Ultimate Successful Server/Network Guide PART II

Discussion in 'Server & Community Management' started by FireFlies, Apr 16, 2017.


    If you want players to be interested in your network, you have to grab their attention. A good way to do this is with graphics and design, basically the "outer shell" of your network, what people see. You can check out the hiring designers & artists forum on spigot (https://www.spigotmc.org/forums/hiring-designers-artists.57/)

    There are 3 main things you need: A server-icon, server logo and a banner. The server-icon is the 64x64 square on the left of the server in your minecraft multiplayer server list:

    The server logo is a bit different and kinda optional, treat is as a "header". The server logo is used in many places such as your website header, twitter account header, YouTube channel header, or at the top of a thread where you talk about your server. This is a good example of a server logo (made by Coco, @EyyItsCoco on Twitter):

    Finally you have your banner, which is what will be displayed on the server list websites. You can check out my signature for a banner example.

    » HOSTING «
    When you're looking to host your server, it really depends on a lot of things: How many servers do you have?, is it a network?, how many players are you expecting to have?, how intense are your gamemodes resource usage wise? etc. Most importantly you have to take into account your budget.

    There are 3 ways to host your server: At home, shared, VPS and dedicated hosting.
    At home: This option is both for someone with an extremely low budget, or someone with an extremely high budget. At home hosting means you use your own computer and transform it into a server. Ultimately you don't pay for anything other than the electricity and internet bill for your home. If you have a good budget, you can build your own server with actual server grade components. This option is the best option you could ever want for the long run.
    - 'Free'
    - Full control over your server
    - You need really good specs on your machine
    - You need really good internet
    - Open to DDoS attacks
    - Can't hold that many players
    Shared: Shared hosting is very similar to living in an Apartment Complex. All residents are in the same location and must share the available resources with everyone.These may include such things as the pool, parking lot, and playground. In shared hosting, all accounts must share the available resources with all the other accounts on the server. These include CPU time, memory, and disk space.
    - Cheaper than dedicated and VPS hosting
    - Great for smaller servers
    - Great for starting out
    - Performance isn't the best
    - Only able to host your minecraft server, no website or teamspeak server
    VPS: VPS is kinda like shared hosting and dedicated hosting put together. The machine is used by multiple people, but you have your share of specs that cannot be used by anyone on that machine. It's like having your own machine but not really.
    - Cheaper than dedicated hosting
    - Great option for both smaller servers and medium sized
    - They usually don't come with a lot of RAM
    Dedicated: Now this is the good stuff, dedicated means you have your own machine and have full access to everything within it. You're basically renting a computer. If you're going all out on your network, this is what you want.
    - Very good quality
    - Most control after home hosting
    - Variety of components (RAM, CPU, Bandwith..) to choose from
    - Can be expensive
    Ultimately, you should post a thread in this hosting advice section of spigot: https://www.spigotmc.org/forums/hosting-advice.65/
    Simply let everyone know what you're looking to do with your server, and someone with knowledge will give you some advice on which hosting company to choose.

    TIP: If you have a low budget, take a look at website hosting services, they're usually way cheaper than server hosting services. You could get away with a good 15-20 playerbase with some cheap website hosting just to start you off.

    During development, having a website should be near the bottom of your priority list but it is a MUST.
    Obviously there are many different options for websites but I will give you the most popular.

    Firstly we have Enjin (https://www.enjin.com/). Enjin is a completely free and easy to use website hosting service, it has everything you need and want in a minecraft server website. You might have seen that Enjin is quite frowned upon in most forums, but ignore those people. Enjin is a great option if you have a low budget and wish to have a simple forum.

    Next we have Xenforo (https://xenforo.com/). Now Xenforo is the same sort of deal as Enjin. It's a forums software that does everything you need it to do but it's quite pricy ($140 for a year). Xenforo is used by almost all high quality networks. You will probably need some help setting it up or customizing it so you might have to hire someone to help you out. Furthermore, you will need to host it yourself.

    Finally, there are many other forums software that you can use such as MyBB (https://mybb.com/) or NamelessMC (https://www.spigotmc.org/resources/namelessmc.11434/), even Weebly (https://www.weebly.com/).

    Choose which website software you want, but be sure that it's functional and well designed.

    Unless you want to keep spending money each month to keep your server running, you'll need some help from donations. With donations, your players can trade real money for in-game items, ranks, commands, permissions etc. You have to make sure that your server doesn't become pay to win, or you will be hated and might get blacklisted since you break the EULA Agreement.

    Nonetheless, setting up donations is really easy. The most popular way is by using Buycraft (https://www.buycraft.net/). Buycraft enables you to create a webstore for your server and packages that players can buy in-game for rewards. Buycraft is completely free, but you might want to upgrade in the future for the extra features.

    Here is a tutorial video on how to enable Buycraft:

    Voting ties into advertising. What voting is is a way for your server to get known; players vote for your server on minecraft server list websites like PlanetMinecraft or Minecraftservers.org, and they get in-game rewards. The more votes you have, the higher your server will be ranked in those websites.
    To be completely honest, since the server list websites are quite saturated with thousands of servers, it's hard to get known just by getting votes. Nonetheless it's still an option and I will talk about it more in the "Advertising" section.

    Here is a tutorial video on how to enable voting for your server:

    You've followed all the steps and now you're ready to get players to join your server. But how? This is by far the hardest part. There is of course an easy and fast way, but crazy expensive, or hard and slow way, but free. Keep in mind that if your server is very unique and fun, it won't take much to get a steady playerbase.

    Easy and fast way but expensive:
    Use a good chunk of your budget to hire YouTubers to either play on your server, or upload a server trailer. A server trailer is a video you create including all the features in your server. It's like a movie trailer; it gets people interested.
    When you hire YouTubers, you should try to get some small 1k+ channels and some big 15k+ channels.
    Prices may range from $10 to $250 depending on who you are hiring. This is the best and most efficient way of getting a large amount of players quickly.

    Hard and slow way but free:
    If you don't have a good budget to advertise, you can list your server on many different minecraft server list sites. Some even offer the option to "Bump" your server to the top of the list every day.
    In this method, consistency is key. Keep your server online, keep bumping your post on the server list websites and you will eventually get your playerbase.

    Please for love of God, DO NOT go advertise on other servers, forums, YouTube comments or any sort of place where you're not supposed to advertise. Your server will get A LOT of hate.

    Here is a list of these websites:
    #1 FireFlies, Apr 16, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  2. Why do we need 2 parts? Does it not all fit in 1 post?
  3. Sadly no :/
  4. latiku


    More efficient way of advertisement is blowing a couple thousand bucks on sponsored server slots. Summer's the best time to grab them, but I'm pretty sure .org's bids went up to $10k+ before
  5. Yeah I thought of adding that in, but people reading this probably don't have that kind of budget so I decided to leave in more realistic ideas.