No RAW html editng?!

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Removing the ability to edit the raw html is unacceptable. At the very least if you are in no way going to negotiate this you could have an premium service option that would reimburse the loss of your ad space on the comic and would allow us to edit the html as we wish.

MANY users are expressing dissatisfaction this thread

As a user that has prouded myself with making DD my main host since 2006 I am sad to say that without html support for my web comic the site will become simply a mirror if I even continue updating here.

My latest quote from the linked thread "I am however pretty upset at the hidden changes. If I put my comic on another FREE webhost it is because I don't know for sure if I like where Wowio is going. I'm trying to keep an open mind and even negotiate. But if I can't keep my web design updated on my main site and on DD the same with all it's interactive features for my readers then I'm still debating if I'll want to continue uploading here at all in the future.

I'm not trying to sound harsh or negative. I don't hate Wowio and I understand many of their decisions. I've just grown to require a bit more to give to my readers. I enjoy offering a fun presentation for my medium and at this point (for a web comic) to me that seems nearly as important as the comic itself.

I was almost excited when you mentioned that the current lay out will be transferred. Then I remembered I have a dropdown to display each issue I wouldn't be able to update and an interactive map that shows the locations of the story as it is advancing while I hide easter eggs I'd never be able to update. Not to mention the fact that I may someday come up with an even BETTER web design that I may wish to implement at the time."

Please allow SOME kind of way for us to edit the html
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Keith Taylor

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  • frustrated

Posted 4 years ago

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Niccea

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From another angle...
I have custom HTML that someone else made for me. However, I do make slight changes to my comic's HTML on occasion to update what is going on. HTML editing is by no means a feature I use a lot, but it is also a feature I would like to keep. I like to see the layouts of people that work harder and know more than me.
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locoma

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I support this, it is fun to personalize and to add special features to your comic.
For example I used to have a small div that showed the two most recent pages of my comic. Also, I used to write a brief summary of the ongoing chapter for new readers. Most of the popular webcomics on the web have creative ways of dealing with the "new reader" issue by adding fresh features to them, which only editing html templates can do. It is true that it was one of drunkduck's strongest features for a comic creator.
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usedbooks@comic.com

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Customization options give individual comics their identities. Readers don't like to be reminded that they are viewing a "hosted" comic. Somehow it cheapens things for them and it gives comics a black mark. So custom graphics are important and having layout options is a good idea too (better to be able to write your own, but if not possible--please give us options on placement of elements, font types and sizes, etc.).

I'm not sure why customizable html is a problem. Most other places keep it without hassle and police it fine. Can't they just disallow whatever it is they are afraid of in it?

But if they insist on re-inventing the wheel by nixing html for the sake of whatever new customization thing they are using, this is my wish list of "essentials" that I deem necessary for an actual webcomic site rather than a generic image gallery:

~ Link exchanges. -- These are how I (and I assume others) actually get hits/readers. Without them, DD would be a self contained little ball and eventually implode. If we cannot connect our comics to readers, our comics suffer and DD traffic suffers too.
~ My own buttons, backgrounds, and other site graphics. We are "artists" after all.
~ Extra content pages -- for story background, character bios, etc. If you have to limit the number of these, put ads on them, and have a special non-html editor for them, so be it. (It sucks to have to start from scratch just because the site was remodeled, but if that has to happen, I guess it has to happen. :P )
~ Our comic forums. I don't use them but some do. Any way to connect to readers is helpful.
~ Be able to link to other outside pages (like facebook and deviantart accounts and reviews or other points of interest for our comics)
~ Webcounters/trackers. I have become rather spoiled by knowing where my readers are coming from -- geographically and on the web. DD has only page stats, which do not track this. Many of us use outside services.

So... To sum up. I'd like the ability to
~ Get readers/promote my site.
~ Keep readers.
~ Interact with readers.
~ And have stats on my readers to better able me to do those other things.

Oh, and transferring over existing customization is nice, but if we can't update it... it's pretty terrible. One of my essential custom pages is an extended plot summary. This is necessary for my 900 page comic. I update it after finishing long arcs, and my readers appreciate having the refresher. Without it, it becomes very difficult to have any new readers. I have been working on my comic for a long time and plan to continue to do so. Webcomics are not static, so their presentation and features cannot be either.
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semiflex

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This, this, this.

I've been lurking/reading comics on Drunk Duck for a few years now. Up until recently I was 100% sure that when I launched my own webcomic, Drunk Duck would be the main host. A lot of what I've seen and read about "The Duck" is making SmackJeeves look more and more appealing, sadly.
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Darth Paul

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Usedbooks has basically summed it up for me as well. I am a graphic designer by trade and while I haven't used the custom html for anything except for a custom title, page buttons, and "top 100 list links" I still want to have the option for adding or changing links, banners, buttons etc. in the future.
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Alexander Korbey

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Even if there is no raw html editing there needs to be more customization and most importantly we MUST be able to place user ads, this generates hits for all concerned. Removing this only hurts DD and will result in less revnue for wowio not more.. I never make much off advertising on my comics but enough to pay for my own advertising elsewhere and that does bring in significantly more traffic. Banner swaps, link exhanges and such are vital to webcomic promotion, without it users will go elsewhere to free sites that they can do it at.

Also, premium usage is a no no, if we are to pay for that we may as well host it all ourselves or go to another site that does it all for free, something many are already doing.
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Keith Taylor

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Just to clarify I wasn't saying I _wanted_ premium service. I would prefer free for sure. I already pay for my own web space.

BUT, I have always been really loyal to the DD and the readers and members there. I would rather pay a small fee so I can stay there than have to move to another free host.

Not speaking for everyone. I'm just trying to make a satisfactory compromise cause I have invested so much in DD and hate to see everything I have done there be put in the trash when this update goes live.
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Product Placement

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Being someone who never took full advantage of the HTML coding except to a very limited degree, I suppose I personally feel a little indifferent. However, I fully understand everyone's need to wanting to personalize their comics and removing the ability to edit HTML will severely hamper their ability to do so.

DD users should retain an ability to customize their comics, if not via HTML then by some user friendly editing feature that you should be advertising, in order to calm down people.
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ghostrunner

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jeeze this is the 8th time ive tried to post this. but unless the duck is willing to provide us with some actual costomizable skins which hasnt happened since the dawn of time, allowing html is the only way to have a comic have a dynamic background to stand out. ive held off on customizing mine because of the upgrades and crashes, but its not fair for us to be expected to have our pages all look identical. thats not art at all
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N. Schultz

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I also agree that full customization needs to be an option. I was in the middle of working on a custom layout when DrunkDuck went down at the beginning of the month. I put further work on hold with the advent of the new layout, and now I'm not sure if I want to work on it at all.

I think it's fair to say that most users at least want the ability to upload their own header and navigation buttons. Links to other comics and/or a specific part of the Drunk Duck Store (unless that's going away) are also a must. Extras/Cast/About pages are also a frequent item that really need to be included in the customization options. And character pages shouldn't be limited to just a few characters either - if they're not rawhtml coded.
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ayesinback

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From what I've heard and read, THIS is probably THE deal-breaker. I've heard from other members about how much they want to keep this access, but they are so frustrated with the new site at this point I can't convince them to make their own posts on this feedback.

However many responses this gets, it's only a small fraction of those who want to be able to customize the html.
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Dave7

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While I only make limited use of raw html, I have to agree with general sentiment among the users here at DD. The inability to use raw html will drive a lot of both existing and potential users away. And quite frankly, while I can sort of understand their decision from both a security and business point-of-view, not being able to use it will ultimately hurt Wowio in the long term, both reputation wise and financially.
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locoma

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so with no stats, no file uploads and no html raw we won't be able to, for example, check our reader numbers at all?
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Darth Paul

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I find it curious that there are boxes for uploading our own title banners and buttons but it's not accepting the images. I wonder if this is part of this problem. Why even have those boxes on the preview then?
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Brian, Official Rep

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Sorry for the delay in response... listen everyone, we are working to give you guys ALL the functionality you are looking for. This site is a public PREVIEW. It's not a finished product. We're still in the middle of implementing several of the features you guys are commenting on as missing.

As for the RAW HTML upload capabilities, we are trying to give the community all of the capability without any of the insecurity of allowing full html content pages to be uploaded. We have had several instances of comic readers being infected by malware and spyware by folks. (Either intentionally or accidentally.) We WANT you to be able to customize your comics. That's not the issue. We have every intention of giving you guys that ability. The issue is how we go about it. We'll be rolling out the new features and functionality and see if it address the need.

As far as missing/broken image uploaders... that is a bug, (which we are aware of and are addressing.).
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N. Schultz

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While I understand that this is a beta site, and there are things still coming, we (as users) don't know what's missing but still on the way, and what's missing because you (the programers) don't realize it's an element of the old Drunk Duck the users want/need to keep. I, personaly, would rather report something as missing/broken that turns out to be in the pipeline, than expect something will be added that you guys don't intend to include because you don't realize users want it.
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Hippie Van

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Agreed...it would be nice to have a better idea of what exactly is meant to be working in this preview. Something like making new comics/editing comics should probably be as functional as it can possibly be as that point, because that is what we're all really concerned with.
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Brian, Official Rep

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You're right. We're working to get up a "check list" page that lists the features we have working and what is still coming.
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Brian, Official Rep

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Hope to have that page up by tomorrow.
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harkovast

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I cannot post project wonderful ads on my comic without html, and the same is true for several other linking services, banner exchanges etc.
The idea of trying to host comics without html is just not realistic.
I feel like the decision has already been made on this, and its too late for us to change it, but if you take away html editing you are going to drive out all the people who take their comics seriously and basically just leave the very casual authors.
Hark
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Alexander Korbey

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Yeah the lack of html editing is only partially a matter of customiszation. what is in place would be pretty good if it worked but probably insufficiant for many people. Like has been said the biggest part of it is the lack of user advertisments banner exhabges etc. Things like project wonderful, comic rank stuff, we have to have those. If that isn't changed most users will leave.
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Brian, Official Rep

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Alex and Hark... I'm in the middle of discussions with our Ad agency about allowing Project Wonderful ads on the comic pages. We are in the middle of fixing / improving the customization tools that are currently in place on the PREVIEW site. Once we get those in and working 100%, I hope you'll feel better about it.
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Keith Taylor

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I don't think my site would work at all without html support. I would be willing to replace my banners with the wowio banners but I don't want to lose the interactive things I have on my site like the map at the top that will change as characters move around the world and the dropdown list of comics.

I know it looks like I haven't updated for a while. But this is very important to me as I am preparing to get rolling out updates again. Right now I'm finalizing scripts, thumbnails, and web site designs.

Edit: I am not meaning to be snark btw if I am coming off as such. This and the name change of DD are being told to us that they are "non negotiable". I don't really mind the name. But in a community I don't like the term non negotiable. Especially when it is affecting something like this feature.

Thank you for commenting Lawrence
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Brian, Official Rep

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You got it Keith. I've spent all morning going over the site with a FINE-TOOTH comb with the Admins. (Ozone and Skool) You don't sound snarky at all. I appreciate the feedback. Listen, I don't want to lose any comic creators. I'm trying to accomodate you guys as best I can. I'm just trying to do it in a manner that keeps EVERYONE who visits the site safe.
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Keith Taylor

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Heh, I was going back over it and noticed I messed up reimplementing my map :P Had been recoding it.

Most of the basic features of my site could probably be reproduced easily. I just worry most about my random images, dropdown menu, and the interactive map. Not sure how those things could be implemented with by easy to use features. Unless you mad something specifically for these just for me... XD But that'd be silly as these are not high demand features.

I guess you could allow admins to edit html for members. As long as said members could provide the working code already so admins could see that it is acceptable. Perhaps using a bit of a credibility/seniority/admin discretion basis. Though the admins have so much work to do already.

Thank you again :)
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usedbooks@comic.com

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I definitely understand not allowing the uploading of .html files, but I hope we can keep the built in html editor for out comics. Some of us just need basic things, but others like to have interactive features like image maps and scripts.

In terms of the extra content some people use to supplement comics (and currently have uploaded pages), I know many already simply link to external sites for that, and that is probably sufficient. I do use DD to host those html files myself, but as long as I can link to it, I wouldn't mind using an external source. It is nice to keep my whole webcomic and all content self-contained on DD, so if possible, maybe there can be a built-in html editor for those additional content kinds of pages. (Sorry, I don't really understand the nature of internet security, but I gather that uploading .html and other file types is the security risk moreso than using built-in editors.)

I would rather have some html supported (using tags in a raw editor) than having special tags (please not BB tags) or some kind of drag and drop or step by step WYSIWYG editor. I think the non-html savvy users are content with templates, and I know the more code-experienced people get aggravated by those restrictive and grade-school kinds of editors.
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Alexander Korbey

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Having supplimental stuff linked to content hosted elsewhere is counter productive for wowio, if we can host it om DD then they get all the traffic and those figures must count for something when selling ad space.
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usedbooks@comic.com

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I would definitely prefer if everything could be self contained on DD, even with ads. (Actually, I thought it was odd this way that DD doesn't add ads or top bars to supplemental content.) Of course, there needs to be quite a bit of flexibility for creating and updating supplemental pages too.
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Brian, Official Rep

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The trick is finding a balance between a layout engine for less code-intensive types and functionality that appeases the hardcore code junkies. It's that balance that we are striving to achieve. I don't know that we will be able to do it but I think it's worth trying to do.
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usedbooks@comic.com

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Actually, the "less code-intensive" are usually happy with templates. They typically don't care about the customization engines, and we have always had good forums, communication, and tutorials to help those with simple extra needs like adding a banner. It works well that way on DD, so I'd venture to say focus that design toward the code-savvy types. Don't dumb it down. Just cut out whatever poses a security risk, but let it allow for other advanced coding. Honestly, when I don't know how something works, someone who does offers cut-and-paste. The DD community does very well at this.
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Brian, Official Rep

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Agreed.
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Alexander Korbey

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I know very little about coding so I can't comment on the technical aspect but for me as long as we can place ads and banner exchanges and customise the layout well then I'm going to be fairly happy.
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Brian, Official Rep

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I'm in communication with our Ad agency to see about this. Technically it's not an issue. Let me see what I can do.
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Darwin

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I'm rather in the same boat with both TOHS and Plague having customized designs on the website. I looked at what you have to offer and I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up boning something away, because it WAS designed for me. While I can fudge with HTML and am getting better at it. The dissection of the code I have isn't going to be simple enough for me to pull apart and put in the windows currently provided.

Will it allow for home pages and such as well?
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PaulEberhartd

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I think so too! Being able to edit the html is important. I made several additions to my comic layouts myself and it would be more than inconvenient for me to lose them. You can learn the essentials in a couple of afternoons, so don't tell me it doesn't fit into the user-friendly concept. Most of us aren't stupid, are we? Besides it is one of the things that distinguishes our good old Duck from the rest.
If they can't include it, they could at least keep open the option for extra buttons with links of your choice, like character sheets, maps, the widespread TWC-button, PayPal, the creator's homepage and what have you - below the custom navigation button form or something. But it'd still be better to allow html editing; every user is different, after all. Also, the result will look a lot better in most cases.
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1337

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Having the ability to choose basic template or in depth design is kinda something needed and I know, you know.
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Keith Taylor

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After listening to the quackcast I figured anyone following this would like an update.

Wowio will be implementing some kind of site customization tool that is said to be VERY extensive. Everything NEEDED for a web comic will be allowed. And the tools will continue to be improved even after it goes live.

Wowio techs said they looked at several custom sites to see what more advanced web sites add into their templates and are trying to give us all these options. I know they looked at my comic so maybe we will all get random image links, interactive maps, and dropdown chapters :P (wishful thinking I know but I guess it isn't impossible)

Technically the drop down chapters would be a really good option to give all authors anyway just to throw that out there ;)

Voting links and banner exchanges will be allowed as well. The only snag thus far is the Project Wonderful ads. The advertisers have a right to refuse them because they would compete with their own ads. Wowio techs are trying to allow them. (Some of us need an ad to be a part of a group, like I need one to be a member of Palace in the Sky which helped promote me into the top 10 on DD. These ads were not discussed)

It sounds like The Duck will have a much BETTER template/customization system that will benefit webcomic authors.

I figure 99% of the current DD comics will transfer over just fine and be easily tweaked in the new system with little issue.

If this customization tool is as awe inspiring as the techs seem to think of course XD

For those of us that feel we HAVE to have certain things they did mention a premium service. They did NOT mention what features it would give. I would assume removing the ads from your site would be one. Which should allow for any other ads /theory

Before the masses get upset with the idea of a premium service, most users will not even need it. Aside from some html things which still may or may not be implemented into the tool the Wowio techs are giving DD users MORE tools for free. And yes easier customization on their web pages for people not as apt in html. Which are a LOT more than those of us that are fearing the html change XD

With so much feedback now being given we can see that this issue isn't COMPLETELY non negotiable. So I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt and hope that one way or another I can have my full site on The Duck and keep making it my main host while everything else is the mirror.
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Busalonium

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With regards to the new system, (which if it works the way I understand you guys intend to make it will be great) what's happening to the home page feature?
90% of the time when it's used, it sucks. However, I was using the home page in an appropriate way.
I have two comics, one of which no longer updates and kinda sucks, the other does. The old one still gets some traffic coming from various external websites. I had it so that when someone loads my old comic they'd be presented with two buttons, one linking to my new comic, the other to the first page of my old comic. Is this going to be possible with the new site?
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Scorpion451

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I also need to have my home page.
Having a plot driven (and at times somewhat strange) comic,
if new readers are taken straight to the newest page of my comic, they:
#1) Might have certain plotlines ruined for them with spoilers
and
#2)could be completely turned off and confused by my latest artsy page or off-the-wall comic relief page
On top of that, the content on my homepage, like my blog, shoutbox, PW ad, links, etc. belongs on the the homepage, not cluttering up my comic page. That's for, well, the page and its comments.
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Justin Kennard

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having the ability to create our own HTML for the content we provide enables us to maintain some emote of control as the the look and feel of the comics we make for you. Yes we do like to ad things like Project wonderful, that helps us pay for electricity, and generate more readers to come to the Drunk Duck (which increases your revenue as well) as most of the people who use PW also use the money they earn from it to advertise in other places. Help us support you. Let us have full control over the look and feel of the sites we provide for you. This way you will gain more readers, more revenue and more loyalty in both content creators and content consumers. Without those 2 important facets, the is no need for extra advertisers.
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Alexander Korbey

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So the existing custom html is NOT being ported over as promised and we won't be able to do it after.... is that about right? So what else aren't you going to follow through with?