Creating a server on Discord is very simple and almost effortless.
All you need to do is give your server a name, and that’s about it. You immediately have a great place for you and your friends to communicate online.
However, creating a good Discord server is a different matter. This requires a great deal more time and effort and can be quite complicated.
This is especially true if you want to create an online home for an entire community. A good server provides somewhere people can gather and have fun and informative conversations on any topic you choose.
To give your Discord server the best possible start, you need to consider a lot of things. We have put together a guide to some of the essential bases you need to cover to achieve your goals.
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Should You Create A Discord Server?
Before you start building the server, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Why Do You Want To Create It?
The first question you need to ask yourself before starting is: Why do I want to make a Discord server?
There will always be a reason for the idea. For example, do you want to create a community that you have control over? Do you feel like a certain community is lacking somewhere to communicate properly?
If your answer is the former, you should probably forget about the entire project.
To successfully grow a community, your goals should be selfless from the start. This isn’t something that a person can (or should) profit from.
If you have legitimate reasons and want to help a community grow by providing a good platform to communicate, you’re starting the right way.
Are There Any Similar/Identical Discord Servers?
According to a few sources, Discord currently has more than 6.5 million active servers; and probably many more in total. It is one of the largest VoIP platforms today.
Why is this relevant? Of those 6.5 million active servers, one of them could be similar or even completely identical to your idea.
In other words, a server for the community that you want to help might already exist. Creating an identical server will only split the community, rather than help it.
On the other hand, if the server is inactive or not properly moderated, you could have a window of opportunity to establish a reliable, personal, and useful server.
Do You Have The Time?
Another key point to consider is: Do I have enough free time to dedicate to this project?
Running a server is going to consume a lot of your free time. It isn’t a simple matter, especially if your server is successful and the member count grows rapidly.
Dedicating ten to fifteen hours every week is optimal. However, you shouldn’t let this discourage you from realizing your idea. Even if you can’t currently dedicate that much time, you might be able to in the future.
Also, remember that people with similar interests will likely be willing to help you. You won’t have to tackle this entire project by yourself, even if you are forced to at the start.
If the answers to all of these questions seem positive, you should be ready to build a good Discord server.
Let’s jump into the details of what you will need to do.
Use a Template
Many large and successful Discord servers now conform to one type of structure because it works. It is also intuitive and easy to use for both beginner and veteran Discord users.
Fortunately, you won’t need to waste any time creating that structure. There are already numerous templates available online.
Which template you should use depends on the style of the server and the topic it is based around. There are templates for gaming, memes, celebrities, and many other types of servers.
If you are unsure which template you should use, you can watch reviews on YouTube or look at different user experiences on Reddit and other platforms/forums. You could even join a Discord server dedicated to templates.
Some of the websites that provide templates feature a rating system, which can be very helpful.
When creating a server using a template, several text and voice channels, and roles will be created by default.
The first couple of text channels should be informative. They provide information, rules, and announcements that are useful for all members. Members should not be able to send messages on these channels.
After these, you should set up a few general chat rooms for on-topic discussions, off-topic discussions, and a general chat room without a specific focus. A general voice channel can also be useful if you want one.
Below these, you can start adding text and chat rooms on more specific topics. Look at the servers for games such as World of Warcraft as an example. They could contain channels for Dungeons, Raids, Selling Gear, Looking for Group, Buying Items, etc.
Once you are sure you have addressed the most important aspects of the server’s purpose, it’s a good idea to branch out to more general topics again.
It is also helpful to create channels for suggestions and support. These allow your members to have some input regarding the direction of the server and encourage the growth of the community and server.
This is an essential element of every successful server on Discord or any similar platform.
Without clearly defined rules in place, a community cannot thrive, and it will quickly suffer as it is filled with bots, spammers, and users that do not belong on the server.
To ensure the server fulfills its purpose, you need to make sure the rules are enforced.
At first, it’s best to set rules against the following things:
- NSFW content
It’s also a good idea to have a rule against spoilers, especially if your server focuses on a particular video game, TV series, movie, or book series. Spoilers can ruin a person’s experience and you can always add a channel specifically for spoiler discussions.
The rules that need to be enforced will depend on the server type. There are no universal rules. If the main topic relates to NSFW content, it makes no sense to create rules against it.
One of Discord’s most appealing features is the ability of admins and moderators to assign roles.
Roles are useful because they can be extensively customized to meet your needs. You can adjust privileges and permissions for different channels, features such as voice chat, text chat, text to speech, user tagging, mentioning, and many more.
New members should be assigned the most basic role with no permissions at all. To obtain a more advanced role with permissions, new members should undergo a verification process. This deters bots and spammers from disrupting servers.
After verification, users will get permission to chat through text or voice.
Running a server alone is certainly possible, especially early on. As the number of members increases, it can become quite difficult to manage so many users at once.
It’s recommended to choose a few admins or moderators to help you enforce the rules, support members, and improve the overall user experience.
Roles with the necessary permissions for moderation will be needed. Before you assign these roles to the appropriate users, you should also designate the roles with a unique name and color. This allows other users to easily distinguish staff members from other users.
Make sure the Display role members separately from the online members option is enabled for the moderator/admin role.
Remember, you should only ever grant moderating and administrative permissions to users you trust. In the early days of your server, it’s best to keep your staff numbers at a minimum.
Role rewards are not always recommended because they encourage users to spam unnecessary messages to receive the reward.
If you want to keep your server’s interactions more organic, it’s best to avoid role rewards. At the same time, these rewards can make things more interesting for your members. Better roles can grant more permissions and features, which are always appreciated by users.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not this kind of feature is appropriate for your server.
Bots are another must-have feature for a Discord server. Choosing the right bots can reduce your need for additional mods and admins for a long time. Auto-moderation can effortlessly filter out bots, spammers, and other unwanted users.
Bots also provide many other additional features. For example, music bots allow users to play music from various platforms such as YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, etc.
Choosing the right bots can be difficult with so many available. Two of the most popular options are currently Dyno and MEE6.
There are many websites that provide lists of the most widely-used Discord bots.
Keep in mind that many bot features are locked behind a premium paywall.
Discord is free and you can enjoy a huge amount of features at no expense. However, there are other features that can be accessed by paying a subscription fee. Users can subscribe to Discord Nitro, which provides benefits such as streaming at 1080p and 60FPS, increased upload file size, custom emoji slots, and other useful features.
The alternative to Nitro is to pay for a server “Boost”. The benefits are essentially the same, but Boost differs in that that everyone on the server can enjoy these features.
However, there is a catch.
To enjoy the higher audio quality and better streaming quality, the server would need to be boosted 15 times.
Fifteen boosts are equivalent to $75, far more expensive when compared to the $10 Nitro package.
Each member can boost the server, which makes fifteen boosts easily achievable, especially when split between fifteen members.
You might have to boost the server on your own. At first, there will be few members interested in paying for a boost. You will have more chance of receiving help from your members as the server grows into something larger.
It’s isn’t mandatory, but your members would likely appreciate the extra features.
Once your Discord server is finally “open for business”, all that remains is to find users interested in joining it.
At first, this process will likely be slow. The vast majority of people will have no idea that your server even exists.
Try sharing it on community subreddits and other platforms/forums if you want to raise awareness. Naturally, post on subreddits and forums related to the server’s topic. Do not spam it on unrelated forums.
It is strongly recommended that you avoid spamming invite links on other Discord servers. This kind of behavior could quickly get your server blacklisted.
In this guide, you will have found everything necessary to create a server that can properly support a community of 1,000+ or even 10,000+ members. Use these tips to help you through the process. Remember, create the type of server that you would appreciate and use if somebody else made it!