How To Start A Successful Jagex Approved Runescape Fansite
Do You Have The Resources To Start A Runescape Fansite?
Before you begin, you must first ask yourself if starting a Runescape fansite is a good idea. A good fansite requires a domain name, web hosting, time, and commitment. Even with all these things, there is no guarantee of success.
However, if you feel you have what it takes to begin a Runescape fansite then read on.
Ensure That Your Runescape Fansite Is Jagex Approved
First of all, you'll want to read Jagex's rules regarding fansites. They are pretty basic... just be sure to mention that Runescape is property of Jagex, ensure that the site follows Runescape Rules, and put a link back to the Runescape homepage.
If your site follows the above guidelines, and has no advertisements regarding Real World Trading (RWT), then you are on your way to getting contacted by Jagex.
Purchase A Domain Name
Now that you have an idea of what Jagex expects from you, it's time to take the first step in building a successful website: purchasing a domain name. Now I know that there are tons of free web hosts and blogging platforms out there that will give you a subdomain for free, but if you want to have a legitimate Runescape fansite you will need a domain name of your own. A domain name will usually set you back about $10 a year, which is less than the price of two months of Runescape membership.
To purchase a domain name you will need to visit a registrar and check to see what is available. Here are a few popular domain registrars:
Naming Your Runescape Fansite
When naming your Runescape fansite you'll need to ask yourself what type of website you want to make. Do you want a general purpose Runescape fansite (ie. RuneHQ, Sal's Realm, etc.) or one more specialized (ie. Draynor.net).
Whichever is your choice, you probably want to include at least some Runescape related keywords in your domain name. Let's take Sal's Realm as an example. The main domain name, Salmoneus.net , is relatively worthless from an SEO (search engine optimization) standpoint. The domain tells us nothing about the site's content. Luckily for him, Salmoneus hosts his Runescape fansite on a subdomain of the actual site: Runescape.Salmoneus.Net. The word "runescape" in the subdomain tells the search engines that the site is about Runescape.
For your site it would be better not to mess with subdomains at all like Salmoneus. Instead, make sure to name your site something Runescape-ish. A good example of a domain that tells visitors and search engines all that they need to know is Runescape Community. So basically just combine the word Runescape (or any variation on it) with what your site provides.
Purchase Web Hosting
Now that you've got a snazzy new domain name for your fansite, you'll need a place to host it. For a started site, web hosting will run you between $5-$10 a month, and can be a little tricky for a novice. Basically the features you need to look for are bandwidth, disk space, and assorted other features. Wordpress.org has a handy page that details hosting providers that they support. Basically, if Wordpress is able to run on it, then you should be able to design a website around it.
Web Design Resources
Designing Your Runescape Fansite
Now here comes the hardest part when it comes to starting a Runescape fansite: designing it. Nows the time to whip out those handy HTML and CSS skills you've been hiding all these years. If you have no knowledge of HTML to speak of then I suppose you could check out W3Schools and attempt to learn.
Graphics design skills will also come in handy for creating the actual layout of your Runescape fansite. If you possess thi knowledge then you are well on your way to creating the actual fansite, and I probably won't need to tell you how to upload your files to your server through FTP.
However if HTML, CSS, and graphic design aren't your forte then you still have some options available to you. The easiest is to use Wordpress as a content management system. If you purchased your hosting from one of the Wordpress suggested web hosts, then your server should handle the software just fine.
Installing Wordpress is easy. If your server doesn't automatically have an installer script (ie. Fantastico) then just follow the documentation on the Wordpress site. With Wordpress you'll be able to customize the layout and everything of your site, and publishing new Runescape guides is a snap.
However, it really is suggested that you learn HTML and CSS and design your site the old fashioned way.
Creating Content For Your Runescape Fansite
Now that you've completed all the dirty work, it is time to create some content for your site! Typical Runescape fansite fare includes:
- Skill Guides
- Quest Guides
- General Tips
- Runescape Forums
When first starting out you'll have to write most of the guides by yourself, just look at other fansites for inspiration (BUT DO NOT PLAGIARIZE) and create some killer content! Once your site becomes more developed and known, you will acquire members who will gladly create content for you.
To build a community you need to have forum software, however. Here are some types of forum software available for your Runescape Fansite:
Installing forum software is pretty straightforward and the individual sites will provide documentation regarding their software.
Managing Your Runescape Forum
Now that you've got a forum set up you will begin to form a community around your site. Be friendly and polite and create fair policies to moderate your forum with. Choose trusted members to become moderators and administrators and allow them to take care of your day-to-day Runescape forum affairs.
By following these steps you should be well on your way to a successful Runescape fansite!
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