Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Webcomic Traffic Trends: Hosting Sites

It makes sense to present these graphs of traffic trends for webcomic host sites today, since we looked at individual webcomics yesterday.

Not included: Online, ComicSpace and WebcomicNation are still thrashing out their merger but have held up pretty well with mostly steady results.  Others that weren't on Google Trends are not included.

I did include a couple of sites at the end that are not hosts, for reader interest: TheWebcomicList and TopWebComics. There's nothing especially informative about them, but some people might find them interesting to view.

Please remember: these are for comparison with the Google Trend graphs located on an earlier post: Webcomic Analytics . (Clicking the link will open it in a new window for convenience.) The graphs there show declines for the three big host sites Drunk Duck, SmackJeeves and Comic Genesis.

I hinted yesterday that the cause may be different than what is causing big older comics to slide, and that it might be WordPress. WordPress is a tool that allows many people to escape reliance on others for comic hosting by allowing them to set up their own platform and content management system, contract for server hosting, and control major aspects of their webcomic's look and arrangement. There's also no need to host ads.

It may also be wise to have an independent site. The search engine value alone of having a URL that matches your comic is significant, and independent addresses are usually easier to remember than a Drunk Duck address.

My interactions with all three sites have been mostly positive. There was some difficulty with Drunk Duck last year, but nothing to hold a grudge over. These are important entry-level creator resources, and I hope their long term survival is not in question. And contrary to what many people think, they all have some very decent comics in their ranks. My personal favorite webcomic lives on Comic Genesis.

Comic Genesis

Drunk Duck


The last two are, again, not hosts, and are included just for interest. Usage appears down, but I have no immediate comment.

Top Web Comics

The Web Comic List