Anyone who has been around for a year or more is pretty much guaranteed to go through a problem with their provider. No matter how well you plan you will always get to the point where something has to change. DS has been through this three times in various forms with getting our own domain, switching to wordpress, and the near perfect switch to using Dreamhost. By far the worst was transferring everything from blogspot to wordpress, which required some professional help to get all the archives migrated. We’re just a blog!
What about webcomics that find their provider can’t keep up with growing demand? In the past couple of years I’ve witnessed more then a couple of comics be forced to find upgrade or perish under the onslaught of a good wanging. Two examples come to mind. Chugworth Academy and Elf ‘n Troll. Both are excellent problems that have had a history of down time and poor service all around from their providers. These problems were so bad as to cause both to regurgitate and bury themselves.
Chugworth’s problem has happened before. Back in May of 2003 the entire archives were lost resulting in the relaunch of the comic. Four years later it seems to be going through almost the same problem. According to Jamal Joseph Scribblekid.org went down, taking several websites with it. Technical issues took it and the web administrator was absence at the time. The problem was fixed but a few days later the servers suffered what appeared to be a DDoS attack. Four months later the site is still not up and due to personal issues, mostly dealing with work and sickness, the site has not been moved either. How does a comic survive such a set back? How long can a site be expected to keep their readers before the service they’ve come to expect is returned to them even when it is not the fault of the artist?
Perhaps the person to answer this is AP Furtado. On July 30th, ELF `n TROLL was restarted with daily updates on WCN as well as ComicSpace. The original host was marred by numerous technical issues hurting the flow of the story and eventually put the â€œnail in the coffinâ€ for an ongoing, long-form webcomic. Now it has been reposted from the beginning, updating five times per week, every Monday through Friday. Can a comic that has succumbed bring back the faithful and jump out of the flames that was poor hosting?
If the comic is good enough, it can come back from just about anything. Since the end user is only out their time, it can be a lot easier to forgive than if they had to pay for each installment like printed comics.