It was time. It was past time. You’ve heard the old adage about the plumber’s wife and her leaky faucet — well, the web designer’s band had a tired website.
To be fair, it wasn’t awful. It had a cool jQuery navigation that was fun to fiddle with. Did it help the band in any way? Well, not that I could tell. We also had a few video embeds that were fine, and you could hear some samples of our music with a flash player, also sporting cool play buttons — but now obsolete due to the iPhone and iPad invasion (gee thanks, Apple). There was a jQuery lightbox slideshow which was fine to look at, but excruciating to update. It also conflicted with the navigation, resulting in hacked-up popup pages with no navigation and a ‘Back to Gallery’ link — lame! The contact page had only phone numbers and email links… Really? And no blog. Ugh. In short, it was disgraceful, especially considering the tools and cool features we have available!
A redesign was on the books — but to be taken care of in our “spare time”. Clients must come first! And my response to reasoning we’d use “our spare time” to take care of After Two Glasses? In the profound word of Steve Earle as he finishes up a line in the song “I Feel Alright,”(?), “huh”! (press button below to experience the full effect)
Then came an opportunity for a little exposure via an upcoming feature article on al.com in a section called The Birmingham Sessions. With video, an article, and link to our website, there was a lot to be done and not just music practice! Yikes!
And so the proverbial fire was lit beneath the derrière of yours truly. Fortunately, I at least had a design nailed down when I learned about the upcoming feature, or getting the site redone might not have been possible. It was nose to the grindstone for some serious few weeks to get this thing knocked out and off the ground. But we did it!
We chose a WordPress band-themed template from Foxhound called Dark and Gritty. It was close to what I wanted so I started there and used a child theme to bend it to my will. I uploaded some of our music to SoundCloud so we could stream a couple of albums worth of songs. We installed a cool slider plugin for the home page marquee, and used our favorite form builder plugin, Gravity Forms, for the contact page. The coolest feature is the GigPress plugin. It allows me to add the information for an upcoming show. These shows are displayed in the side bar and I can choose how many I’d like to display there. But not only that, it updates my calendar page AND adds a post to the blog. Wow! Three steps in one! I dig it!
So, after a couple of hard working weeks – and weekends – we got the site up and running, with hours to spare, no less! I’m pretty proud of this bad boy and the functionality is just what we need. As we expand our audience, there will likely (hopefully) be need to expand the functionality of the site. No problem! WooCommerce and additional pages await at the mere press of a button and a little fiddling with code (well, maybe more than a little)!
Now we’ve only got one personal site remaining which hasn’t been converted to WordPress. It’s the oldest of all. The URL, you ask? Wild horses couldn’t drag it out of me — but you can rest assured there’ll be an article when she gets her new installation.