Enjin – is a one-of-a-kind service that has a very speсific and narrow focus. The website builder empowers the development of websites for gamers, guilds, clans, fan communities as well as Minecraft servers. Due to such a unique specialization, the system works great for the needs of gaming enthusiasts and fans across the globe. The platform features high quality of projects created with it as it lets you launch and manage websites that are exclusively geared towards gaming purposes.
The website builder has a model-based structure that lets you pick, connect and arrange only those modules, which you actually wish to integrate into your gaming website (news, latest threads, online users, member list, forum, recent visitors etc.). The system comes with the Integrated Voice Server that ensures voice communication between the gamers and contributes to the interacting gaming process. The availability of the Enjin API tool make it possible to create even those modules that are not enlisted in the catalogue. These are only a few features that contribute to the efficacy and popularity of the website builder.
All in all, the project looks promising given its target audience. Let’s have a look under its hood and see what’s there.
1. Ease of Use
The system is easy-to-use for everyone and it takes around 1-3 days to explore its major features. You can sign up for Enjin for free. The very process of account creation is easy, quick and hassle-free. However, prior to proceeding to your website development, you will be offered to select one of seven available website types based on your gaming preferences, specific web design requirements and result you intend to avail in the long run. Currently, you may choose to create a Minecraft server, a guild website, a clan, a fan site, an eSports team or any other project of your choice.
For our testing, I went for a website for the World of WarCraft guild. Then I was asked to select the game server from the pop-up menu provided by default. There are hundreds of options available there and it’s up to you to pick the one that fits your needs most of all. Whatever option you will go for, you’ll have to specify your website subdomain and your community name afterwards. Finally, I was offered to create an account, filling out the email, password and display name. To confirm the account creation, you’ll have to activate the link sent to the specified email.
As a result, I got a fully-fledged guild website with the design, menu structure, pre-configured thematic content on the pages and more. I could find the Dashboard through the Admin menu item above the website’s header.
It’s worth mentioning that depending on the website type the system offers different set of features. For example, creation of the MineCraft server stands out because it prompts you to enter settings of the future server and download a special plugin.
This means Enjin offers varying scenarios depending on the context. But the Dashboard remains the same for all modes. It’s well-structured, but doesn’t seem simple. Judging by the look, it resembles CMS rather than a website builder.
In spite of the visual complexity, an inexperienced user will still be able to create a website with Enjin. Options and features are plentiful, but it’s possible to master them in around a few days if you have a general understanding of how website builders work.
2. Features & Flexibility
Enjin gives an impression of an advanced website builder in its niche. The Dashboard contains a comprehensive set of features to create a game website. Despite the seeming complexity, you can get hang of it. In total, it offers 10 option categories. Thus, you’ll have to set up and customize the following sections: Users, Modules, Automations, Games, Themes, Files, Logs, Settings and Plan Billing. Each section comes with a set of related options that have to be adjusted to start a website. Let’s have a quick overview of each of them now:
- Users – Information about all users registered on the website. It’s possible to filter them by different parameters: banned, regular users, online, warned, punished users, etc.
- Modules – List of enabled modules (forum, latest threads, news, member list, online users, recent visitors, chat, etc.) and those that can be added to the website. You can add/remove them if needed. The connection of some modules requires an upgrade to one of the pricing plans. There’s a detailed guide on how to use each of them.
- Pages – Page editor. There, you can create menu items, connect pages to them, add content as well as edit and remove the existing ones.
- Automations – Setup of scenarios based on the completion of certain actions by the user. For example, the user posted a certain number of messages on the website’s forum and was given credits for it.
- Games – From there, you can add new games to your website and configure registration settings for their sections, the team, etc.
- Voice – Section to arrange voice communication between the players. For this service there’s a monthly billing depending on the number of channels needed for communication. The server can be set up based on TeamSpeak 3 or Mumble.
- Themes – Theme and editor shop.
- Files – Storage of the uploaded files. The access to it is given only upon the upgrade to the premium plan.
- Logs – List of all actions performed in the Dashboard with the specified time and user name.
- Settings – The biggest option section which contains everything that wasn’t included into other sections: general information about the website, geo, adaptivity and the mobile-version of the theme, code integration into header and footer, Enjin API connection (a paid feature which allows creation of the custom modules), SEO settings, site ownership rights assignment, safety and notification settings, and social sharing. There, you can create announcements for your users and order a paid service to promote your project (the Enjin communities will feature a banner linking to your website).
- Plan Billing – This is the section, where you can choose a plan to create a website with. With this purpose, you can view the terms and cost of each paid subscription, major distinctions between them as well as characteristics that might affect your choice.
The service has a module-based system. You can choose and configure modules by yourself and even create custom ones on the paid plans. The promotion features are typical: connection of Google Analytics, meta tags settings, robots.txt, and sitemap.xml. Among the modules you can pick and integrate into your website, the following ones go first: news, latest threads, online users, member list, forum, recent visitors etc.
Advanced Forum Board
The website builder allows creating and adding a contemporary, engaging, interesting, socially-oriented and advanced forum board to your website. The Enjin forum is easy and quick to manage. It’s up to you to create, edit and update new branches, sections and topics here based on users’ preferences. Your members will be drawn to the game-like features and abilities to level up, gain points, and receive awards, by joining in on the discussion. Your community will love it.
How to create a forum for free.
Apart from the forum module, you can also add a blog to your gaming website by installing a corresponding module and filling it with user-focused content. The system also has its own blog, where it publishes regular updates and posts containing recent news, handy data and other info users may be interested in. The developers of the website builder try their best effort to update the blog on a regular basis to keep their clients aware of the most informative news and system updates.
How to manage a blog like a professional.
Integrated Voice Server
As a gaming platform, Enjin comes with the Integrated Voice Server that ensures voice communication between the gamers. The servers are absolutely free as the system makes it possible to set up a stunning advanced Teamspeak 3 voice server as well as Mumble voice servers with almost no effort at all. This makes it possible to easily synchronize your website users, channels, permissions and automated tools for the enhanced communication purpose.
With Enjin, you will be able to add powerful integrations to your ready-made gaming website. These include an impressive individual Minecraft Server, Guild Armory imports and member support etc. The availability of the integrated Enjin API tool makes it possible to create any modules you need, if they are not on the list. The system also provides Twitch Streaming Server integration to provide an opportunity to stream your own channel at the website.
Social Media Sharing
The system grants access to the social media accounts of the website builder in the social networks. What’s more, each registered member will get a personal profile, activity tracking wall, messaging system, award display option, live chat feature and more.
The website builder automatically connects the SSL Certificate, when you create a website. If you wish, you can disable it afterwards. To check the current status of your SSL Certification, you can reach the HTTPS/SSL tab in the website settings section and find that out there. What’s important, SSL Certificate connection is absolutely free for all Enjin users. Each certificate is enabled for one year and can be renewed afterwards. However, the system ensures automated certificate prolongation in the 30-day term before its expiration date.
If you have an idea to integrate any kind of form into your gaming website, Enjin lets you choose between two available types, namely general and application forms. General forms can be submitted by your website users for as many times as needed. These are contact forms, which can be customized with regard to your needs and website type or specialization. It’s up to you to add the missing fields like question forms or other elements to build a general form and integrate it into your website.
As to the application form, it is handy to those, who have an intention to launch a guid website. This is because this form type lets users choose and connect players to their teams.
The enhance your gaming community engagement rate and popularity, you can implement the Awards and Points system. This might become a helpful means of donation gathering, introduction and development of a point & rank system as well as other undeniable advantages gamers will certainly appreciate. Additionally, you can implement your own forum likes and tags to launch the independent voting system. This is how you can encourage positive forum interaction between users.
Enjin makes it possible to launch a professional web store, where you’ll be able to sell game-related items, ranks, extra points, accessories and what not. The web store will come with a broad range of features, in-game interactions, enhanced usability and user orientation. The major payment gateways will be supported there as well so that you could choose those you actually need for your gaming website. Due to the automation support option and a point system, all registered clients will have a chance to get special awards, ranks and other rewards for their participation in the shopping process.
How build an Internet-store for free.
Enhanced Protection and Gaming Website Security
While DDoS attacks might put your gaming website security at risk, Enjin developers have taken care of that in advance. The system offers quality DDoS protection for all gaming communities to mitigate the potential risks. They provide the utmost security, including app-based and network attacks and other possible threats.
Enjin is a SEO-friendly website builder, which covers all the variety of your website promotion and optimization needs. The integrated SEO tab allows filling out the major meta tags (titles, descriptions, keywords), which will further be applied to all the website pages. At the same time, it is possible to add meta descriptions and keywords for each page. To keep track of your website performance, traffic fluctuations and SEO ranking status, you can connect Google Analytics account. What’s more, the website builder will automatically generate and submit a sitemap to the search engines as soon as you are done with website creation.
Enjin Mobile Apps
The website builder comes with mobile applications for iOS and Android as well as the integration option with Twitch services. The use of these apps makes it possible to access your gaming website from any point of the world and anytime. This eventually saves user effort and time.
Summing up, Enjin is a flexible and powerful website builder that gets the job done in its niche. Naturally, only advanced users will be able to use all of its features to their full potential. Still, beginners will be able to quickly master a basic set of features the system can boast.
Enjin template collection is rich, quality and extensive. It currently features over 350 designs that are divided into two major categories. There are 300 official themes and 43 community layouts here. Additionally, you can choose from three types of templates depending upon the subscription you are going to upgrade to. Thus, Premium plan users have an opportunity to access 159 versatile and full-featured designs. The users of the Advanced plan can pick and customize one of 343 layouts, while Free plan subscribers can select only one of 57 templates.
Template thematic division helps narrow down the search of the most suitable design. You are free to change any parts of the theme: header, footer, format of the pop-up windows, and more.
Each element has its settings: color, width/height, background color, indentation, alignment, font, etc. You can also sort out the templates by their color scheme (those with dark, transparent or light background), game name, popularity, price and other parameters. Each design has a preview mode. You don’t even need to choose a theme that corresponds to your game. Enjin includes advanced possibilities for template customization, thus, allowing you to make any of them your own with a few tweaks in the editor.
Mind that all the templates are specific. If you ever came across a game website, you know what I mean. Such websites have a distinctive structure that doesn’t look like anything else: lots of blocks with comments, counters, reviews, and other data, sidebars, numerous menu items, etc. In general, a developed and complex structure that contains loads of information. Whatever design you will go for, its quality will certainly be above the average.
I would say it’s no piece of cake to use the theme editor. It features lots of settings and an inexperienced user can easily spoil the template with ill-considered changes. On the other hand, the interface will be intuitive for those who have at least a slight idea how these kind of editors work. Most of the themes are structurally similar because of the distinctive aspects of the game industry, but this fact doesn’t ruin the general impression about the service.
4. Customer Support
Enjin customer support service provides an extensive range of options. There is the Contact Us/Submit Ticket form, where you can fill out the required fields to open a support request. These include the topic of your request, the type of website your issue relates to, the subject of your concerns as well as the details. Having completed the form, you can send it to the customer support team.
The detailed information about all sections of the system can be accessed at the Help Center or by contacting the support team through the Submit Ticket/Contact form. On top of that, the service has a number of communities and a blog with helpful articles.
Enjin also has a powerful and informative Help Center with a variety of topics covered there. Whatever topic you are interested in, you will certainly find it in the Help Center. A convenient search filter option lets you sort out the requests, specifying the one that currently matters to you most. This eventually helps save your effort and time.
Finally, the website builder offers an extensive forum community, which is always ready to provide you with any piece of advice. There are lots of system-related topics, branches and sections, where you can browse lots of posts shared by the community members. A blog with helpful and informative articles is available here as well. It also comes with its YouTube channel providing multiple video tutorials as well as social network accounts, where users may come across information they are interested in.
All in all, Enjin customer support is on a nice level, although, it somewhat lacks live chat or phone assistance feature.
5. Pricing Policy
Enjin can be used free of charge as long as you want. It offers to connect 20 modules, a mobile app, forum, donation collector, online store, integration with social media services, and one automation option. At the beginning you will be given a 14-day trial period with access to most of the features.
The Enjin services will be provided as part of the Free plan until you upgrade. The custom domain can be connected only on the paid plans.
How to get a domain name for free.
The system has 2 paid plans (when paying for a year you save 20%):
- Advanced ($86.3 per year) – 5 slot TS3 or Mumble Server, Create 50 modules, Mobile Forums, File Storage (5GB), File Bandwidth (25 GB), 5 Automations, 5 Warning & Punishments, Forum Vote System, Access all Modules, Theme Editor, Normal DDOS Protection, DNS Domain Manager, Website Logs, API;
- Ultimate ($287.9 per year) – 25 slot TS3 or Mumble Server, Create unlimited modules, Ticket support module, File storage (50GB), File bandwidth (150 GB), 100 automations, 100 warnings & punishments, Enterprise DDoS protection, Branding control, Custom Emojis, Priority Support, Priority Recruitment, Advanced logs, API and All Premium Themes.
The paid plans differ significantly in the cost and the offered set of features. With paid plans, you can embed to your site a full ticketing system (equal to zendesk), an application form maker, and a wiki module. These are highly recommended for a gaming site – lots of gamers have lots of questions. And if they can find answers on your website – you’ll have a big audience.
The biggest downside of the Free plan is the lack of option to connect a custom domain, that’s why it’s impossible to build a fully-fledged website on it. It is good for getting started with the system or creating an amateur website to communicate with friends of the guild and boosting its reputation. To implement a serious project you need to upgrade.
6. Pros and Cons
Enjin is targeted at more or less advanced users. Hence the only noticeable downside of the system: the beginners will have hard time coming to grips with its nuances. Other than that, the website builder is a very good choice for its niche. Here’s why:
|✔ Opportunity to create not only community gaming websites, but also fan sites of sport teams with integrated forum or wiki-module.|
✔ Generous collection of themes with powerful customization tools.
✔ Free plan with which you can learn how to use the system before upgrading;
Integration of Twitch streaming into the website.
✔ Module-based system with a wide range of settings and an option to create custom modules.
✔ Support of virtually all more or less popular online games.
✔ Forum and blog options.
✔ eCommerce module.
|✘ Limited Website Design Customization and complicated System Exploration.|
✘ Inability to Connect a Domain on a Free Plan.
✘ No Live Chat Support.
Enjin is a product is aimed at the narrow audience of gamers. There you can create a game website of any level of complexity. The system has everything you might need for this purpose. And even more. It’s hard to name any decent competitor to this service.
Enjin has done a good job at the step when you select the focus of your future website: its type, game, and server. The database is extremely extensive. You’ll sure find the materials and the template for the needed game. With Enjin you will almost instantly get a ready-to-go website which is customizable according to your needs. I wish the Dashboard was more easy-to-use and intuitive. But the good thing is that it is fully equipped with useful features.
In this case the relative complexity of Enjin is a side-effect of the system’s potential. Other than that, I have no more bones to pick. I liked this website builder. If your goal is to create a game website, I recommend Enjin.