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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: KeithBVaughn on March 27, 2011, 04:14:59 AM



Title: Creating a Website???
Post by: KeithBVaughn on March 27, 2011, 04:14:59 AM
To the Group,

I'm asking for a few resources and some of your hard earned experience. I'm getting ready to release a game and want to set up some form of web support for the users of the game. The problem is I haven't done anything like it before and don't know where to start. So on with the questions.

How do you set up a web page?
Who is a good provider for a simple website (no pop-ups though!)
What do you do to sell through the website (credit cards, paypal, ect.)
Examples of good/bad websites.
What do you find effective in sales and what is attractive but useless?

Thanks in Advance, Keith


Title: Re: Creating a Website???
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on March 27, 2011, 07:58:50 AM
For your situation I recommend joining Wordpress.com (http://wordpress.com/) and setting up a "blog" for the purpose. Despite the name, Wordpress is a very powerful content control system, and even the communal version on offer at the aforementioned address is rather flexible despite being a free static package: it allows you to choose from many different looks for your site, as well as allowing static pages in a tree-like menu arrangement, and of course blogging tools for providing news and whatnot for your customers are in-built. It should be easy enough to use without web programming experience of any sort, at least for basic applications.

For your commercial interface, simply become a Paypal client (requires a credit card, mostly) and use Paypal-buttons as provided by the site to get payments to your Paypal account. Anything else is far too complicated for a beginner web merchant, and Paypal is well-known among this particular clientele, so you won't suffer of seeming shady.

My above recommendation is based on the fact that website design and web marketing strategy are very involved, very wide topics, and the best way to learn is by doing. For this reason I advice you to set up a lightweight solution that brings the most bang for the small investment of time and nill investment of money involved. It allows you to start your commercial operation and will serve you well as long as your needs are no more complex than getting a few score copies of your game sold direct to customers. Worrying about competitive attraction and such at this point of the game is very premature, and you will find it much better to develop your experience in being a web merchant by actually doing it for a bit. Once you have this baseline to compare to and some basic sense for the options involved, you can start thinking about hiring somebody to design you a more powerful site, buying server space and so on.

Also, there is no need to worry about a Wordpress site seeming "unprofessional" or whatever - it's a very powerful and expandable system, and some very professional and very creative people use it simply because they can't be bothered with fiddling on an independent solution. I can imagine very few actual functionalities that you might wish your site to have that can't be implemented by this particular solution, and the ones I can imagine are such that they're clearly premature for a startup publisher.


Title: Re: Creating a Website???
Post by: KeithBVaughn on March 27, 2011, 02:39:10 PM
Thanks Eero,

Like I said, I'm just putting my toe in the waters and don't have much time for major research. If anyone else has suggestions please set them down.

Thanks in Advance, Keith


Title: Re: Creating a Website???
Post by: Vulpinoid on March 27, 2011, 05:19:38 PM
I've found that a website has been greatly advantageous in my game design endeavours. I just wish I had some more time the dedicate toward it (living the life of an internet nomad doesn't help).

[blatant plug] Have a look around at www.vulpinoid.com (http://www.vulpinoid.com) [/blatant plug]

It probably helps that I'm a qualified web designer, while game design is my hobby/obsession.

Eero's generally on the right track though, set up a good blog. There's a few of them around where game designers work their way through the design process, soliciting feedback for their designs along the way.