The main page is one of the most important aspects of your guild website. It’s the main portal by which your members (prospective or otherwise) can keep up with the latest events in the guild. What should a new guild leader plan for when trying to make a suitable first impression? What components are essential vs nice to have?

Header

Your eyes tend to start at the top and work their way down. This means that crucial elements that you want viewers to be attracted to should remain near the top. This might include some variation of an eye catching header graphic with your guild logo, a quick headline grabber on the latest boss that was downed, or a call to action to join the guild.

Fold: The fold is a term that used to be prevalent in the newspaper publishing entry. It refers to the components that are visible immediately to the user without them requiring to unfurl the page. On the internet, it refers to any aspect of the site that doesn’t require the user to scroll. Keep in mind the various resolutions that your viewers may have. Most users have a resolution that starts at 1280 x 1024. Keep this in mind when you’re planning your front page.

That being said though, eye-catching logos make a huge first impression. Some designers incorporate the server name and server type in their logos.

header-tyranny

Tyranny Guild

header-dnt

DT Guilds

header-gk

Gutter Kings

header-mw

Midwinter

Navigation

Here’s the menu that viewers can use to move around the rest of the site. Some sites are small in functionality while others have larger complicated systems and features available.

As such the navigation menus should reflect that. These can be found at the top of the page or along the side. Some sites often have both with the most crucial pages along the top and secondary pages along the side.

Tip: Make the links to important pages stand out. You can highlight it by making it a different colour or bolding it so that your viewer notices them quicker. I would recommend highlighting your recruiting application, if you have one.

nav-fs

Full Spectrum Guild

nav-verity

Verity Guild

nav-equinox

Equinox

nav-fg

Forsaken Gamers

Slider

One of the latest site technologies involves the use of a slider. It’s a site module with a large resolution image and a caption underneath which links to a particularly notable story or page. Think of it as a highlight package on what’s important.

Guildlaunch has a widget called the News Image Slider where you can upload your own pictures and the news it points to.

Enjin includes it’s own module called the Slideshow where you can insert images and customize where they link to.

Those of you on WordPress can use a few plugins that accomplish the same thing:

News

Many news sections tend to stick to guild news or blog about what’s been happening. Use the news to announce the most recent progression boss kill. Guild leaders may wish to use this to mention upcoming changes to the game that are of particular note to the guild such as new raid or PvP content being released. Use it to announce a guild transmog or fashiong contest. Try to ensure this stays somewhat regularly updated. Even if there’s nothing going on, prospective players will appreciate that there’s at least some semblance of activity going on.

Recruiting

This is the section where guild advertises what classes and specializations are open. There’s a few WordPress modules that can do this but both Enjin and Guild Launch have the capability to display what roles your guild is looking for.

Most guilds display this information on the sidebar.

For WordPress, there are a few plugins that can also display this information:

Other stuff

Some guilds like to include other neat features on the front page of their site. Guilds with players who stream will have links to their individual streaming videos page embedded in the side. Sites with an active community include a “Recent Forum Topics” widget or a Shoutbox for members to leave quick messages for each other on the side. Professional guilds and teams are obligated to include sponsorship logos but most of us don’t have to worry about that. Calendars and upcoming guild events serve as useful reminders and more advanced setups can allow members to signup for them individually. If your guild uses a voice server, there are site widgets that can scan and interface with your voice server and display who’s available and online.

As the internet continues to evolve, designers will innovate and come up with fresh looks which will undoubtedly carry over to guild websites. They serve as the front line containing much needed information and function as a unifying place where your guild can hang out and communicate with each other side of the game. Don’t skimp on it!