Nowares Arcade

I have always been an avid gamer. So much so that I decided to start a small gaming website — Nowares Arcade — so I could play my favourite old games from anywhere without having to carry a PC or laptop with me. Many of the games I added were emulated from SNES, NES, Master system, and similar older generation consoles. As retro games are very simple compared to the games these days, it was fairly easy to get them all working straight from the browser.

The Nowares arcade website was built on a very heavily modified version of the AV Arcade script with a custom template I created from scratch to target the younger audience. I created several plugins to get the script to a workable state and enhanced the security, SEO friendliness, and much more. Designing the template lead to some interesting discoveries and helped me develop the skills necessary for developing scripts on an ad-hoc basis.

Traffic to the website grew steadily and targeted keywords quickly overtook high-end competitors such as Sega and Nintendo. At the peak, the majority of keywords like "Alex Kidd", and "play Sonic" ranked above their original source.

I spent several years creating modifications and templates for other AV Arcade webmasters on a freelance basis.

Design
The template was created in Photoshop before any code started. This made it easier to expand and edit at a later date. My code tool of choice has been Notepad++ for a long time. The website was created well before responsive or adaptive was a real consideration. Cross-browser compatibility was never implemented as I sold the website a while ago.
Development
This arcade site stood out from a crowded marketplace due to the heavy development. The AV Arcade code was used but many changes were made. The main feature added was emulation for old game consoles.
Marketing
Gaining traction to the website was fairly easy, even though the competition was tough. Running one of few websites with a specific feature made keyword targeting relatively easy. The initial campaign focus was placed on branded terms and longtail keywords for specific games. This worked well and, as a result, traffic grew steadily. During peak times the site attracted 250,000 unique visits per day.

 

 

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