Ah, April 1st. The day we all take with just a little more extra caution, and the day we don’t really trust anything we read on the internet immediately. We’re not saying you shouldn’t trust what .ME is telling you, but it could be useful not to fall for a large number of fake things online, be it April 1st or not.
Be careful out there, okay? Great. Now we got that one settled, we all know that the best part of the April Fool’s day is the possibility of pranking someone who doesn’t expect it. More often than not, companies and websites make such elaborate pranks that people just get lost in the writing and fall for the prank because they got too caught up in the articles to have a look at the date of publishing.
That’s exactly what we want to help you with. You see, we at .ME are known for cherishing humor, and we like to think of ourselves as witty and funny. That’s why we will share a few tips on how to build the ultimate prank website for someone that even the Joker would be proud of.
It’s terribly easy, and will look very good once it’s done. You will definitely have a good laugh, and your poor victim will be left scratching their head and wondering what did he do to deserve this.
So, to get started, first you need…
Didn’t see this one coming, did you? Okay, you probably know the process of going to a website, getting your hosting plan and hosting your site. If you don’t, here’s the short version:
So you want a site. Great!
- First, choose your preferred hosting. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose for this prank exercise, so let’s say you choose prankhosting.com.
- When you go to the page that will in turn host your site, you will find a series of plans, and will be prompted to choose one that best suits your needs. These plans range from small plans for blogs and other small sites, to large plans with extremely large sizes for large companies and eCommerce sites. Considering you’d only like to prank someone, and would like to do it on an actual site, not a blog, you can choose the cheapest one and you’re set.
- After that, choose your domain and address (prank.me is a little too straightforward, we believe) and that’s it! You now have a website. It’s still an empty canvas, though. Which brings us to step 2 of our little program.
WordPress Is No Laughing Matter!
Of course, right now your delicious little prank website of horror (or of your dreams) is just floating pieces of information on some server somewhere. We need you to be able to do something to it. That will truly help us create something, right? So we need to put some sort of CMS, or Content Management System up there. CMS is actually an interface for websites that you install on a server so you can be able to, well, manage content.
The CMS of choice at .ME and millions of other sites is WordPress, and you really don’t need to know a lot about computers and things like that to be able to make your website manageable. While you can use other systems such as Drupal, WordPress is ideal because you can install it in 10 minutes! You aren’t laughing now, are you?
Basically, you download it just like any other file, and extract it to your site control panel. That’s all. You should know how to get into your control panel from the data your hosting provider sent you, and voila! You have a working, sleek WordPress site! Congratulations.
Themes and Looks
So now you are the master of disaster! The webmaster. The wizard of webs, if you will. We know that you feel powerful, but before you put on that robe and wizard hat, you still need to do some simple things that will make your site look a lot better.
- First up: pick a theme. Now, here’s where it’s entirely up to you. You see, WordPress has hundreds of themes. Some of them are free, some of them aren’t. Some of them are more suitable for one-pager websites like the one Apple has, and some are more suitable for magazines, like the New York Times for instance. Ideally, you can create a prank news website filled with both dummy content and articles targeting your friends! Just go to a theme foundry and look for magazine themes!
- You need to be the one that knows what exact elaborate prank you want to setup for your victim, and the best website that will utilize your brilliant devilish mind in the best possible way.
- We will leave this up to you entirely, and will just say that if you pick a theme that needs a little bit more work, and looks a lot better, the victim of your prank will definitely be a lot more convinced that the pranks are in fact real, and thus provide you with even more laughter when he finally gets pranked.
Apart from the themes, you need to design your site in a way that showcases exactly what you want. So if you want to portrait your friend as someone who did something newsworthy, make a site that looks like a news blog from a successful underground blogger that follows his every move.
Or if you want to stage a “scandal” for him, make it look like a paparazzi blog. Of course, this is all harmless fun between friends and we strongly advise you to be nice and don’t post lies about someone on the internet. That’s not in the spirit of the holiday, and is just mean. We don’t want you to go through all this work just to be mean, it’s kind of underwhelming for us. Get creative, get smart and get funny.
So now that you have an idea, a site, and everything in between, you just need to find a way for your friend to see that site. It’s not funny if you come up to them and say “hey check this out!”. You need to make sure that they get to the site from somebody, or somewhere else.
Search Engines? LOL!
You can optimize your site for SEO and make all of the triggering words the name of your friends, and make all of the tags on the site related to him. Keep in mind that optimizing for search engines both takes some time and will leave results even after April 1st!
Social Media Targeting for Laughs
Also, you can have your mutual friends share articles from the page on Facebook or Twitter, so he or she will see it from someone else. You can also make extremely personalized ads on Facebook directed only to him that will freak him out a little and make him scratch his head once more, and then, for the grand finale – laugh out loud when he sees the website you’ve been building for days. Your hard work will pay off, and considering the topics of your choosing, and the time you spend building it, it will surely be amazing.
So that’s it. That’s how you build a prank site for someone, or at least try to build it if he or she finds out before the holiday. If they do, better luck next year of course, and don’t forget that you still have the page and you can do whatever you’d like for the rest of the year. It’s yours after all, so why not use it as a personal website for you, or for your friend? But not in a weird creepy way. That’s for Halloween!