Setting up a Webcomic on WordPress

As I mentioned earlier, I recently helped my friend Jake set up a website for his comics. I decided to use WordPress, and it is working really great.  I thought some other people might be trying to do something similar, and wanted to share what worked and hasn’t worked so far for me.

Why WordPress

I chose WordPress because I wanted something that would be simple to post, could handle images well, had a good editor and would be easy to customize. At the end of the day, wordpress was the best choice because I could get a very customizable site in a fraction of the time it would take me to write it by hand, especially when you start looking at more advanced features.

Advantages

Image Handling (One click resizing)
Archiving
Design Options (Easy to change with themes)
Built in RSS
Lots of Plugs Ins, especially for Social Media
Ease of use

Now on to the good stuff:

The Plug-ins

Plug-ins are probably the best thing about WordPress, here are the ones that I found particularly useful:

Askimnet
Hands down a must for any blog, does a great job of filtering spam easily

All in One SEO Pack
Again, a standard install for any wordpress site I set up, decent SEO out of the box and makes customizing per post very easy.

FeedBurner Feedsmith Extend
A nice plug-in for redirecting your various default feeds to your feedburner feed.

Google Analyticator
I like this over other plug-ins because it gives you a little preview in the wordpress admin of your recent stats.

Quick Cache
With all of the images that a webcomic is going to be serving up, any help you can get performance wise is great.  This plu g in also makes flusing the cache really simple, which is great for when you are developing with it.

RSS Image Feed
By default, WordPress doesn’t include images in your RSS feed, a bit of an issue for a webcomic. This fixes it, although if the entire post is just an image, it can be a bit flaky.

Share and Follow
Give you a ton of options for adding share this buttons and badges. Mix and match to your hearts desire, I settled on Facebook and Twitter at the bottom of every post, but you could add a lot more.

Simple Facebook Connect
Again, lots of options, I used it to auto post to the webcomic’s Facebook page using the publisher option.

Twitter Tools
Auto posting to twitter, integrates nicely with bit.ly as well.

Misc. Tips

Analytics

The gold standard here is Google analytics, really simple to set up and a ton of useful information.

RSS

Feedburner is great because you can track subscribers and also add neat features to your rss feed, like social media and contact links.

Copyright

This is really up to the artist, but I really like the creative commons license. After all, you are putting it on the web so people can enjoy it right?

Scheduling

If the comic is going to be a daily or even if it is only weekly, scheduling comics in advance is the way to go.  It can take a little work to make sure everything (Facebook, Twitter, RSS) is playing nicely, but it take a huge amount of pressure off of you to have the week done ahead of time, in case something comes up.

 

That’s it for now, I’ll try and come back to update this as http://www.jakerohdy.com matures and changes.  So long for now!

 

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