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RPG Webbie Resources

A basic list of resources that a prospective webbie might find useful in setting up and running a game.

WEBHOSTING

First and foremost one would need a place to host their websites. Below are two recommended hosting companies. The first one is recommended for their free webhosting and the latter for their paid webhosting with some features listed for each.

Free webhosting: http://x10hosting.com/free-hosting-comparison

  • Completely free with no ads
  • Unmetered disk space and bandwidth (essentially unlimited, I guess)
  • cPanel
  • 3 FTP accounts
  • 3 email accounts
  • 2 MySQL databases
  • PHP
  • Fantastico (allows you to install WordPress, forum software and more)
  • Automatic backups

Paid webhosting (minimum package worth $4.99): 1and1.com |1and1.ca

  • 50 GB disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 5 FTP accounts
  • 250 email accounts
  • 10 MySQL Databases
  • PHP
  • Support for WordPress (and other blog software), forum software, image galleries and more
  • Daily backups
  • Dual-hosting (data is stored simultaneously in two data centers in separate locations.)

Paid webhosting (minimum package worth 5.99 USD/5.93 CAD): http://www.godaddy.com/hosting/web-hosting.aspx?ci=9009

  • 10 GB disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 50 FTP accounts
  • 100 email accounts
  • 10 MySQL Databases
  • PHP
  • Support for WordPress (and other blog software), forum software, image galleries, SSH, Cron jobs and more
  • Daily backups
  • (minimum purchase length of 3 months)

DOMAINS

After or as you work out where you want your site hosted, you may choose to register your own domain instead of using a subdomain provided by a free webhosting service. That is to go with a MyRPG.com URL for your website instead of a freehost22/MyRPG.com URL. 1and1 and GoDaddy both offer competitive domain registration packages.

WEBSITE BUILDING

XHTML/CSS: http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp | http://www.htmlhelp.com/reference/html40/

  • While the current standard is XHTML 1.1, which requires CSS, the above are excellent sources for learning HTML. There is little difference between HTML 4 and XHTML 1.1. Today’s CSS3 is very powerful and nothing more than just XHTML and CSS is needed to make a very aesthetically pleasing and functional site. No databases or programming languages are required at all.
  • After getting the web hosting (and optional domain registration) set up, and reading up on the basics of (X)HTML, you will need two pieces of software:
    • An editor: You can not use Microsoft Word or another word processing program to edit files in (X)HTML as word processors have their own encoding built in even if all you see in a Word document is text. Any editor used for coding and programming will do. Our recommendations include BlueFish Editor and Notepad++. Both are free and the former can be installed on either Mac OS X, Windows or Linux.
    • An FTP client: A lot of web hosts offer an option of using an online FTP client, but a dedicated client installed on your computer will definitely be less cumbersome. Our recommendations include FileZilla and FireFTP (a Firefox extension). Both are free and the former is cross-platform.
    • Although very optional, this is recommended for check your coding: http://validator.w3.org/ . You can tell it what version of XHTML or HTML you’re using and it will give you a list of errors. This can be very useful for eliminating problems you’re having with cross-browser compatibility or for problems whose sources you can’t quite pinpoint yourself.

WordPress: http://wordpress.org/about/

  • Most people who are not already familiar with (X)HTML, would most likely rather skip having to learn a new coding language and instead use something like WordPress. WordPress essentially allows you to make webpages as easily as you can a forum post. Most decent web hosts offer automatic installation options for WordPress and although some knowledge of (X)HTML is recommended, it is not absolutely necessary. Moreover, getting a WordPress site up can be done within a couple of hours with plenty of WordPress plugins and widgets available at your fingertips for further customization.
  • Just remember, you will need a MySQL database and support for PHP at the very least in order to use WordPress. And if your hosting company doesn’t support automatic installation of WordPress you will need FTP access to be able to manually install it.

 

FORUMS

Possibly every RPG this community has ever had has made extensive use of a message board aka forum. Years ago, nearly every RPG we had used EZboards which allowed people to use one account across multiple forums. Unfortunately, it got hacked, lost a great deal of data and died. Since then the community has used a number of different (free) forum software. Here is a list of the most popular forums the community tends to use these days and a comparison.

PLAYER BIOGRAPHIES

Cid’s idea of a good profile: Cid, a veteran of these games, has put together a very useful guide on creating player profiles that you may like to link to for your RPG.

BATTLEWRITING

This is a rant by Ketara about two different methods of assigning battles to battle writers. He gives some good advice that you should give some thought to about how you may want to run your RPG.

THE COMMUNITY

Last but not least, one of the greatest resources at your fingertips is the community gathered over at our IRC channel. There are always plenty of people willing to help with any games. Whether it’s just to bounce ideas of, getting help with the technical aspects of making an RPG, or to find updaters and writers to keep your RPG running well.