WEB Creating a gaming forum vs needsomeassistance

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by SuperMan91, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    So I want to create a forum dedicated to gaming and exploits. The only problem is the only experience I have is forumotion. I did some research, but all i found was the following steps.

    1. Choose a forum platform (or w/e you wanna call it.) Ex: Mybb, PHP3, etc.
    2. Get hosting... Although I dont know how much space would be required.
    3. Promote your site.

    Is that really all i need?... If so then I suppose I can start looking into Mybb and how to script, etc.
     
  2. sheep561

    sheep561 OT Supporter

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    Nothing really to it, It'll just take some time setting it up the way you want. The real challenge will be attracting members to the forum.
     
  3. Ricky

    Ricky █▄ █▄█ █▄ ▀█▄

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    Yes that's really all to it, but it's a lot of work getting members to sign up and stay there.

    If i were you i'd suggest this.

    1. A free platform. Personally i'd go with phpbb or invasionboards for now.

    2. A low hosting package. You won't require much disk space at all. As far as bandwidth, that depends on how much you are going to be advertising. If you advertise a lot, more people will come and you'll use more bandwidth. You shouldn't require THAT much though. Just be sure your plan includes php and mysql.
     
  4. PocoDiablo

    PocoDiablo New Member

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    Here's my experience with forums:

    1. You need to pick a VERY focused subject for your forums if you want to be successful. For example, don't make your forums based on "PS3 games". Instead, you could focus on one genre or one set of games, perhaps "Car racing" or "Nintendo Car Racing" or the likes. The more focused you are, the more people you will be able to attract because the subject matter will always be about that one topic.

    2. Copy the best competitor out there, at least in terms of software and layout. That means if the top ten sites out there are using PhpBB, then you should also use it. If they are using vBulletin, you should use it. Considering if the software is free or not is completely missing the point. You have to understand that people are not happy with change. For example, OT runs on vBulletin, as do many other sites. After using it for a while, people become comfortable with the site because they know how it works and how to get around. If you make a new site and it uses different software than what people are used to, many users won't even sign up because they will see the site as difficult to use, inferior, or hard to find information easily.

    3. You can start with just about any hosting package that has adequate space and bandwidth. Just don't get too cheap, as cheap providers tend to suck. I like Hostgator, but there are many other out there that are just as good.

    4. Pick a clean, light-colored, and easy to use template. If you use vBulletin, check out www.sultantheme.com - I picked up a template for one of my sites there and it was $4 :cool:

    5. If you use vBulletin (sorry, I'm a big vb fan) then by all means download and install the free vBadvanced CMPS homepage. Be sure to install your forums in a sub-folder of the main site, like abc.com/forums. Therefore your homepage is at abc.com and your forums are at the same place most other people put them, plus it's easy to remember and type in.

    6. Put Google ads on the site. If at all possible (read: make it happen) you should put a 160x600 tower ad on the left side of the page, with all your content to the right of it. That location is VERY profitable. Never put ads on the right side of the page - many people have screens that are not that wide, so they never see them because the ads may go off the side of the viewable area. TIP: Don't put the ads on your site until you are DONE making everything work. As soon as you put Google ads on your site, the search engine spiders will visit, so you want everything as close to finalized as possible.

    7. Put good content on the site. Invite some friends. Get them to post. Reply to EVERY post on the site. Do the research for things you don't know. Basically get good information on the site. If you do that for 6 months or so, pretty soon you will attract new members who will also do that.

    8. Get rid of shitty members right away. Don't let anyone be a jerk to you or the other members. Maintain the highest level of quality that you can. Most people won't come to a site if they always get stupid crap for answers, or where other people are rude.

    9. Study other sites keywords and populate your meta tags/description with a reasonable amount of words that exactly describe your site. Don't go overboard. I have always found that honesty is the best policy when it comes to search engines. Once you have done that, submit your site to search engines.

    Bottom line? The high quality of content on your site and the ability to easily find it, as well as the ability to quickly and easily get around your site, will make your site a success.
     
  5. drpepper

    drpepper Active Member

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    i run a couple of small forums.
    pm me if you need help.
     
  6. maxxpower

    maxxpower OG Lauren Crew - Observer OT Supporter

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    forums = waste of time
     
  7. drpepper

    drpepper Active Member

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    in regards to? anything can be a waste of time depending on your goals.
     
  8. maxxpower

    maxxpower OG Lauren Crew - Observer OT Supporter

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    If its a hobby or getting your feet wet, sure.
    If its because you think you can be the next SA, OT, 4c or whatever... better off spending your time towards something more obtainable.
     
  9. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    I could just use any advice atm. Im still drawing up how it will look.

    I dont plan on being as big as OT or the other sites you listed. I just want to see what its like to actually have a forum. Plus having my own forum with a handful of active members could help me advertise other sites I create.

    That reminds me. What is the best ways to promote your site. Both free and cost?
     
  10. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    PocoDiablo, thanks. That already narrowed down a few questions I was going to ask.
     
  11. PocoDiablo

    PocoDiablo New Member

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    Bad forums = waste of time.

    Good forums are very, very profitable. Sure, maybe not as profitable as other sites, but for someone starting out they can easily pay for themselves in a few months when done okay. When done right, with ads, paid subscriptions, affiliate programs, etc., you can make a few thousand dollars a month or more.
     
  12. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    Is there any way to preview how my forum is going to look like without uploading it?... Ex: Like in html, all you have to do is double click on the file you created and you see a preview of what it will look like on the internet.
     
  13. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    :hsugh:
     
  14. maxxpower

    maxxpower OG Lauren Crew - Observer OT Supporter

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    :ugh:
     
  15. Krakerjak

    Krakerjak Active Member

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    Edmonton eh
    http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html

    Turns your computer into a web server for testing purposes
    it has been quite useful for me
     
  16. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    I was goin to make another thread about this but I figured I would just add onto this one.

    Im requesting a banner for a game forum. Im not sure what I want it to look like which is why Im asking for help. Thanks in advanced.
     
  17. drpepper

    drpepper Active Member

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    to be honest, its actually a lot of work. constant maintenance. reponding to members/reg issues/etc.

    moderating the forums is a whole job in itself.
    my advice would be to start small. get a few dedicated members. treat them right and they will spread the word for you.

    also, the forum needs to be a niche, a VERY specific niche.
    a 'general' forum will never work unless you have a huge base to start off with.
     
  18. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. The niche Im focusing on is gaming. Im not sure if thats too broad, but thats pretty much what im working on. I have a few friends that volunteered to be mods and Im going to have enough spare time (until I go to basic training in August) to keep everyone satisfyed. All I really need is a banner.

    Other than that, i think I have everything else under control. I have one or two ways to help draw traffic. Neither of them involve being indexed on Googles search engine. Im not exactly sure how to do that anyways. But what are some other ways I could get traffic?...
     
  19. Phasm

    Phasm OT Supporter

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    "gaming" isn't tight niche AT ALL.
     
  20. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

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    :ugh::rofl: ^ This guy is right.... gaming is a gigantic category that fits a broad range of things.... tabletop gaming, board gaming, and even within the video gaming category, there are even smaller subcategories... you gotta focus it down to a specific part of gaming.

    So yeah, it's too broad. Having friends as mods is worthless.... doesn't mean shit. You need content on your forums that will make people want to sign up there as opposed to another gaming site, already populated by tons of people.
     
  21. drpepper

    drpepper Active Member

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    'gaming' is too broad.

    take one of my sites for example

    http://tf2maps.net

    Category: Video Games
    - More specific: Computer Video Games
    -- More specific: Team Fortress 2 Video Game
    --- More specific: Team Fortress 2 Custom Content
    ---- More Specific: Team Fotress 2 Custom Maps

    That is a very specific niche and that allowed me to grow the site to over 3,000 members with 80,000 Uniques a month with over 350,000 views a month.
     
  22. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    How about a forum based around MMORPG's?... Or must it be more specific?...
     
  23. PocoDiablo

    PocoDiablo New Member

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    I don't agree with this. While the setup can be VERY time consuming, as well as time spent tweaking features or layout issues, the day to day running of a forum often requires very little time or work. Doing an upgrade is a once a month deal and usually only takes 10 minutes.

    I get registration issues perhaps once a week on a small site with 1000 members and 2500 visitors per day, 120k hits/day.

    Moderating is easy. I have my site setup to email on every new post. Then I just check my email. 99.9% of posts are legit. If you get a spammy one, you click the link and the use the "One Touch ban and clean" mod to wipe out the post and ban the users. Takes 30 seconds, tops.

    The key is to have FAIR, CLEAR, and EASY to understand rules that everyone agrees to. I also recommend a 3-strikes-you're-out system with infractions and bans. 1-strike for spammers, of course. If someone messes up, give them an infraction. 3 times and they're banned.
     
  24. drpepper

    drpepper Active Member

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    ive always felt an infraction system was/is counter productive.
     
  25. SuperMan91

    SuperMan91 New Member

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    I have most of the banner created. I just need a korny lil catch phrase to put on it. Something like "Where gamers belong!" Or something along those lines... Any ideas?
     

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