An alternative to buying hosting for your Web site is signing with an online syndicate. These act very much like a newspaper syndicate, handling the distribution and promotion of your cartooning. Few are offering significant income to their members, unless those cartoonists are generating a high volume of traffic. However, online syndicates are still young.
There are many advantages to signing with an online syndicate. For example, many syndicates have automatic updating and archiving software as part of the hosting plan. Also, few syndicates limit their members' hard drive space, bandwidth, or data transfer. In short, online syndicates oversee the business end of Webcomics, freeing you to concentrate on the creative aspect.
Furthermore, online syndicates offer something that a Web host cannot: community. First of all, you will become part of a group of established Webcartoonists who can guide you through the finer details of publishing on the Web. Second, online syndicates cross-promote their strips — that is, they will promote your strip on the site of a larger, established Webcomic. Exposing your title to people who are already predisposed to reading Webcomics will increase your traffic exponentially.
Different online syndicates offer different services to members. For example, some of them also publish some of their members' comics in book form. Pay as close attention to their TOS and membership agreements as you would those of any other prospective Web host. Here are a few established online syndicates:
Modern Tales (
Comics Sherpa (
If your site features a new cartoon every day, you'll want automatic updating and archiving. That way, every day a new comic appears on your site and the old one gets filed in a searchable archive. Keenspot cofounder Darren Bleuel wrote a CGI script you can download at
Many Webcartoonists turn to self-hosting once they become established. None of the creators who make a living doing Webcomics are hosted by an online syndicate. That's not to say that it's impossible — it just hasn't happened yet.