THE MUSIC PAVILION JUNE UPDATE
Update as of June 24th, 2017 on development of new website and rebranding of musicbytes.us as The Music Pavilion.
I am finally updating as I have been working very closely on trying to get everything for development for the new site at “themusicpavilion” (rebranding of this site). Fortunately, I have moved on to a different web host provider with better support history and have been working heavily with them, especially the last week, to get the new CMS up and running. This is why I haven’t quite typed/coded up the new review/article on the Iron Maiden concert at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN on June 16th. That is another goal for this weekend.
As I had stated awhile back, one of the major challenges to this rebranding and setting up for development is that I’m wanting to move away from WordPress (for this site) and chose Umbraco CMS (Content Management System) as it is one I have worked in for clients but mostly because it can give me a powerful admin area (“backoffice”) but not have all of the engine/looping code that WordPress pushes that makes it difficult to strip the CMS to bare bones. Umbraco provides the powerful admins, provisions/setup for document types, roles, pages but unlike WordPress it can be installed simply as that. In otherwords, a theme isn’t required when installing the CMS. It means I can start building pages and the site itself (frontend and backend) as I would any other site, such as my profile at brianwardwell.com which was built in straight up PHP/JS/CSS (another situation where I am developing a new site).
However, Umbraco is (of course) an ASP.NET CMS which means there is a LOT of web/server/database configuration that I’m still less familiar with. It’s more difficult to install but more robust and secure. While the previous web host’s idea of customer/product support was actually appalling, the only thing that is the hold up for the new site is simply this newer environment. I’ll cut the explanation without getting any more technical, but there’s a lot of work involved that’s less fun than when it is installed and I start developing the design, pages, structure and so forth.
This is where I am curious. Other than typical blog posts (artist features, concert/album reviews) what are some other pages and features you may like to see? Please comment below, though comments need approval before posting on the site, as I’d love to hear. I am actively jotting down ideas such as certain tour dates as well as any resources that are great for concerts such as Pollstar and Songkick. Also likely in the works is a page/section for any upcoming album and dvd/video releases as quickly as I can update them as well as “quick links” which would essentially be a quick reference and comment much like a ticker without the annoying banner…unless I just pull in updates from the associated Twitter account for The Music Pavilion. There are a lot of ideas yet.
Otherwise, for now, I think it’s best to continue on with this website until that work is all done so that this website and any chance of content and posts isn’t neglected for so long. This will be an ongoing process but will be a lot of fun and chance for new/great features.
Past revisions of this post topic are below and are from a previous sticky post.
Unfortunately, I had been attempting to work with a certain web host to get the rebranded site for Musicbytes running by at least getting a different CMS running on ASP.NET (Windows .NET based). Instead of getting this CMS loaded up and getting started on development, I’ve only ran into a combination of horrible support, complete lack of correspondence with the customer, OLD server versions that would force me to run an older version of this CMS even if they aided in configuring or troubleshooting server errors that lay on their side.
That said, I don’t want this project to sit on the “maybe soon” pile and continue to wait and beat my head against the wall with this web host as it has already been delayed five weeks. Unimpressed, it’s likely the
best decision to move on with a new host anyway. After all, even if I got it launched, when any configuration problems came up….where would the support be? I have used Arvixe for the past three years as they’ve hosted my portfolio site at http://brianwardwell.com/. However my portfolio site is PHP and most PHP services are ones that I am used to configuring. There is another ASP.NET web host that I am looking at that also has a nice little auto-install of Umbraco that will smooth over the setup with ASP, the server, databases, and so forth. I’ve also used Umbraco on a recent development project for a client at work. It’s a pretty cool CMS.
So, stay tuned if you wish to and I’ll post any status of beginning of development as soon as I can. This is even more true as it will be a challenge to transfer these posts to another CMS unless the XML (markup language) matches, to which I doubt.
Musicbytes.us vs. The Music Pavilion
News update: Musicbytes’ new site and name
I have mentioned some on this site as well as the Musicbytes’ Facebook page that Musicbytes will likely soon have a new site and a new website/application in the works. I have settled on the final name and begun setting up the domain and started planning and designing. After many joking and serious considerations, I have firmly settled on The Music Pavilion, which will be housed at TheMusicPavilion.com. There is a landing page set up that I very quickly designed, but that is all that is set up. Other than inevitably updating this site, there are also some other reasons for this change.
Exclusivity. Musicbytes.com was not available and further looking into this after the fact, there is at least one other major “Musicbytes” that hinders each of us from being unique. For example, my Twitter for Musicbytes is at musicbytesweb, there is also musicbytesnews. The Music Pavilion is at themusicpavilion.com and any associated social media would not step on any others.
Technical. As this reason may be more technical for a couple readers, I’ll keep it pretty barebones. This site is built on top of the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), as many sites are. As I continue in my career as a Web Developer, I’m beginning to really see the restrictions and overuse of WordPress. The new website will not be built on WordPress. Big reasons are that I plan on highly customizing this site and nearly built from scratch with only helpers for bells and whistles such as a post tag manager. I’ve decided, at least at this point, on the Umbraco CMS. The differences between Umbraco and WordPress are likely endless, however, my reasoning is that I can treat Umbraco essentially as a framework almost rather than a semi-restricted/half set up CMS. Where WordPress has a looping core and its own hooking syntax, Umbraco is a CMS but built in C# on top of ASP.NET in MVC format. MVC allows for deeper digging into server functionality and so forth. It runs very smooth and is very scalable and robust. I will be looking at integrating some type of video embedding system and possibly an audio player as well as I plan on returning to recording music later this year.
New Portfolio built using Laravel
Alongside The Music Pavilion, I have already been working on a rebuilt website/application for my own development portfolio. That project will be built using the PHP framework Laravel. Laravel is not a CMS but a framework for MVC, so development time is longer as I learn to build further image uploading, admin panel, file management functionality from scratch with it. Luckily, the more static portion of the site is nearly finished and able to be updated before adding in code examples and other dynamic content.
New Line Character: Returning to recording music
For many, many years (1997-2012), I recorded original music under the name Battle Cry (on SoundCloud). I had also recorded two fully instrumental albums under the name LaconicAura (2003-2009). It was time to move on and I had gone back to school alongside many other changes in life. As school ends and I look for other ways to express myself, I have been amazingly magnetized back to the idea of starting to record music again. This feeling has been around again for over a year. The hopeful new project will be New Line Character. The project title puts a little metaphor on my past as music. A new line character is a programming term for an operator ( \n ) which cuts out of printing current string/text and to start a new line and continue. Thus, in music, I continue to play with creating music though not under the Battle Cry name (previous line) but a new line. This opens up my mind for any type of musical writing and eliminating any preconceptions including it becoming a band rather than a solo project which Battle Cry always was. A landing page has been set up at newlinecharacter.com, however, I have not settled how this web project will be built..whether it is a CMS, Framework or something else.
That is all the information at this time. However, I will be keeping this post as a sticky (it will always appear on top) and I will be updating it overtime.