Well it finally launched – the newest version of tobenskimedia.com/dennistobenski (what I think of as DT4.5)! Whee!

The redesign took a mere week of work – and by redesign, I mean rebuilding the entire site from the ground up, while keeping basic design elements such as fonts, color scheme, and the basic idea of the banner and navigation layout (and one or two minor pieces of markup here and there). Every page got a facelift, and the entire site is wider, bigger, and lighter. And the back end is super streamlined.

The launch got postponed nearly three weeks because I literally did not have the $27.86 I needed to move the site to a new hosting service. Such is the life of a newly-freelance composer/web designer! That, and the crippling debt. Well, near-crippling – it’s not all that bad. Yet.

I’ve moved a few things around: the Bio now contains a list of commissions and the rep I currently have under my belt as a vocalist, and the Gallery is now under Media full-time (for a while it lived in Media and on the main nav bar…sheer laziness). I’ve also added a new page under Extras – a list, with screencaps and links, of my web design clients. I’ll have about a half-dozen more sites to add to that page in the coming month or two, which I’m excited about. Check it out – especially if you’re in the market for a website or a redesign.

I’ve also moved my hosting, which has its up- and downsides. On the upside, I’m no longer with Yahoo! Hosting, which, when I started this site in 2005, was the best web host out there. Now, they’re barely in the game – lots of down time, out-of-date PHP & MySQL, and sloooooooooooooooow. Another upside is consolidating my hosting to one JustHost plan (I’m a big fan of this hosting service – they’ve been great to work with since I started the NewMusicShelf site 3½ years ago) – I’m saving $$, and I now have a reliable host with up-to-date tech! The primary downside is that EVERYTHING gets lost in the transfer. In terms of hosted files, that’s not awful since backing everything up is easy. It’s losing over 18,000 emails that blows, and backing up email through Yahoo isn’t an entirely pleasant experience. Plus, I spent about 12 hours without a working email address between when the transfer actually happened and when I noticed that it had happened. And the multiple backups made it difficult to track incoming emails for a few days. I know I missed a few important messages during the transition, and I’m just now noticing two of them… ::hides in embarrassment::

The biggest overall change to the site is on the Works pages. I used to have Store pages on the previous incarnation, but I did away with those in favor of incorporating commerce into the Works pages directly. So now, every piece that’s ready to be printed and sold has a cover image, sample pages, and links to buy either the print or digital copies of the score/parts. Excitement! I’ve also repriced everything based on a new pricing structure that I’m currently writing an essay about – so stay tuned for that!

So poke around, check it out, and enjoy!