Wanna start your own ad-free anime site?
Well then little one, I can see that I will have to teach you how to be villains!- wait, no, uh, that came out wrong.
I’ll be teaching you the technology that we use how to build your own version of Anicake!
1.) Get your website base started and ready to roll! You can use free hosting and domains.
When we started Anicake, we just used a free hosting service to pretty much run everything here, and a free domain for easy recognition. We’re not gonna advertise anything for security reasons, so that’s up to you to figure out what services to use. You can pay for them too, but if you’re gonna run the ad-free life, that’s gonna be quite difficult. Anicake grew since we first wrote the draft for this, alongside many free services kicking us out due to several issues on our part, so we use a paid server and domain now. Really cheap ones though.
2.) Choose your Content Management System (CMS) of choice. We use WordPress, like most people.
3.) Build your framework; the theme!
Gotta make your site perfect for video! We’re using a free theme downloaded off the Internet to make a good video site framework. The one we use is amazing, because the theme uses iframes for the video embed, and iframes are powerful for constantly switching between different video servers, sandboxing to kill ads, or just switching different versions entirely, like subbing groups for example! But for now, just do some prototyping and make your video streaming prototype work. We can worry about adjusting your theme later on.
4.) The videos! Start hardsubbing and encoding!
We hardsub and encode the anime ourselves. We take content from Nyaa and then put them into our hard-laboring PCs where they will be hardsubbed to become streamable. Unfortunately technology is not good enough yet to have web players that can render subtitles on the fly like your media player app/program. The technology is being made as we speak, but it’ll take some time before idiots like me can use it. That’s why we hardsub. We encode as well because web players and low-tech PCs can’t support the fuuuutureee of video, a.k.a. HEVC/x265/H.265. Many high-power and modern PCs can run it well, but not everyone can. So we still encode with that good old trusted x264.
Before, we used Xvid4PSP for the typical ASS (yes that is a subtitle filetype, and it’s the best) or SRT subtitle files. It’s fast and flexible! (and crashes a lot too!) But for BluRay subtitles like the dreaded PGS SUP file, uuuugh, we used RipBot264 to deal with that problem. Nowadays, with our PCs being able to run Handbrake, we use that now. It’s more stable and faster (and has clearer settings) than what we used before.
5.) The video servers! Warning: DON’T HOST THEM ON YOUR SITE.
Don’t host the content on the site cos that’s iiillegaaaaal, so put them up on other servers or have other people submitting user content to you from their servers, which is way more legal! We use Google Drive, Openload, Streamango, (the latter two you need to sandbox so that they don’t show popups) and eventually other traditional non-related servers to host the content. (Keep in mind that there’s a difference between hosting and linking. Putting up the embeds is just linking. Actually having the actual content on your site is really bad.)
6.) Build your prototype!
Embed your videos, fix your linking, and just make this shit work and pray that it does play video properly. Once it does, it’s a success! You can either stop here or move forward to make a proper ad-free anime site!
7.) Arrange and organize!
You gotta make this site well-cleaned and usable for the visitors, so make sure your site is as fool-proof and beautiful as possible from here on out. Fix some CSS, and then:
8.) Plugins. Lots of plugins.
(OLD) We have a total of 32 plugins activated right now, with 6 inactive that are failing or will be experimented with in the future. Why? To make our site work and to make our site fun! (but mostly to make it work.)
(click the image to view full-size)
Yep. A lot of plugins. We’ve technically beaten tentacle hentai at this point with the amount of things we plug in.
Don’t just install plugins willy-nilly, test them out one by one to make sure they don’t break the site! Always have backups!
9.) Customize according to your needs.
Install some plugins and fix your site’s CSS to make the site operate the way you want it. Video thumbnails don’t look right? Wanna add a dark mode? Deal with that lol, that kind of stuff. Make some innovations too, such as sandboxing Openload and Streamango so that they don’t do pop-up ads! That kind of stuff.
10.) SEO this shit and make it look nice outside your site!
When you’re gonna share this site to your friends, you gotta make the site look nice to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other places on the interwebz. You might wanna even take it a step further and go as far as appearing on the Internet Hollywood called Google. Well, take your time to worry about what I think is the boring task of dealing with Search Engine Optimization. It actually does give you some good insight though as to how you want your site to look in a professional manner or in a way perceived by the Internet world beyond your site.