[ Tutorial ] How to start a succesful server without a big budget | Unique advertising methods

Discussion in 'Server help' started by Jesse, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Jesse

    Jesse MCL Owner

    Mar 31, 2018
    Likes Received:
    So I've seen a lot of people make threads kind of similar to this but most of them are unrealistic. This thread is not for the people who have a large budget to kick start a server. This tutorial is more to the down to earth people who have a few extra bucks and want to start a server without large budgets.

    To start off you need a few bucks to start the server and get some basic things. I recommend having at least $20. Do you have that? Great! Let's start.

    | Step 1: Choosing your gamemode

    This is very important. Before making a server you should always know what sort of server you are going to make. The best option to look for a good gamemode is by looking at popular servers to see what they offer and what gamemode is the most played. Below is a lost of possible gamemodes:


    This is one of the most played gamemodes on Minecraft servers and that is the reason there are 1000+ factions servers. I would not suggest making a factions server because there are too many servers out there that have exactly the same as what you are going to offer. Now you might wonder: But I do have things other servers do not have! Well, the problem is that all factions servers look the same to players who want to play factions. Most players will only find the custom features when they played a few hours on your server

    This is another gamemode I would strongly suggest you shouldn't do. Although there are not as many prison servers out there, it's really hard to make a good prison server and make it succeed. I have seen plenty of people who started a prison server and it didn't pay of. A lot of people find prison fun when they join but a few minutes/hours after they joined 80% will probably quit because they think it's boring.

    You might think: "HEY! Hypixel has 50000 players on who play minigames. I'm going to be so rich if I start a minigames server!" Wrong! This is the hardest out of all other gamemodes if you want to make a attractive gamemode. Most people are bored of minigames like Hungergames or Paintball. There are only a handful of popular minigames networks and that has a reason, minigames are expensive to make! If you are on a budget I think a custom gamemode is out of the question.

    This only leaves a few gamemodes. Skyblock is one of them. Skyblock is possibly the most played gamemode on Minecraft at the moment and it's also the easiest to setup. If you want to start a server this is a gamemode you should consider.

    The good old survival servers. This is also a gamemode you could consider since there are not so many survival servers out there. Survival is easy to setup and has a decent chance of success.

    I don't have much experience with this gamemode myself, but this is also a good option if you want to start a server. It will probably not become as popular as a big skyblock or factions server since those gamemodes are played by a much bigger percentage of the players but that doesn't mean it can't become popular since there are still many successful towny servers. With the right setup it can become very successful.

    | Step 2: Choosing your name

    This is possibly the hardest part of the whole tutorial. Choosing your server name. You don't want a generic name like FactionsPvP, PrisonMC, Miniplex or HiPixel. This is a step where you really need to put some time and thinking in.

    | Step 3: Buying a domain name

    Some people who are reading this might think: Why do I need a domain name? I'm not making a website... The reason for this that it is really easy, cheap and it makes your server look more professional. Another myth is that you need a dedicated IP to link it to a domain name which is not true. Below are some useful links for domain registrars

    Domain registrars
    1. https://godaddy.com/
    2. https://www.namecheap.com/
    3. https://name.com/ ( used in the tutorial below )

    Useful tutorial for linking a domain to a server with a port that is not 25565

    | Step 3: Choosing your host

    This is one of the most important steps. If you want to start a server you need to find a host who suits you and is not to pricey. If you go for a host like McProHosting you are going to blow almost your whole budget on hosting which you shouldn't do. I would also recommend staying away from the major hosting companies because, don't get me wrong they can be good but with smaller hosts you get way more personal support instead of the basic pre-typed messages forwarding you to their knowledge base. I made a small list of hosts worth checking out and ones you should keep away from ( You do not have to use them ).

    Worth checking out
    1. https://skynode.pro | Only $0.95/GB | Quality support | Good hardware |
    ( Just mentioning that I'm affiliated with this host but I want to make clear that you do not have to order from any of these hosts if you found a good one yourself. It is recommended to do your own research )
    2. https://germanode.com/ | €1.99/GB | Quality support | Very active on Spigot |
    3. https://extravm.com/ | $3.00/GB | Reputable host | Good hardware |

    Not worth checking out

    1. https://mcprohosting.com/ | $10/GB | Expensive | Not for people who have a small budget |
    2. https://ggservers.com/ | $3/GB | Bad quality | Servers are constantly having issues |

    | Step 4: Getting plugins for your server
    Depending on your gamemode you chose in step 1 you have to look for different plugins but if you go to the resources tab on spigot you can find plenty of amazing plugins by amazing developers. I recommend looking at the popular ones like worldedit, essentials etc but also at the newer plugins. You want to make a server that stands out. you cannot do that with only popular plugins.

    | Step 5: Building a spawn
    A good first impression is important. If you have an amazing spawn players will generally stay longer and explore the server more. For this step there are 3 options.

    Option 1: Hire someone ( Extra budget required )
    Here on spigot you can find many good builders who you can hire to build a spawn for you. If you start your server don't look at the expensive builders but do some research first to find someone who you like and that is not to pricy. The average price for a default spawn is around $15 - $100. I recommend going for the cheaper builders and hire more experienced builders once you received some donation.

    Option 2: Build your own spawn or ask friends
    I think this is the best option when you make a server without a large budget. It's important that you also have fun in the game, just ask some friend and build your own spawn. I've noticed that servers with lower quality spawns can still be very attractive to new players. There is a very high chance you will find a good builder who just happends to join your server and is willing to work for free.

    Option 3: Download a spawn
    Downloading a spawn is not bad. Some people might complain that you downloaded a spawn but that is why they were made! to be used! This is a very good temporary solution, however I think it's better that you switch to a custom spawn as soon as you have some donations.

    | Step 6: Advertising

    This is the step that requires a lot of dedication. If you follow all the steps you can get at least 5 - 10 new joins an hour if not more. I've personally used these methods a lot and I can say it really helps. So what are they? Well it's not voting. Many people keep saying that if you want more players you should setup votifier but let's be honest here, your server will probably get lost in the hundreds/thousands of pages. No one is going to find your server that way if you don't have many votes. Below are some advertising methods that do work.

    Method 1: Minecraftservers.org
    This is the method that is going to give you the most players if you take the time. So for this method it's highly recommended to have an animated banner. If you don't have one you can go to the links I added below this paragraph to get a free banner. So if voting doesnt help, what are we doing on a server list site? Well, people who go to server list sites generally only look at the first 1/2 pages and the last page so we want to get our server on that last page. Minecraftservers.org allows you to add 5 servers with the same ip so what you need to try is to keep your server on that last page. There is some competition and your server wont stay on the last page for long. So the best way to do it to add your server 2/3 times, this is important so your server stands out more. Once your server is no longer on the last page add it again 2/3 times. Once those are also off the last page delete the servers you added first and remove them. Once removed add them again so they are on the last page. Continue this progress and you will notice that you see a large increasement in players. It's also good to do this method on peak hours, this is the time that the most amount of players are on minecraft. For EU people its later in the evening when the US people also go on Minecraft. When there are people from the EU and US on Minecraft it's usually peak time, this usually only lasts for a few hours.

    Effectiveness (1-10): 8
    2-10 unique joins per hour

    Free banners:

    Example of peak hours:

    Method 2: PlanetMinecraft
    this method is not as effective as method 1 but this is still going to give you a few players. So what you want to do is post your server on planetminecraft, by doing this you will already notice some new players join. PlanetMinecraft also has a feature to bumb your server once in 24 hours, this will also lead to some players joining

    Effectiveness (1-10): 6
    0-12 unique joins per day

    Method 3: minecraft-server-list.com
    The 3rd method is just adding your server to minecraft-server-list.com, so when you post it on there you are already going to get a decent boost but unfortunately they added that when you remove your server you have to wait a few days so re-adding isn't going to work unless you want to wait but you can keep bumbing your server. You just have to change 1 letter in the description and that will bumb your server to the top of the "recently updated" page, once you are a bit further down the list you can change another letter and bumb it again.It's not super effective but it will give you at least a few players

    Effectiveness (1-10): 5
    0-10 unique joins per day

    Method 4: Coming soon

    Coming soon!

    (!) Any advice or improvements are welcome! Please post them below (!)
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. wow

    wow New Member

    Mar 27, 2018
    Likes Received:
    very helpful post
  3. ZHAG

    ZHAG Premium

    Feb 24, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Why even start a server? Unless you have a budget of a few grand, you properly won't get noticed.

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