Video games are one of the most popular hobbies around the world. In just the United States, over 164 million adults play video games. On a world scale, gaming reached approximately 2.4 billion people. And due to its sheer popularity, creating a gaming website has become a common sight.
Many large scale clans or guilds end up building their very own clan gaming website. This is a website intended for the members of the clan in which events can be listed, stats can be tracked, and memes can be shared.
Today, I will teach you the basics of creating a gaming website for your clan or guild in WordPress.
What You Will Need To Build A Clan Website
Before every boss, you need to be prepared. Have the best equipment, craft the potions, and eat the food. And building a website is very similar. You will need a few things before you begin, otherwise, you are going to see that dreaded, «game over» screen.
A Clan/Guild/Free Company
This one probably doesn’t need to be said, but let’s do so anyway. If you want to build a website that is for your clan, you need to actually have one first. Building a clan website before anyone joins is like picking out a house before you are approved for a loan. It just doesn’t work.
Once a clan has it’s core members, then it can form around the activities it does and will be sculpted by that gaming culture. The colors you use, the clan logo you create, this is all shaped by your various adventures and achievements you make.
Pick The Games
In the past, it was normal for a clan to focus on one game. However, 2020 is different. There are just a lot more options when it comes to games, which has led to players spreading their time amongst a few games instead of one.
Your website should reflect each game and from a development standpoint, you need to know which games your clan has a presence in.
Discord is hands down the most popular communication tool for gamers in the world. It is only natural that you create a Discord and have it present on your website. There are many plugins for WordPress that allow you to integrate the two platforms.
How to Build A Clan Website
If this is your first time building a website, you may think only a professional can build something awesome. But that just isn’t true.
As long as you pick the right platform to build it one, you website will look just as good. And it won’t even take that long to make.
Pick A Web Hosting Company & Domain Name
Before you can begin crafting your website, you need a web hosting company and a domain name. There are a lot of web hosting companies, and they are not created equal. Thus, you need to make sure you pick one that is reliable, scalable, and affordable.
On top of this, you need to pick out a domain name. In many cases, you will pick YourClanName.com. This makes it easy for members to find your site. Alternatively, you may consider putting the game your clan focuses on playing in the domain name as well. This will help you attract more people.
Why WordPress Is The Best CMS For You
All that’s left is to decide what platform you will build your website on. There are many out there, but none are as popular as the WordPress CMS. That is because WordPress is extremely customizable and requires no coding at all, although you can code if you want too.
Instead, all you need to do is pick a theme and select some plugins and you’re ready to start.
The Best Gaming Themes
A theme is what decides how your website appears in WordPress. Each theme can be customized to an extent. This includes changing the colors and fonts used. Here are some of the best gaming themes WordPress has to offer but make sure to take a look in the WordPress theme directory yourself.
There are thousands to choose from, so you may find something you like better within the repository.
Lopper is a theme that offers a simple design that is perfect for displaying new events. In your case, this might be new gaming events, contests, or just an update on the clan status. The design focuses on the colors you choose, which is perfect for displaying your clan colors proudly.
Adventure Lite is an attractive theme that is perfect for a clan. While its intended use is for sporting activities like cycling, hiking, and more, it is also perfect for esports. The design elements fit exactly what a clan website would need.
Gaming Mag is the child theme of News Vibrant, but with a focus on gaming. This is a great theme to choose if you expect to write a lot of blog or clan news posts. However, it is extremely customizable and you can add plenty of features to it via plugins. It is simple to use and looks great while doing it.
Deejay is a responsive theme that focuses on event planning. That makes it a great pick for clans that have a lot of events. This can be for competitions, raid days, celebrations, and whatever other types of events you create. And it looks great while doing it.
Event Planners, as the name implies, is all about planning events. Again, a huge part of most clan websites is hosting events, gaming sessions, and other clan activities. Having a theme that specializes in planning can help you go a long way.
5 Plugins To Help You Get Started
WordPress plugins are like apps for your smartphone. They add new features to your website and they won’t require any additional coding. Here are some of the ones that will help you build a successful clan website.
Contact Form 7
You are going to need a way to collect information from your prospective clan members. This can be application forms, tournament or event sign-ups, feedback surveys, and more. Contact Form 7 is a free plugin that allows you to create amazing contact forms for any situation. Making it a great pick for just about any type of website.
Do you want to make your website feel gamey? You can with the GamiPress plugin. It allows you to turn normal site activities into challenges and achievements for your clan members to earn. Some might even post more to just complete challenges, which will make your website more active.
GamiPress also has a host of premium add-ons like leaderboards or BuddyPress integration.
Speaking of BuddyPress, that is also a great addition to any website that wants to create a social experience. And wouldn’t you know it, that is a big part of the clan experience. This plugin makes it easy for members to form groups or to be a part of multiple clans. If you want your clan to feel like a social network, BuddyPress will help you do it.
Advanced Steam Widget
The Advanced Steam Widget plugin is a great addition to your website. If you are indeed the clan leader, providing your Steam account details, i.e your name, and what you are playing is a really nice touch. Just remember that the Steam privacy changes require you to turn your account details to «public» or else the plugin will not work.
Alternatively, you could use a different plugin to display your PSN account or your Xbox gamer tag.
Find Game API’s
I know, I know, I said WordPress plugins, but not having access to actual game data is a big mistake! Many games have lots of API tools and information ready for you to use. This can be for displaying a character, seeing in-game achievements, seeing stats, and much more. In some cases, the developers give this information out on their own website.
A great example of this is League of Legends developers, Riot Games. You can get access to all of your stats straight from the source.
How To Engage Your Clan
Having a website is just not enough in 2020. You need to be able to reach your target audience on a variety of platforms. In this case, it may be a bit easier since you probably know exactly what your clan is interested in.
I said it once and I’ll say it again, Discord is the most popular way to communicate in gaming communities. In many cases, Discord has actually replaced clan websites as it makes it easy for clan members to communicate with each other and team up. If you don’t have a discord, your clan is doomed in 2020.
One of the best ways to engage your audience is actually in-game. Making sure your website is a resource to clanmates can help you get a reliable amount of traffic. Many games with clan support have ways to advertise your clan in-game, so take advantage of them.
Gamers love watching live streams, especially when its someone they know. Connecting your website with Twitch or YouTube to make it easy for clam members to find your streams is a great way to engage with your audience.
While this is very similar to live streaming, video content is really popular in general. In fact, 2 out of 5 of the most popular YouTube channels are focused on gaming. It should go without saying that having a dedicated YouTube channel for your clan is a big deal.
Reddit is the 7th most popular website in the world and the 7th most popular subreddit is gaming. Coincidence? I think not. Reddit is becoming extremely important, and many developers use it as a platform to address their audience. Making a presence on the gaming subreddits that apply to your clan can be a tremendous benefit.
What Can You Do With A Clan Website
While many people rely on discord to organize gaming events, a website is just as effective. For example, many games require a lot of players to do a specific piece of content. This is not something that can just be organized on a whim. Instead, you usually need to assign a specific date and time to make sure everyone shows up.
Your website is the perfect place to do this.
Create Clan Leaderboards
Some games only give you the most basic tools when creating a clan. And this can aggravate the more competitive clans. You can use your gaming website to create clan specific leaderboards. Many games have APIs available that allow you to collect information directly from the game. Not only can you use this to create leaderboards, but you can also create unique challenges for your clan.
Provide Clan Information
If you have ever run your own clan, you definitely know that there is not enough room to properly describe your clan and what rules your members need to follow. A website is a perfect place to meticulously detail the rules your members must follow if they wish to remain a member.
Make Your Clan Proud
Most gamers understand the importance of appearances, which is exactly why we dress our characters in the most bad-ass outfits available. Your gaming website is no different. Make sure it’s something that other gamers want to be a part of.