How To Create A Fansite

#1 Picking Your Game

The birth of an Idea

So, you’re ready to set out in the world of fansite building! Yay! So.. now what?

Well, the first thing you need to focus on is picking the game that your fansite will revolve around. Preferable you’ll take something that you play every day, whether it’s a MMO, FPS or RPG.. the list goes on. As an example I’ll go with one of my projects, MapleStory which I’ve played for several years.

But the main point here is take something that you’re really passionate about else you’ll crash and burn quickly.

#2 Finding Your Niche

What is your fansite about?

Here comes the toughest path, finding a niché. You already have your game so what is a fansite in the first place?

“A fansite, fan site, or fanpage is a website created and maintained by a fan or devotee interested in a celebrity, thing, or a particular cultural phenomenon”

What it means is that your niche could be just about anything. I’ll show you how I did and feature some examples below:

Compendium Fansite
Gather all the information the game has to offer and feature it.

Community Fansite
Forum where people can discuss the game/idea itself

Specific Fansite
You look for a need and supply it. Ask yourself, what are you having troubles with when playing the game? For example, MMOs there’s tons of problems which you could ‘monetize’ like make a fansite about guides, quests, news/updates, compendium for lesser things (single classes), skill allocation and so fourth.

Thing long and thing hard, because this will define your fansite and it’s the main driving point to the website. Having a weak niche won’t get you anywhere.

#3 Requirements

What do you need to get your awesome fansite up and running?

From now on I will use my personal experience with MapleSource on what I did.
I picked a game, MapleStory, made a niché for it – leveling guides and once I had those two pieces together all I had to-do was visualize it. Or? First of all, I knew I wanted to feature leveling guides but how would you find stuff on it and how would it be displayed? I wanted it to be easy and simple as well searchable so I focused on creating a search function where you would type in your level, class and intent (experience or making a profit when hunting)

I wrote a documentation for it so I knew already from the start what my actual goal was:

#4 Visualizing Your Idea

We got the game, niche and idea all togetheR

I won’t go into detail into the code of the website but rather visualizing it. I created the wire-frame of the website first of all, made it functional and then added the design which I’ve tested, and tested, and tested.. until I find that magic design that attracts the most people while keeping them there.

If you’re really serious about getting your fansite out there I recommend reading up on SEO (on and off-site), HTML/PHP (or ASP) and look around on your competition on how they’ve done it (if your niche has similar ones) and do it better.

#5 My Finished Product

So how did it end up for me?

It’s been good. I’ve gotten great response on the idea and I have a supportive community that helps me out (Reddit <3) whenever I need help/ideas/feedback.

I got some plans for the future when I’m looking at expanding my original idea even further.

 Guest Author, Axel Hansson at @ AnimalTeeth.

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