Update: Is this list out of date? Go to the Links Page under Hosting & Content Management Systems for current links or to add your own.
I frequently run across the question of what content management system a new webcomic creator should be using for their website, and find that the answers can often be one note depending on where the inquiries are made. In truth there are a variety of publishing options worth considering based on your tech savvy, willingness to spend time on your site, and hosting choices. Check out this semi-comprehensive list to get started (order implies nothing).
If you have or will have your own hosting and wish to use a very robust blogging CMS, a WordPress-based option may be best for you. WordPress builds all pages dynamically and can have server load issues. However you will have access to a host of plug-ins and support via the WordPress community.
- Comicpress: Currently on version 2.9, with a Comicpress 3 coming soon, the core theme is free with paid add-ons and child themes for v. 3. WordPress 3 compatible.
- Inkblot/Webcomic: Webcomic/Inkblot just released version 3. This plug-in-based system is designed to let you work your comic into any WordPress theme. WordPress 3 compatible.
- Manga+Press: Another plug-in-based system, Manga+Press is also intended to be used with a regular WordPress theme by automatically or by inserting template tags. WordPress 3 compatible.
- StripShow: stripShow is a plug-in to make your WordPress blog into a webcomic site. The most recent version, 2.5, is in beta. I believe it is WordPress 3 compatible.
- WP-Comic: WP-Comic is another theme-based solution which recently released its 2.9 version. I believe it is WordPress 3 compatible.
Also for people with their own hosting, independent solutions can be lighter on your server (you don’t have all the extra WordPress stuff), but may require more technical know-how. They can generally be added to existing websites.
- ComicCMS:A PHP program designed to be the core of your webcomic site (although it can operate within another website). ComicCMS also has the backend features many non-techie creators want.
- Comic Gallery: ComicGallery is a light-weight PHP script that creates a gallery for your comic that can be integrated into an existing site. It does not appear to offer pre-scheduling of pages.
- Comikaze: A database-driven comic management system designed to work within an existing website. May not be actively supported anymore.
- Walrus: A PHP-based script. Version 3 is (apparently) coming soon, but the site is only semi-functional, so it’s hard to say what exactly is going on.
If you want webcomic-specific hosting, these hosts also provide their own content management scripts. Hosted solutions vary wildly, but may require joining a very specific community, prevent you from joining other networks, or may force you into a specific format. Visit each for details.
- Clickthulu: A premium CMS and hosting solution specifically for webcomics. Includes a member’s section function. Hosted and managed by the creators of Code Name: Hunter. Paid service.
- ComicFury: A free to join & use and ad-free webcomic host with available templates.
- Comic Genesis: A free to join and free webcomic host, Comic Genesis is intend for new webcomickers. It is run by Keenspot. Keenspot itself does not accept new applicants anymore.
- Drunk Duck: Free to join & free to use webcomic community owned by WOWIO and typically for new webcomickers. Your site will be forced into their template and large top-of-site bar.
- Dumbrella Hosting: Premium hosting for professional webcomic creators. Paid service.
- Rampage Network: A webcomic network with free hosting. By application or invitation only.
- Smack Jeeves: A free to join webcomic host generally used by new webcomickers. There are three levels of membership: free, donator, and premium with different features.
- Spiderforest: A webcomic community with free hosting and the ProPanda CMS available to members. By application or invitation only.
- Webcomics Nation: A free to join and use webcomic host with pre-set templates and a narrow top-of-site bar.
- WeVolt: Another WOWIO webcomic community, WeVolt offers both free and paid (Pro) hosting plans.
Update: Thank you to everyone at the Webcomic List for your suggestions. You can also check out this similar post for more options.
Do you know of a content management solution for webcomics that I missed? Share it here so I can add it to the list.
This article was written for Day 2 of the 31DBBB & SITS challenge.