10 ways to Improve Your Discord Server

A short list on a few ways you can make your discord server bigger and better than ever before.

Jay Es
Jay Es
Oct 29 · 5 min read

Lets get the question on everyone’s mind out of the way first.

1. How can I grow my server?

This question deserves a whole post to answer. Here are some suggestions I have found useful:

  • Join server listing sites with bots that you can bump in server such as Disboard.
  • Use Google trends to find the right keywords to emphasize.
  • Partnering can work, but it is not as effective as it seems (in my experience).
  • An award system that benefits people bringing in new members.
  • It goes without saying, DO NOT! dm people with links to your server.
  • Leverage social media to grow a following.

2. How do I decrease hoppers?

We all know the type. They join your server for 5 minutes, decide that its lame and leave. The best way to counteract these “hoppers” is to say, “hi!”. I am not talking about using a bot to send an automated greeting message. They are too easy to ignore. I like to follow the magic formula: “Greetings @user welcome to the server! {Insert question relating to the topic of your server}”. Once you have acknowledged them, they almost always tend to respond, and a human link is made. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it significantly decreases the amount of hoppers you get.

3. How do I keep the server active?

This is always a difficult question to answer, and one that every mod/admin struggles with. A rather effective ways to keep a server active is having regular events. For example, on one of my servers, we have a project update day every Sunday. Its simply a time we set aside to update each other on whatever we are working on at the moment. The results speak for themselves, an uptick in activity every Sunday. For your server it might look like monthly contests, or giveaways. Whatever the case, focus on smaller consistent events instead of larger random ones.

4. How do I get people to follow my rules?

I know #bethechange is corny, but its true. If you want people to bump your server to not being toxic, it all starts with you. However, leading through example is not good enough on its own. When you see someone doing what you would like them to do, congratulate, thank, and praise them publicly. Even if it seems a tad over the top. Before you know it, other people will see your praise and before you know it, that encouraged behavior will start to catch on in the rest of the community.

5. Quality or quantity?

Let me ask you this, would you rather be in an empty Wayne Manor or hanging out in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment at dinner. Put as much effort into making your server that small apartment where everyone knows each other. Don’t get me wrong, numbers are important, but your primary goal is quality. I have been part of servers with only 10 people that were more active and friendly than servers with over 1K people.

6. How much community involvement should there be?

Due to the very nature of Discord, each server tends to be run like a little dictatorship, with the boss giving orders to his minions and changing whatever he wants when he wants to. For the most part it seems to work. After all, if you don’t like the dictator you can always move to another server. I believe a more balanced approach tends to help with community engagement. Next time you think about creating new channels, throw up a poll with a few different options for the community to choose from, have a suggestion channel, or ask the server about a big change you are thinking about. There are a multitude of different techniques to open up your server. The main idea is to make your community feel like they have a stake in how the server is run.

7. Should I focus on consistency or experimentation?

Similar to how a shark must constantly be swimming, so must your server be in a state of constant change. Always be on the lookout for what other servers are doing and what you can change to make yours better. Listen to your community for their suggestions to improve. A classic strategy is to look in the general channel to figure out what new channels you should make. Simply changing stuff randomly though, is not good enough. When you make a change, create a following metric of what success will look like. Much of the time you will find it didn’t work or you were overly ambitious. That is okay. What is not okay is letting your server go stagnant. In the words of silicone valley, “fail faster”.

8. How should I choose my moderators?

Everyone seems to have there own system to promote members to moderators. I have seen everything from buying modding permissions to filling out an application. The way I personally found to be the most helpful is just watching your server. See who starts the conversations, who gives suggestions, and who is a consistent contributor over time. Its those people I like to promote.

9. How many channels should I have?

The amount of channels you have is dependent on how active and how big your server is. A personal rule of thumb I have found helpful is asking yourself “what is the least number of channels that I need”. This means removing old or quiet channels, consolidating when necessary, or limiting the amount of new channels you add. How do you know when you have too few channels? A big indicator is when there are two different conversations happening at the same time on the same channel. That is when you know its time to expand.

10. Care about your community

A lot of techniques and methods for good server modding comes from the simple principle of just caring for the people. Ask them how they are doing. Check up on them if you haven’t heard from them in a while. People want to feel included, like they matter, they have a purpose. Show them that your community genuinely cares about them.

This is just a beginning list, if you have any suggestions for how make this list more comprehensive or better, put your thoughts in the comments below.

Shameless plug time. If you are interested in technology, building, creating, and making awesome DIY projects, we would love to have you on my server! https://discord.gg/rGt5PfF

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