Log in | No account? Register!
Tibia Multilingual

Creating a fansite

Written by Steven on Friday 27 November 2009
A few months ago I was asked by CipSoft to write something about how I started Tibiacity and Tibia ML and the difficulties I experienced with this for an article on the official site about creating a Tibia fansite. Due to the workload internally they post-phoned the article so I'm already posting what I wrote.

Creating a fansite about any subject is very easy, the hard part is to get it rolling. You need to attract visitors to your website, make this visitors return to your site at a later time by offering them interesting content, convince your visitors to register... All these things are things you should carefully think about when coding your site.

When I first started with Tibiacity I lured visitors to my site with word of mouth marketing. I told people I knew about Tibiacity and if they liked it they visited it, registered, told their friends... We grew to a few 100's of daily visitors that way. Later we fused with Tibianlibrary, which was a rather big site, not getting updated anymore. This fusion doubled our traffic.

It took a lot of patience from our side before we could join the supported fansite program. When we were trying to join the program, it was harder then it is now (from my point of view). You had to have something unique to offer to your users and only one site offering this unique content was allowed to join the fansite program.

With Tibia ML, the way we recruited visitors was completely different. Tibia ML was originally never intended to become the site it is today. It was a php test for me to try a language engine based on a database instead of a configuration file and a test on SEO (search engine optimisation). Our main traffic came from Tibiacity at the beginning, but not much later Google started to index our site and we got a lot of traffic through them. Due to the big traffic raise this brought, we decided to develop Tibia ML further, and so it grew to one of the bigger Tibia fansites.

The hardest part of running a site is the staff. You constantly need to recruit new staff and remove inactive staff when running a bigger project. Currently our staff team is a mess but we're working on an update which allows us to control our staff very well. Every staff member will have activity meters in the future indicating how much he did with the powers he was granted. This way we hope to remove the staff that's inactive and replace them by fresh meat. Also trust is very important when recruiting staff members. We've had issues with this matter several times in the past.

All together I like to be an admin of a supported and promoted fansite as I just love to manage the sites and code new stuff. But I would be nothing without my staff team keeping the site up to date, the managers managing the sections and without my graphic designer, Myst'Sharion, and co-coder Aleex. Together we do a great job and we're working hard on an update for both Tibiacity and Tibia ML.

My advice if you want to start your own fansite is think about what you want to do, try to find something nobody else is doing yet, or work out an idea on a better way. Be patient as the first months will exist out of hard work and hardly anyone will admire it, but times will turn if your site offers something unique. If you need advice or anything, feel free to contact me.