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How important is a website?

10-29-2011, 11:29 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
How important is a website?

Hey,
At the moment I'm just using a free blog as my website which seems to work fine but more recently I've been working on a new game and was thinking if should get a propper site?

I've listed a few of my thoughts below, what would you guys recommend?

Advantages
  • Looks better
  • More professional

Disadvantages
  1. .com is taken so I'd have to use .co.uk and .net
  2. Much more expensive 50/$80 year
  3. The advantages I thought of dont seem great
10-29-2011, 11:52 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 244
Skynet, From my experience, appearance is everything. With everyone and their dog developing today you have to stand out. Having a well thought out (and that can be extremely simple too) landing page for your games is an essential tool. It gives you a place to always direct people. We like to keep all roads eventually headed back to the home base. We do have individual websites for each game but all of those also lead back to our main site. I hope that helps. Also come up with some alternative url names. While .com is the best other suffixes are doable too.





-

Director of Communications for Soma Games & Code-Monkeys. Current projects Suitor Shooter. Latest games released: Wind Up Robots, Bok Choy Boys and Santa's Giftship.

10-29-2011, 12:57 PM
#3
I have to agree. As an end user, going to a companys website which appears disorganized, too empty or feels "cheap" in any sense is quite a turn off. Not all blogs are bad, but the way you describe it, I get the feeling you're using one of the hosted blog sites? I've managed to manipulate WordPress in many different ways that suit the look I'm going for, but its not necessarily the optimal way to go. Gotta sell the company to be able to sell the game.
10-29-2011, 01:46 PM
#4
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 195
As the others have said, a nice website is definitely worth the effort and money.
If .com is taken, think of another url name to use, the more unique the better.

You dont have to purchase full webspace hosting, you could get away with purchasing only a URL address and pointing it to your existing blog
10-29-2011, 04:54 PM
#5
Having some sort of web presence is traditionally quite important, but I feel that the infrastructure of the App Store changes things around a bit.

There is one main question to ask before committing to a website for your app: Can all the information and functionality I want to present to the user be contained in the App Store page?

Let's consider what the App Store offers: Key info about the game (Name, Price, Platforms, etc), Call to Actions (Buy/Download, Share, Gift), a Description, Screenshots, and User Ratings/Reviews. For the vast majority of apps, this is a rather sufficient amount of information, and linking potential consumers to a website that simply reiterates the majority of this information means extra clicks that user has to go through before he or she can download your app, rather than going directly to the App Store.

On the flip side, a website is great if there's functionality and information offered which is different, but supplemental, to that on the App Store page. For example, if you have a strategy game and you wanted to go in depth about the different unit types and tactics, a website for the app would be recommended. Or if you think that text and pictures aren't enough - maybe there's a series of really informative videos, or a Flash demo - again, creating a website is important.

Gold Miner Go! - The Official Gold Miner game comes to the App Store for the very first time!

Developers of Engaging Portable Games, a part of Grab Games
10-29-2011, 05:27 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Having a website certainly is important, but it's far less important than other things you can do. I'd say in general "if you are serious about this" then at least register a domain and have it point somewhere that is clean and looks somewhat professional. It might not really be worth it to get it all tight and content-loaded however. At times I've seen huge numbers of eyes on my games, and only a tiny fraction of that falloff will look to my company website - especially in the case where I develop casual-marketed games, the average consumer doesn't really care beyond the product itself.

I feel it is actually more important to spend that time and energy on building up things like twitter and facebook, but in those cases only if you really intend to spend the time maintaining them and engaging your potential user base (I generally try to use facebook as the center of any marketing I do, as it can spread out from there quite easily).

At the very least, definitely setup a website and load it up with the usual contact info and etc, you never know what kind of interesting opportunities might find you through there
10-30-2011, 05:07 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
Thanks to everyone for all of this great input

I've decided its worth the investment and then after a year I can look back at the sucess and decide where to go from there.

I've been doing some research and I can get basic webhosting for a year - 3gb of webspace for 27/$44 does that sound like a good price?

edit: I cant seem to find a good host in the uk there so many that look good but after research people say they are scams so I dont know who to trust?

Last edited by skynet; 10-30-2011 at 06:27 AM.
10-30-2011, 06:58 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by skynet View Post
edit: I cant seem to find a good host in the uk there so many that look good but after research people say they are scams so I dont know who to trust?
I've been using HostRocket for years. It's not the cheapest out there, but I think their technical support more than compensates for that.

Also, having a website for iOS development is a requirement... as a website has to be listed.

As for the dot-com issue, it is challenging to pick a nice name... but there are still some nice ones left.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.
10-30-2011, 07:29 AM
#9
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 242
Since we launched our site http://www.littlebeestudios.com/ we've been contacted by lots of publishers and reviewers. So I'd say it's very important for increased exposure.

Check out my upcoming game Juice Jumpers

Follow me on Twitter
10-30-2011, 03:09 PM
#10
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
i usually just buy a domain name at google apps and as for webspace, blogger.com (free). If you are a little bit resourceful you can totally remove all the blogger-ness from it and no one can even tell anyway.

lots of people prefer wordpress which might be a little bit more elegant to use.