I saw this tweet from Nate Piekos (of
Webcomickers, don’t make me search for the comic on your site. Front & center!That’s why I’m there. Any other content is secondary.
— Nate Piekos (@blambot) June 18, 2012
I’ve noticed lately that a few of the webcomics I follow have redesigned their websites so that the comic no longer appears on the front page. Indeed, you have to click on a button to dig down a level to read it. What’s worse is that, in a couple of cases, that button actually gets lost in the design itself, making it that much harder to find.
Why would any webcomic author take the content that is their livelihood and not make sure it’s the very first thing visitors see? As Nate says in the Tweet above, that’s the reason people are there. Making it harder to find is going to turn off a lot of new readers — and probably a few diehards, as well.
One of my primary philosophies with web design is that content is king. Whatever the focus of your website, you want that information to be the first thing visitors see. This is especially true for webcomics. Your whole site needs to focus on and center around your art. If you have multiple projects going on simultaneously that you want people to see, then make your site’s design reflective of that — but make sure your comic is part of that presentation. Don’t bury it one (or more) levels down. Don’t make your readers have to go hunting for it. That’s only going to hurt you in the long-run.