Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review of Smack Jeeves

I recently switched hosts for Think Before You Think from Smack Jeeves to Spider Forest. This was an upgrade, since Spider Forest is a selective collective with free domain hosting, but I think Smack Jeeves is underrated, as a free and open webcomic host.

I started with Smack Jeeves when I was making Lifehouse: Behind the Video Blogs. I didn't know anything about running a webcomic. I had been posting my comics in my LiveJournal art gallery. With Smack Jeeves it was easy to get my comics up in a sequential order, which was all I wanted at the time. I didn't need to know any html in order to do that, but since I had access to all the code in the layout for the default template, I decided to experiment with it, and I learned a lot more about html through that process. And I discovered that I actually have a lot of freedom over the structure and layout of the website.

In general, I've been very happy with the features that Smack Jeeves provides for free, and when I wanted something improved, sometimes posting about it on the forum would make a difference. For example, I got them to include news in the RSS feeds from my suggestion.

I still update my original Smack Jeeves-hosted Think Before You Think website as a mirror, and still get a significant portion of my website's traffic from it, because a lot of Smack Jeeves members have it in their favorites. I think the pool of Smack Jeeves comics sometimes has a reputation for being juvenile or nothing but Yaoi and sprite comics, but I think it's pretty diverse. It's a huge website, and since it's so easy to use that it has a lot of comics on it that people don't put much effort or care into, but it also has a lot of good quality comics. I was impressed that my comic got such a big following of fans on the site considering that it's not in any typical Smack Jeeves genre.

I highly recommend Smack Jeeves if you're looking for good quality, free webcomic hosting. I might even recommend getting a premium account if you want to have your own domain and you want to spend some money. But I don't know what that's like - I haven't used it.


  1. Because webcomics can be published by anyone, it means any awful comic can have a following even if it's say, Dominic Deegan quality. At the same time it means that good artists can publish their work, but the ratio of good work to bad is way skewed to bad.

    Since you have a .com site, have you considered adding Comicpress? It has some nice features and is easy to use once you get accustomed to it, and you can set up the Jetpack widget to check your site stats and see your referrals, page views, etc. in detail. It also has a better comment system than what your comic currently has.

  2. That's true about the ratio of good and bad work, but that doesn't have to interfere with your own comic if you just want to post it for free.

    No, I haven't considered comicpress. I like what I'm using now.