Tutorials/The Step-By-Step Guide
So hey-ho, you got a comic and you want to put it online for the world to see. You've applied for a Comic Genesis Account, submitted your sample comic and weeks later... wow! you've got your username and password, and your account is ready and waiting for you. Congratulations! You've accomplished a lot more than most people have. Anyway, here are the list of basic basic steps you have to do to get your comic online:
STEP 1: Find Plans (Apologies for the DOTT reference.)
Get the comics you want to put up, and get them into digital format (Scan 'em whatever). This may sound banal, but it's amazing how some people never think how they're going to transfer those lovely drawings of theirs to the computer and subsequently the Internet. Of course, I'm sure you know this and I don't have to tell you this, right?
Look here for more information on getting your images ready.
STEP 2: Name your creations
I'm assuming you already have a working name for your comic, else you wouldn't have gotten the Comic Genesis account. What I mean by naming your creations is naming the image files that will be the actual pages of your comic. You'll want to have them in a common image format (.gif, .jpg .tiff .png whatever you make the call).
However, to be able to use the automatic update feature that comes with Comic Genesis, you need to update your comics in date format. For example, if today's date is the 9th of June, 2003. And Page 1 of your comic will be posted today, then name your comic page 20030609.jpg (or whatever file format you chose). Remember it's four digits for the year, two digits for the month, and two digits for the day. So, YYYYMMDD.jpg.
Name all your files this way, but with the dates you want them up. It can be a future date if you like.
STEP 3: Get Thee a FTP Program
(Skip this if you have one and know how to use it) If you don't, see the FTP guide page for a quick overview.
STEP 4: It's Movin Time!
You'll need to know what your Host URL is first. Usually, its YOURSITENAME.comicgenesis.com. That means if my comic is called The Jaded, and my login name is thejaded, then the URL I should FTP to is thejaded.comicgenesis.com.
Got that? Great! Start up your FTP program and enter the following information into the these fields. I'll use my name for these examples:
The other fields you can pretty much ignore. (Note: If your FTP program has an anonymous setting, uncheck/turn it off). Now try to connect. If you can't, there might be a problem with your account. If you're getting bad password messages, try requesting a new password from the lost password facilty.
If you still can't, either CG is having trouble with the server or your account isn't ready.
What's that? You can connect!? Hurrah! On to the next step!
STEP 5: Welcome to Your Account!
Your FTP program should show you that there are two folders in your account. One will be called public_html and the other will be called workspace. Ignore public_html for now, workspace is where you need to go.
Keep in mind that there are several folders that appear to be repeated. This is intentional. No matter what happens, DO NOT DELETE ANY FOLDERS! If you do, you will break your comic and you will not be able to repair it simply by creating a new folder with the same name.
STEP 6: Just in case you screw up...
Make a copy of all the files in /workspace and save them in your hardrive. They'll come in handy if you mess up later. Not that I'm saying you will, but just in case. Remember, backup = safety net. The only folder you won't be able to download is the images folder. Just create an images folder on your hard drive so that you have the same layout.
STEP 7: View your workspace
Open the workspace folder. There should be 5 items in it: 3 folders and 2 html files. The folders are: comics, images and webpages. The html files are indextemplate.html and dailytemplate.html.
- comics: Very obviously, this is where you put your comics to be updated.
- images: This is where all images which aren't comics go.
- webpages: Where all other HTML pages for your site go.
This folder, basically, is where Autokeen finds the page templates, images, and other information it needs to generate the pages for the public html files.
It's also the location of the very important indextemplate.html and dailytemplate.html files.
- indextemplate.html: This is the all-important html file that determines what your index page (Main pages, ie what you see when you go to http://yourcomic.comicgenesis.com) will display. Autokeen generates the actual html for the main page based on this file. This is also where you should use your ComicGenesis tags, BTW. If you aren't confident of what you're doing, save a backup copy of indextemplate before you edit it.
- dailytemplate.html: This is the html file in your /workspace folder which will determine how your archive pages will looks like. It's similar to indextemplate, but is used to generate the many many pages (if you've done that many) for your archive.
STEP 8: Upload the comics into the comics folder
Upload all your comic images (they are in date format, right?) to the comics folder. Use your FTP program to do so.
STEP 9: The Unwanted First Page
The sample comic you submitted while signing up for the account will have been put as your first comic page. If that's what you intended then you need not do anything. However, if you wish to remove it and replace it with another comic, do the next step:
STEP 10: Clearing out the Comic
Go to /public_html. Then go to the /comics folder. Note that there will be one comic image in there. delete it, but DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDER. Go to /public_html and then to the /d folder. There will be one dated HTML file in there as well. As with the comic, delete it but DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDER.
What does the /public_html folder do?
This is where the actual html files a browser would read are stored. AutoKeen updates the contents of this folder through the workspace folder, though I've also be been told that you can upload you stuff directly to this folder if you aren't planning to update using AutoKeen. Mind you, only do this if you know what you're doing, and if you're not sure, make backups just in case.
STEP 11: Log in to Comic Genesis SiteAdmin
Go to the CG SiteAdmin. You'll need to ignore the certificate warning.
You need to have an account at the CG forums. You login in to siteadmin with your forum username and password.
Note: You may need to log out of the CG forums, then log back in, but with the first letter of your username capitalized. Then log into CG siteadmin, also with the first letter of your username capitalized.
STEP 12: Add your comic
You need to link your comic to your forum account. Scroll down and enter your sitename and password.
STEP 13: Request an update!
Clicking on your comicname will open a list of options. Select Upload/Update.
You'll be given three options: Regular, Index only and Full. Pick Regular. Notice the number of people in the queue before you select the option.
Selecting "Regular" will trigger a normal update which includes uploading new comics, adding new pages and updating the index and daily templates.
An "Index" update will only affect your indextemplate.
"Full" updates should only be used if you've directly altered something in the public_html folder.
Important: Note that you do not normally need to trigger an update. The server will attempt to update your comic once every day, 365 days a year. You only need to request updates when you are changing things (like the templates) and want to see the new versions prior to the next scheduled automatic update.
STEP 14: Queue up!
If the last step has been done right, the number of people in the queue should increase by 1. Your comic update is now in the queue and all you have to do is wait.
STEP 15: It's the final countdown!
The numbers shown on the queue are actually how many people there are in the queue, and not how many people before its your turn. Please do NOT refresh your browser to check the numbers, as in some browsers, the update information will be resent, which means you are requesting two updates and clogging the server.
You can check the progress of your site by checking the http://sitename.comicgenesis.com/rss.xml (Replace 'sitename' with your site name). The last line should tell you when your site last updated, down to the second.
Go to your site and check it out. A basic basic version of your site should have appeared, with a title, author name, one page of comic, and links to other pages if you uploaded more than one page! Congratulations! Your Comic Genesis site is now functional. Now all you have to do is pretty up the site using html and images, and maybe add some features, but I'll leave that up to you.
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