Themes and hosting for a webcomic
May 17, 2014 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a user-friendly theme with an easy-to-set-up CMS as well as secure hosting for a weekly webcomic. Any suggestions?

I am looking for a one-page theme (Wordpress or any customizable CMS) that preferably has a web 1.0 design aesthetic (I don't know how to explain it better than to compare it to craigslist, reddit, and 4chan in terms of their fonts and "undesigned" look). I was thinking that the webcomic could be tumblr-based, but I don't want some people reporting it because they are offended by the content, which is why a custom website sounds more attractive. If you have any alternate ideas I'll be glad to read them. I am also looking for secure (and relatively cheap) hosting because I suspect the subject matter will draw some DDoS attacks. I was looking at the reddit hosting company, but some of my friends said namecheap was good enough (especially given its lobbying for a free internet).
posted by omar.a to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you go with Word Press, you can use a plug-in called Stripshow to do your comic with pretty much whatever theme you choose. I never managed to figure out the other Word Press based comic options. Comic Press and stuff like that proved to be too complicated for me to sort out and I generally did not like the overcomplicated layouts and the like. I could not find the kind of plain, streamlined theme I wanted that way and ...just ran up against "I just can't figure this out on my own and it would take like a class to learn this and I don't have access to that." So I used Stripshow for a while, which is just a plug-in and was easy enough to use and then later I moved to BlogSpot.

(It sounds like BlogSpot is not something you likely want to go with, based on subject matter and possible DDoS attacks. But I can tell you how I am doing that if you want. It is not quite as Web 2.0 as I would like it to be but I am much happier than I was with Word Press.)
posted by Michele in California at 11:05 AM on May 17, 2014

There are dozens of Wordpress themes that will give you that 'undesigned' look (Search for 'Plain', 'retro', or 'monospace'): Alternately, you can always take the aforementioned Stripshow theme and make it look undesigned with some custom CSS (use a plugin, don't edit your theme):

body {
font-family:"Times New Roman", Times, serif !important; //Try Courier for a monospace look
color:black !important;
background-color:white !important;

posted by anemone of the state at 12:15 PM on May 17, 2014

Response by poster: If there's anything better than Wordpress out there, do recommend.
posted by omar.a at 12:47 PM on May 17, 2014

At one time, I searched and found an article on setting up a comic on BlogSpot. It had some inaccuracies in it -- I think BlogSpot had changed since it had been written -- but it did help me. I cannot find it at the moment via google nor by looking through my emails (even though I am pretty sure I saved the link to draft or emailed it to myself at some point to refer back to later).

Anyway, the gist of it is that you can set up a comic in BlogSpot by changing the settings to "show only one post at a time" and adding html navigation manually to every post. I have tried to find a means to set up integrated navigation and have not succeeded. It is a small hassle to copy the nav set up from the previous comic to the new post before uploading the image and then update the links but it is much less hassle than I was dealing with for Word Press. I just like BlogSpot a whole lot better and I feel my sites are much cleaner.

I currently have three web comics on BlogSpot accounts. I have First/Previous/Next nav for two of them and css buttons using brackets as pointers for another. In one, I use first/previous/next both above and below the comic because the size of the comics vary and that prevents scrolling back up. But the other two only have nav above because there is a pre-set panel size that does not vary and that works.

My sons have read hundreds of comics and I get a lot of feedback from them on details like "what makes good nav in a comic?" and I have done some reading of web comics myself so I am very familiar with how deal-breaking a broken (or annoying as shit) navigation system can be. I did an informal survey and was told First/Previous/Next was preferable to the css buttons by most people in that small informal survey. I also find that First/Previous/Next is a whole lot easier to cope with maintenance-wise when I am uploading new comics and updating the links. It is just less code and less confusing. So if you go with BlogSpot, I will recommend you go with that scheme. Also, if you decide to go with BlogSpot and want html code for the navigation piece of it, I can supply it.
posted by Michele in California at 1:22 PM on May 17, 2014

Response by poster: @ anemone of the state: Thanks!
@Michele in California: Thank you for your helpful replies :)
posted by omar.a at 4:38 PM on May 17, 2014

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