Build a DIY Contest Website like Instructables

A DIY contest website is an interesting business. It allows you to partner with companies that makes products that can be used to make other things.

Here is how to build a contest website like Instructables using WordPress and some simple plugins.

The Business Plan

How the website will work
The website allows people to publish and share their do-it-yourself projects. At the end of each month the person with the most points (for that particular month) wins a prize.

The website will also have “ Sponsored Challenges” these are competitions that are sponsored by companies where you’ll have to use their products in your DIY projects. The person with the most points at the end of the month will win the prize put up by the sponsor. Sponsors can set various requirements such as using a photo of their product in a project or a receipt from purchasing their product.
Benefits to companies/sponsors:
People go  out and buy their product
See how their products are currently being used / See how their products can be used & other people can see how their products are being used.
It’s crowd sourcing meets content marketing! (There is no-one better to give you insight into new ideas for your brand, product, service or business than your target market).

Example of Categories
Arts & Crafts
Design & Print
Food & Drink

User FAQ’s
Q: How do I earn points?
A: By people voting on your published projects

Q: Do points generated from previously published projects count in future months.
A: While points are reset at the beginning of each month. If an already published project suddenly becomes popular all points generated will count in the new month.

Q: How can I increase the points of my projects
A: The more people vote for your projects the more point you get, so share it on your Facebook, Twitter & other social media services.

Q: Can I link to online shops using my affiliate code from projects I publish on Maker Throne
A: Yes, you may.

Q: Can I link from one to the other projects published on Website X?
A: Only if it’s relevant

Q: Who does the submitted project belong to?
A: It stays the copyright of the owner.

Building the website
As I said at the beginning the website will run on the WordPress content management system.

You will need:
Website hosting and domain name with WordPress installed
 A nice template that will look good on such a site – I used Rollermag in the example.
 A plugin that allows people to submit posts (aka front-end or guest post submit) – You can use Frontend Uploader or User Submitted Posts
 A plugin that allows people to vote on posts – I’m using WTI Like Post

Make sure you have a nice logo and mascot designed. A good domain will be a plus as well. I’m calling my site “Maker Throne”

Maker Throne Logo

Site Design

An example of the website layout using the theme I linked to:


Once you have WordPress installed and the cosmetics sorted it’s time to install the plugins. The post submission plugins are pretty straight forward.

Add a nice header explaining your website

The voting plugin is the most important and needs some work.

By default it will give you various options. Like/Unlike are thumbs but you can change it to an image of your choice.

The like thumbs can be changed to an image of your choice

Also below each article put something like Did you like this project? Then vote for it by clicking here. To encourage voting.

Let people know there are prices to win

The voting plugin will also make a widget available to select highest rated posts so put that in the sidebar. And don’t forget to reset all totals at the start of every month if you doing a monthly contest website.

Now you have to decide whether the plugin will work for you. But to me it has certain shortcomings on the widget side of things that you may want to hire a developer to add. Such as:

1. Widget for likes by author
2. Add numbers before each post/author on the widget (Example: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10)
3. Add “Points” word after number of likes in widget (Example: 1. Cathy 99 points)

That is basically a starting point to your DIY contest site.