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A wave of low-key website upgrades

A wave of low-key website upgrades published on 7 Comments on A wave of low-key website upgrades

I’ve been rolling out a bunch of small-but-useful updates to the Leif & Thorn site lately, and wanted to show them off a bit!

Sorted by volume

As the print volumes build up, I got to thinking there should be an obvious way to jump between them in the digital archives.

…yes, you can do it on the Archive page, but I wanted something even more obvious. For the potential reader who picked up a paperback first, and is visiting the URL on the back for the first time.

So now those jumps are in the row of links above each comic!

Because servers would rather have browsers ask for “one large image” than “lots and lots of tiny images”, the base image looks like this:

There’s a separate row for each color scheme, so every site style can . It’s a bit awkward that there’s no cover art for Volume 4 yet..but I’m going to cross the Volume 3 bridge before worrying about it.

The specific nav switches around based on which volume you’re in the middle of. It isn’t perfect — there’s a lot of bonus pages with no nav, because “which volume they go in” doesn’t necessarily match up with the category or date — but it’s set for all the main storylines.

(Gonna have to make a new image from the same template very soon. On the plus side, that one will have me covered all the way through Volume 8.)

All this replaces the previous “places to buy Leif & Thorn stuff” menu. Except the But I’m A Cat Person link, which I figured was worth leaving as-is — it kinda fits better in the current lineup, I think.

The shopping links got moved to the sidebar…which got its own upgrade.

Sidebar flower hour

The social-media links over there used to be “lots and lots of tiny images.” The original goal was just to make a sprite map to replace them. Then I figured, as long as I was going to the trouble, it was worth putting in the extra effort to make it something On-Brand.

So now they’re color-coded flowers. (And, in Instagram’s case, gradient-coded.)

Here’s the full image:

In an effort to make it portable and future-proofed, I kept coming back and adding more icons for every site that seemed like it might be relevant to a webcomic creator — whether there’s any Leif & Thorn presence on them or not. Started with a spread of 40 rose icons! Ended up with only 5 blank slots left.

The sidebar has a limited set of them now. More limited than the previous icon set, because they’re bigger, and get visually-overwhelming faster. I went with the sites people seemed most inclined to click on; there’s a more complete set on the Links page.

The cast page is here too

The Leif & Thorn character page doesn’t have any dramatic changes, but some text was finessed and some layout tweaked. Also, Tiernan has her own square in the grid now. Because she’s worth it.

The bigger story here is over on Crystalpedia, where I decided to add “List of Major Appearances” to almost every character’s profile. (Except Leif and Thorn themselves, because c’mon, that’s just the Timeline page.)

In theory: great idea! In practice: I’ve been grinding through the specifics for 2+ weeks, and it’s still not done.

Getting pretty close, though. And going through each character’s tag means I keep spotting new details that deserve to be in the main text of their entry. Check out Mages or Embassy Staff to see how some of the finished ones look.

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7 Comments

While I’m on a roll, this is a great time for troubleshooting. Spotted any broken images or dead links? Having trouble with anything in the layout/color scheme? Found an error in the wiki, and want an account so you can make your own updates? Drop a comment here, let me know!

This isn’t exactly an error, but I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have characters tagged in strips where they don’t appear but do speak from offscreen. I notice that sometimes when I’m reading an entire scene from within a character tag, there are gaps when the character is off-page for a strip or two even though they still have dialogue.

The flowers are nice but you should recheck if you are not violating some terms for using the logos of those social medias. Or is that just for share buttons?

Social-media sites don’t tend to have a problem with free advertising!

I looked up a couple of brand guidelines, and mostly they just want you to avoid altering the look of the icon (by rotating, skewing, putting googly eyes on the Twitter bird, etc), to avoid claiming you have some Official Endorsement From The Site, and to stick with their Approved Brand Colors. (Although in looking up the Ko-Fi one, I noticed I got the background wrong…guess I better go double-check some of the others, huh.)

I was reading the wiki today did find a few minor corrections to make, and am inclined to make a character entry for Niamh (sans image and directly beneath Kale’s entry in keeping with the editing guidelines and precedent established by Tiernan’s entry respectively). May I please have an account?

Username: Giacomo Hawkins

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