When a work is getting more and more complicated, getting the audience up to speed is crucial to keep their attention. It's also a quick refresher of what the work is about in the first place. This is especially helpful if there is a large Ensemble Cast and complex storylines.
However, the creator does not always have time on hand to update these sources, leading to incomplete and out of date facts. This can result in information that's rendered irrelevant to the later storyline or answers questions that have become completely moot.
In the end, any info is better than no info, but up to date information the best of all. Sometimes the work itself is updated just as slowly, giving a very valid reason why the surrounding information is out of date.
- Ninja High School is so chock full of characters, the creators don't bother to explain who they are (except for current characters, but not for everyone). So you can imagine how confused a newcomer would be when they would come in in the middle of the story. Fellow comic Gold Digger avert this with its annual sourcebooks explaining important character and their roles in the story.
- Homestar Runner's "First Time Here?" video might count, since two of the things it recommends checking out first are among the oldest material on the site, and the third (the Strong Bad Emails) just happens to have been continually updated ever since around that time and remained the main feature of the site — to the point where the real question is knowing which ones to watch first. At this point, an entire playlist of specific cartoons is probably recommended just to get caught up on the most commonly called-back-to material.
- The 8-Bit Theater cast page consists of a link to the comic's Wikipedia page with an explanation that it's better than anything the author would write himself.
- Anti Hero For Hire has an info page that hasn't been updated in at least a couple years, as of this sentence being first added.
- Dominic Deegan, Oracle For Hire took the cheater's way out - its "Cast" page link went to its Wikipedia article. After the Wikipedia article was deleted, Mookie just deleted the cast page entirely.
- However, prior to the website getting a facelift, it actually did have a set of (albeit somewhat outdated) cast pages for most of the major characters.
- El Goonish Shive used to have a cast page... of sorts. It was discarded after a renovation, which was probably a good thing, because even until 2008 or 2009 it still only had one character on it: Ellen, a character introduced a significant number of storylines after the start of the comic. It was never updated.
- A fan, however, did create a more comprehensive cast page, although it stopped updating in 2016.
- Erfworld's cast page has only characters from early in the story, not even including main character Parson. Their wiki page seems more up-to-date, though.
- Femmegasm's info page only shows the original two characters (Shelly and June), and in their original designs no less. The cast grew several times after that page was made, and Shelly and June got redesigns before they were Put on a Bus at the start of 2012. The strip ultimately ended in February 2014.
- Girl Genius: "The Story So Far." The rest of the info pages are kept up-to-date, though, including separate cast lists for each book (with updated descriptions for even pointless one-shot characters).
- Irregular Webcomic! has cast pages for many of its themes, yet some of them have not been updated. For example, the Death cast page's scorecard had not been updated since #1661, and the Space cast page shows the cyberspace avatars for every character except Quercus, whose avatar didn't officially debut until #3877.
- Jayden and Crusader has not updated its information page for an entire year, despite the fact a few new characters have been introduced. It can, however, be argued that these new characters have limited impact, and the core characters in the cast page have remained the same.
- Compare Khatru's original About page here with the new version on the creator-built website here. What a difference HTML competence makes!
- Megatokyo is one of the kings of this trope, with an info page which has consisted solely of "i'll finish this section when i feel like it" for more than five years. Even when the site got a face-lift, the info page was still abandoned, even though Fred said that he was going to update it. That was fall of 2007. This has turned into a running joke within the fandom. As a result, there's a couple of wikis out there, such as Wikitokyo, which double as unofficial info pages for those who just started reading the comic.
- However, it finally gained a characters page as of June 2017.
- MS Paint Adventures' New Reader page was out of date for a few years, claiming that Problem Sleuth was "by far the longest adventure". Then it was one-upped by Homestuck, being more than four and a half times as long as Problem Sleuth. The page was finally updated circa 2012.
- The info page for Not In My Backyard was never updated to reflect changes in the strip's last year or so of existence, including a few secondary characters who showed up later on, and Oscar's renaming to Wyman. The website was later gutted, leaving only the strip archive.
- Lampshaded in this The Order of the Stick comic, which goes to new extremes to demolish the fourth wall. The FAQ page for the site is still horribly outdated, though.
- Somewhat ironically, the cast page was updated when that comic was put out. Haley is now holding a card that says "I. O. Me One big-ass diamond." And that's the only difference.
- The Sluggy Freelance "New Viewer's Guide" doesn't give much information at all beyond pointing to "The Sci-Fi Adventure" and "Dimension of Pain" stories as good places for new viewers to jump in if they don't want to start all the way from the beginning. Since both those "jumping on points" occur during Sluggy's first year, however, that still leaves new readers with over 3000 strips to go. Pete pretty much admits that he can't summarize ten years worth of strips in a way that makes sense, so instead he just recommends that people read their way through the series at their own pace.
- Sore Thumbs never once updated its cast page. Only four characters out of many are listed, and one of the four is very much a minor character by now. The writers have actually joked that updating the cast page now would feel like cheating on it. They finally just deleted it in 2009.
- Star Impact's cast page has only featured information on Aster, Buzz, Phoebe, Puck, and Teddy since February 2020 at the earliest, despite the fact that many other characters have made an impact on the story.
- Some authors avoid this by setting up a wiki for comic, which takes the load off the author's shoulders, and directs the fandom's creative energies so the Wikipedia isn't quite so full of Fictional Character Biographies. For example, Starslip Crisis or the four Walkyverse comics. Of course, this can fail too—the Walkyverse wiki, for example, gets a lot less detailed dealing with events post-2007, if they're mentioned at all, and as a result of this many newer characters don't even have stub pages.
- That Deaf Guy: The link to the cast page just directs readers to the home page, where the newest strip is. Even before the creator stopped updating the strip, the cast page had been neglected, listing Cedric's age as four even after he had finished preschool and begun elementary education.
- The character pages on Cartoon Network's website suffer from this badly. As of 2019, the characters page for The Amazing World of Gumball still shows the characters' appearances before they were redesigned in Season 2, which premiered in August 2012. The Steven Universe character page is even worse, not including any characters introduced after the twelfth episode (in a show that has five seasons with 25/26 episodes each, twice that for Season 1), and showing all of the Gems except Pearl in their first regenerations.