So we are now only a day away from the scheduled relaunch of the new Duck Webcomics site.
Several of you have been wondering about the migration plan. When will it happen? What is involved? How long will it take? What happens to your comic? etc... Let me try to address each issue one-by-one:
When Will the Migration Occur?
We have already begun the enormous process of migrating ALL of your comics and comic meta-data over to the new servers. We anticipate this taking quite a while to complete. It is our hope that this entire process will be completed by Friday, July 1st. We will keep you posted if it looks like we need more time to allow this process to finish.
What Will You Be Doing To My Comic?
Any comic pages that are currently over 960px wide will be resampled and resized to 960px. Any comic pages currently below that width cap will be transferred over "as is," and will not be changed in any way. Additionally, .swf files will not display on the new site at launch. We're still working on building that functionality into our new framework, and are looking at a September timeframe to have that implemented.
What About My Uploaded Files For My Comics?
Any uploaded image files (.jpg, .gif, .png, etc) will be migrated over into the files locker for each of your comics. However, non-image file extensions WILL NOT migrate over (such as .html files). If you need to access and backup any of these files locally, you should do it this week, before Friday.
Will the Site Go Down?
Not exactly. Here is the schedule:
Friday, July 1st at 3pm PDT
ALL uploading of new comic images will be disabled.
ALL site logins will be disabled.
ALL site Forums input and comic commenting will be disabled.
Disabling these sections will give us the time we need to go back and catch any images that may have been uploaded since our first and second migration passes. (This migration will continue through the weekend.)
Tuesday, July 5th at 3pm PDT
We will make the original DD site available at the address: http://original.drunkduck.com. (Editing and login will remain disabled.)
The new site will be available at http://www.drunkduck.com - You will be able to login and comment normally at this location. (The current preview site will be disabled and inaccessible.)
I Have Customized My Comic Template. What Will My Comic Look Like Now?
We have spent several weeks putting in new customization tools for your comic pages. Unfortunately, and contrary to what I had originally hoped, we CANNOT migrate everybody's comic layout template customizations over from the old site to the new.
We’ve tried to minimize any inconvenience this will cause, so here is what you’ll need to do: After 3pm PDT on Tuesday July 5th, we need everyone to log into the new site and re-customize their comic using the new controls. You will only have to do this ONE TIME. After this, it will be saved and you have the ability to change it as frequently as you want/need to. Again, this is something we were hoping to avoid, but it became impossible to program for each and every comic layout variation. Hopefully it should only be a minor inconvenience.
What If I Don't Customize My Comic Pages? What Happens to My Comic?
Nothing. The comic and all of its pages will still migrate over but will be in a "generic" or default template layout. Navigation buttons will be provided, they just won't be set to the style of your choosing for your comic.
How Do I Go About Customizing My Comic Layout? Is the Process At Least Easy?
It's super, super easy now for ANYONE to customize the layout to their comic pages. Here are the steps to customizing your comic:
1. Log into the site.
2. From the side-bar on the homepage, click to open your list of comics and select the which comic’s layout you wish to customize.
3. In the top sub-navigation, select "activate layout mode."
4. "Edit" buttons are then visible next to each of the sections of your comic page, giving you the capability in REALTIME to alter/save the layout of your comic.
This is only Phase One in our effort to give EVERYONE the ability to customize the layout of their comic. We acknowledge that this first phase will feel the most restrictive to those who have done extensive layout customizations in the past. Phase Two will address those limitations. You will have the ability to drag entire sections of your layout to place items where you want them. You will have this capability in REAL TIME. Meaning you will see what the public will see first. Once you hit "save," the public will see it also.
What About Sub-pages? (Char bios, About page, etc...)
We've now made adding sub-pages part of the basic functionality included as part of your account on The Duck. When you log into the site, you click on "edit" next to your comic in the User Control Panel. Then click on the "subpages" link in the navigation panel. You can paste your html into the 'content' field to create a subpage.
When Can I Start Customizing My Comic Layout?
Starting on Tuesday, July 5th around 3PM PDT, when the new site comes online, you will have the ability to go in and customize your comic. It is at this time that you will also be able to add sub-pages to your comic as well.
Upcoming Features / Functionality
Once the new site goes up, there are additional features and functionality planned to launch shortly thereafter.
Comic Layout Customization Tools Phase II
Comic Page Bulk Uploading
Homepage List Filtering
Pre-made Comic Page Templates
Template Sharing System
Address Book for PQ's
How Long Will The Original Site Stay Up?
The plan is to keep the Original site accessible until August 15th, 2011. The Original DrunkDuck site will be retired at that time. We want to leave it up long enough to give the community enough time to customize their comic page on the new site using the old as reference. (This time may be extended a bit if the community needs more time.)
I’m sure you all know that a lot of work has gone into this site reboot, because we want to be sure there is something in there for everyone. Whether you are an experienced HTML code junkie or a comic artist with no technical abilities, our goal has been to provide a solid foundation and a flexible tool-set that allows all creators to enhance their offerings and grow their audience.
As always feel free to submit any and all comments to us using the Get Satisfaction Support Board.
Chief Technology Officer, WOWIO Inc.
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What Will You Be Doing To My Comic?
Any comic pages that are currently over 960px wide will be resampled and resized to 960px.
Additionally, .swf files will not display on the new site at launch. We're still working on building that functionality into our new framework, and are looking at a September timeframe to have that implemented.
I'm actually really excited other than the swf files because I have a comic made up of them but I don't mind waiting on it, being I can't access flash at the moment anyway.
ANYWAY, I just hope everything goes over well and youse is doing a fantastic job.