Countless servers fail every day. There can be numerous reasons as to why they fail, and some explode in popularity and revenue. In this blog, I will go through briefly the steps in creating a server, it can also be applied to businesses. It is essential to plan your server out for it to grow and become a realization. It is important to do the correct things at the correct time. Hence I have created a list of six stages a server should go through, in that order. I will also add a few tips at the end, explaining some common issues most servers encounter.
These are the fundamental stages of a server. You can successfully create a server without following these stages. However, as a start, you should follow them, until you figure out the way that works the best for you. There is no correct way to set up a server, however, this is what I have figured out to work the best. These stages can also be applied to some businesses.
Stage 0: Figure out your server's core components, 2-5 components depending on the complexity of your server. This is very you decide game mode, features, target group, and so forth. The purpose of this stage is to see if your idea is possible and worth further developing.
Example: Ice Cream Store: a variety of flavors, managing great connections with the community (schools, local musicians, parents, boy scouts, girl scouts, etc.).
Stage 1: Properly plan and write out your core components with details for each one. On your server it could be the different ranks, an arena, player-made towns, you name it. Speaking with different management candidates, and possibly hiring your senior management team. As well as speaking with different developers and their pricing and so forth, however not hiring them.
Example: Flavors you will offer, recipes and ingredients, what schools locally, and contact information for each group.
Stage 2: Logistics, researching the cheapest host to suit your needs and all the other costs. You need to make an in-depth budget covering all your costs, this is also where you decide upon the scale you want to start off at.
Example: Determining what suppliers you will use for ingredients, planning how many staff you need, and location of the store. Setting up a budget and making sure you have enough capital to start with.
Stage 3: Setting up everything. Getting a staff team up and running, does not have to be major in scale. Get your high staff, these help you deal with plugins, config, staff, and so forth. Get the server coded and fully working. The server should be in a "release" state, where you have nothing left to do. In this stage, you get ready for testing.
Example: Doing interviews for ice cream staff employees, meet with and negotiate terms for building contract and secure the deal, make ice cream flavors, etc.
Stage 4: Controlled practice/dry runs and marketing/advertising. You will have Beta tests, Alpha tests, early access you name it. The sole purpose is to hammer out every single bug. Make sure staff are ready, you are ready, the server is fine. After stage 4 the server needs to be fully complete with few to no bugs, nor problems left. Also, pump out marketing, get everyone to join your discord server, only now should you market yourself. Hire YouTubers to be ready at release, hire other kinds of advertisers/advertisements.
Example: Having employees come at different times and making ice cream and a possible soft-launch where they greet customers and check out timing employees Creating promotional materials and plans for outreach and starting the marketing campaign.
Stage 4B: Making modifications/revisions. Fix bugs, fix forums, fix literally any issues that may lose your players. Do not underestimate bugs and glitches, they may ruin your launch, hence giving your server a poor first impression.
Example: Strawberry ice cream flavor does not have enough extract, tables need to be arranged differently so customers can form a better line, etc.
Stage 5: Release/opening - Daily operations. Make sure you know what to expand upon and discontinue. Continuously developing and improving your server. You can also research possibilities to expand and sustain operations. Make sure you are generating enough revenue to cover all your costs.
Example: Releasing to the public and starts selling. Strengthening your capital and ensuring future operations.
Reasons for failure
These are some of the reasons I have figured out as to why servers fail. There are plenty of reasons, and some may be underlying, while others are clear as day. If your server happens to fail, do not give up. Instead analyze what went wrong, and where it went wrong. Figure out what you could have done differently and use the expertise you have gathered to succeed next time.
Poor Communication. It is essential to have good and clear communication within the team. Often failure to communicate between each section of the team will lead to failure. Remember to always delegate tasks to your management team, there is nothing wrong with doing so. Make sure there is nothing similar to a chain of command present as well. It is especially important to maintain a good relationship with your management members.
Lack of funding. A lot of servers struggle economically after launch. It is important to not rely completely on donations at the start. A lot of servers spend careless amounts at the early stages. Always try to save money where you can. It is also crucial to have good liquidity at the launch of your server, except to go with a deficit the first few months.
Poor community engagement. Always engage with your community, make sure they know you value them. Always engage the community in activities, this can be everything from quiz nights, movie nights, giveaways, competitions, and so forth. This can also be done before you release, in order to build up a community.
Failure to market. It is crucial to advertise and promote your server through various platforms to gain and sustain a player base. Track your stats regarding the player base, figure it out. Your server could be 10/10, but without marketing it you will struggle to gain players. It is also important to choose the right marketing, do not invest your entire marketing budget in one YouTuber.
These are some tips and tricks that can possibly aid you and your server. In the end, it is important to have fun and enjoy yourself, do not burn yourself out, and never give up your dreams. My advice may change your server and better it, but you will have to do it. Lack of motivation is what shuts down most servers. Remember that.