Building a website

I cannot believe I am building a website, again.

The good thing is that it’s much easier than it used to be, to build fairly attractive and functional websites if it’s mostly a matter of presenting information.

The bad thing is that I am terrible at the visuals and graphics and whatnot. So all I can really do is figure out how I want to structure the website, what content management system I want to use, and then find a good template that I can sort of wrangle sufficiently to get it to do what I need.

The existing band site is, I think, over a decade old. It runs (I believe) on Drupal, with a design template that allows zero formatting of post content. There’s nobody that’s technically proficient running it, and all necessary maintenance is outsourced to a company. So: not good for a lot of different reasons.

I’m going to build the new one in WordPress. It’s somewhat limited in terms of navigation structures, but it has an insane amount of templates, plugins, user communities, and other support. Plus it’s extremely easy for non-technical people to update pages and add content.

I have to decide, however, whether to support a multilingual site. And how much to try to keep the navigation and URL structure of the existing site, both for content access purposes and also in terms of SEO, in that existing search results actually lead to what it should, and people’s ability to find things without having to search all over the site. Then there’s a matter of moving the shop (complicated! configuring everything to conform with German/EU rules for e-commerce), and making sure that things switch over smoothly, and so on.

Also smaller issues: the old site has lyrics in a popup layer, which I don’t feel like I need to replicate. But I do want a nice way to go from the releases to the song info and then back out and so on. Need to make sure there’s good breadcrumbs. The homepage will be driven by the news section which is definitely a blog, but then, should any of the other sections also be blog/post-based, or should they be static pages that can be edited at need? Should the “live” page of upcoming shows be a sequence of updates or just the current status?

And images. All the new WordPress themes are very visual, which make for nice eye candy but really forces Every! Post! to have an associated attractive picture or video.

But at least a good theme takes care of all the UI issues: desktop vs. mobile, different screen resolutions, different browsers, etc. All the things that used to be such a pain.

OK, off to create a droplet and deploy WordPress and get started…