I am very pleased to share that our new website has now gone live! Although I will miss the quirky, fidgety demeanor of our old website, it was definitely time to bring our internet portal into the modern era (it wasn't quite 1990's bad, but it did look like it had been cobbled together with tape and chewing gum).
But I am writing this, in part, as a tribute to the old website. At the time, I was very proud of it. My coding knowledge is minimal, but somehow, I managed to assemble a page using Photoshop and Dreamweaver that looked pretty okay on most browsers, complete with image sliders, favicons, and the works! The feature that I am most proud of with the old website was the Randomized slogans on the landing page. In my effort to avoid the conformism, cheese-factor, and yes, Charlie Brown's dreaded Commercialism, I opted feature randomized joke slogans under my main graphic, rather than a meaningful tagline about myself, my business, or the services I was providing (well, that, and I couldn't think of one at the time.) I used a "quote of the day" code toolbox and replaced all of quotes with slogans, most of which were ripped from mid-century Mad Men-era advertisements. "Trim the fat with Peanut Recording", "Easy to use... easy to own... that's Peanut Recording!", "Peanut Recording. Savour the Flavour." to give a few examples... Some worked, most didn't, but they all were funny. Well, to me, anyways. I imagine that most people who visited pondered how these tacky tag lines had any relevance to a recording studio, but I liked to fantasize that the occasional viewer identified my childish ploy for what it was, and spent ten minutes of their time refreshing their browser in an attempt to trudge through all of them. And if they did do that, I sincerely hope they completely the task with at least mild amusement, and the pride of a job well done, before going about the rest of their day. Realistically, most people, if they took any notice at all, just thought that I was a pretty weird dude... and hey - I'm in no position to argue those allegations! R.I.P. www.peanutrecording.com 2012-2016.
So the new site... ahem... Well, I am genuinely excited to have a new digital frontier for my recording enterprise. Aside from the visual facelift, I am pleased that I will be able to easily edit and update content. It is also a great feeling to say goodbye to all of that garbage legacy code, and never have to think about uploading via File Transfer Protocols ever again. This means that the website should be more up-to-date and relevant for everyone.
In addition, this new site enables me to host a blog and podcast. I was my intention to start a recording podcast for quite a while now, and I figured that it is about time that I actually pick myself up of my arse and do it! Since the superb Home Recording Show has become more-or-less dormant (fortunately, it seems, because of the success of the host's careers), I felt that it was important for me to do my part in helping the home recording community in any way that I could. I have always loved the podcast format, as it is very intimate and informative, like talk radio, and can really take your mind off of an unpleasant task or commute. I sincerely hope that both the podcast and the blog fall into this roll for my audience, when they come into their own, and may impart useful information for those of us just starting out. Truthfully, the blog may also serve as an outlet for all of my harboured neuroticism, such as this rambling editorial, but I will make a honest effort to mix that with some practical content. Side-note: I really respect Sean Costello, of ValhallaDSP. Not only is he the genius who makes some of the best reverb plugins on the market, but his website also contains a manifesto! Hopefully, we can have him on the podcast in the future!
*Deep breath* "Yes!" I reply. "I still DO have more to say... I'm going to keep going!"
I have chosen Squarespace as site's builder/host. Even though it is pricier than some of the other options, such as building a wordpress site, and using an inexpensive shared hosting service, it also covers podcast hosting (unlimited space/bandwidth). That is a huge selling point for me, as it seemed that once podcast hosting was factored in, Squarespace was the cheaper and easier option.
When I begun the rebuild, I decided to go with a fairly modern, minimalist design, inspired by the websites such as Apple, airbnb, Uber, and Iceland's Greenhouse studios, of which I routinely used as a reference. When I updated from Mavericks to Yosemite on my Mac, I took quite a fancy to the new flat graphic design of the OS and Safari... once I got used to it, that is. Their styling really suits the modern age, and seemed like an appropriate detour from their former skeuomorphism. I noticed that google followed suit with their logo shortly afterwards.
For those of you who don't know me well, I have become a bit of a podcast nut, and Roman Mar's show "99% Invisible" (highly recommend) has really turned me onto all things design... and more importantly, good design... which it turns out isn't just architecture and civil engineering projects. Ironically, I was cleaning out my garage the other day in preparations for a yard sale, and I decided to try anew podcast. Without any real idea of what it would be about, I cued up the first episode of The Minimalists podcast. Their show aims to educate listeners on the ins and outs of the minimalist lifestyle, which is the idea of simplifying your life in any way possible, by removing all of the arbitrary stuff that you don't really use or need, which should, in turn, reduce stress and anxiety. This seemed suiting for the task at hand. I carried this with me the last couple of weeks, and I am hoping that some of that sentiment and intention manifests itself in my web design as well, and might serve as a metaphor for living a tidier life and business practices... both of which might take quite a bit more time to actually achieve. And yes, I realize that the drivel in this blog post is a ways of from fitting the "less-is-more" bill, but at least it is contained in the blog, and will be interspersed with useful, relevant content (and is better than lorum ipsum for web design purposes). For now, this is a start.