Enjin is a one-of-a-kind service because of its speсific focus. The site builder is aimed at the realization of the game projects: forums and websites for guilds, clans, communities, fan groups, and Minecraft game servers. The narrow focus may indicate the high quality of the system as it allows you to create websites dedicated to everything connected with games.
The website builder has multiple benefits, which contribute to the ease of use and make the system a nice choice even for inexperienced gamers, who plan to create their websites from scratch. Some of the most obvious advantages are as follows:
- The system is easy-to-use for everyone and it takes around 1-3 days to explore its major features;
- It offers plenty of quality game templates (there are over 350 of them here) subdivided into categories based on their themes;
- It is possible to add a blog and a forum to your gaming website by installing corresponding modules and filling them with content;
- The system has module-based structure, which allows selecting and connecting only those modules you actually plan to use at your gaming website (news, latest threads, online users, member list, forum, recent visitors etc);
- The platform comes with Integrated Voice Server that ensures voice communication between the gamers;
- Availability of Enjin API tool, which makes it possible to create any modules you need, if they are not on the list;
- Enjin allows creating an individual Minecraft Server;
- The system provides Twitch Streaming Server integration to provide an opportunity to stream your own channel at the website;
- Advanced SEO optimization contributes to effective website promotion in the search engines;
- Availability of Enjin mobile apps for Android and iOS, which makes it possible to access your website 24/7.
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
You can sign up for Enjin for free. You’ll be instantly offered to choose the type of your future website (MineCraft server, Guild, Clan, Fansite, eSports team or other).
For our testing I went for a website for the World of WarCraft guild with an optional game server. Then I was asked to enter the name of the community, think up a name for a free subdomain, and then type in the login, email, and password.
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. Feature Set and 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:
- 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).
To sum up, 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.
It’s worth mentioning that the brand mobile apps for Android and iOS to manage a website as well as the integration option with Twitch services are also on the plate.
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.
Enjin features 332 templates based on various online games. The quality is above the average. And all of them 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.
You can filter the themes by the game name, color, 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 the theme customization, thus, allowing you to make any of them your own with a few tweaks in the editor.
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.
I would say it’s no piece of cake to use the theme editor. It features a lot 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.
Bottom line: Enjin offers a number of good themed templates that allow for deep customization. There are paid (just $5) and free designs. It doesn’t let you to upload your custom one.
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.
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.
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 (Normal);
- 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 (Advanced) 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.
5. Customer Support
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.
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;
- A big collection of reference material on all sections of the system.
In general, Enjin is an advanced highly-tailored platform at an affordable price.
- Limited Website Design Customization. Enjin has a block-based layout, managing which is a bit complicated for inexperienced users. What’s more, its Theme Editor is available on the paid pans only, in the result of which only website owners with paid subscription can make use of all its features.
- Complicated System Exploration. The complexity rate of the system is above the average. Thus, its takes skills, experience and patience to master it. This may be a challenge for newbies.
- Inability to Connect a Domain on a Free Plan. The website builder has a free plan, which provides a broad array of options. You can connect up to 20 modules to the website, set up integration with social services, a web store, donation connection etc. However, there is a notable restriction. It is impossible to connect your own domain name here. If this doesn’t bother you and you don’t plan to use your gaming website for profit generation, you should pay attention to this aspect.
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.