Blog

Web Shake Up

Every few years, I like to shake things up a bit here on the ol’ web site, and as crazy as this past year’s been, I guess now’s as good a time as any. For most of the past five years, I’ve had gerenm.net, and later, gerenm.photography hosted at Squarespace. And, for the most part, the experience has been positive. However, they recently upgraded the platform, or perhaps a better phrase would be updated the platform, and have actually made it 1) difficult to upgrade to and (2) made the platform a bit less flexible.

The new platform at Squarespace makes all of the templates largely the same, or at least adhere to an identical set of rules and features, which can be arranged in only so many ways. I fully understand why: it’s easier to support and maintain. And, as they’re client base grows, uniformity means a getter customer service experience when questions or problems do arise. Good for them, and good for the vast majority of their clients.

I figured that their platform update would be a good time for me to refresh the site, so I began to look into the procedure for moving up. And, that’s when I learned a few things. First, it was going to be difficult to get everything to move over the way I wanted, because of changes in the way that their new templates handle certain types of media and posts. I also learned that changing templates, once migrated, would be difficult, if not impossible. What? Wait a minute! I would have thought that reducing all templates to a common set of platform rules would make it easier to implement site design changes, not harder! Well, what to I know?

What I know is that it doesn’t have to be all that hard. Really.

I’ve been building and maintaining sites using WordPress on ICDSoft’s hosting platform for years. A lot of years, as it turns out. I registered my first hosting account and transferred my domain to them back in August of 2002, about the same time as I started beta testing WordPress. So, while I know that not everything in WordPress has always been easy, I do at least have a little bit of familiarity with it. And, at one time, I was maintaining as many as a dozen WordPress installations for myself and others.

So, with the recent downgrade to the Squarespace platform, and relatively recent milestone improvements in WordPress, I decided that it was time to come back to WordPress for gerenm.net, gerenm.photography, and orchard-studios.com. And, when the TLD becomes available, you’ll find gerenm.music here as well.

The process to move back was not exactly simple, nor entirely smooth, thanks in part to a very flawed Squarespace export process. There’s no access to your actual data on Squarespace, so you’re forced to use their tool, which creates a bad XML file to try to import into WP, after which you need to manually update all of the internal links. I also couldn’t easily get all of the image files associated with my site, some of which only existed there due to some storage issues here (don’t ask. I thought I had a full backup!). Subsequently, a number of old posts have been purged, and some of the images are less than perfect. But, I do believe that everything that is here is working, something that will be confirmed after December 1, when the Squarespace account officially goes away.

Of course, I did keep this site’s most popular post of all time: Bose Knows: The Highs And The Lows (A Review Of An Old Pair Of Speakers), along with a few other closely related posts, and also a couple of other series posts that document my series of camera platform changes over the past 10 years or so — the move from Canon to Sony, and then to Fujifilm, and recently, back to Sony. Maybe later, I’ll tell you all about why it was almost a move back to Nikon….

At any rate, welcome to the new GerenM web site. The topics are still much the same, as is some of the content. With the fun new projects under way, I hope to be posting more often — both here and to my YouTube channel. You can also visit my band’s web site at 7soulsband.com.