Over the past couple of months, I have been in the process of transferring our guild website from one host to another. Our previous guild website host was Guild Portal. However, to Guild Portal’s unreliability and instability I had decided to move to a different guild hosting service. This was extremely unfortunate. We had bee with Guild Portal since 2009 and I really enjoyed their service and products. Guild Portal has a tremendous amount of functionality having forums, blogs, guild banks, character pages, albums, calendar, ability to create widgets, and many other items. Of course that functionality means absolutely nothing if you can’t access it :(.
In the wake of all of these troubles, I went ahead and started to look at other hosting services. It basically came down to Enjin and Gamer Launch. I went ahead and created a guild website at each host and started to learn each website’s functionality. At the same time I sent an email out to the guild and asked for their opinions. The websites I created were both on a trial basis and therefore they offered some more functionality than a traditionally free version of there service, which in the end influenced the decision to which host to move too. When I first created the websites, I liked the look and functionality of Enjin better. One of our senior guild members also liked Enjin while another senior member liked Gamer Launch initially but then switched his mind back to Enjin (he was having trouble getting Enjin to work on his browser). The rest of the guild was pretty much indifferent and said they would be comfortable with whatever I decided.
Our new website at Gamer Launch.
So I let the trial periods end and took another look at both websites. I then learned that an important part of Enjin’s functionality is a premium service and you lose that service if you are only using a free account. This just happened to be the primary method of guild coordination, unfortunately. I’m talking about the calendar. The calendar at Enjin is only accessible if you have a paid subscription. This forced me to move over to Gamer Launch for our new new website. We just needed to have a calendar, at least in my mind.
Even though Gamer Launch wasn’t my initial pick, I haven’t been disappointed. The only thing I miss right now is the ability for guild members to post in a “shout out” widget, which doesn’t appear to be available in Gamer Launch. Instead I created a new tab at out Gamer Launch site titled “Shout” where I can post “shout outs” but nobody else. I’m still working on this and hope to figure something out. I also learned that Gamer Launch has a blogging tool, not only for each guild member but for each character as well. This will be nice. Guild Portal had the ability for a player to create character journals. Neither Enjin or Gamer Launch had this ability, however I was able to rename my character blog’s as their own journals, essentially duplicating that ability. That is really nice!! The forums on Gamer Launch I’m still getting used as well but they seem similar to functionality to Guild Portal. I’m still learning the functionality of the new host but so far I’m pleased. The things I haven’t bee able to duplicate completely I have found other ways to get around it.
So I’m hoping my guild website drama will now be done. I’m now in the tedious process of moving the content from the Guild Port website (characters, forum posts, established links, etc.) to the new website. One thing I can say about Gamer Launch is that they also seem to have a quick customer turn around as I was responded to via email pretty quickly after I had sent in some questions. That is nice, especially since Guild Portal staff/service has just disappeared. The new guild website will continue to grow and I hope to learn more about it as time goes on.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in DDO!!