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Author Topic: Wordpress and YOUR webcomic value.  (Read 12647 times)

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Offline Dragon Powered

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Re: Wordpress and YOUR webcomic value.
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 03:53:19 PM »
Although the title of this post points out WordPress, the problem doesn't just lie with that program but rather in just using the 'standard whatever.'  You could host with DrunkDuck (heaven forbid!), SmackJeeves, even my own hosting service.  All have basic layouts to choose from.  But just sticking with the basic because it's easy makes your work, your art look like a little hobby rather than something professional. Go into any store and look around, it's not just a bunch of stuff on shelves. There are decorations, layout, architecture, all designed to enhance your experience as a customer. Some places even put design into the parking lot to make your shopping experience more enjoyable.

Gibson states it well right here:
Quote from: Gibson
The point is that too many people do what is easy rather than what is smart, and half the webcomic world having the same site, even if it's not esthetically ghastly, is like half the world having the same haircut. It doesn't matter how nice it is, it's boring and you look just like everyone else. Regardless of how you might feel about it, packaging matters.

I point at WordPress because it just happens to be the most widely used platform for cookie-cutter sites.  It's exceptionally easy to install and setup a basic site, so every Joe, Dick and Mary does just that.  But WordPress was really meant for blogs, and for a website that is doing nothing more than getting a message across like a blog WordPress works very well.  Who cares what the site looks like?  It's just another blog.  Sure, there are addons that give webcomic functionality, but it's still a blog publishing platform.

We don't publish blogs.  We make art.

Art is remembered.  The mundane and commonplace is forgotten.  Design matters.

Now again, I'm not saying you're going to lose readers by not having a thoughtfully designed website, (unless your design is just bad.. bad design most assuredly will drive people away), but rather that having a design that complements your comic will make it more memorable, more enjoyable, and will help get people to tell their friends about your site.  Seriously, your website is part of your webcomic.

Offline Rob

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Re: Wordpress and YOUR webcomic value.
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 08:37:13 PM »
Webcomics 2.0 supports the core message of this article.

No crowbars, tire iron's, wine bottles or high explosives will be needed. Honestly this is exactly the kind of thing that I want from the staffers here. Bravo.

I believe Dragon has touched on something that has been swirling around the webcomics community in general for awhile now.

If anything I would say that he didn't expound enough on the subject because my own personal feeling is that site design is a "big picture" thing that is informed by the level of commitment and professionalism the given webcomic creator has. These things are tied together. They are related and affect each other and I feel they will define the next generation of successful comics.

I may have to take this a step further in my next comic. Because while I agree with what was said as well as what was said by much of those who agreed I think, if anything, a discussion on how these things are interrelated and what they mean to the future of the business would be useful.

Offline Rob

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Re: Wordpress and YOUR webcomic value.
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2010, 12:15:58 AM »
Evidence that awesome Wordpress/Comicpress sites can and do exist.

http://amultiverse.com/

Offline Dragon Powered

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Re: Wordpress and YOUR webcomic value.
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2010, 02:13:42 PM »
Indeed!  Another awesome Wordpress comic site is Rod and Barry.  I'm pretty sure a fair amount of time and money went into the design, and it definitely enhances the comic.

Both of those sites prove Wordpress can break out of its box.  They also raise another issue, however.  How much should you give away in your RSS feed?  Both sites provide full size comics in their feed, and in the case of Rod and Barry, the feed actually provides more than the website by listing the "Rant" with each full-sized comic.  On the website you need to click a separate link and scroll the window to read the Rant.  So although it has gorgeous design, it cripples the effectiveness by giving away the content in a reader, with no reason to visit the site at all.

But I guess that's a topic for another day.  RSS feeds, how to give away the farm.