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Guild Websites – Should I Create One?

I’d like to create a guild website. We’re a small guild that’s currently trying to get to Karazhan. We’re pretty casual and I’ve seen what some of the other sites say about being a casual raiding guild. I understand that there is a lot of time and effort needed to be a successful raiding guild. Most of us are willing to put in the time. I probably average close to 30 hours a week on WoW and a few of the other officers and GM put in more time than that.

I really like the casual feel of the guild. We help each other, let everybody do their own thing, and overall there’s no pressure to do any more than you really want to. It’s a game after all and we’re here to enjoy. Just like the hardcore raiding guilds enjoy being that, we enjoy doing our thing.

However, that said I think several things need to change. I believe a website can assist us in doing this. We need a forum in which to post rules and expectations of the guild. We’ve seen a lot of drama lately, I believe primarily due to the willy nilly recruiting. Everyone has the privilege to invite anyone they see fit into the guild. Although I don’t think we should necessarily take that right away from the members, I do think we need to communicate the guild leaders’ expectations.

Here’s what I see potentially for a guild website:

  • Guild Rules, expectations, etc.
  • Calendar of Events (raids, etc.)
  • Communication Forum (congratulations, promotions, issues, problems, class questions, grievances, etc.)
  • Raid set-up (calendar, rules, looting, participation tracking, DKP, or other form)

I have no experience with any guild websites out there. Does it work for you? What are the problems you run into? I would appreciate any comments on what to add, modify, or avoid. Any advice on maintenance of website, enforcing members to view website, etc. would be greatly appreciated. If you have personal experience with creating a website, what kind of effort and time are you putting into maintaining it? Any advice on layouts, structure, etc. is appreciated. Basically, if you think of it, please let me know.

Also, I have no experience with creating a website whatsoever, unless you count this blog. I think someone in the guild has some and I have a friend that is very good at it. Also, I’ll probably be accessing Blog Azeroth for help from time to time. I learn quickly and am confident I can create a website.

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2 Responses

  1. I read your post on Blog Azeroth and made my way over here. I may even expand on this topic within my own blog, but for now, I’ll touch on the questions you mentioned.

    Does it work for you?
    Yes and no. In the five years that I have spent gaming, I have been the administrator of four guild sites. In my experience, the effectiveness of the web site is not solely the responsibility of the site administrator. If the members don’t use it then the site doesn’t work. Period.

    What problems have you run into?
    Oh, I could address an entire blog post on just this question. (Thanks for the idea!) In short, here are my three biggest issues: lack of participation from members, members whose net-fu is weak and require hand holding for everything he or she does on the site, and members who want site support NOW (while I’m running Kara, fight Gruul, etc.).

    If you have personal experience with creating a website, what kind of effort and time are you putting into maintaining it?
    Now that the site is up and running, I spend maybe a total of ten minutes a day on the site. That’s just routine maintenance (granting approval for new accounts, removing outdated ones, etc.). When I first put up the site, I think I easily sunk six to twelve hours just getting it arranged in a way that would suit our guild.

    There are several different ways you can create your guild site. I’ve seen guilds use Guild Portal. It works if you can stand the advertisements. I, for one, cannot. Thus, I’ve always used either PHP-Nuke or Postnuke sites. It all depends on personal preference. I’ve actually even seen a guild site set up under Blogspot. Although, that one was a little odd as it lacked uniformity with the forum area; it was two completely different sites.

    Guild Rules/Expectations
    My advice on this is keep it simple and avoid wordy rules. Often times, people won’t read them if they are too lengthy.

    Calendar of Events
    I used to have a raid scheduler and a calendar of events on the guild site. I found that people weren’t using either, so I removed them. Instead, we use the Group Calendar addon for WoW. Participation and sign-ups are more successful with this because if a person doesn’t use it, he/she doesn’t raid. It’s the player’s responsibility to check it and sign up for an event.

    Communication Forum
    Don’t forget to have a separate forum for mindless crap (random images, weird videos, non-WoW related stuff) that people like to post. That way your dedicated WoW forums don’t get filled with junk. Trust me, people will always put the wrong post in the wrong category.

    Wow, I think I may need to go post this on my own blog. 🙂

  2. Thanks a ton! This is great information!

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