How to Make a Gaming Website with WordPress
I honestly don’t understand it.
The video game industry is larger than both the movie and music industries combined. Think about that.
Add up all the box office sales, DVD sales, concert tickets sold, and they still pale in comparison to video games.
And that’s why I don’t understand why the market doesn’t get more attention. This is good for you though.
Build an audience while you still can
There’s still space for new publishers and websites in the video game industry. A lot of companies still haven’t caught on yet.
While most people reading this will want to create a content site, I’ll walk you through the steps to create any of the following websites:
- Game review website
- Online gaming magazine
- Gaming clan site
- Video game forum
The essential steps are the same for each and you’ll find some awesome templates listed below.
I’m sure you’re excited to get started, so let’s get to the first step!
You don’t need a huge budget for this. The steps here will show you how to create your site for between $70-130.
Create your own video game website
There are four steps to make a gaming website:
- Get a domain name
- Get hosting
- Pick a template
- Customize your site
Once you follow these steps, you’ll be ready to market and launch your gaming website. You’ll also have the infrastructure you need in place to launch additional sites if you want.
Get a domain name
I’m sure you’re familiar with domain names.
This website’s domain name is competethemes.com – it’s the address you can type into your browser to visit our site.
Now here’s the thing…
It’s important to pick a short and memorable domain name, but this is much easier said than done. The struggle is finding a good name that’s still available for registration.
I cover this in detail in the following guide: How to Find a Great Available Domain Name.
The tips shared there are going to help you find a name you can register for just $10-15. Then you won’t have to pay a domain squatter thousands for your site name.
But don’t buy the domain just yet! I’ll show you how to get it for free in this next step.
Website’s are basically made up of files. When someone visits your site, the server delivers the files to their browser which then renders them as a usable website.
You need a server to serve up your files.
No one purchases and manages their own servers. It’s much more economical (and reliable) to simply rent space on someone else’s server and we call this hosting.
For new webmasters, I always recommend Bluehost.
Bluehost has been around a while and has a nice combination of reliable hosting and affordable prices. I used them to launch my first WordPress site back in 2010.
When you signup with them, you can register your first domain for free which will save you a few bucks.
Normally, their most affordable package starts at $3.95/month, but you can use this link to get our partner discount: Get the discounted price.
They auto-install WordPress
Before we move on, you might be wondering how hosting translates into a full website.
Bluehost actually auto-creates a WordPress website for you when you make an account. You can login to a sandbox version of the site right away and your domain will display a temporary “coming soon” page.
Once you’ve customized your site to your liking you can launch.
Speaking of customizing your site, let’s get to the fun part already!
If you’d like more assistance with your site, follow the steps in my WordPress site building guide.
Pick a template
One of the best reasons to use WordPress is the variety of themes available.
When building a gaming site, there is no shortage of awesome WordPress themes to pick from. I’m going to recommend three themes in particular for your site.
Chosen Gamer is a clean and simple theme I made for video game blogs.
Chosen Gamer is built off the Chosen theme and has a minimalist aesthetic and concise set of customization features. Chosen Gamer is free and there is a premium upgrade should you want more customization options.
This will be the best choice for anyone who wants to start a review site or small magazine, or if you simply want a free theme to get started with.
If you’re looking for something a little flashier, check out the awesome Youplay theme.
This theme has a gorgeous design and can work equally well for game reviews and news posts.
It might be a bit overwhelming for a small site with one writer, but it will be an excellent pick if you have a team or plan on publishing frequently.
Another gorgeous option, the Game Addict theme is extremely feature-rich and can be used for a variety of purposes.
I included this theme in particular because of its capabilities as a gaming clan hub. You can host and organize tournaments and communites with this theme. It also has an integration with bbPress if you’d like to include a forum on your site.
Those are the first three themes I’d recommend reviewing. However, gaming sites are pretty popular, so there are lots of other solid options.
Visit our collection of gaming WordPress themes for a list of additional templates.
With a theme picked out, you’ll be ready to customize your site.
Customize your site
The exact customization tools you have at your disposal will depend on the theme you select. That said, some steps are always the same and I can walk you through them now.
Import the demo content
Every WordPress theme has a demo website online. Most theme developers will give you the demo content to import into your own site.
Importing the demo content via an XML file is easy and will immediately set up your site like the live demo. You can follow along with this tutorial to learn how to import demo content:How to Import Demo Content from Another WordPress Site.
Basic site customization
There are a few customization settings built-into WordPress before you consider your theme options.
This tutorial will show you around the WP admin and explain the essential site setup steps: Beginner Site Customization with WordPress.
The last step will be to utilize the customization features that come in your theme. Most themes place these options into the WordPress Live Customizer.
You can follow this guide by ThemeIsle to learn how to use the Customizer on your site: How to Use the WordPress Customizer.
Go make your site
As you now know, it’s not that hard to create your own gaming site. In fact, it won’t take you that long even if it’s your first site.
To review the steps, you need to:
- Select a domain name
- Signup for hosting (Bluehost)
- Pick a gaming theme (Chosen Gamer, Youplay, Game Addict)
- Customize your site
I’ll leave the content creation and marketing plan to you 😉
If you have any questions about how to make a gaming website, please leave a comment in the comments section below.