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Starting a new site?
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Ben Sutter
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Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Dayton, OH

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:17 am    Post subject: Starting a new site? Reply with quote

So? I have no website. In fact, I really don't have the internet at my house yet. However, I do have a load of comics I would like to set up on a website. So, speaking of commerce...

1: Should I go to a free server (that's what we call them, right? Forgive me?), or would one that I pay for be better?

2: Would BitPass be a viable option for a fledgling, unknown artist to use, or would it be something I used only after having a presence for a while?

I have no idea who will answer this? but every bit helps. Really. This is one of the friendliest message boards I have seen in my short life, so here's to hoping that I get a reply. Thanks in advance.
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kaos_de_moria
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 161
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: Starting a new site? Reply with quote

about bitpass and commerce:

bitpass is always an option, but don't forget, that you have to intrest people first. probably it would be the best move to offer some of the comics for free and to offer the first part of the others for free as well. (like the right number) in scott's case this is different. most people would probably have bought the right number even without preview. if you're not known you must get people to want to read the rest of the comic. additionally i would propose small fees as long as the number of people reading is small. if people like it you can still add new stuff and have fees like scott or patrick farley (25 cents).

about free webspace:

as far as i know free webspace is mostly combined with bad speed and loads of banner advertisement. it's probably better to get webspace over yahoo or a .mac account with apple, in case you use macs. besides that, you should easily find tons of providers in your region offering cheap quality web space. if you just want to try out, maybe someone here on the forum gives you a little of his webspace to experiment.

i'm looking forward to see some of the work,
good luck,
kaos
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losttoy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Posts: 429
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can answer (in my opinion) question 1, but not 2 since I have not ventured off into paid comics yet.

Right now, I have a free geocities site. It is all I can afford at the moment. I have found in my personal experience that it is easier to use than any of those keen places. I like to be able to have full control of how the page looks and how the comic is presented. Which it is a good idea to get one of those web design programs like Dreamweaver, but I digress. There are a lot of people who complain about geocities. A bunch of whiners if you ask me. You have to go into the site knowing you are getting what you pay for. Actualy, you are paying nothing so, you are getting more than you pay for. Is geocities slow? Only sometimes. If you are a budding artist and dfo not have a big fan following yet, it will not be a problem. However, Keen is ALWAYS slow.

I think there is an important point to make here. People should be encouraged to use free servers like geocities first, no matter if you are a comic artist or not. The idea is you need somewhere save where you can get your feet wet until you get used to how html works, how servers work, and such. It is easy to buy server space when you start, but if you do not know what you are getting into, you might be putting yourself in a contract with a server that does not have enough bandwidth, disk space or have a bad technical staff and the site is always going down. (shrugs) I have heard all sorts of stories.

Geocities works for me. After all this time and when I get a steady income, I am thinking about going to www.webcomicsnation.com. They sound like they are specializing for us amature artists that want to be more. Furthmore, they have the tools and experience from ModernTales and all those sister sites behind their belt. All at a fair price.

That is the point. At geocities, you can always just leave and leave a link to your better server once you have grown to that point.

Besides, if you go geocities, you can be a part of GeoCityComics.

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Rip Tanion
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Joined: 12 Apr 2002
Posts: 635
Location: The Riptania Sky-Palace in da beauuuuuutiful Bronx.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if you are just starting out with a web site, free hosting is definatly the way to go. If your site takes off, and you need more bandwith and/or storage space, you can always switch to a pay-host, later. Some ISPs offer free web space to their users. Earthlink, for example, offers 10MB of web-space for every mail-box account you have. Since Earthlink allows 8 mailboxes per user account, you could concievably get up to 80MB of web space right there.
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Ben Sutter
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Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Dayton, OH

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ooo... thanks, people I don't even know! The fact that you would take time out of your day to talk (type, DAMN) at me is great. The moment I get some sort of connection and the software, i'll be sure to start putting up links.

Um... if anyone wants to tell me how to do that, I'd appreiciate it, too.
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DON the IDEA GUY
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Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 17
Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:42 pm    Post subject: Another free hosting site... Reply with quote

I posted this is another forum with a seemingly parallel discussion, but think it's appropriate here as well...

A free-host with whom I've had pretty good luck is http://www.netfirms.com/
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Jason Alderman
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
Posts: 80
Location: All over the globe...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject: Agreeing with the folks above... Reply with quote

I thoroughly agree with the folks above. Losttoy is right about GeoCities and all free sites in general--you may have a slightly slow site, and you may not have that much free space on the server, AND you may have obligatory ads, but you're getting web space for FREE. What you don't pay for, but what you'll get as a bonus, is a community of support. You'll find this almost anywhere you go (geocities, keenspace, etc.)...it's one of the great things about the internet. (This forum topic is proof enough!) I started out on GeoCities, so I could wax nostalgic about the community there, but working on art projects with other folks in the "neighborhood" was what helped put me on the road to webcomics.

Toiling away on free web space, as has already been said, will also help you get the feel for how much web space you'll need, and how much space a typical comic will take on the server. There's no stigma that I know of for having a comic on a free site...if your comics are good, then they'll speak for themselves and attract an audience.

For a great reference for learning HTML (and all sorts of other web server basics), check out WIRED's Webmonkey, particularly their "hands-on" HTML teaching tool
http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/teachingtool/index.html
that walks you through coding pages and then has you test out the code that you've learned. In an hour or two, you should have more than enough knowledge to create your own web page. It's really a lot simpler than it looks...! You can invest in a program like Dreamweaver (or any of the innumerable WYSIWYG HTML editors) if you want...but I've always preferred using a text editor like notepad.exe, BBEdit, or the free NoteTab Light.

Once you're comfortable with HTML and have the hang of a free site, if you feel that you've outgrown your old digs, you'll know what to look for in a pay site. There are lots of options out there... I'm going to shamelessly plug DreamHost, just because I'm extremely happy with them. You can get a very reasonable and scalable hosting deal, they have EXCELLENT customer service, and they're as passionate about the webhosting business as most of the people on this forum are about webcomics. That said, I'm still using only about a tenth of the space/bandwidth/features that came with my purchased webhosting package...it's a bit of overkill, but it has a lot more flexibility.

As far as micropayments like bitpass go, I'll second what kaos says: since your work is relatively unknown, give people a sample of your work, hook them on your art/story, and then, if you want to charge, make the end of the story, or other stories, for-pay options.

Best of luck!

jason
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Doc MacDougal
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
Posts: 79
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link to Dreamhost, Jason. I was in the market for web space when I saw your post and have ended up signing up with them. I listed your site as a referrer, in case that does you any good.

Ben.
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BuckBeaver
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Joined: 15 Dec 2002
Posts: 74
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add my two cents, if you don't want to spend a lot of money but want a top-level domain (www.yoursite.com) then Doteasy has a pretty good deal where they will host your site for free if you use them as your domain name registar and it's ad & banner free. If you need extra space or special features those are available as well.
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Ben Sutter
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Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Dayton, OH

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow? that's a ton of helpful and (I hope) heartfelt input.

I have a personal code that prevents me from just throwing crap onto a screen, and then expecting people to figure out how to load or navigate or view any part of the site. This is why i waited so long to even try. Anyway, I do have Dreamweaver now, and I do plan on making a free site(actually, I was just confirming what I thought I already knew with the second half of the question! )

I'm glad all (most) of the people who frequent this forum seem intelligent, informative, and helpful. On half a million other forums, there would be nothing but cuss words and put-downs. Ah, sweet relief.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Starting a new site? Reply with quote

Ben Sutter wrote:
I really don't have the internet at my house yet.

Did you know that they have the internet on computers now?
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