We’ve talked a little bit in previous posts about how much you can benefit from having a guild, clan, or game community website. We even went over what kinds of things you should look for when you start searching for a guild hosting platform.
Game community websites help bring players together. They’re a place to communicate with each other, organize events, and recruit new people to play with. But some of you are probably wondering why you have to use a guild hosting platform to do all those things. Can’t you use a regular web platform like WordPress instead?
You could do that, sure. But you’re cheating yourself in the long run. While WordPress (or a similar platform) might look like the best option, and while it might work for you when you’re just starting out, it’s ultimately lacking some key features that your game community site needs. And down the road, you’ll find yourself wishing you had done it right the first time.
The right platform can work wonders for your community or guild, but WordPress just isn’t it. Here’s why.
WordPress wasn’t created specifically for gamers
This probably seems pretty obvious, but it’s an important point to touch on. If you visit the WordPress site, you’ll find them boasting that you can use their platform for anything you want – running a business, keeping a blog, or even hosting your game community, if that’s what you want to do.
WordPress may be a jack of all trades, but it’s a master of none. A guild hosting website like Gamer Launch, on the other hand, is specially designed to cater to the unique needs of guilds and game communities. Guild hosting platforms spend a lot of time researching what would make guilds stronger and guild site experiences better, and we use that research to cater everything we do – from design to features to pricing – to you, the gamers. You can’t get that kind of specialization from a WordPress site.
It lacks some of the features that are essential to a great guild site
Because WordPress isn’t designed for gamers only, the features it offers aren’t really designed for them, either. That doesn’t mean that some features wouldn’t be useful to you, of course. Most people know that WordPress has an impressive number of plug-ins that will allow you to extend your site as you see fit. So with enough time and effort, you could probably use WordPress and its plug-ins to mimic some of the features that guild hosting platforms have.
Don’t beg WordPress for features it can’t give you. (Source)
But why do that when there’s already a platform that knows what you need, and has all those features wrapped up in a nice little bundle. Your guild will want to have things like forums, event sign-ups, game integration, DKP tracking, and recruitment applications. There’s probably a WordPress plug-in that can do most of those things, but it won’t ever do them as well as a full-fledged guild hosting platform. And some features that can’t be replicated, like game integration and voice server slots, aren’t going to be available at all. It’s best (and easiest) to let your platform do all that legwork for you. That way you can focus on customizing that feature to suit your guild rather than building it from the ground up.
Function cannot follow form
Guild hosting platforms usually don’t offer quite as much customization as WordPress does. You can control what graphics and colors appear on the page, and how your site is laid out, but that’s usually about it. So some of you who are more aesthetically inclined may be drawn to WordPress because of the infinite customization options that are available. If you know what you’re doing, you can create a game community site on WordPress that is nothing short of visually striking.
The keyword there is “if”. You have to have both the skill and the time to devote to creating your site, which can be a massive undertaking. If you’re lacking one or the other (or both), you might be thinking that you can just use a WordPress theme. But most of the professional-looking themes come at a price (sometimes upwards of $70 or more), and they’re very rarely a copy-paste affair. You’ll still need some know-how to work out bugs or do a little tweaking if you want it to display your guild colors and include certain features. So you may want to ask yourself how much you’re willing to sacrifice for looks.
WordPress has a steep learning curve
Like we mentioned in our last point, WordPress takes some know-how. Creating and managing content might be a breeze, but it takes a lot more than that to have a fully-functional (and nice looking) site. That’s why professional organizations usually hire outside designers to create and maintain their sites for them. Without a wealth of technical knowledge, your site will probably end up more of a mess than a masterpiece.
From getting your theme right to making plug-ins work together, you’ve got to be familiar with coding if you want WordPress to host your game community site. And you’re going to need a lot of time – probably more than you’re willing to give if you’re busy with a thriving guild.
The price just isn’t right
Before we wrap up, we’re going to talk in a language everyone understands: cold, hard cash. If you’re investing in a guild or game community website, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your money.
Both WordPress and other guild hosting platforms have free versions, with the option to upgrade for access to more features. Gamer Launch offers plans priced at around $7, $15, and $20 per month. Each plan tier offers extra features and more storage than the one below it. Similarly, WordPress offers two plan upgrades at $99 and $299 a year.
While the initial math may make it seem like WordPress is the better value, you’re paying for features you don’t need – whereas a guild hosting platform is charging you for key features that will greatly enhance your community experience. The most expensive WordPress plan offers things like eCommerce, special themes, unlimited storage, and Google Analytics. While some of those things might matter to you, we’re betting that most of them don’t. The top-tier Gamer Launch plan, however, offers a 50-slot voice server, full CSS customization, unlimited multi-game integration, and Google Analytics. Those features probably sound more appealing than something like eCommerce. But here’s the kicker: only the voice server slots are specific to the most expensive plan. The rest of those features come with cheaper versions.
Even if you aren’t planning on paying for your site at all, the free features for most guild hosting platforms will be much more appealing to you than the free features for WordPress. DKP tracking, multi-game management, recruiting, and eSports functionality (which are all part of Gamer Launch’s free plan) are significantly more useful to your guild or game community than things like site statistics, mobile apps, and a specialized blog reading hub.
Don’t get this frustrated trying to build your site. Use a guild hosting platform. (Source)
WordPress is a fantastic platform for all kinds of things (like our blog) – it’s just not the best one for your game community. For more tips and tricks on how to build a fantastic guild website, check out and follow our guild hosting tag.