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Best Guild Website Platform

Discussion in 'Guilds, Circles and Warparties General' started by Allorah, May 31, 2013.

  1. Allorah

    Allorah New Cupcake

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    It's been a while since I ran a guild and when Wildstar launches I will be creating a guild. One thing I've learned are guild websites are an irreplaceable tool to an MMO. Anyone have any recommendations on what the best platform is these days for a guild site?
  2. TestMonkey

    TestMonkey New Cupcake

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    Well it really does come down to preference, but Enjin seems to be very popular right now. I've used a few and so far without building your own site from scratch Enjin has some of the best features in my opinion. They are also fairly customizable if you get the non-free packages. And they come with a voice chat server with the paid packages. On paid packages what I like with Enjin is that others can easily contribute and pay for the site without having to contact or give any private or financial info to the admin using one of their modules.

    Enjin of course isn't the only one. Folks seem to still like Guild launch, Guild Portal and Shivtr (or something like that). Each seems to have a little something the others don't and so it'll come down to that feature you really want.
  3. Insult

    Insult Cupcake

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    Design and code it yourself.... Best way ever. But if you had to pick one that was not listed above to have a bit of originality and something different from a basic guild template site try. http://www.squarespace.com These templates follow the trending paths in web design and will look more professional imo.
  4. Mizpah

    Mizpah Cupcake-About-Town

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    It very much depends on intent, and on skill-set. Of course you could also see it as a learning curve!

    At one end of the scale, you have service driven offerings, such as Enjin, Guildlaunch, Guildportal, Shivtar & many others. All have a different approach to adverts, fees (if any) and perks provided. A major benefit to these services is the removal of technical barriers - you have to learn to use an application as opposed to code in html/css and have no need to worry about servers and hosting.

    In the middle ground, you have popular applications such as wordpress and joomla - that have a (relatively) low learning curve, you could choose to use a popular template (or create one) and you are up and running - but have the flex to design certain functions that suit you - and your skillset. In the main, you will be looking for existing modules and plugins to add functions, and be concerned with styling. You will most likely have to take on server hosting.

    At the more complex end you can code from scratch (rails / php ), or use a more complex cms such as Drupal. In our case we have gone down the Drupal route, and are working with an application more than a static site - if you want to look at features and see why - I have a guild :101 post on websites somewhere around here that details it all. We have chosen to trade accept more complexity and work, to gain very precise custom functionality. To make this happen we have a clear idea of what we are trying to achieve, and we are lucky that we have the skill sets within the guild to build what we want!

    Best of luck in your search, and if you have any specific questions ask away!!
  5. Raizar

    Raizar New Cupcake

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    Building and having your own custom website is the best way to go these days. People want to see that guild's are serious and places like Shivtr, Enjin and the likes are just really ugly to look at and even worse to use (usually features are locked unless you pay a monthly fee).

    I've been coding websites for nearly 11 years so I've grown my skills to the point where I don't rely on anything outside of myself for features and implementation. Check out my guilds site. I'm always happy to receive feedback and help others on their way to making a decent site.
    Apothecary and Yianna like this.
  6. Freelancer

    Freelancer Cupcake-About-Town

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    If you have the luxury of spending money, or getting support from your guildmates, please stay away from Enjin/similar portals. It is one of the most inefficient platforms out there, and aside from looking really bad, have an extremely insecure backend and is riddled with dated scripting. I am a PHP community coder myself, and work with IPB/vbulletin/Joomla.

    The CSS templating system in those types of portal websites typically makes any credible visitor's eyes bleed.

    Also, consider the fact that Enjin and similar sites own the rights to all of your data, and at all times you must abide by their TOS. I've seen more than a couple guild websites go down due to a member doing or saying something they shouldn't have. I've personally seen a site go down for a guild leader trying to attach a js. script that drew too much bandwidth. In all of these cases and more, you have no access to your backend backups, and if you decide to leave, you can use a "scraping" procedure to get some information, but largely your content is lost.

    I highly recommend looking into vBulletin, or IPB better yet if you have the money. Otherwise there are free/open-source options that are also great (and some recommend them even more) such as Xenforo, SimpleMachines, and Joomla. Get yourself familiar with their tutorials and templating systems, and spend half the time to make something twice as good as anything those "guildlaunch" websites put out.

    Your guild's first impression is the website both potential applicants and other guild emissaries see. If this is just a Wildstar deal, then sure, Enjin will get you by. If you plan on making a credible attempt at branding yourself, make it count.
  7. Xeridae

    Xeridae New Cupcake

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    I disagree that sites like Enjin look bad.

    Here is a link to the Westeroscraft site (also on Enjin) that I think looks just great http://www.westeroscraft.com/

    I've seen plenty of bad examples on Enjin and Guild Portal, etc. but it's really more about understanding website design then a problem with those sites. They provide you a set of tools and if you know how to use them you can make a decent site quickly. Most people don't know how to use the tools.

    For what it's worth, I am a player who was involved with number one WoW Cataclysm raiding guild in the world when Firelands came out. I'll tell you that while it looks more professional to build your own site, 80% of the time players are not even going to use your website anyway. Why? They will be too busy actually playing the game when it comes out. Think of your website as a recruitment/news tool and nothing more.
  8. Voison

    Voison Moderator • Foxy Cupcake

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    I'd have to disagree with that.. I know plenty of people in top raiding guilds, who still use their guilds website & forums. Website as a recruitment tool? Well of course, thats why I'd want to put time and effort into my site. I would never join a guild if they used Enjin. Its nothing personal, it just looks tacky and feels like they didn't want to spend the time or effort on their own site. I agree, some enjin sites look like they took some time, but most of them look the same to me.. Nothing really sticks out on enjin, everything seems mass cloned besides the colors and header. :(


    To the OP:
    If you can't afford IPB, you can always try out their free service: http://www.invisionfree.com Its not as good as IPB, but it gets the job done forum wise. Plenty of customization tools if you know BBCode and CSS. You can basically run a guild with forums alone. :)
  9. Xeridae

    Xeridae New Cupcake

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    As a player I care infinitely more about what a guild has accomplished in-game then what their website looks like.

    As a guild leader, I would rather have players that are more concerned with the guild they are playing with than what tools their guild website was made with (something that most people don't know the difference anyway).

    This is of course, a personal preference. I just think it is incredibly short-sighted to judge a book by its cover.
  10. Beetle

    Beetle Special Cupcake

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    Enjin, Squarspace, guildlaunch all get the job done if you do not know how to code (like myself). They are easy to use and have some good tools to get you going. They may not look the greatest, but until yourself or someone in your guild can make you one from scratch they are your best realistic option.
  11. Cretz

    Cretz Cupcake

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    I know HTML and CSS, and some PHP. Would some of the mentioned forum based options provide enough features and options for customization?
  12. Voison

    Voison Moderator • Foxy Cupcake

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    Yes most of them will, if you're going down the free route. Of course you can only do so much with free, but I guess you can get the job done.
  13. windrider07

    windrider07 New Cupcake

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    Sorry for bumping this thread up but I just now noticed it. I too am curious to know what everyone thinks. So far it seems that there is a difference of opinion. Enjin looks good to some, bad to others. It also seems to be the most popular. Shivtr also exists as well as Guild Launch. There are some who prefer custom websites, but then again some people would rather have a website that is already built so that you can just enter in the data and you're set to go. Doing the code takes too much time.

    So if I may ask, what do most people prefer and why? Guild Launch? Enjin? Recently, Guild Launch was giving away free coupons to its premium plan....I think WildStar-Central took part in it.
  14. Rabb

    Rabb New Cupcake

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    Not using a portal is fine if you have the skills or resources to do that but some don't. I find most people that use sites like enjin try to use all the features and there site looks cluttered thats why I only use what is necessary on my enjin site. I'm happy with it for now. Just waiting for the bootstrap 3 theme to be approved then I'll make some changes.
  15. Bisqquit

    Bisqquit "That" Cupcake

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    I've been involved in the creation of a number of guild websites over the course of various games. Here's my 2p.

    Guildlaunch - Decent host. Slightly dated designs. Allows you to use mumble, ts and vent widgets for your own servers.
    Enjin - Very popular, excellent crowdpay system, very flexible though every enjin site looks the exact same.
    Shivtr - Used this very recently, very clean looking, lovely back end, very customisable though you have to use their mumble service to get your widget working properly.

    In terms of sign-ups, mumble widgets, dkp trackers etc, these sites do the job - at a cost. Also, you are not in control. I've heard horror stories of info, forums etc getting wiped and entire guilds left hanging.

    If you're on a budget and want basic functionality get a cheap web host and use phpbb, smf or similar along with eqdkp+. If you have some cash to burn or know a web dev, get something tailored for you.

    TLDR - Guild host sites do the job with minimum hassle but all look the same. A bespoke site is classier and more than likely cheaper and safer.
  16. Niliana

    Niliana Cupcake

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    In past games I've usually had my husband make us a website for guild events and roleplay. And that was only if there was a demand for a website.

    In most cases if we're starting in a new game and have no real guild sorted yet, we usually go eith enjin or guild launch. But, thanks to this thread I've checked out shivtr and really like it, and it's free so it's great for temporary use until we get a higher demand for a cleaner website. http://venusrising.shivtr.com/ just made it today and decided to run the guild today. yey
  17. Anthremar

    Anthremar New Cupcake

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    I love what you did with the Enigma site, Mitz, and was originally thinking of going that way myself. Ended up getting one of those 1-year things from Zapp for GuildLaunch, so went that route for now. The only feature I miss from Enjin that GL doesn't have is an admin-discussion section right on the app forms. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with it so far.

    I love the level of CSS tweaking that GL allows, down to editing any class in their structure down to finite details. I've done quite a bit of that on the site below - pixle here, pixel there, OCD appeased. Their templates, while dated, do offer a lot more individuality than enjin, and since there's a high degree of modding available, if you're proficient in CSS, you can get pretty close to that look you're after.

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