How can I get my guild mates to be more active on our web site? I’ve put a lot of work into it and added social features, such as a blog, articles, and a forum, but I’m still the only person using the site. I’ve ask from time to time if they go on the site. Some do, some don’t, but none of them contributes. Thanks.
Marfe Jokin, Night Elf Priest
Blackwater Raiders Realm
Thanks for writing in with your question, and I think I can help you out with this one.
I’ve read over your website, and the amount of information you have on there is impressive. I’m going to offer some general advice about what you can do for your website that hopefully will apply across the board for guilds looking to improve their websites and interested in getting more guild participation on their websites.
1. Inject some color. My first piece of advice to anyone looking to make their guild website more appealing to their guild members is to make the site more colorful through the use of screen shots. Not necessarily “stock” shots, but screen shots that are relevant to the guild membership. Got a shot of the guild taking down that instance boss? Post it on the news page! Someone finally ding 60 and you’ve got a screen shot of it? Post it on the news page! Make the “Home” page or “News” page THE place for your guild members to come for news, announcements and upcoming special events. Get them on the Home page and they’re more likely to navigate to the rest of the web page.
2. Games and events. Use your guild’s web page and forums to host and promote games and events for your guild members. As an example, use the website as a place for information about an in-game scavenger hunt. List the items required for the hunt on the forums, and take entrants via the forums (similar to a “sign up” for the game). You can also begin to use the website as a hub for your guild instance runs and any other special events (RP Events, parties, meetings, etc.) you plan on hosting for your guild members. The membership will get into the habit of turning to your forums for information about future events and use of the web page will skyrocket.
3. Information, information, information! I can’t stress it enough – your website ought to be a hub of information of all sorts for your guild members. Set up a forum for Tradeskills (where members can post what their specialty tradeskill is) so members can coordinate with one another to skill up and get equipment upgrades and enhancements. Set up a forum for Events and Runs where members can sign up to man a guild run to an instance, or host a party for guild members and non-guild members alike. Play word games on your general forums. Outline in-game activities and give information about rules and prizes on your general forums. Set up photo albums for member-submitted screenshots of pretty scenery, momentous dings, boss fights or guild events.
4. Navigation. Another very important aspect of your guild’s website is its ease of navigation. If members have to search out links for the website (links to forums, addons, etc.) they aren’t as likely to use the site. Also make your guild’s rules and application instructions easy to find so that non-members who are considering membership can easily find out what is expected of them as a member.
I hope this guide is helpful in your quest to make your website used more often by your guild members. With a little info, a little color and a little incentive you’ll see your guild’s website numbers explode in no time!