ClarkPlaysGuitar dot com has been around for 15 years this month. Wow. It's crazy how time flies. Over this decade-and-a-half the internet has changed a lot, and I’ve tried to keep this site in step with the “world wide web” as things changed. This has meant different web hosting services, different content management systems, and different analytics methods, all of which are mostly “behind-the-scenes” kinds of things. For visitors to this site those alterations made very little difference to their experience. Some changes were for cost savings; some were to increase functionality, some were to make it easier to maintain; but all changes were made to ultimately enhance your visits.
About six years ago I became very frustrated with the limitations of my hosting service’s integrated content management system and decided to move to a new host and rebuild the site from scratch. I wanted to have complete control over every aspect of how my site looked, how it functioned for visitors, how the menu functioned, and more. I wanted my own built-in store where I could sell t-shirts, posters, CDs, & anything else directly to my fans. I wanted to be able to have secret pages that you could only find if you had a link, fun things for visitors to “trip” across. But to do this I would have to learn a ton of coding, purchase e-commerce software, and spend weeks putting it all together. And so I did. As time passed I had to re-code it to work perfectly on tablets & smart-phones as well as on a desktop computer.
I spent hundreds of hours creating the new ClarkPlaysGuitar dot com, convinced that having this slick, super-functional, great looking web site with all these unique features would increase fan interaction & engagement, improve bookings, increase site traffic, and help with media relations, too. Well… results have been mixed. During the six years that I’ve been running the site this way I have averaged about ten hours per week working on it. The very few positives that resulted from my efforts are simply not enough to justify that kind of time investment, so I’m calling it a six year experiment, and ending the experiment.
Now, the only thing visitors might notice is a new look, and that some of the things which were on this web site during those six years are now gone. All the important things are still here, of course. With the changes I’ve made “under the hood” I should get an extra 8 or 9 hours per week to work on writing new music, recording, and performing. This new version of the site should work fine on mobile devices, too. There are some other trade-offs that will probably only matter to me, but the time gained is totally worth it.
The biggest change that you might notice is my old blog posts are gone. And going forward, there will only be important news posted on the blog. Hopefully this extra time will help me to get more new music written, recorded, and out to you.
There you have it. Welcome to the “new” ClarkPlaysGuitar.com. Again. Still. Some more.
Until next time, live well & rock hard,