How to Make a Gaming Website with WordPress
If you’d like to create a gaming website with WordPress, but are not too sure where to start, stick with me and I’ll explain how to do it with just six steps.
Gaming is a favourite pass-time for people of all ages, and an estimated 3 billion people across the world play video games. Whether you enjoy real-time strategy, sandbox, shooter, or role-playing, gaming is a fantastic way to unwind at the end of a long day. Gaming websites are ever-popular and create a sense of community around a game or genre. More still, they can be a place to share your passion and knowledge, in a fun environment.
As promised, here are six steps to take to build your very own WordPress gaming website:
1) What kind of gaming website do You Want?
Your first big task, even before even beginning to build your site, is to decide what kind of gaming website you want to build. There are a number of ways you can go with this:
- A game review website and blog
- A website dedicated to your favourite game genre
- A website dedicated to a specific game
- A site where you sell game-related products
- A forum for gamers
The choice is ultimately down to you. Select an area that you will find the most fun and interesting. That way, you’re more likely to stick with it.
2) Choose Your Host
Your next step will be to choose your WordPress host. We have a page dedicated to analysing and reviewing different WordPress hosts and we found SiteGround to be the best. Its servers are fast, powerful, and reliable. It’s also very user-friendly, making SiteGround an ideal choice if you’re new to the website-building scene.
In all its WordPress hosting plans, SiteGround includes:
- A free SSL certificate
- Free WordPress integration
- Free CDN
- Daily backups
- Unmetered traffic
- eCommerce features
- Free email
- Enhanced security
At the time of writing this, there is a 75% discount available across all Managed WordPress plan, making the cheapest just £2.99 per month. The “Best Seller” plan is just a little more expensive at £4.99 per month. As you can probably see, SiteGround gives you a lot for your money and everything you need to build your own gaming WordPress site.
But, if you’d like to opt for a different host, there are loads of other options such as:
Or, you can go directly through WordPress.com.
3) Pick a Name and a Domain
Once you’ve made you’re hosting choice, it’s time to pick a name for your site. Look at other gaming websites for some inspiration if you’re having difficulty finding the perfect one. Don’t be afraid to keep the name simple but try and make it a memorable one.
Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and purchase your domain. Some hosts, such as BlueHost, offer a free domain for a year. With most others, you will be able to purchase one through the host’s website. With SiteGround, for example, you can register your domain name either before or after you purchase your hosting plan. Simply follow the instructions on the page.
4) Install WordPress and Choose Your Theme
A good WordPress host will either already come with WordPress pre-installed or offer a simple one-click installation process. This can often be found in the admin panel of your hosting account.
Next, you can go ahead and choose from the thousands of themes available. Some are free, some are not, and prices can be quite varied. Some popular themes ideal for a gaming website include:
- Game Addict
But, there are many, many more!
5) Customise Your Site
Create and customise your website pages with unique content and plugins. The huge selection of plugins is what makes WordPress stand out from the crowd. Not only can they add functionality, but they also make WordPress websites highly customisable. First and foremost, there are some plugins you want to add to any site, regardless of its purpose:
|iThemes Security||Helps to protect your site from hackers.|
|WP-Optimize||Optimises your website’s speed through functions like image compressing, database clean-ups and website caching.|
|MonsterInsights||Integrates with Google Analytics to keep track of metrics like page views, bounce rate, and session duration.|
|Yoast SEO||Helps you to optimise your website’s pages and contents for search engines.|
And of course, there are plugins that will help your website thrive as a gaming site. Many gamification plugins encourage engagement from your visitors. This, in turn, will help make your site more memorable, fun, and compelling. Furthermore, prompting interaction could boost your SEO by lowering your site’s bounce rate and keeping visitors on your site for longer.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
|bbPress||Enables the creation of forums.|
|BuddyPress User badges||Create badges and assign them to your site users.|
|Advanced Steam Widget||Show your Steam gaming stats to your visitors.|
|GamiPress||Create an award system for your site with points, achievements, or ranks.|
|Quiz Cat||Build quizzes for your visitors.|
|WP Optin Wheel||Allow your visitors to ‘spin to win’ a coupon.|
This list is by no means exhaustive. Have a look around and see what’s out there to suit your budget and needs. It’s also worth keeping in mind that some plugins can slow down your site. With that in mind, try not to go overboard with the widgets and gamification, and be sure to keep an eye on your page-loading speeds.
6) Promote your site
Lastly, what good is a site if there’s no one to see it? There are a number of things you can do to promote your website and help it to get seen. Not only should you take steps to optimise your content and pages for search engines (made easier with plugins like Yoast), but you also need to be actively promoting it.
Grow your social media presence
Choose a few social media platforms. Don’t overburden yourself by choosing them all! Only create channels that you will have the time to maintain and create regular content for. Reach out and communicate with like-minded people in social media gaming communities.
Even if you’ve chosen to open a store or a forum, it’s always a good idea for a website to have a blog. It will provide you a place to post fresh content on a regular basis. You can use your blog to share your gaming knowledge with your audience.
In the previous section, I shared some plugins that will help you entice visitors to hand over their email addresses, and subscribe or sign up to your website. Generally, you will need to offer something in exchange for an email address. This could be the promise of a monthly newsletter, an opportunity to win a prize or points, or to get notified when you post on your blog. Once you have an email list, you can create email campaigns to share information and boost interaction. Be sure to include an ‘opt-out’ option for those who don’t want to receive emails from you.
Cross-promote your site
Make it easy for people to connect with you and your website by cross-promoting it. Place your web address on your social media channels, ask people who read your blog to consider following you on social media, and announce to your social media followers when you’ve posted on your blog. And, don’t forget to place social media buttons on your website.
Having a gaming website can be an exciting hobby. It can even be a lucrative income source with time and effort. Follow these steps to build your own WordPress gaming website. And, most importantly, have fun doing it.