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comic on the home page or not?
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bunnypandemic



Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: comic on the home page or not? Reply with quote

Is it a good practice to have the most recent comic in front?
I have noticed several webcomics that have a blog of the most recent updates on the home page with a link to the current comic.
I'm debating whether I should keep the current system or switch to the blog idea.
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Chilari
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Joined: 06 Nov 2005
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally prefer comics where the latest page is clearly visible. The exception to this would be comics like Phoenix Requiem, which have two or more pages per update, because you don't want to read ahead and it can get confusing. In pretty much all other cases I can think of right now, though, comic on the front page is my preference. I'm starting to get annoyed with comics that don't do that, actually. Unless the update in question might be spoilerific for readers who have missed a few updates, a splash page isn't necessary but it can be annoying.
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wendyw
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Joined: 10 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Chilari. The first thing I want to see on a comic site is a comic. That's why I'm there. I will usually read the accompanying blog post if there is one, but after I've read the comic.

I can understand in the case of some story comics not doing so. Although for a lot of story comics it doesn't make a huge difference most of the time if the first page people see is half way through the story. Unless there is a major revelation on that page then there shouldn't be an issue.

Think of adverts for movies. They show clips from all throughout the film, but does it spoil it for most people to see a clip 45 minutes in? Probably not, because out of context it's more likely to just pique their interest if it's a particularly dramatic or interesting scene.

For the format of your comic, bunnypandemic, I would say there is no reason at all not to have the comic on the first page. In fact, it's the best place for it.
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vato



Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 61
Location: Valhalla

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: home page, please Reply with quote

home page.

my reason is you should make it as simple as possible. if you don't get the comic right up in their face, then you risk people just thinking your site is a blog, and clicking away. wouldn't you rather people see your glorious art rather than a wall of text when they hit your site anyway? Also, I think a lot of people out there don't quite know what webcomics are yet and need to be led by the hand a little bit.

of course, maybe there is a way to make it work the other way around by having a sufficiently attractive teaser graphic, or maybe your webcomic is just one component of a site that includes a lot of different content and you want other things to stick out as equally important.
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dpat57
Ich bin ein webcomicker


Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2574
Location: Sunny/wet/windy Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you prefer a blog then consider including an art sample up front, maybe part of the blog header?

And also make sure the link/button for your comic is obvious so readers don't need to play guessing games.
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mooncity
is awesome cool.


Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 1339
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, BunnyP, you big silly! Of course it oughtta be on the homepage! Now, some people will say that because they do a long-form comic, they don't want readers coming back for a new update and then they wind up out of page order, thus spoiling the flow of the narrative. But seriously, that's a minor inconvenience if any (way less than having to hunt for the comic), and by nature the pause between updates is ALREADY breaking up the flow of the narrative anyway. And the vast majority of people who have a blog on their homepage instead of their comic are just copying Penny Arcade anyway.

Don't live the shame, Bunny! Homepage!
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Zaron



Joined: 30 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The comic should always be on the front page. There's some comics out there that get by with the comic on a separate page, but many readers will not bother looking for the comic if it's not on the first page they see, so if you want design your site to attract the most readers possible, make sure the comic is the first thing they see.
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Kallisti



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a rule to live by - always put your best foot forward. In the case of web design, you want your prime content - your best foot - to be on the main page.

So if you do a blog, and the blog is much better than the comic... or you make videos, or sell shirts, or run a community, or do anything that's better than the comic - then by all means put it on the main page of the website. But unless you're Penny Arcade, if your site is *for* the comic, leave the comic on top.
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mil



Joined: 19 Sep 2009
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely on the homepage.

There are exceptions but if it`s possible go with the comic on the homepage if you run a webcomic.

Before I redesigned my website in March I had 3 comicstrips and the cartoons on my website. It was too much to have them all on the homepage. At first I had just big buttons on the homepage for people to click to get to the different strips and the cartoons.

Later I had a thumbnail for the newest comic on the homepage and the buttons too so visitor wouldn`t miss anything.

After I got rid of the comicstrips I put the cartoon on the first page. I like it much better this way and many people had asked for this before so i guess my readers prefer the comic right on the homepage too Wink It`s way more convenient, people get the newest comic and the news at once when they visit the site.
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pacmansays



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see why it shouldn't be on the homepage...seeing as I've visited the site to see the comic or by accident and so the comic would be the best thing for me to see..

When a person looks at a house when trying to find a new one they will of made their decision within 15 seconds, now imagine how quickly they will do that on a website
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KEZ



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disagreeing with EVERYONE here, and saying that it depends. But, if you decide NOT to have it on your homepage, you had better have a really, REALLY good reason.
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munkymu
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Joined: 30 Nov 1999
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: comic on the home page or not? Reply with quote

bunnypandemic wrote:

I have noticed several webcomics that have a blog of the most recent updates on the home page with a link to the current comic.


Yes, and they are all annoying and this includes Penny Arcade. If someone thinks that their random news and snippets of life are more fascinating than their comic (and they are almost universally wrong about this), why don't they just forget the comic and write a blog?
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dpat57
Ich bin ein webcomicker


Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2574
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEZ wrote:
Disagreeing with EVERYONE here, and saying that it depends. But, if you decide NOT to have it on your homepage, you had better have a really, REALLY good reason.

Informative article as always, Kez. Indeed, multiple comics linked from a hub page is a good reason. Works OK for me anyway, new visitors seem to bounce around from site to site, possibly due to concussion, then settle on/bookmark the comic they like most and return to.
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Metruis
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly two reasons will I tolerate.
-Hub to several comics.
-Multiple pages in one update. (Just merge them into one page, dangnabit! Not that I follow PR anyway.)
-Longform comic worrying about spoilers. Now, I myself have a longform comic and I'd rather people see the present art because I feel if they click first and see the crappy early art they might leave. Laughing


In general, it's almost always better to have your comic on the front page, one of the first things people will see, because it's your product.
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Miluette



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 679
Location: TN, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a splash page for one of my comics, but it's a content warning I'd feel more comfy keeping in place (especially on my host). After all, at some point the unsuspecting reader may be flashed with some generally not-work-safe things.

Even then, I didn't have my comics on the front pages in any form until about a month or so ago because they'd break my layouts, among other things. Once I found a workaround, however, I slapped 'em on there. People like that. Before I just had very large thumbnails at the top of the pages leading to the latest comics, but now automatically-generated and slightly smaller versions of the comics that will fit in the layout no matter what helps me update the site and helps the reader read. Very Happy

Now, with the nature of long form stories on the web, this means the reader will have to back-read at some point (if I ever do multi-page updates), and the new reader will risk being "spoiled" upon seeing the front page. But this is the risk you take - I'd rather do that, too, as a spoiler can very well draw someone new in, and besides, what did you really expect?

On that note, I've never been actually spoiled for a story webcomic that had its recent comic on the front page. Probably because I don't actually read it if I want to start the comic from the beginning. :B

Now, those comics with blogs on the front and links to the most recent comic that are barely noticeable (and certainly less so than the blog) annoy me, because they could very easily have the comic on the front page most of the time. It wouldn't break their layout - it wouldn't cause spoilers - and so on. As far as that goes I've seen veeeery few good excuses in practice. I came to read a comic, not news posts (I'll do that afterwards).
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