Which of these layouts look better?

16 replies
I'm still in the development stages of my webcomic, and I've been looking around at other sites, and they vary greatly!

So, I'm trying to balance a clean-aesthetic look, while also being able to monetize well.

Take a look at the following webcomic sites and tell me which layouts you think would likely draw repeat consumers, and which ones are more likely to monetize better:

MS Paint Adventures
DOGHOUSE | What Pizza Can Teach Us About
xkcd: Water Phase Diagram
QC: New Comics Every Monday Through Friday

these are all popular comics, but as you can see, some are more "messy" with ads than others. I wonder which makes more $$?
#layouts
  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyFanta
    I prefer the QC: New Comics Every Monday Through Friday layout better and there is some more color in it too.
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  • Same here, I think the QC looks the best. Much more colorful and pleasing to the eyes. The Doghouse was my second favorite. Just a suggestion if looking to make money. Throw in a light box to capture subscribers or something for some report (say a pdf of comics or whatever is appropriate. Then throw up more ads on the download page. ), or at least put up a retargeting pixel to remarket to them. The big money is made not so much on the ads but getting people to return over and over if you can.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnapuna
    Definitely the QC. The other ones were so confusing to look at. The color and clarity of the QC is what makes it stand out
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    It all depends on what you are trying to go for but I agree with everyone else, the last one seems more clean, and painted with pictures.

    I really like the work. Keep it up, and let me know if you ever put out a product. =D
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    There is no clear layout winner in this group. They are all highly simplified in a rushed job kind of way. But purely in terms of user friendliness I'd say xkcd is the winner. For monetization, mspaintadventures has the most ad real estate. The issue with questionablecontent is that most of the ads are stacked at the bottom. Users really have no reason to scroll down there other than to see ads.
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  • Profile picture of the author wiredup
    I agree with dubdub. These sites shouldn't be your point of reference as they are extremely outdated. The main reason these sites still look like that is that they have rather large user bases and there's that old saying "Don't fix what isn't broken".

    Check out some of these just to list a few:
    diesel sweeties by @rstevens : robot webcomic & geeky music t-shirts
    Formal Sweatpants | Deep Sea Adventure - Formal Sweatpants
    POWER NAP - In man's struggle against the world, bet on the world.
    PVP - Minor Retributions
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  • Profile picture of the author dog8food
    Also, why would someone return to these sites? Is there anything besides the comics themselves?

    Oftentimes these webcomic artists share their work on their social networks like facebook, reddit, etc...

    What incentive do I offer so that people keep returning to my actual site?
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    • Profile picture of the author wiredup
      Ease of use. Archiving.

      You need to make it easier to browse the website itself than to browse your social outlets.

      There's a plethora of ways you could make browsing the actual site more meaningful to the users such as things they can only view on the site and such. Take some time to come up with a few.
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      • Profile picture of the author dog8food
        Originally Posted by wiredup View Post

        Ease of use. Archiving.

        You need to make it easier to browse the website itself than to browse your social outlets.

        There's a plethora of ways you could make browsing the actual site more meaningful to the users such as things they can only view on the site and such. Take some time to come up with a few.
        Thank you.

        Another feature that's been on my mind is a comments section.

        Some webcomic sites have comment ability for each individual comment, some even have forums.

        What do you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author adamzanber
    None of these are responsive, in comics alot of traffic will be from mobile. You should consider getting a responsive layout instead of static one.
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    • Profile picture of the author dog8food
      Originally Posted by adamzanber View Post

      None of these are responsive, in comics alot of traffic will be from mobile. You should consider getting a responsive layout instead of static one.
      How would you define 'responsive' for a webcomic?
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      • Profile picture of the author webmarketer
        I agree with adamzanber. Your demo does not usually sit infront of the computer to read your webcomics. They're young, active and use their mobile and tablets more than they use a desktop or laptop. Caveat: This is qualitative unless proven by actual numbers--but I should be within the ballpark.

        You better make sure your site publishes well in said devices.
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      • Profile picture of the author adamzanber
        Originally Posted by dog8food View Post

        How would you define 'responsive' for a webcomic?
        Responsive term is used for those websites which rearrange its contents according to browser width which will be different from mobile to desktop. Normal websites don't do that.

        Users viewing on mobile or tablet can browse site easily and it provide great user experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fantasticant
    The advice above from adamzanber about a responsive layout about will be ever more appropriate as time goes on.

    You would also be best off asking that question to a group of your prospective customers than to us here. Is that possible for you?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      The only site listed so far that I (as a non-artistic person who might get a laugh) would visit and stay on for a while is

      Formal Sweatpants | Deep Sea Adventure - Formal Sweatpants

      Easy to understand the layout and navigation
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