Building a WordPress games arcade Part 5

22 05 2008

Fireworks graphic

Readers of this blog will know that I launched my WordPress-powered arcade, Craverz.com back in April. Since then it has been going from strength to strength and I thought it would be a good time to write up part 5, the ‘debrief’ post to the whole project and the last part of the series. I’ll include some stats and some details on where the project is going next.

So where is the site at right now? Well it’s still very much in beta testing stage, while most of the game-side functionality is complete, it has been very difficult to get the level of user-side functionality that I want. Until I can come up with the right user integration, I’m going to deactivate signups. In all honesty this is a reflection of my lack of coding skills. If I had a budget for this project I’d obviously have hired a developer to work on that part of the site weeks ago. As it stands I just have to go with what’s possible.

So rather than offer people a half finished user signup service, I’ll remove it for now and focus on getting the game play side of the site to the best possible standard. To that end I’ve already made some key adjustments such as widening the game space to a maximum of 800x500px. I’ve also finished the Craverz blog, it’s called Crave! and the aim is to build it up to become a platform for fellow game enthusiasts and webmasters to voice their opinions on. So if you want to blog anything game related and you want some exposure for your own sites, I’ll be setting up accounts and profiles so just drop me a line…door’s wide open!

In pure statistical terms, the site now has a small but worthy selection of 50 games. I’m about 90% certain of the emotion-based categorization, it’s yielding some very interesting stats. The most popular category right now is ‘focused’ which says a lot about the site’s current audience. While most people opt for the usual game genre based categories, I wanted to work on something different. It’s hard to say at this point whether emotional categories will prove to be a stronger option. Right now I’m just pleased that people are using them.

General traffic is on the increase. The google analytics graph below shows visitor trends over the past month or so. Notice the sharp declines on weekends. Is this something other webmasters experience? I find the same trend across all my arcade sites. Another indication that a lot of visitors are playing at school or away from home.

(Click on image for larger view)

Another interesting point shown in these stats is the average visit time, currently just under 10 minutes. I know that this will decline as traffic increases but it’s another good sign that people are actually using the site. In addition to this one of the main search terms being used in google is ‘Craverz’ which means that the name of the site is beginning to stick in people’s minds. It’s always a gamble when choosing a name for a new site and this was no different, so fingers crossed on that one.

So what’s in store for the site next? Well getting the site out of beta mode is one. There are a number of things I need to implement before that happens. First of all I need to finish the blog integration within the main Craverz site. I also want to add a user game upload function. This should be pretty easy using the cforms II plugin. I then need to add an extendable footer that shows the top 5 games in each category. The code is already in place for that, it just needs styling.

I also need to work out whether the recently placed google ads are worthwhile or whether there’s going to be a market for setting up 125×125 graphic banner ads, possible running through an online ad brokering service such as buysellads.com or adonion.com for example.

So that pretty much wraps it up. I hope you’ve found this series interesting and if it’s prompted anyone to start their own WordPress powered arcade, please share your urls here in the comment section. I’ll end this post with a retrospective of the all entries in this series. Happy gaming folks!

Building a WordPress games arcade Part 1

Building a WordPress games arcade Part 2

Building a WordPress games arcade Part 3

Building a WordPress games arcade Part 4

Visit Craverz.com

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2 responses

22 05 2008
Sunil Patel

Yes, I too find that less people visit my site during weekends. It’s unusual, as I always visit sites MORE at the weekend!

4 10 2008
links for 2008-10-03 « Free Open Source Directory

[…] Building a WordPress games arcade Part 5 Readers of this blog will know that I launched my WordPress-powered arcade, Craverz.com back in April. Since then it has been going from strength to strength and I thought it would be a good time to write up part 5, the ‘debrief’ post to the whole project and the last part of the series. I’ll include some stats and some details on where the project is going next. […]

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