Finally, you have finished the development of your very own RuneScape private server! Congratulations! After that festive launch of your unique server it is just a matter of waiting for all those visitors to start playing your RSPS, right? After a week of waiting and boredom you’ve decided to take a closer look at your server and its statstics. The result? There’s not even a handful of visitors on your RuneScape server. Your question follows; where are the players and why are they not playing the server? The server is so good, why isn’t the server stuffed with players yet?
In this article we’ll be answering the questions in the above case.
Players do not come naturally
You must know that RSPS players do not come naturally. Having the newest RS items, coolest PK’ing RSPS or the world’s most beautiful website does not guarantee players on you RuneScape private server. You’ll need to spend time, effort and eventually money (depending on your goal) into your promotion campaign. This is not a matter of hours, but weeks or months.
In short: you’ll need perseverance!
A website is a must-have!
Back in 2007 many RuneScape private servers did not have their own website. The RuneScape private servers top list and a thread on the forum was the home of almost every RSPS… but things have changed.
Designing a properly looking and structured website is a must-have for each RuneScape private server. Your website must meet the following requirements:
- KISS, also known as the ‘Keep it simple, stupid’-principle. Keep the layout clean, easy on the eye and cosistent.
- Don’t add any annoying animations, effects or sounds.
- Don’t overload your visitor with too much text.
- Pictures are worth a thousands words. Use screenshots to show-off your server. Don’t forget to resize and compress screenshots to assure that the images load fast on all internet speeds!
- A short promotion video is welcome.
- A notable ‘call-to-action’ button is a must. Buttons like “Play now!”, “Play for free” and “Register a free account” work very well.
If you’re somewhat more into website development, you really should look into landing pages for your RSPS. A landing page is a single web page that only new first-time visitors will see. This has been one of the keys to success for the currect major servers. Yours should be next.
Free advertising for your Runescape server
Forget paid advertising, you should first focus on free advertising! Even when you have a large budget to spend. Paid advertising does not work well for brand new or almost empty RuneScape private servers. Those who click on expensive paid advertisement banners expect a successful server, not a brand new RS private server.
Submit your RSPS to toplists
You should submit your RSPS to at least three different RS toplists, submitting your RSPS to our toplist is the best start. RuneLocus was the very first toplist for RSPS, and is still the main toplist for RuneScape private servers.
Many of the other toplists have a so-called “nofollow” attribute enabled, but RuneLocus does not. This means Google’s crawlers will even catch up your website within hours and list it because they consider RuneLocus as a high quality referrer.
You’ll have a lot of large competitors with massive amount of votes, but don’t let them scare you off. Rank 1 comes later, you’ll first need to kick off. There’s many people looking for smaller and even new servers. They’ll try out servers on other pages of the toplist, usually to page two to ten. So make sure you and your friends vote every 12 hours to assure you’ll take a position on one of those secondary pages.
Some toplists support the use of banners. Banners should be clean and need to radiate status and professionalism. Banners made in paint are a no-go, and don’t use fonts that are not readable. Banners work best when you add a visual button inside it with text like “Play now for free”.
Create an advertisement thread on forums
There’s plenty of forums to create an advertisement thread at, take our RSPS advertising area as example. Create a thread (just one, don’t spam!) and add the most attractive information to it. A short introduction about your server, a bunch of screenshots and a screenshot. Very important is to use hyperlinks. Make sure all links to your website are clickable, and words like “play” are also clickable when you’re saying “Come and play for free”.
Design signatures that promote your server
You should design a few nice looking signatures that your proud players will happily use and place on their profiles on RuneScape private server related forums.
Paid advertising for your RuneScape private server
There are plenty of paid advertising options for your RSPS. We advise you to only start using these methods if you already have a stable base of players though. Those who click on paid advertisements usually expect a large and active RS private server.
Advertisement banners at RuneLocus
Our own advertisement banners are probably the most wanted banners in the RSPS scene these days, but they’re very limited. For a price of $250/mo we’ll display your banner and ~6 others for a full month on the index of the toplist. RuneLocus has more than a million unique visitors a month, so these banners are definitely a success if you use an attractive banner. We do regular tests (heat-maps and A/B tests) to assure that your banners will get maximum traffic. We also give advise when we think your banner is not well-designed.
Advertisement banners at other RSPS resources
Our fellow RSPS resources also offer paid advertisement banners on their website, but not all of them guarantee you traffic. Moparscape appears to be the best place to get a banner at, after ours. Moparscape banners usually get the same amount of traffic that a highly ranked server (free!) on our toplist does, that’ll help you. Advertising at Rune-Server however, does not seem to work well. The banners are placed on locations that most people will not even bother looking at.
Gold membership at all-round toplists
There are a few ‘all-round’ toplists. These toplists are noticeable by the fact that they advertise multiple kind of gaming websites, not just RuneScape related websites. Most of these toplists support ‘gold membership’. This will make your server stand out a little more. Usually these memberships are worth the money, but seeing as they’re cheap, you should first take a look at the amount of golden memberships. If the majority of Runescape servers on the toplist have a golden membership, you’ll stand out more by not getting the membership.
For the more advanced users, Google Adwords is a great way to advertise your RS private server. Your website will be displayed on Google’s search results and websites that uses Google Adsense (‘Ads by Google’… you can’t miss them!). You can target specific keywords and websites, and will only pay per click. Seeing as many RuneScape private servers use Google Adsense to generate some money, you can target their websites and display your advertisement on their website. Cheap advertising on your competitor’s website, wonderful isn’t it?