gallery upload of 500MB/month)

Aside from the upload limits, all plans are able to use the same set of components and features and when you actually think about it, the rates are pretty reasonable. Hosting a personal site with a commercial web host/server will cost you around $10.00/month alone and you’ll still need to do all the coding and database administration. Also, MMOGuildsites uses PayPal as their payment method. What’s stopping you from having each member of your guild deposit $1.00/month by PayPal to help offset the cost of site maintenance? Additionally, you could rotate who pays for the site on a monthly basis to keep things “fair.”

Conclusion

MMOGuildsites is a tool that will help you manage your guild and enhance communication between members. While the service is extremely new (launched in early December) there are already a number of guilds using it (Enmity, Avalorien, and Mayhem just to name a few). The service is targeted at guilds from any MMORPG (Everquest, World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Guild Wars, etc.) and new features are being added all the time to compliment individual games. It puts web design into the hands of the non-programmers — though programmers will enjoy having powerful tools at their fingertips without actually having to lift a finger to “code” them.

But hey, don’t take my word for it; create a free trial and experience it for yourself.

Naked orcs unite!

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