Redesign 2018: Show the Stories!

If you’ve been keeping attention – which I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, given how little new stuff I’ve posted recently -, you may have noticed that I’ve redesigned this site once more.I’ve been fed up with the old design for a while, which, given how enthusiastic I was about it in 2014, probably just means it didn’t age well.

I’ve yet to fix a couple of minor issues and move the whole project to a more secure location where only a chosen few will ever be able to see it … no, wait,  this isn’t about secrecy, it’s about privacy. I’ll get back to that in time. Anyway, new site. Pretty. Or so I think.

I’ve moved some stuff out of the way for better transparency, but more importantly, I’ve moved stuff into your way that I want to drop a few lines about.

The central feature of the new design is the sidebar right next or right under the comic, depending on your screen size, right where the comic logo is. This sidebar contains two new widgets. And by “new”, I mean I wrote them for this launch. I’ve set both of them to only show when there’s something to show, so you may not have seen both of them on the home page.But here’s what they do:

  1. This Story Widget: Creates a widget with some handy information for ongoing stories to show in the sidebar, such as the story title when it’s not the page title as well, a synopsis if there is one, and a link to the first page.
  2. The Story So Far: Adds a metabox to the “Add Comic” page for a quick summary of what happened so far in the story. As well as a shortcode and a widget to display that.

My idea was to emphaszize the ongoing stories more than I used to on the old site. Used to be, I had to put a link to the first page of each story with each page. Now the widget does that for me. And a summary of the story so far is something I’ve missed on a lot of webcomics sites myself, being only an occasional dropper-by, so I really hope that one will catch on.

The plugins are still in beta, so you can’t get them from WordPress yet. You can download the beta versions at my new GitHub repository if you want, and give feedback, too. I have a few new features lined up myself to to get done before submitting them to WotdPress, and once all that’s done, I’ll help integrate the functions into a future version of Comic Easel, too. (The plugin stage is really for people like me who don’t always use the most recent version.)

Here are some screenshots from the backend:

This Story Widget as it shows in the widgets menu.

The widget that comes with “The Story So Far”.

“The Story So Far” adds a field to the “Add Comic” page.


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