I created and maintain our guild website. I’m not particularly clever and certainly wouldn’t be able to put a new site up from scratch without some form of template to get me started, so I “cheat”. I use a guild hosting website and tweak their standard settings to try to get some balance between user friendly and individuality.
Over the past few years I have created and experimented with many different hosting sites, with my main requirements being a free site that is flexible but easy to use.
When I created our first website a few years ago there weren’t a lot of options – most had very little going for the free versions of their sites, making them all look the same with very little in the way of features, obviously preferring the paying customer.
I eventually plumped for a company called Wowstead who, at the time were simply run by one or two people and was all about the community of people who got together to help each other make individual and feature-rich sites.
Unfortunately their unique product made them an ideal target and late in 2010 they were bought by Curse – yes those people who host all those nice addons. I say unfortunately, because Curse simply destroyed the community and flexibility of the sites by reducing them to modular sites that, for the free sites at least, ended up making them inflexible and similar to all the other sites.
In their defence, the sites do look a lot more polished now, but their customer service and stability of their sites left a lot to be desired.
So after testing various other guild hosting sites again, including Enjin, Guildzilla and more, I found Guildlaunch.
Guildlaunch satisfies virtually all of my requirements for a guild website, from my point of view – it caters for virtually any level of ability from the “pick a theme and use it” types to the “tweak each individual part” types. Admittedly there are some restrictions on the free sites (of course … how else would they attract people to pay for subscription services?!) – there is very minimal upload space given (although this can be side-stepped a little in some areas simply by using a free service such as Photobucket), there are restrictions to the types of tweaks you can do, and there is an advert on the free site that you have no control over.
But comparing like for like, Guildlaunch is much better than any other option out there, especially for the free sites – there is an excellent and fast support service, you feel that new bits are being made available all the time (and they actually work!) and you are virtually unrestricted as to how your pages are laid out and how many “widgets” you have on screen.
So to sum up …. yeyyy for Guildlaunch!! (and boooo sucks to Wowstead 😛 )