The Joys Of Running A Gaming Website
Don’t let the title fool you, this post has nothing to do with joys as such, more along the lines of things you should consider doing before embarking on the project. Here are some of my experiences and challenges I shouldn’t have had to face. Hope it helps!
When I first started running a gaming/tech website, I was pretty much dragged into it. A friend of mine started the site and came to me one day saying he knew a guy who would create him a site for £149 which, considering we were loaded with cash from Jtagging and lobbies, wasn’t even a nights work on the Xbox entertaining folk on Modern Warfare 2. The idea was to sell the key-vaults (or xbox ID files) for when the console got banned. You would simply upload a new KV by memory stick.
Eventually I took over the ‘hacking’ site which was immensely popular at the time and the chap that built the website became our web developer and down the line this is where our problems began.
The web dev was going to college and gave his friend back-end access to my site’s emails and his friend wrote a small script and emailed it to his tutor which ended up getting our site shut down. Upon inquiry with our host, it turned out that the poorly written script had created a non-stop loop and sent 30,000 emails (if in fact he hadn’t done it on purpose). I had to ask for the site to be re-instated with a promise it would not happen again.
Later down the line, we swapped from 247Consoles (.com) to GaminGuys and the email name was suddenly like mud. After researching all I could find, I verified myself as the website and email owner and was white-listed however within 6 months, we were back to the same issue of being identified as a spammer. I spoke to our web host and they told me that an unusual amount of email traffic was being sent from our site. It turned out that Judgey our website developer was using my site whilst being paid, to send out thousands of spam emails a day on behalf of his father in Hong Kong. I sacked him immediately and revoked his access.
After a few months, I found another developer in Wales who came in and sorted out all the site issues but over time he got busier and busier and I was finding it difficult to get anything fixed. We seemed to have so many bugs appearing and it wasn’t until I completely scrapped the website, I realized that he had taken my money for several programs he had installed and kept the cash and replaced the legit programs with nulled out versions that would not update or speak back to WordPress to say they were out of date.
It was at this point I realized I would have to fully learn to use WordPress myself and handle all aspects of email, security and FTP transfers. Needless to say, this isn’t the easiest thing to do for any regular person, along with not being able to code in any language, however, done right with legitimate licensed software, I have had very little in the way of issues and 123Reg team have reluctantly supported me when it has been needed as well as my current theme developers.
The biggest issue now is spam accounts joining and trying to post links, however, Askimet anti-spam has done a fantastic job plus I have added some software that blocks logins from certain parts of the world primarily Russia and surrounding areas. Some .ru email accounts have got through but thats only when using an IP re-router and there is not a great deal out there to combat that yet (or at least I haven’t discovered it).
So before you begin a website project, be aware of the kind of issues that you could face using a 3rd party to work on the site. There are a lot of people out there with an agenda you may not be aware of. Always buy your own programs and upload them yourself and get a decent all-in-one security. This will all help immensely when running a website but possibly my no1 tip is get a decent host. I have used probably about 8 hosts and only 123Reg has actually been good 24/7 no matter the time, because without that, it’s like laying a house on soil, there are no solid foundations.