Hi All,

BBB and I need some help from other GMs/Guild Admins.  We’ve been using Guild Portal for our forums/calendar/admin stuff since we formed the guild last year.  We had been happy with them, but we’ve been having massive problems (as has everyone else) for the past month or so.  They were down for 3 out of 4 days in a row last week, posts no longer show as read even after you’ve looked at them many times, and the support is non-existent.  People are complaining in their forums and don’t even get a response.  So we’re considering switching to a new host.

It would be a massive project since we have pretty active forums and there’s no way to export posts, so we’d lose a lot or have to copy/paste into new posts.  Plus the nightmare of setting up accounts and permissions for the over 100 people that are in the guild now.  But we don’t want to pay for service that we aren’t getting and we’ve seen others that offer more features for about what we are paying now.

I’ve done some investigating and really like what I’ve seen from GuildOMatic.  They not only have a demo site that you can test out, but also let you do a free/adware version to try it out for your own setup, so I’ve done some playing around.  I’ve also looked at Guild Launch and MyGuildHost, but they don’t have free options to try out.

We’d love to hear feedback from other guilds who use any of those three or another one that I might not have found from web searches.  We do use forums a lot and we also use the calendar for instance/raid scheduling, so those are minimums that it needs to have.  We’d love a site that automated applications a bit (right now they send a forum mail to my inbox to apply) and we’ve seen features through GuildOMatic and the others that allow tracking of loot/attendance at raids, which would be nice from historical and tracking purposes.  But we’re not a raiding guild, so we don’t need full DKP and crazy tracking systems either.  :-)

Please let us know what you’ve liked/disliked, what kinds of service/support you’ve gotten if you’ve had issues or questions, etc.  Thanks!

Cassie

32 Responses to “Need Some Advice on Guild Forum/Sites”
  1. br3ntbr0 says:

    GamerDNA does guild sites, complete with the whole gamer social networking thing. I’ve also used guildlaunch.com and thought it had alot of good features and low cost to remove ads. Those might be two things to chase down. Good luck to ya.

  2. Galadria says:

    If you are willing to pay for the service, we really loved using dkpsystem.com. The prices were reasonable, from my perspective at least. We had no trouble and any time they had down time (which wasn’t all that often) our account was credited. You should also be able to import all of your forum history.

  3. Fyurae says:

    Guild Launch is good. Over the past year they have stripped some of the design customization out of their free websites as they moved out of beta, but they have lots of templates to choose from and they look pretty good. They give you forums, calendar, custom pages, a good chunk of file space, member/public pages… Lots of features. You get a subdomain url. I think DKP is now a paid service, I might be wrong. Support is very active and they are constantly coming up with new features.

  4. Akandra says:

    My current guild uses dkp system, which does have a great dkp system attached but is kinda bad as a site in terms of appearance. If you want to use the dkp addon, go for it and its a very good system with by far the best tracking of attendance and loot I have seen.

    Previously, my old guild used WoWstead which I must say was awesome. I did set up a site on about 3-4 of these before staying with that one but it was by far the best.

    It has huge potential customisability, depending on your skill, but its not necessary. The default appearances are professional. It has very little downtime. It has great integration with the Armory and the forums are really nice. Managing the site was a breeze. I really miss this site now working with dkpsystem. I really recommend giving it a look.

  5. menglor says:

    You could consider talking to the host site for your blog, since the traffic isnt going to be much, you might be able to lump it in with the blog traffic.

    when we purchased our Vent server, 50 users for 1 year, they gave us free web access.

    so, check with your vent provider if you have it.

    since our Vent server has a up time of 99.33 , I figured the web hosting side of their company should be good enough.

    we use: http://www.darkstarllc.com/

    they provide tons of goodies like DKP management. and blog stuff as well.

  6. In the past, we used Guild Cafe, which worked nicely. More recently we decided to host our own forums, using a joombla site, and some beautiful programming at http://www.wowinstaller.com

    you can take a look at our site, http://www.guildabyss.net if you want to see how that looks up and running.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Kattrinsaa says:

    I had setup a guild page with guild launch and found it to be moderately easy to maintain, never had any downtime issues, my problem was that my guildies wouldn’t use it…. :-\

    You have a lot of flexibility with it, can create your own wiki, forums, built in dkp/epgp tracking (2 pools in free version, more in paid) lots of customizable widgits. you can setup an application to the guild and what they call a launch code to bypass it for people you want to fast-track in.

    contact me if you want to take an inside look at guild launch, my site is foskt.guildlaunch.com

  8. Pookie says:

    I will have to throw in with guild launch. We used it for our WAR guild forums and liked it quit a bit.

    Another option is http://www.wowstead.com/ My friend just started migrating his guild over there. I like the look and they have a lot of templates to work with as well.

  9. Rowtan says:

    The forums are due for an upgrade soon on the host I use, but their package is awesome for those who are “cheap” like me and don’t want to pay for a good looking site. Try http://www.wowstead.com – you can create a good looking site very easily using modules with no technical knowledge whatsoever – or you can get as technical as you want by editing CSS files, uploading your own files, creating your own “widgets”, etc. It is also linked into the Armories and imports your roster from there, and allows you to completely customise access to all parts of your website from completely public access, to restricting to only certain guild ranks.

    If you wish to pay their reasonable fees, there are additional perks you get, including the removal of the one “tasteful” advert (usually a pretty picture advertising another MMORPG! – not that I ever see it due to Adblock/Firefox); the ability to create a guild alliance website; integration of the Blizzard Calendar with the website schedule; showing bank contents and various others – I can’t remember exactly, but there was talk of a reduced price Vent, and some sort of dkp integration.

    On any of the versions there is also a nice raid info page where you can type in any raids you have been on, who attended, what bosses you did, and what loot was received (complete with tooltips, etc). If you get bored of typing the stuff in … it also imports information you collect from an in-game addon called Headcount – just copy and paste and wham, its there .. very nice *grins*

    Feel free to poke around on our site and see what you think. You won’t be able to see everything – a lot of the forums, for example, are for guild members only, and currently we’re trialling the subscription services to see whether it is worth it – the general consensus for us at the moment is that it isn’t.

    As for stability – it has only recently (a few months ago) come out of beta – prior to that it was completely free. Now that it also has subscription services, they have upgraded their servers (twice now, I think), and other than the occasional downtime during upgrade, we’ve not noticed any problems whatsoever.

    We started our site with them the beginning of August last year, after trying various other sites. If you want to chat about it, feel free to contact me :)

  10. Wraithgar says:

    http://www.spruz.com/

    spruz.com is what I use for my guild. Has everything I need. Granted my guild doesn’t always go to it, but it is free so all is good.

  11. Dirz says:

    Essence of Grandeur has recently switched to Wowstead.com for our site, it is very customizable and seems to have everything:) Plus it is free with only a small ad.

  12. Shawndra says:

    We use DKP System, and find them to be very good about being up most of the time (as said in another comment they credit for downtimes) and being easy to use. The basic package includes a lot of features, and you can add their dkp system for a price, and file attachments in forums for another bit. Customer service is lightning fast, if you ever need them. I used Guild Portal before that, and the only good thing about their package was the forums. I like their organization better than the ones on DKP system, but that’s just me.

  13. Akkivvitt says:

    DKPSystem.com has been an awesome host site for the past two guilds I’ve been a member of.

    Their forums are great, the DKP addon they provide is easy to use and quite easy to set up. The site is highly customizable and also has quite a few layouts available OotB if you don’t wish to play with the customization. It’s not free, but it’s quite inexpensive, and they’ve been great with downtime. When it’s occurred, unplanned (even a couple planned outages), they’ve compensated all of their site holders with extra time.

  14. Maerdred says:

    My former guild used Guildomatic for about a year, and still do, just that nobody’s active there anymore. I was the Admin of the site and I found it very simple to set up. The only problem I had with it was that it was a little inflexible. There were things I wanted to do with the forums that I couldn’t, and as it’s a year later, I have no idea what those things are… All in all I think they were great, but not easily tweaked. If you have a great imagination and want to mess with it a ton, they may be a little simplistic for you…

    Oh, our site: http://www.kohrruption.com/

  15. Gerronimo (Gul'Dan) says:

    I have tried several of the guild websites and even developed my own from a Joomla! base. After doing all that, I have to concur with those that suggest http://www.wowstead.com. They provide a great tool for managing your guild. There is also an in-game addon that helps import guild bank and schedule information into the website that works more than just fine.

    The add-supported version is free, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to get rid of the adds so we support them and do so.

    You can check out our guild website at http://evilleague.wowstead.com to get an idea of what’s possible.

    Good luck!

  16. GuildLaunch works really well. Although it has a DKP system, you dont need to use it. We don’t. It has a good raid sign-up portion, it’s own wiki, forums, calendar, gallery, and a library of widgets. It is a pretty good turn-key system. And it is always available. I have not noticed it ever being down.

  17. Fimlys says:

    Our guild uses NING. It’s somewhat like a private facebook.. You can create your own community site and customize it pretty well. Has a bunch of functionality that you have control over. Just have to deal with some ads if you want it for free.. We’ve been pretty happy with it. You WOULD have to repost the forums or somesuch probably though.

  18. Flawlless says:

    We just have a forum, at forumotion.com, no dkp system and all meetings are scheduled in the ingame-calendar.

  19. Random Poster says:

    My guild uses Guildomatic and I like the set up pretty well (shameless plug incoming. http://www.pg.guildomatic.com yeah ignore the kill video it’s old our video guy is….lazy :P )

    We have had next to no downtime and except for one occasion that I can recall it was always a scheduled downtime. Now I am not an admin but our Guild Leader who is seems to like it a lot. Tracks our raid points, raid attendance, links to WWS, has the ability to link to your Vent server to show who is on it, can link loot directly in it and it is apparently easy to use (our GL is not the most technical of people :D )

  20. Random Poster says:

    Oh forgot to mention scheduling of raids and the like.

  21. Neo says:

    Do yourself and the guild justice and get a proper domain name and web space and build it from the ground up.

    Site: WordPress
    Forum: phpBB
    DKP: EqDKP+EqDKPPlus

    This way you have complete control over everything – no ad supported sites or other crap to deal with, just you and whoever is providing the web space. I’ve used and seen many guild sites created through wowstead/guildlaunch and similar places and honestly, they look terrible compared to what you can have if its done properly. Between the above 3 web apps there is pretty much everything you need.

    +1 vote for darkstarllc.com, last guild website I setup I used the web space that came packaged with the Vent server, we just added our own domain name to it. Their service is good and the pricing of the web space packages are very well priced.

  22. Steele says:

    ive been running several free forums for quite some time.. i had a rollback of 3 days once in several years.
    this isnt a great thing, but if your looking for a free, customizable, more or less add-free forum, you might
    want to check out forumotion.com. i have very good experience with running those and made another one
    for my wow-guild just some days ago after the company which hosted our server went down and all our forum
    content along with it, no backups delivered. :/ not sure if theres a calendar (we use the ingame-one), but i guess so.
    there are some other nice things you can pack in (i think you can even code your own stuff but im a newb at webstuff so
    i wont bother trying it or figuring it out, but i saw some pretty neat sites hosted there already), like a onsite-chat or a
    minigame and stuff.. well have a look, its free afterall and prolly youll be able to do a lot more then the average built-in-skin
    change like me :D

  23. Rob says:

    Our horde guild runs guildlaunch. Its okay, but i really think the raid signup is very awkward. It does allow a news section on the front page though (i help admin that site). Supposedly it tracks dkp and that sort of thing too.

    My former alliance guild runs guildomatic, i like that design alot better as far as raid sign up goes. I don’t admin that site. It can track DKP too pretty easily, as far as I can tell (have no access to the admin).

    Just my 2 coppers.

  24. Ruune says:

    FWIW my old guild used guildlaunch. I found it easy to use, customisable and good for stuff like allowing permissions to do things like up load screenshots and so on into the member only gallery while not allowing everyone in the public to view them. I found the application form process to be pretty customisable (applicants clicked on an “apply here” button and answered a customised application form which was then uploaded into a specified forum which could be viewed by members with appropriate permissions).

    However, unless they have changed it in the last year or so since I have been in the SDs, the raid sign up was much more cumbersome than we have at the moment and I could never figure out how to make it work properly if you didn’t want to use DKP and do all that sort of stuff.

  25. Dulcea says:

    I went with wowguilds.ca

    Their customer service is amazing, its only slightly more expensive than guild portal if you go with their smaller package and the templates are fabulous. SO much customization is available.

    I’ve had the site about 2 weeks now, and I’m STILL not done setting it up. (Darn work getting in the way!)

    http://www.primalcontention.com is our guild page.

    And when I mean good customer service, I mean it. I emailed them a question about a loot mod that I wanted to use instead of DKP (Nii Karma, but that’s besides the point). My email was answered within 2 hours, they actually DOWNLOADED the mod, custom tweaked the scripts so I could use it with their templates all within 24 hours BEFORE I paid for the service. And then I got a phone call so they could talk me through the changes they’d made. Truly truly fabulous service.

  26. Alorina says:

    GuildLaunch is awesome. I’m in charge of the site for Distant Promise and Guild Launch is super easy to use. I know absolutely about website design or anything like that and I can still take care of everything. Check our site out at http://www.distantpromise.org

  27. Coralin says:

    Well; I’m a bit biased, working for a web host and all, but I personally love custom-built sites. Pretty straightforward stuff, too- just integrate a Phpbb forum with the frontend of your choice (Joomla, Nuke, etc.) and you’ve pretty much got Guild portal beat, and then some. ^_-

  28. Coralin says:

    Hrm; I suppose an example would be fitting, and would match the other comments :p
    Here’s an old guild of mine; back from my Planetside days. Ah; stacking on doors, taking a facility as a team, and holding it against the enemy, then repairing it to support our brethren in the VS… ^_^
    Anyhoo;

  29. Coralin says:

    I guess I need to learn to type…
    http://www.bellumaeternus.com

  30. Kayeri says:

    Cassie, sorry this took so long. Our GLs say Guildlaunch is very supportive of them, they always get back with issues within 24 hours and she’s never had anything to complain about. If you use the rapid raid, the tools arent hard to learn to use to load up dkp’s and loot and such… I’ve only had to do that twice and while yes, I’ve had the GL on Vent to coach me, I’ve had very little problem with it and when I do, its because I didnt spell a loot item right. :)

  31. Cassieann says:

    Thanks for all the feedback! We really appreciate it.

    After testing a bunch of different options over the last two weeks (I’ve made more guild sites than I can remember now), we went with Guild Launch. Looks very customizable and I was able to set things up for the most part like I wanted them and I like their support forums/videos. We still have a lot to learn, especially experimenting with the rapid raid portion, but it should be fun. :-)

    Thanks again!

    Cassie

  32. Shamalan says:

    Out of the box, wowguilds.ca sites are really good and are really good looking. They simply work! I often get compliments from newcomers to our guild who think our website is awesome. Wait until they see the legendary version that is to come out this year! It’s going to blow people’s minds, it’s that good!

    The staff spirit for customer service at wowguilds.ca is praiseworthy. I’ve never had a problem that they couldn’t solve. The time it takes them to set up a site is also remarkably short. We got ours within 24 hours of placing the order!

    The friendliness and patience with which wowguilds.ca treats their customers is also worth mentioning. Devotion to high quality of product is also remarkable. One can’t help noticing that they continue to develop and refine the websites they offer, not resting on your laurels, They use Rack Space to house your site and that is yet another sign that only the best is good enough for there customers. wowguilds.ca Check it out its well worth it.

  33.  

World of Warcraft™ and Blizzard Entertainment® are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the United States and/or other countries. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright © Blizzard Entertainment. This site is in no way associated with Blizzard Entertainment®