Thermal printer and ESP8266 Wifi module

Hello,

I recently purchased this thermal printer from Adafruit, and want to print messages to it from my PC using an ESP-01 wifi module. The library with adafruit for controlling the printer is fairly simple to understand. My issue is communication from the PC to the arduino via the ESP8266.

From what I understand, I can set up a webserver on the ESP8266 itself, which can accept text input from the PC. I can then do a serial transfer to the arduino, which is connected to the printer (though, that brings up the question of whethe the arduino in between is actually necessary). Is this the best way to go about doing this, or is there a simpler method that I have not considered? And if this solution is the best one, is there a way to simply turn it on every time and have it use the same IP address?

Thanks in advance for any advice/direction.

A cursory glance of the product web page seems to indicate that you would need to connect to it from the Arduino through USB-TTL. What made you think you would need a webserver?

Not need so much as want. I want to be able to send the messages from a computer on the same wifi network, and a simple HTML webpage hosted by the ESP (correct me if my terminology is all wrong) would provide a neat interface for entering and sending text. The idea is that less-then-tech-savvy people can easily enter the IP address of the ESP and send messages to the printer.

Setting up a web server and using mDNS for domain name resolving is pretty straightforward thanks to the libraries provided by the ESP8266 Arduino core.
Check out this Beginner's guide to the ESP8266 I wrote.

Pieter