Free Comics Hosting Services

Photo by: "Jack Hynes"

In a previous article we listed the three main options for hosting your webcomics series (Free Comics Hosting Services; Hosted Blogging Services; and Self Hosting Platforms). This article will focus on the various aspects of using a Free Comics Hosting Service to host your webcomic.

Overview

Free comic hosting services were created for the sole purpose of providing comic artists an easy, free way of uploading their comics to the internet. As such, they provide a quick, cost free option for beginners to publish their comics. The main down side is that the artist has very limited control over his site, as we’ll detail below.

Examples of Free Comics Hosting Services

Drunkduck, Smackjeeves, Comicgenesis.
Newer examples: Tapas (Tapastic), Webtoons, Becomics

Pros

Creating a Site
If you choose to use a Free Comics Hosting Services, you’ll find out that creating a webcomic site and publishing your comics there is simple, quick, and (surprise!) free. The design and layout of sites created via these services are tailored for webcomic needs. For example, you automatically get navigation buttons to navigate between chapters and strips, an archiving system to allow reader to browse through your comic archives, and a comment system allowing your readers to provide you with instant feedback.  

Community
Most comics hosting services gather around them a strong community of fellow webcomic artists and fans, which could give great initial exposure for your comic. It’s also a great way to have your comics reviewed – always strive to learn from your fellow artist!

Cons

Site Design Possibilities
Free comics hosting services usually have limited site design possibilities. Often you can choose between several premade templates, do some customizations, but that’s basically it.

Ad Placement
Most (if not all) of these services make money by placing ads on your comic pages, which means for you that
(a) You have no control over which ads appear on your page, and
(b) You yourself cannot place any ads or earn any ads from your site, which can be a pain if you planned to earn a few bucks from ads.

Using Custom Domains
You cannot use a custom domain using these sites – the address of your comics would be a sub-domain of the service of your choice. For example, if you choose Drunkduck, your comic address would myowncomic.drunkduck.com , instead of www.myowncomic.com.

So should I Use This Option?

Using these services provides a low-effort, low-cost option for hosting comics. If you have some comics you want to upload to the internet here and now, if you don’t have a clue about maintaining a website or buying a host (and you don’t want to learn about those things either), if you don’t care about looking unprofessional, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a strong community, consider using free comics hosting service . However, in case you want to appear professional to your readers, if you want full control over your site (which you could potentially monetize via advertising), and if you’re not afraid of learning the technical aspect of maintaining a site, I’d suggest using one of the hosted blogging services, or even self hosting your comics. Future articles will explore those options.

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