Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is There a Web Designer Volunteer?

I'm thinking seriously of breaking my blog up into different sites because the subjects are so scattered.

To start with I thought it would make sense to put all my comics, and storyboards on their own site. I would want to aim these at a wider audience than say the folks that come here to learn cartooning tips. So I can sell more advertising and make some money.

Anybody have any ideas how I could structure a comic/storyboard site?
Should I do it on a blog? Or a regular website where people can find the different chaacters and click them to read their stories?

Are there sites I should be looking at for ideas?

Here's my problem. When people try to tell me technical stuff, it sounds like this:

"blog format for the free form teaching and "check this out!" stuff. The static-ish traditional website can, and should be slicker and more youtube/portfolio like for people searching for entertainment and introductory info - can be fresh if built with modular approach and a good Content Management System (CMS) - Lots of Wordpress templates or even Joomla... Gotta feel comfortable around the backend of a website, but you get up to speed quickly, as you are currently with Blogger. Many options..."

I can't read that at all. That's how ignorant I am of computer lingo.

100 comments:

flashcartoons said...

My opinion is that a regular website you will end up with costs, such as domain registration and hosting.

Blogger I think is the best bet. Maybe make a story boarding blog. Maybe clean up the blogs you just don't use. Then link them together.

I went to college for web designing, and I will admit, updating a static website is not as easy as updating blogger.

I am pro-blogger on this idea.

jim said...

No harm in splitting up the blog, but at the same time it'e easy enough to ignore the posts here that don't really reach me.

JohnK said...

My goal is to reach a wider audience, not just cartoonists

by having a pure entertainment site-storyboards,comics

and to make it easy for them to find each story

On the blog as it is now, you have to hunt for everything, and regular folks will not be interested in reading cartoon history or doing Preston Blair exercises

they just wanna watch or read cartoons in some form

Andy J. Latham said...

Why not have both a normal website and a blog? I'd say put your "wider audience" stuff on a standard website, and use the blog for things you are expressing opinions about. The blog is much more suited to talking to people in the informal way that you currently do, which is one reason I enjoy this blog.

RAKninja said...

Finally you ask for something _I_ can do.

The comics and storyboards could very easily go onto a gallery-type website. Even in plain old HTML, a thumbnail gallery linking to full size images wouldn't be too hard to whip up.

If you did it with PHP it would then be even easier to update. It would also be easier to make it searchable and also to cross categorize the individual galleries.

The biggest question is where you are going to host the page. Many free hosting services have fairly rigid templates for you to design your site. Payed hosting (usually starting around $10 a month) of course offers total customization.

talkingtj said...

seperate blog for cartooning tips and art history, then your own private blog. good luck!and thanks!

Chris Rank said...

So are you looking to generate income from the site? I have plenty of ideas for you. I'm happy to give you some ideas. It's the least I can do for you.

Frank said...

I could help with the design, it shouldn't take too long.

I'm a game designer right now, but used to do Flash/PHP websites.

If you have a template and would like to know how long it would take to assemble it in html and maybe add a database (to store your entries/categories), just send me an email : frankov@gmail.com

The Ivanator said...

long time reader of your blog and first time comment on it.

I'd have to agree w flashcartoons, it's too much cost and backend work to have a static site. a blog is definitely faster and since you're already familiar with how it works, there's no need to re-learn.

have your content ideas split in various blogs (i.e. the blog to let's say johnkcomics or johnkcartoons or johnktips, etc.).

If you want a website, you can try sites.google.com. I tried it and it's okay. Frankly I think blogger.com is easier to put contents out there.

If you do want to reach a wider audience having a registered domain will usually come up in a google search faster than with blogs.

Also since you wanna put some videos out there, I'd say Vimeo is better. They have lot less restriction and have more space than YouTube.

I do use your search function on your blog when I'm looking for specific subject. but you're right about hunting contents on your blog, it can be difficult. Maybe it's the layout navigation that needed to be move around so it's easier interface for readers out there.

Anyways that's my two cents or lots of cents in this case.

Gary Wintle said...

You'd probably spend more time on the building and updating of the site itself unfortunately than the actual content, which is what we all love getting from you, John.

Maybe a custom blog? It may cost a little money, but my friend made my brother and I a custom blog on the cheap with through "wordpress".

Personally, I like getting all your info on one blog.

Nothing beats one single blog with tons of regular posts. Variety smariety, John; the content is "The mind of John K". That's more than enough for me and I'm sure many others.

Thanks again for everything.

Chris_Garrison said...

I've always thought Dumm Comics should have 7 artists, instead of 6 (one gets the whole weekend). Maybe you could join them and get FRS to split the weekend with you.

Gary Wintle said...

Just read your reply in the comments here upon finishing my previous comment.

Hmm...maybe some simple buttons on the top of the blog to navigate to what content you want?

diskgrunt said...

I guess it really depends on what you want to invest financially. With tools like Wordpress and Joomla you should be able to build a site that allows you to post to your blog but leverage that info easily in more direct presentations in your portfolio /pitch /entertain website. Allowing you to leverage the cartooning community by maintaining your active role and to attract people just interested in laughing and maybe buying your work.

Even still you could setup a rather basic website that you could present your work in a more directed manner with. My portfolio site is essentially one page of code repeated over and over again with only the links changing as needed. Mind you it's not full of flash, and isn't super fancy but it's clean, easy to update and lets me put more thought into what work goes up there as opposed to how to get the work up. Once you have your skeleton site setup, you would continue to use your blog as is and when relevant you would place new work on your website and link accordingly.

Vaetten said...

How about splitting this into different blogs? Another idea would be using a blogging script on a static website, something you could easily update

Robert G. said...

I think your site would benefit from a some topic separation, but I wouldn't want to see a different site/domain name for each category. Rather, a single blog-type site with navigation across the top which would allow you to see only posts in a single category if clicked, while maintaining a main home page with posts from all categories mixed together as it is now.

I'm guessing Blogger probably can't do this. But there are content management systems like Drupal.org that can, but they can require quite a bit more work in maintenance than a pure blogging platform like Blogger. You may want to try out squarespace.com. It seems much more robust than Blogger while still being friendly to non-techie users.

gabriel valles said...

Check out ComicPress.

http://comicpress.org/demo/

nktoons said...

Great idea about a webcomic, John! Here are some links to get you started..http://mediatemple.net/
http://wordpress.org/ and http://comicpress.org/
You would want to get in contact with the gentleman on the last link, to build a store for your site.
Wordpress/Comicpress will suit your needs perfectly. It functions just like blogger but is more robust. Here are some great webcomics......
http://www.maakies.com/archive/index.html
http://www.fartparty.org/
http://www.kukuburi.com/
http://dresdencodak.com/
http://kiskaloo.com/comic-archive/

Andrés Sanhueza said...

A regular blogger blog can be used under an own domain, but I think that an own hosting has the advantage of more flexibility and not having to rely on external policies. Although pay for it (domain and hosting) cost money. The problem of allowing only people with accounts commenting can be solved too.
I believe the site can be done with a "content management system" like Wordpress, which behaves like a blog but its design and functionality is very customizable as is done in Dumm Comics and several other sites. Probably inside a same site there may be many "blogs", yet each one with its own design and functions, so don't necessarily they have to look like one.

Bruce said...

FWIW, I love the blog as it is, but I can see why you want to split it up. I split my weblog, portfolio, and comic sites up last year, and while it's significantly more work, each are more focused (and better I think).

If you do split up the blog, you can always link from your weblog to posts on your portfolio/animation site (or whatever), to keep blog readers up to date. I do this, any many of the artists and designers I know do the same.

For a blog, stick with something like Blogger (cheap, works well). For a specialized site, find a web developer/consultant as there are many tools and services that might fit you. Find a professional with a brilliant portfolio though, as there are many hacks out there willing to take your money for little in return.

My custom sites (non blogs) cost a few grand to set up (mostly my own time). A pro designer adds a few grand more (I usually do my own design, but use pros for my clients). Good custom sites aren't usually expensive to run monthly, just the cost of the service or hosting, and your time to keep them updated.

Good luck!

PaulW said...

I have to agree that by moving away from Blogger, you would incur costs for bandwidth (a nightmare with your sort of traffic!), space and domain renewals.

You can modify the basic Blogger pages quite nicely to make the content more accessible. Have a look at my blog for a basic example. I think the blog format suits this sort of site well, but needs some work on improving the navigation. The downside is you would need some knowledge of the XML template format....

I do like boingboing's latest design. That is based around a Wordpress blog, but shows that a more navigable blog can be made with some work.

Jeffrey said...

maybe look at wordpress.
they have a pages feature.
You could quickly create page called
John K. Art and then a sub pages
named model sheets, storyboards etc..
Another set maybe called Tips
sub-sets called blah, blah,


for paid hosting try
http://www.squarespace.com/
no knowledge of html/css required.

zoe said...

John,

If you want a web designer, I'd be happy to help. I can go over some potential designs with you if you like. Shoot me an e-mail: zoepiel (at) gmail.com (hopefully this will prevent spambots.)

Reg said...

I'm a web designer as well as a huge fan of the site - I'd be delighted to give this all some thought. I'll send along some ideas.

Jonathan said...

I would say that if you're looking to just post cartoons, XKCD has a great example of what you can do:

http://xkcd.com/

I've never found myself wanting more from the site, even as simple as it is... it is extremely effective. If you're going to do cartoons and boards w/o the writing, that is probably the best way to go.

For the writing, I would stick to a blogging software, either Blogger or WordPress. There are other platforms like MoveableType that might work well if you're going for your own domain. Actually, if you used a hosted version of WordPress, there is a lot more you could do to combine the two ideas of writing a blog, as well as having a gallery style presentation for the comics. Food for thought :)

introvert said...

If this is something you plan on having up for a while, and you already know what it's going to be for and how it will be organized, then a website could work to your advantage.

Really what you could do is set the website up so that it just links to the various entertaining blog posts, which could make updating it simpler, based on how you want it all to be presented.

Toole said...

You should look into "content management systems" for your own web space, you can make the layout yourself pretty easy or just use a volunteer one time to design the 'template'. Then its as easy as blogspot.

Sean_Mills_Hospital said...

Blogger is great... I don't know if fees are an issue, but I advocate a hybrid simple html site with separate html links for each "story" or "storyboards."

This makes copy pasting a specific entry easier, and it helps give a better frame for the work instead of just scrolling blog entries.

That being said, you can also easily embed your TWITTER other goodies as well as make a portal for all your stuff.

I used to design secondary web pages for sports teams this way. You can see here: http://www.seanmills.net16.net/pages/05.html

I would be happy to help out if I can.

Sean_Mills_Hospital said...

I advocate simple a simple html page with easy to copy and paste links in a frame page.

I used to design web pages for sports teams, before I left for graduate school. You can see what I mean here:

http://www.seanmills.net16.net/pages/05.html

I really benefit from your writing, so if I can help I would be happy to volunteer.

SoleilSmile said...

Hey Flash Cartoons, couldn't John use Google Sites for free hosting? He'll still have to register a domain, but the hosting would be free. That's how I have my 60-80 page comic issues hosted every year. Although I must say I prefer the simple templates of Google Pages which is now defunct.

Now to John,
what you would need is a google email address and the link to Google Sites is here:

http://sites.google.com/

Have fun exploring!

Jeremy said...

Hi John, I think this is a great idea! There are a few options for self hosting like squarespace or godaddy.

Squarespace and Godaddy both aren't free like blogger but they're user friendly. If you use Godaddy, it's probably best with a wordpress installed(easy installation) and then you can offer webpages along with your blog content. Godaddy also makes it easy to password protect content so you can have a members only area for people who want to support you directly. Maybe a paid membership will give some extra perks.

Flickr or Picasa still work better than some free versions of online galleries.. just had a website hacked because of the gallery software installed on the site. Lots of options out there now so hopefully you can find something that works for you.

Severin said...

Hmm, since no one's suggested it yet, I'll just mention that comicpress is damn easy. If you can secure a webmaster, though, that would be far preferable, since you could customize your archives and other bits to suit your purpose.

Your top priority, I imagine, is just to get the website off the ground, and comicpress would be fast and easy enough that you could have something ready in a week or two.

Good luck!

Paulo said...

Hi John.

I think there are some wordpress templates that fit your needs, the portfolio templates are great for doing this and its easy as updating blogger (or almost as easy)

Could you give me some advice on my drawings? paulorlombardi.blogspot.com

The last post is more about figure drawing, but the previous ones are cartoon exercises (I dont have much time to upload my drawings, but I draw everyday)

Robert said...

I can't really contribute anything, but I do fancy the idea of splitting your blog in two.

Shawn Dickinson said...

I'd love to see something like Spumco.com come back. Maybe you could also sell merchandise from the site to help cover the cost if the website?

LeoBro said...

John, I'm not sure this will be helpful, but this is an example of a site that uses something called WebComic:
http://www.permyz.com/
Ignore the comic. At the very bottom right corner is a link to the site that describes the platform ("Powered by WordPress with WebComic & InkBlot").

zillustration said...

blog format for the free form teaching and "check this out!" stuff. The static-ish traditional website can, and should be slicker and more youtube/portfolio like for people searching for entertainment and introductory info - can be fresh if built with modular approach and a good Content Management System (CMS) - Lots of Wordpress templates or even Joomla... Gotta feel comfortable around the backend of a website, but you get up to speed quickly, as you are currently with Blogger. Many options...

Paul B said...

hey fellas, off topic but I've found this on youtube, is called: Sleeping Betty

is the first time that I saw the film and I think is amazing

here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9h1QTXISmY&feature=featured

opinions?

MLP said...

Speaking as a regular folk, the cartoon history interests me the most.

Rex said...

You should make a website/blog using a wordpress template with your own domain name. With a wordpress template you can customize it and have different sections and stuff.

Jeremy said...

I'd be willing to help out.

Like "flashcartoons" says though it will cost money to host your own images/site. but powweb is like 100 bucks a year and unlimited bandwidth.

I think nothing can beat a website for organization. You can hack blogger a bit, to do your bidding, but that takes some tinkering around.

again i'd be willing to help out, let me know.
earplug52 @ gmail.com

easyipaddress.com said...

I'm a long time fan and reader of the blog, also an amateur web designer and (former) professional system administrator. It looks like some jerk already took johnkstuff.com johnkblog.com etc, but regardless domain registration is cheap, less than $15 a year. Hosting varies wildly in price and quality, so I simply lease my own servers in the under $40/month price range. Unless you have a sys admin running the site and/or some decent ad revenue, I recommend you stick with a blog service as you have now.

For the comic specific site, in addition to tags/labels for the different characters, for quick access, I'd propose more flexible layout options; i suppose some things should be laid out horizontally, for example, or almost like a webcomic with zoom... there are a lot of possibilities, I'm sure you have some ideas on how you'd like it to work. I read or at least skim everything on the blog and think all the sections should still be in one place, however, possibly with the comics only by default.

Hosting and custom web stuff certainly takes some work, and I don't know of any comic specific blog software packages offhand. But ultimately, if you're trying to reach a wider audience and pursue more ad revenue, etc., expanding the blog and comics past what blogger has to offer could be quite successful.

Hrm, sites for ideas.. I suppose people are comfortable with the sort of navigation on a successful site like xkcd.com, however I think it would need zoom or larger panels since the stuff you post is actually worth looking at in detail :)

Sorry for the length, but I hope that's clearer than the previous poster, heh. I'd probably write something custom if this was my project and use whatever lingo I want.

Steve said...

Hey John, you should check out Wordpress which is alot like blogger. But there are themes that can be used and customized. Many of the webcomic creators use the ComicPress theme. You may be able to find someone to customize a theme even further to better suit your needs. The great thing about it is that it can look like a website but it is primarily still a blog.

Hope it all comes together...

wwhhaatt?? said...

hey john,

some of my arty friends use indexhibit which I think has a clean format for artists to show their work. Their front page has their links to many examples for you to peruse. I wouldn't use this for a blog, but if you want to refer people to individual images and keep them organized fairly well, this is a way to go.

Other friends have jumped to tumblr which is also image/video-oriented and makes it easier to "reblog" which in their language "allows a meme to spread rapidly across thousands of blogs with just a click" if that is at all important to you.

Hope those links are helpful.

Paul John said...

I think a blog-type site is your best bet, but it depends on what you want to do with your pure entertainment site (e.g. pay-site, allow commenting, etc). Blogger is great because it's the biggest blog host out there and you already have a huge following on it, but it's pretty limited for many reasons. I totally agree with Rex - I'd suggest looking into Wordpress (http://wordpress.org/) because it's much more flexible as it allows static pages so you can have a proper home page or a whole website.

Nicolás Rivera said...

Have someone design for you a nice, spumko-like design for a web. If you're thinking of moving towards a wider audience, you should capture them at the very first 5 seconds they're looking at it. Don't limit yourself to the usual, boring, blog look. That doesn't represent you at all.

Like someone else said, the easiest way would be move to wordpress (another blog site, which either lets you have your site right there for free, just like you're doing it here, or have their blog-mechanics in your own, paid or free, hosting space)
(also, just in case, template = a file with all the "design" information -layout, colors, fonts, etc-, that you can just load on any blog.)

Wordpress is way more customizable than blogger, and a well customized blog is more than capable for having the kind of organization and separation you need (and it's free, easier to use than a standalone site, and you can have ads anyway). Once you get the design right, it should be just as easy for you to update as it is with blogger.

But you'll need to get the idea first.

Why not start by sketch it the way you want it? Do it on paper, or on photoshop, making it exactly the way you want it to look, and then show it saying "I need someone who can make this work as a blog template, or whatever".

kungfukoi said...

I think what Shane Glines has done with cartoon retro, vs. his own personal site is a good model.

Cartoon retro is categorized much like an archival site. Very easy to navigate, and full of content.

Tyler said...

I'm a web designer and cartoonist (I actually give presentations on what the web can learn from comics storytelling), so maybe I can bridge the gap a little.

There are a few reasons why using something like Blogger or WordPress (Blogger's largest competitor) makes sense for some web sites.

One of these is ease-of-use; they're already set up, and they have teams of designers and engineers working their lives away for the enjoyment of human beings (just like you!) worldwide.

Another reason Blogger and WordPress are cool is that they can grow with your audience. Blogger, which your site runs on, is owned by Google, which is a sweaty, powerful lummox of a company that can take a lot of punishment. If you were to publish a comic on Blogger that multiplied your viewership by a very large number, Google wouldn't even break a sweat; it's too huge and beastly, and the computer power needed to publish your site is like a puny, weak little man. A custom web site needs a lot of thought and smart code to become a Charles Atlas man that doesn't get sand kicked in his face.

Establishing something new has the advantage of total freedom, but that can only be capitalized on if you know what you're doing. It's sort of like model sheets; very strict model sheets will stunt the creativity and character development of a great artist, but crappy artists can rely on and mimic them painlessly. This is true of web sites: A custom site can give web designers a lot more freedom to do much cooler stuff, but if you're uncomfortable with HTML, CSS, JavaScript or other languages, you may grow weary very quickly.

Luckily, Blogger and WordPress have a lot of opportunities for creativity built in. Plenty of web designers out there (myself included) make a living helping folks tailor their blogs to their needs. There are limitations, but you'd be surprised what a great designer can accomplish within them.

Don't hesitate to shoot me an email or follow-up comment if you have any questions. I love the blog, and will be excited to see it's evolution (hopefully it'll avoid having three eyes along the way).

Freckled Derelict said...

Hi John,
I could help you do something simple like a fancier version of my golden gems blog where the posts and art are sorted. You could include a clickable picture of the artist or art. I find seperate blogs with specific posts really helps. Let me know if your interested.Good Luck!

C said...

Maybe just put them in separate blogs? Then they can use tags to find stuff easily. If it's a continued story (such as Kaspar and the socks), maybe put a link to the next page and previous page in the post.

seanpclark said...

I'd be down with volunteering help. I couldn't find a way to email you on the site. I can outline what I can help you with and a resume/portfolio if you're interested.

Andrés Sanhueza said...

The comics and storyboards are going to be in a single page each one (comic strip like) or a single "chapter" may be composed of multiple pages?

carlo guillot said...

Hi John
I have a webdesign studio, and someting like this maybe it's what you need for:
http://www.fubiz.net/
Tell me if this suits your needs, and I maybe I can help to make your site.
Bye,
Carlo

Johnathan Mastron said...

I'm in the middle of putting together a comic website at the moment. The easiest thing to start with is Comicpress.

Here's some comics that use it:
Abominable Charles
Kukuburi
Bear Nuts
Tiny Kitten Teeth
PVP

I've been playing around with it, and a few days webdesign work got me this. (Please disregard the comic)

Dragline said...

It just sucks that you don't have a show out, or one coming soon because it would work great to launch an official website in conjunction with the show. It seems the bulk of your fans have already found you out. You are right though, to get the mind share of regular folks is gonna take pure entertainment, with the technical crap left to the geeks.

Jack G. said...

I would look at other websites that you like and use that as a starting point for what you want to do.

How complex do you wish to go?

To get to each story or character would require a link. That would add up after a while.

If you want it easy for folks to find stuff, you might need some kind of search function (I have no clue how to do this).

Taco Wiz said...

Dear Mr. Kricfalusi,

I am 13 years old. Cartoons are practically my life. However, you and your Spumco staff are by far my favorites. I rarely enjoy myself as much as when I re-watch the 1997 George Liquor/Weekend Pussy Hunt cartoons...or even when I just look at these doodles. Your cartoons have the satirical wit and grossness of South Park, the art of 1940s Looney Tunes, and the so-cute-a-13-year-old-boy-goes-"AWWWWW!"-ness of Sesame Street.

Listen. I heard you might do a continuous comic/storyboard series. This would be better than any birthday present I could recieve in my life. Here's my opinion: use this site, Blogger. Make a seperate site for comics and storyboards. I'd rather this happen then win the lottery.

Sincerely,
Taco Wiz, your biggest fan

PS: Don't let the flamers get you down. They get off on causing drama.

Kris said...

Hey John,

I think you should get a website that is part blog, part regular website. You can do this with Wordpress or Movable Type (two different kinds of blog software that are pretty popular).

I do this on my site with Movable Type and I think it works pretty well (pardon the crummy drawings and just look at the organization--this is all done with the blog software). You can do more complicated things than I did with mine, too.

Movable Type also lets you host multiple blogs on the same website, if that also tickles your fancy. So you could have johnk.com/cartoonschool and johnk.com/comics or whatever you want. You could update all of them through a single blogger-like interface so it would be easy, you'd never have to see the code.

Your site will be popular so it will definitely cost money to host if you want anything more intricate than Blogger, though. You could sell ad space through Project Wonderful, and I think that would more than cover your monthly hosting costs. (I've seen popular sites get ad bids as high as $20/day on Project Wonderful.)

I'm willing to help you out a bit if you want. If this will involve a lot of legwork or I'd be maintaining the code in the long-term, I'd want to get compensated somehow, though. It's time-consuming even if it's not super difficult.

Good luck with getting everything off the ground!

Chris said...

I agree with Rex. Using Wordpress with your own domain name, will feel more like Blogger and make posting much easier. There are lots of custom themes for Wordpress. Here's one called ComicPress.

Johnathan Mastron said...

I just realized you might want a more dynamic mixture of text and pictures for your comics. A plain Wordpress blog would work for that, and if you tag the posts correctly, it would be relatively easy to link to and read all the posts in a given category. (ie "Kaspar")

JohnK said...

"A plain Wordpress blog would work for that, and if you tag the posts correctly, it would be relatively easy to link to and read all the posts in a given category. (ie "Kaspar")"

Well I do that now.


What I don't like about it is that all the posts come up in backwards order, so you end up reading the story backwards.

Unless I go back and redate everything which is a giant pain and doesn't totally solve the problem either.

erghhhhh

LETS TALK CARTOONS said...

hi
try comicspace.com
very easy to set up and its free
cheers

lee artist said...

i'd do a comic blog and keep tis for cartoons. with a website one has to pay the server an anual tip which isnt worth it when a bog works the same so stuff em :)

Niki said...

I know a little about making websites but not too much to help. you can try adobe Fireworks, I think that was the name, it can work as a "what you see is what you get"

lee artist said...

i meant stuff those websites they're ripoffs sheese i keep trippin over my own toes on blogs i better zip it for a while :)

Chris said...

Hey John,

I'm a freelance web designer and programmer and would be happy to volunteer. You've given me so much knowledge over the years it'd be the least I could do. I also understand all of that technical stuff, so it's cool.

I definitely think that'd be a good idea, to break up the subjects of your blog so the pure entertainment stuff is easier to find and look through. Ideally, a regular website would be best. One that's fully customized to what you need and what your audience needs and looks super snazzy. I can help you with all of this. Just recently I had to make a few snazzy sites using that wordpress system everyone keeps mentioning (it probably would be the best solution for you if you went with a custom site). The only downside with a regular website is there's an initial cost to buy your web address (domain name) and to pay for the hosting cost.

Domain's are pretty cheap, 10-20$ and usually can be free if bought in a package deal. Decent hosting usually starts at around 60$/yr and goes up. Anything under that isn't worth considering since you'll most likely be on an inferior setup.

The only problem is you already have such a big readership on this blog and you make such wickedly good entertainment that you'll probably need to invest in a better host to handle all of that extra traffic you'll get.

The other option is to just create a new blog with only storyboards and comics. You could see how well the new site does in terms of readership and ad revenue, and if it starts becoming successful you can always switch to a regular website later.

Honestly, I think a regular website is the only way to go when trying to reach a wide audience composed of 'regular' people. You can't really make a free blog look professional enough so that it captures regular people's attention. And you can't customize it like you would a regular site. I imagine that if you ever had an entertainment site, it would remind me of the feelings I had looking at those old spumco posters of you standing around being molested by your own cartoon creations. It should basically be a place where, upon visiting, the user is thrown into this fascinating cartoony world, a place where cartoon molestations are common place and, in fact, encouraged. That would keep readers on their toes and coming back for more. And you can't really create that using a free website solution.

If you need some more help just send me an email. I'd be happy to advise you on any technical issues or concerns.

-Chris

Trevour said...

You have to pay for hosting on Squarespace, but it's pretty slick. But, as "user-friendly" as it may be, there's still some learning involved. It also has a powerful blog importer feature (dates, images, tags, comments, etc.), but I haven't used it.

Paulrus said...

Hi John,

Glad to see the site is public again.

I'd put another vote in for SquareSpace.

I played around with it and I think it'd do what you want and you won't have to rely on a volunteer to build something you may or may not like.

Paul

RoyceAquatic said...

Hi john

I think you could be able to do everything in blogger, it just needs to be set up right

if you look at my blog here
Ladrones Blog


My friend set up multiple blogs on the left hand side, each blog is from a different user. But you could set it up so that whatever different blog you want to create will link on your main blog.

Everything is the same as on a regular blogger links and history are all there but there is a nice little section where there are links.

I really think you should stay on blogger, it has a community and your familiar with it.

Hope this helps

Royce

Johnathan Mastron said...

"What I don't like about it is that all the posts come up in backwards order, so you end up reading the story backwards."

If you're running the website yourself, say on johnkcomics.com instead of johnkstuff.blogspot.com, it's really easy to change that. You just need someone with the time and the patience to hunt through the code and change a few database requests. (It's literally as easy as replacing "DESC" with "ASC" in a few text files.)

Vit said...

What I don't like about it is that all the posts come up in backwards order, so you end up reading the story backwards.

There are different readers. One subscribes for RSS updates, other comes from Google search, third comes through a link from one other site. The solution is a good separate navigation. For instance such as on Smashingmagazine website

Jennifer said...

Hi John,

I have to laugh at your description of how you react to techie info. That paragraph left me scratching my head, and I've been in technology for quite awhile!

Blogs are nice, but I agree that the way the content is displayed may be a little wonky (displayed by date starting from the latest date on), especially if you want to set up stories that are meant to be read sequentially rather than have the person bounce around.

Of all the people who commented on this post, Chris's post is the most accurate re: setting up a web site. Hosting a web site doesn't have to be expensive unless you are getting a web server that is devoted to only your web site. With the less expensive hosting plans, your web site is sharing the same server as other web sites.

Chris brought up a very valid point - there is a MAJOR difference between a web designer and a web application developer, and depending on what you are looking for, you need to pick the right professional.

You need only a web designer if...
You are going to just make a web site open to the public and you don't mind having a "webmaster" who's responsible for managing the content.

You need someone who is also a web application developer if...
- You are planning on setting up a site where you want to be able to manage the content on the system, like you do on Blogger (an example of a CMS).
- You are planning on creating a web site where some or all of the content is only accessible to people who purchased a subscription. The preferred candidate would be someone who has experience with using the Paypal APIs so the subscriptions can be tied with your Paypal account.

I also want to add that a good web designer can not only create a "pretty and snazzy site", but the designer can also plan out the site layout that is not only user friendly, but can also sell your goods (ex: search engine optimization).

If you are going to find someone who will volunteer to the task, you need to find someone who can do both web design and web programming, or find a tag-team of a web designer and a web programmer.

I don't know if I'm going to have a whole lot of time to help with the actual coding of the the site, but I will be more than happy to act as a "technical advisor" to the team that volunteers to help you with the site development. I can give some guidance on how to do things with the web application.

Frank said...

I don't know if you found what you were looking for, but the solution I'm offering (without getting technical) is a custom post manager.

You could access the manager (much like you do right now with Blogger) and post your articles.

The only difference is that I could arrange the posts the way you want them. If you have a site design in mind, I could create the manager to your needs.

Like some people said, though, is that you need to buy a domain and hosting for the site, but it's affordable.

L'auteur said...

Do like dummcomics.com

Moi john je crois que le format blogger est trop lourd à lire. parfois je cherche un truc dans ton blog et je ne le trouve pas... Je crois qu'un site à part serait vraiment chouette surtout si tu veux aller rejoindre d'autre pesonne que les cartoonists.

Pense tu pouvoir inclure une page du genre dummcomics.com pour les storyboard?

algeya said...

I´ve done my site with comicpress

Pilli adventure
paying 80 bucks a year just because my has heavy traffic but you can do it with just 30.
I can help you if you want something similar

smackmonkey said...

I'd side with the idea of a complete "environment" that you'd get on a real web site. While advertising might pay for it as that is the traditional business model, in the long run an artist's work should (hopefully) be able to pay for itself. Some sort of pay-per-view function is probably called for if animation is ever to get out from under the thumb of corporate America.

mike3k said...

You should probably use Posterous or Tumblr. Both are really nice for gallery-type sites where you want to post a lot of images.

Isaac said...

Hello John K,

I hope I've answered your questions. Please view the tutorial I added at the same place as before.

Isaac

Michael said...

Do guerrilla style web testing early and often. That's how it's done now-a-days.

I highly recommend reading this seminal introduction to the booming field of Usability Design. "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug is a short, quick, fun read full of wry humor that explains how to make things easy to use.

Michael said...

I'm willing to help. Here's my site and blog:

www.motionista.com

http://motionista.blogspot.com/

eric said...

Hi John, I would look into Wordpress. You can try it for free at wordpress.org, and if you do decide to host it yourself you can get the multiuser version and make as many sites as you want.

A word of advice as a web dev - you will break things sometimes that would never happen on Blogger. Make sure you and whoever you find are willing to deal with a learning curve!

RAKninja said...

Oh, something I'm not sure I've seen brought up, free hosting services (like blogger and other google services) are set up to where it is difficult, of not impossible, to earn money by allowing ads. a "custom server" or "remote host" (computer nerd for "website you pay for") on the other hand, is not restricted in this way.

Just wanted to throw that tidbit out there for consideration.

Isaac said...

Either way, I still want FUNNY CARTOONS on TV.

Alishea said...

You could blog away like you usually do and have a website with links to all the different category posts of the past. Update it once a week.

There are cheap domain registration & hosting sites like GoDaddy.com, etc. Linking is fairly easy whereas categorizing your brain is not. :)

Ed Gauthier said...

Please see my brilliant Web Designer comments, which ironically I incorrectly posted on your Kaspar comment thread instead of this one.

BTW, don't dump your blog, don't dump animation, and don't dump anything else. That's the easy way out.

Instead be a MAN, like daddy would demand! Ten-hut, scuttle-but! That ain't funny - drop and gimme 20!

SibbSabb said...

If you choose to create a site via Wordpress, I can create custom wordpress themes quite easily and quickly.

Michael said...

There's a number of great ideas here. To find out what will work can be tested before you commit too much time.
When I say guerrilla style testing you can sketch on paper or computer what you think the site should be. Paper prototypes first might be the best. Here's a few subheads from the book "Don't Make Me Think, Chapter 9 Usability Testing on 10 Cents a Day".

If you want a great site, you've got to test.

Testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end

The importance of recruiting representative users is overrated.

The point of testing is not to prove or disprove something. It's to inform your judgement.

Testing is a iterative process.

Nothing beats a live audience reaction.

... the ideal number of users for each round of testing is three or four at most.

This book is simple and GREAT! It even gives you a script of what to say when testing.

Michael said...

Oh and the book uses a lot of cartoons to illustrate what's going on.

Kris said...

"What I don't like about it is that all the posts come up in backwards order, so you end up reading the story backwards."

I know a web designer can change this on Movable Type, and probably on Wordpress, too.

Pasquale said...

Man, you could run it on WordPress self-hosted, or have a custom Rails app.

Bandwidth isn't that expensive. A webhosting company sponsors me because of my design work. I'm sure they'd fix you up too & provide support if you want.

I think your permalinks need more meaningful bases : http://pasqualedsilva.com/permalink-debate/

it'd help to seperate things out.

Also another thing - your rss feed's images don't parse in the reader, so it's impossible to see image posts without leaving the reader. - A custom CMS(content management system) will let you rewrite the headers.

It'd be super easy to port all of your posts too!

tobor68 said...

hi john,

i do websites on the side. i'm also an animator.

if you're using mac computers (no windows version) there's an app called rapidweaver (www.realmacsoftware.com). it's theme based and fairly simple to use. it has support for a blog, video, pictures, everything you can think of.

there's lots of plugins to make things fancy and such but the app will do all the hard coding work for you. it's just drag and drop, as the fella says.

i can help you learn it or do it for you, which ever is easier. for free, no strings.

the good thing for us non-techies is that it will scale up if you want to add a plugin or a page, it's all very simple. you can make it quite an involved site if you want or keep it dirt simple.

email me if you want: tobor68 (at) hotmail.com.

good luck! (glad to see the blog back btw!)

tobor68 said...

hi john, i forgot to mention about rapidweaver; that there's a plugin that'll let you import your blogger blogs, including the archives etc.

cheers,
sean
tobor68 (at) hotmail.com

jhalton said...

Hi, If you're thinking of making a new blog shoot me an email and I can do it for you.

www.jacobhalton.com/design

By the way, I was at the presentation at Comic Con when you showed all your cartoons and presented the George Liquor story. AWESOME. Keep up the great work.

Let me know if you're interested in the web design
jacobhalton (at) gmail.com

zmerrill said...

Hello John!
From MySpace before, I have the link ready for you, this time not ruined by MySpace.
http://photopia.webs.com/

Philip said...

John K. I want to volunteer to make your website. I'm a long time Ren and Stimpy fan and I feel like I could help you with making something really fun and different.
I'm currently working on my portfolio site: www.philipdahl.com which is a good example of how my imagination can wonder when making something creative in a traditionally none creative medium (web design).


Thanks for being you, I've learned more from your blog then I did in college.

Mike Rauch said...

Hi John. I've gotten so much out of visiting this site. I would love to give you something back. If you're interested in going with Wordpress, I could help. My strong suit is graphic design, information architecture, etc. So if you want help with that side of things, let me know.

Here's a work in progress that I designed.

You can contact me by e-mail at m.s.rauch at gmail.com to talk more.

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