Comic Fury Webcomic Hosting - Spiderforest is going to open its doors to applications soon!

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Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > Spiderforest is going to open its doors to applications soon!
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"Spiderforest is going to open its doors to applications soon!", 13 days ago, 1:08 AM #1
MK_Wizard

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Posts: 4172
Registration date: 17th Jun 2017
Location: Canada
And I am undecided on whether I should join or not. I mean, it is a prestige and good looking place, but I am very loyal to Comic Fury after it has been so good to me. I don't know if I want to leave this place as my webcomic home.

To anyone who is a member of Spiderforest, will it change things for me or affect my bond with Comic Fury?
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13 days ago, 1:11 AM #2
JammyTheBirb
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Oooh I think I'll probably apply again. I got rejected last time, but I've since implemented a lot of their advice. Maybe it's enough, who knows.

I'm not a member, but you don't have to quit CF if you're accepted. You just have to keep your spiderforest site at least one update ahead.
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13 days ago, 1:16 AM #3
MK_Wizard

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That's it? Well... then I guess I can give it a shot. What have I got to lose?
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13 days ago, 2:21 AM #4
The Letter M
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Didnt they have a rule that stipulated Spiderforest would become your main site and stay 2 updates ahead or something. And they needed your comic completely uploaded there, not just mirrored.

Bugger that. If they want me to do that they can save each of my pages and reupload it themselves.

I know that they are free to set their own terms and all that but gee whiz.
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13 days ago, 2:23 AM #5
MK_Wizard

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That's why I am on the fence. I understand that the bigger the dog, the bigger the restrictions, but that's one restriction I am not very happy with. Comic Fury is my home and I am very deeply rooted here. I said I would give it a shot, but as soon as I did, second thoughts entered my head.
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13 days ago, 2:28 AM #6
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what is the advantage of spiderforest, anyway? i don't know a lot about these collectives. hiveworks is the only one i see all that often.
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13 days ago, 2:56 AM #7
Kelsey -Nutty- P.
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OH EXCELLENT I was thinking about this the other day!

I'll admit I was initially afraid of the extra work to keep it ahead, if I were accepted, but I can work with that. Being added to a higher prestige collective is generally a positive thing, as you get a whole new community to be a part of and more exposure to your comic!

I ended up applying last year and was declined, but I'm feeling good about a second try. When they do open up, somebody let me know and provide links!
13 days ago, 2:56 AM #8
keiiii

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Full disclosure: I'm a member at SF. I'm also just a regular member, not an admin or anything.

It's not Spiderforest that needs to be your main site; it's just you need an unaffiliated main site to stay at least 1 update ahead. Spiderforest hosting is offered as an alternative option for members who don't already have an unaffiliated, self-hosted site.

For example, my comic had its own site from the get go... As a result, I didn't have to move sites upon joining SF.

The restriction seems a little harsh for CF in particular. After all, here, it's possible to hide every trace of CF branding on your comic site. If you tweak your layout enough, and have your custom domain, no one would even know it's hosted on CF. And the point of that rule, as far as I understand, is to present member comics without external branding. My guess is the rule extends to CF just to cover all bases, in case CF rules change in the future or whatever. I think it's extremely unlikely that Kyo will suddenly require visible CF branding on every comic here, but I guess you never know.

SF is not really a place to join for automatic promotion. It's not that kind of a place, although they do have member cross-promotion events. The biggest draw, IMO, is the semi-gated community. Gated is beneficial when you want to talk or ask for help, but are not in the mood to turn to the public. No, I'm not talking about gossip... Think more like, 'I have the thumbnails for an upcoming scene that I want some feedback on, but because it's spoiler-tastic, I can't post this in public and ask for feedback.'

If you're 100% happy with the community you currently have, that's very respectable; perhaps SF is not the right place for you then! As with everything, It's Not For Everyone.
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13 days ago, 3:26 AM #9
E-hero Vulven
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C'mon keii. Hype it up for those of us who want in. I can get private feedback from fellow comickers in and out of CF fairly easy. What other tangible perks are there for those in the club?
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13 days ago, 3:34 AM #10
keiiii

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Tangible perks? They mail you a sparkling magical trinket that will allow you to transform into a spider-themed magical girl IRL.
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13 days ago, 4:32 AM #11
Kelsey -Nutty- P.
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keiiii:Tangible perks? They mail you a sparkling magical trinket that will allow you to transform into a spider-themed magical girl IRL.


OH I AM SO IN
13 days ago, 6:23 AM #12
BMR

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keiiii:Tangible perks? They mail you a sparkling magical trinket that will allow you to transform into a spider-themed magical girl IRL.


Holy crap! That is exactly what's been missing from my life!
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13 days ago, 10:33 PM #13
Leafa
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I joined SpiderForest last year, so I can try to talk about my experiences and answer questions!

I think keiii's explanation for the "you need your own site/one update ahead" rule puts it better than I could have :D It is unfortunate for us here on CF because we're already able to create very customised websites that we have control over in a way you can't on Tapas/Webtoon. After getting my CF site just how I wanted it, creating ANOTHER site was a bit of a bummer. But on the bright side, I felt that getting a free entirely self-hosted site and help in crafting the HTML/CSS was a really nice experience and I'm proud of the final product.
Keeping it one update ahead is easy and I do get plenty of traffic directly through my affiliation with SpiderForest - banner ads, ads on the main site etc.

The community has probably been the best bit though. While it is easy to get help and critique here on CF and other places, doing it through private members-only SF channels like the forums and discord feels more safe and secure. The "gated" aspect of it means that it does feel more mature and focused. I've also found that there are plenty of people on SF who have a lot of expertise in aspirational things like tabling at conventions, getting comics into print, publishing comics in anthologies and running kickstarter campaigns, who have gone above and beyond to share what they know and help me out when I've needed it.

It's given me a few experiences I wouldn't otherwise have too - SpiderForest is currently running a Kickstarter to print an anthology and I had a great time creating a story for it and getting to help behind the scenes a bit with the campaign. I probably couldn't have put together a successful application to table at Thought Bubble this year yet alone afforded a table, but there's going to be a SpiderForest table which will give me some vital experience in selling at a convention in a fun environment with friends.

I definitely encourage people to apply, because even if you don't get in this time around it's an opportunity to get some thoughtful, helpful feedback from some really insightful folks.
12 days ago, 12:39 AM #14
MK_Wizard

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Hmm. I do like Spiderforest and the people there are great. I'm just not sure if it really is the place for me especially with those kinds of restrictions. I mean, they sound like a gamble for someone who isn't popular like me. Like, for someone as big as keiii, it isn't problem, but for a little dog like me, I could risk losing a lot of viewers and traffic.
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12 days ago, 2:57 AM #15
Zappit

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I’m no big dog in the webcomics world. They let me in.
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12 days ago, 3:15 AM #16
Kelsey -Nutty- P.
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Okay, I'm still a little confused about the mirroring part.

Right now, I'm hosting here on Comicfury and also on Webtoon. If I'm accepted to Spiderforest, do they provide the unaffiliated site, and THAT one has to stay 1 update ahead of the mirrors? Is that how that works?
12 days ago, 3:44 AM #17
keiiii

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Yep!

To be more exact, they don't provide the finished site for you. They give you a place and means to put your site (i.e. hosting + a CMS you can use on it, if you choose to do so), and that new site has to stay 1 update ahead of CF/Webtoons. Members will provide help with making the new site, but it's not like Webtoons where you just upload the images and hit Publish. The site needs to be made.

I don't use their hosting, nor their CMS, so I couldn't tell you how simple or complicated that process is. Leafa might be able to tell you more about that. My guess is it's kinda like tweaking the template on CF, but with more work that needs to be done first (setting up the CMS).
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12 days ago, 7:51 AM #18
Leafa
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keiiii:
I don't use their hosting, nor their CMS, so I couldn't tell you how simple or complicated that process is. Leafa might be able to tell you more about that. My guess is it's kinda like tweaking the template on CF, but with more work that needs to be done first (setting up the CMS).


Yeah, to take a step back for people unfamiliar with having your own website, you need...

1) a space to put it (the hosting, which is provided by SF)

2) A CMS. Because a webcomic is a pretty complicated thing and you don't want to be creating individual coding for every single page, you need a content management system (CMS) which handles your content for you. You might have already used WordPress before which is probably the most popular CMS on the web. SpiderForest has their own CMS that you are welcome to use if you want. It's basically just a case of picking one, and someone will help you make that decision if you're new to all this and unsure. From there editing the look of your site is similar to tweaking your template through HTML/CSS on ComicFury.

3) A little program that lets you transfer files to your website, aka a FTP. There are lots of free FTPs out there, and it's just like using File Explorer on Windows except it's "talking" to files that are on your server, rather than on your computer.

BUT MOST IMPORTANT THING

I'm aware that this can seem incredibly overwhelming if you've never had to handle your own hosting before. To reassure you, the process in real terms was like this:
1. When I first joined SF, someone got in touch who was volunteering to help newbies set up their site. I showed them my CF site and said it would be cool if it looked similar.
2. They went away and created the site for me (!) and it's amazing, I love it. I've tweaked it since then using the HTML/CSS skills that I learned from creating my ComicFury site.
3. Someone helped me find a good FTP program. When I want to upload a new page, I ensure the file name is the date I'd like it to upload and then I drag and drop it into the necessary folder. It appears online as if by magic! I can also log into a website to create authors notes and manage the content a bit.


Basically it's a little bit of setup, but once it exists it's no more work than uploading a page anywhere else.

I'm not sure what the gamble is, to be honest. For your readers on ComicFury, nothing changes. You can still upload here, I don't see how you would lose any viewers or traffic?
12 days ago, 11:39 AM #19
MK_Wizard

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The big gamble is that on listings and such, Comic Fury is my go to place. That and I'm pretty settled here. Maybe I'm just not ready on a personal level to move. I don't know...
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12 days ago, 9:29 PM #20
snuffysam

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For me, the biggest gamble is that Spiderforest's CMS might not be able to work with all my content, and I'd have to re-add all the tags manually or something (or image descriptions, alt text, etc)...

Is this a legit concern? Like, it took me weeks to get my comic fully up on my tapas mirror, and that was years ago. Would that be a problem with Spiderforest, or does the CMS they provide automate most of it?
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Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > Spiderforest is going to open its doors to applications soon!
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