New Site, New Rant

Posted by Ben on 2010-12-17

Well, I must say, the site redesign worked out rather nicely. There are a few things that need to be worked out, nothing noteworthy, just minor hiccups here and there that we didn’t manage to catch. Though, you could help us out by emailing one of us anything you happen to notice that seems broken, busted or…er…b-not working. Otherwise this rant is to mostly to go down the list of changes for you old timers. New readers feel free to read along with us. It’ll be like a tour of the site…but with text only, and on one page. cough cough Anyway, let’s go.

So the first obvious change is the background. We wanted something that fit more of a “on a wooden ship feel” to it, rather than our previous, “this is a background” feel to it. To that end our site designer came up with the layout and background you see now. After testing it amongst various peers and friends, no one could really think of anything bad about it, so we went with it. Personally I think it looks rather fetching, or at the very least unobtrusive.

Next is the fact that we moved the rants to their own separate page. Now, let’s be perfectly honest. Dubious Company is a webcomic, we’re not a blog. The rants were updated rarely, even in the best of times. Mostly rants just chugged along at the same rate tectonic plates move about. By moving the rants we’ve shifted focus to the comic entirely, which is what we wanted in the first place. Truthfully, I felt that rants had to deal specifically with the Dubious Company comic, given that they shared the same space. I hope that by removing the rants from the comic itself Tria and I will be more inclined to write random stuff (though I wouldn’t get my hopes up). Also, move the rants makes room for new comment/shoutbox system.

Speaking of which, there’s a new comment/shoutbox system. There’s actually several reason why we changed this up. I suppose the primary reason is I’m a suspicious bastard. The shoutbox we had was functional, but it was third party program. Call me crazy but I just can’t fundamentally trust something that I don’t have any say or even control over. Additionally, a few fans (who shall remain nameless) emailed me to mention that they didn’t feel quite comfortable posting in the shoutbox. They felt they were intruding on a private conversation. To that end we’ve switched to the more er…live journal style of commenting. Each comic (and rant actually) has its own attached comments. We feel this allows the same functionality of the old shoutbox, but with the added advantage that people can jump in on commenting about the new comics without feeling odd or awkward.

Finally, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the banners on the site. Yes, the time has finally come. I’d hope to avoid it but reality is staring me in the face. The comic costs money to maintain, and, to be perfectly frank, I don’t have much money to maintain it. So, we’re making an attempt to garner a bit of cash from Dubious Company, at least to the point where it pays for itself. As said, I’d kind of hope to avoid this, I started writing Dubious Company because I like watching silly people do silly things, and I hope to maintain that feeling. To that end I will try to make this site’s monetization as painless as possible. I can guarantee are that the main site will stay free. I will never ask you to pay for the main content of the Dubious Company, nor should you. Just let people know where you found such hilarious characters if you decide to use them (though paying for physical copies wouldn’t be entirely out of the question). Also, I’ll try to make the adds as unobtrusive as possible. Personally, I hate pop-up, pop-in, pop-under, pop-a-matic ads, as well as ads that have imbedded sounds and such. I see no reason to have such things on my site. My plan is to have them there, and if you choose, without any coercing from us, to click on them, then awesome. Otherwise, they should be easily ignorable. After all, the main focus of the site is inane adventures of the Dubious Company crew, not the ads.

Anyway, I’ve had my say, and you all know what to expect now. Again, any problems or issues you folks find in the next couple of day, please let us know. We checked everything we could find, but we never really know until we get into the thick of things.