This month marks the One Year Anniversary of the re-launch of All New Comics. We got our start in August of 2005, but it wasn’t until April 2006 that we went “public”. In the beginning we just sold to friends and people who learned of us through word of mouth. The site quite frankly sucked. Then in April it got better.
Originally there was a news area, and a products area and the two didn’t really have much in common. Subscriptions were a manual process (email us your list and we’ll pull your comics for you). Page views were quite low, and about 95% of people didn’t go past the front page. Around February I got a Google Analytics account and started making plans for the future.
The first thing I did was merge the news and stores together so that the main page would have products, news, marketing blurbs, all that good stuff. I really revamped the design at this point too, and in the best move of the year I hired my buddy Ryan to help me out with the subscriptions portion of the site. He wrote a subscriptions engine from scratch and fused it onto the back of Candy Press.
While he was doing that, I undertook the process of adding about 1,000 products into the system.
By mid April we were done and up, just in time for the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, which was our big “coming out” party.
Our traffic has gone up tenfold since then, we do a little paid advertising, but a lot of our traffic comes from Google and the way that we’ve optimized the site (plus some really serendipitous stuff that’s happened in comics like the Infinite Crisis, Civil War, and the Death of Captain America). Our sales have increased steadily, and so has the monthly work required to keep the site updated.
With all that in mind, this is the month that I’m going to do a minor refresh to the site, with a new layout and a little new functionality on how things get displayed. Next month Ryan and I are going to tackle the subscriptions portion again and make it a slightly more automated process so that I can focus a little more on getting more product on the site instead of wasting my time with repetitive effort that could be automated.
So those three boxes at the top of this month’s layout? Well the first one is V1 of All New Comics (the sucky version), the second is V2, the present version…and the third box? Wait and see that one. It’ll knock your socks off.