Publishing comics with WordPress is a unique endeavor and will take just a little preparation. It is suggested that you read this document in its entirety before attempting to publish comics with ComicPress and WordPress. You may save yourself a headache and a trip to the support forum, however, if you do run into problems, you are always welcome there. Enjoy the theme!
— Tyler Martin
Step 1. Configure
With this instruction file you will have also extracted 5 editions of the ComicPress theme, each an entirely independent theme in its own folder. Each folder has a text file in it called comicpress-config.php which you must edit with your custom settings.
The first setting is "$comiccat", your comic category. You must choose a WordPress category to be your comic category. Every post you make to this category will be treated as a comic post. Every comic must be a post to this category. If you have a fresh installation of WordPress, you could use the default Uncategorized category for your comics category, just go and rename it in WordPress Administration (http://yoursite.com/wp-admin). Select Mangage/Categories and then select the category name, you can then change the name as well as what is called the slug, you would also want to rename that as that is the one seen in the URL to the comic category. The "Uncategorized" folder ID is "1", this is already the default ID in the ComicPress Config for the comic category. If you would like to use a different category, click on the category name in the category listing, then on the following page, in the URL at the top of your browser you will see the ID of that category at the end of the URL. Enter it in the ComicPress Config file.
The next setting, "$blogcat", is your blog category, this is the news that appears and navigates separate from the comics. If you create a new category in a fresh WordPress installation, it's ID will be "3", that is the default setting for the blog category. If this is not the case, find the ID of your blog category (as explained for the comic category ID) and enter it here.
The next settings are for the folders, "$comic_folder", "$rss_comic_folder" and "$archive_comic_folder". You will need to create a comics subfolder at your website. The default name of the folder is "comics". If you would like to use a different folder name, just create that folder at your site and set this setting accordingly. You can also set the folder of your archive or RSS feed. This is only if you want your archive or RSS feed to use different images when displaying the comic that you will have to upload to these separate folders. For example you may want a smaller verson of your comics to appear in the archive pages (can also be done with the next setting) or maybe you just want a teaser frame to appear in the RSS feed.
The next setting "$archive_comic_width", is the width your comic images will appear on archive and search results pages. You can set it to any value, it will be displayed in pixels.
The final setting is "$blog_postcount". This controls the number of posts that display in your blog on the front page. The number of posts on all other pages are controlled from the setting in your WordPress Administration area under Settings/Reading/Blog pages show at most.
One setting that is recommended (not necessary) that you make in WordPress is to your permalinks, to make them more attractive, better for linking, and better for search engines. Go to Settings/Permalinks and select Day and name.
Step 2. Install
Choose the editions you want to try out, just copy their folder to your server. They need to go in your WordPress themes folder... /wp-content/themes/. Then go to WordPress Administration panel and select Design. Finally, select the ComicPress theme you want to activate.
Step 3. Publish Comics
First you will need to upload your comic file with your choice of FTP software, to the comics folder you specified earlier. The file format can be a JPG, GIF or PNG. It must be named in date format YYYY-MM-DD. A GIF comic to be posted on May 10th, 2008, would have the filename: 2008-05-10.gif. You can also include extra information after the date in the filename, perhaps you want to include the comic number and it's your 305th comic: 2008-05-10-0305.gif. Or you might include the post title for easy reference of the comic file, 2008-05-10-falling-off-a-cliff.gif. You could even just throw in some scrambled letters so that visitors can't "peek" ahead at future comics, 2008-05-10-qwxfdg.gif.
Now that your comic file is in place, all you need to do is create a post for the same date that the comic is named after and select the comic category for that post. ComicPress will take care of the rest, always displaying the associated comic along with that post in the comic area of the theme.
To post a non-comic post, one to appear in your blog section, just select the blog category for it. All posts must be either marked as in the comic category or the blog category. They can be in other categories as well (though it is suggested you take advantage of tags for doing much categorization) but must be in at least one of those two categories so that ComicPress knows how to handle them for you.
The ComicPress Manager is a plugin specifically created for the ComicPress theme that makes a lot of the above steps really easy. It has a simple interface for setting your configuration and will upload comics files to the proper directory and even make the corresponding posts for them. It can be used to transfer a large existing archive of comic files to ComicPress and WordPress. It is still early in development but is available for download from its plugin page.
Create A Complete Archive Page
If you would like to create a page listing all your comics, section by year, ordered by date, and listed by title (not recommended if you have thousands of comics in the archive) this is easily done. Just go to your WordPress Administration area and create a new Page (not a post). Title it "Archives" or something similar, you can include any text you might want to add to the top of the page in the text area. Finally, below the text area there is a Page Template section, from the dropdown menu select "Comic Archive. Then click publish and you will have a complete archive page.
Head to your WordPress Administration area and select Design/Widgets. From here you can customize the features on your sidebar(s). Just add any of the listed Widgets to the sidebar, and it will replace the default sidebar with your new recipe. Here you will find the standard WordPress Widgets, along with some ComicPress specific ones like Latest Comics, Random Comic, Archive Dropdown and Comic Bookmark.
Style & Layout Customizing
The ComicPress theme has been designed to look attractive, and be somewhat generic so that it can be used as-is for any comic site. Also though, it has been designed in a clean and simple way that makes customizing it as easy as possible. With a little CSS knowledge you can change your colors and insert graphics where you want them. With a littler more you can even alter the entire layout by resizing and rearranging the DIVs.
With this theme fresh off the press, there is not too much in place yet but we will be featuring tips and tutorials on customizing it at the ComicPress Website. You should subscribe to the RSS feed to stay updated. The ComicPress Support Forum is also very useful, and full of other ComicPress users that can help you accomplish what you are trying to do with your site.
One of the reasons to use WordPress is the wealth of support and plugins. So you might want to check out the WordPress Plugins Directory to see what other features you can add to your site. The ComicPress Website regularly features recommended and useful plugins. Keep in mind that too many plugins (specifically process intense ones) can slow down your site and in some cases break it, always be cautious and research each plugin before going live with it on your site.
If you get stumped or something's not workgin right, don't worry, you are not the first. Just head over to the friendly and resourceful ComicPress Support Forum where fellow ComicPress users are constantly helping each other out.