Using ComicControl

Have a question about how to use ComicControl? Then this is the place to be!  In this page, we’ve documented all the basic usage instructions for ComicControl.  

This information is for those who have already installed ComicControl and want to know more about how to use it.  If you’re just getting started, please check out the getting started page.

Understanding Modules

The first step in understanding ComicControl is to understand its most basic unit, the module.  Right now, modules are available in four types--comics, blogs, galleries, and text pages.  Each module can constitute a page of your website visitable at a URL determined based on the module’s name, which can be seen in that module’s options page.  

Modules are used to organize information on your site based on the type of information it is and how it is presented on your website.  For example, if you create a comic module, then you will be able to add comic pages to it and it will be displayed as a comic.  Comic modules will also have certain extra tools available, such as navigation buttons, news posts, and tags.  Similarly, blog modules can contain blog posts, which are displayed on your website as blog pages and posts.  

You can create and manage module options from the “manage modules” page available when you click on “modules” in the menu.  This page shows all the modules you have on your site and gives you the option to add new modules.  Module types can’t be changed once the module is created, so you must be sure what type of content you are putting into your module before you create it.  Once you’ve created a module, you will have access to more options for that module specific to that module type.  For example, comic modules have several options associated with them regarding how they are displayed and how their navigation works which you can change once that module is created.

Generally, you will only have one module per page, but by modifying your templates, you can also embed other modules into different pages than their main page.  For example, if you have a text module you use to display your convention schedule, you can modify a comic page’s template to display that convention schedule next to the comic.

Here are basic explanations of each type of module:

Comic - This is the module type you will use to generate comic pages.  Each comic module should constitute its own series.  If you have multiple comic series on the same website, you simply have to create a new comic module for each series.  Comic modules contain storylines and comic posts.  Each comic post belongs to a storyline and can have a news post associated with it.  You can read more on storylines and posts below.

Blog - This is the module type you will use to create blogs.  Like comic modules, you can have multiple different blogs on the same website simply by creating more blog modules.  Blogs can be used to display persistent news feeds that aren’t attached to specific comic pages like the news posts on comics are.  They can also be used for side pages to create things like development and news blogs, or you can even use ComicControl to publish your blog without even having a comic on your website.

Gallery - This module can be used to display galleries of images.  You can also input a description of that gallery that will be displayed above the images in your gallery.  Galleries will be displayed as thumbnails that show the full sized image when clicked on. 

Text - This module can be used to display any sort of text or rich media in a page.  This can be used to create informational side pages or small segments of text within other pages that can be easily edited. 

Using Storylines

Storylines are the basic unit of organization available in comic modules.  Storylines can be books, volumes, chapters, parts--whatever type of division you want to use.  Each storyline is essentially the same, and it can either be at the top level--like a book or volume might be--or a subsection of another storyline, like a chapter in a book.  To do this, you simply select a “parent storyline” for a storyline, which will allow you to create a hierarchy for books, chapters, acts, and so on.  You must create at least one storyline in order to begin adding comic posts to your comic module.

You can create, delete, rearrange, and generally manage storylines by going to the “manage storylines” page within a comic module.  Here, you will be able to navigate your storylines and edit their name and their place in the hierarchy, as well as the order of sub-storylines arranged within another storyline.  This will determine how your archive is displayed and how you categorize your comics.

However, storyline order does not affect the order in which pages are displayed on your site.  The order of comic posts is entirely determined by their publication date.

Scheduling Posts

The order of comic posts and blog posts is completely determined by their publication time.  Older posts will always be placed before newer posts in blog and comic archives.  Also, posts that are scheduled for a time in the future will be previewable on your site for logged in users, but they will not be visible to the public until that future time has passed.  As such, posts can be scheduled in advance simply by scheduling the post for the future date you’d like it to appear at.

Site and Module Options

Your ComicControl site has universal options that can be set to modify how the whole site functions; each individual module also has its own set of options, which depend on the type of module it is.  For more information on these options please see the customization page.

Users

ComicControl supports multiple users, each with their own login credentials and avatar.  There are two levels of user: the default user, and an administrator user.  There can be multiple users at each level. Currently, the only difference between these users is that administrators can add, edit, and remove other users.  The first user you create upon installation will automatically be given administrator status.  Be sure not to add people as users indiscriminately as they will have full abilities to add, edit, and delete modules entirely.  

Users can be added, modified, and deleted through the “Users” section of the menu, which is only available to administrators.

Image Library

The Image Library is a simple feature that allows you to upload images that you might want to use elsewhere on your site or on external sites.  It is not a fully functional image gallery; it simply allows you to upload images and host them on your site without having to go through more awkward routes.  The WYSIWYG editors on all content areas on your site also include image upload areas; however, if you simply need a place to put an image without it being in a specific content area, this image library can be used.  Once an image is uploaded, the link that can be used to access the image will be displayed next to it in the library.

Editing Your Template

Users can manipulate the templates they are currently using in ComicControl using the “Templates” area of the backend.  In this area, you can edit files that are found in the templates/ folder within your build of ComicControl.  As such, you cannot add new templates using this feature, only make code edits to existing files.  This should mainly be used for minor edits to template content, not necessarily template building.  Only a code editor is available in the templates section.

Updating ComicControl

Updating ComicControl is simple and straightforward.  You can check for updates by going to the “Check for Updates” tab, which will automatically tell you if a newer version is available and give you the option to automatically update if your version is out of date.  Note that this will overwrite any files you may have modified in the main build, so any customizations to your build  should be new files that don’t exist in the core ComicControl build or should be placed outside of the comiccontrol/ folder.  The main index.php file will be replaced as well.

Outside of clicking the “Check for Updates” button, your build will check for updates about once a day and notify you on your dashboard if an update is available.

Feedback

Since ComicControl is mainly freeware, and ComicControl LLC is basically one person, we are unable to provide a lot of individual support for people experiencing issues with our software.  Since this is the case, we are attempting to make our online documentation as thorough as possible to cover all issues.  However, if there is something you feel could be clarified or improved upon in our documentation, or you are experiencing an issue you cannot find any solution for through the support, documentation, or customization pages, please contact us with your question or issue at feedback@comicctrl.com.