This past August TastingMenu quietly celebrated its fifth birthday. Even though much celebration hasn’t transpired on the surface, we’ve been busy behind-the-scenes getting the site refreshed to suit our goals for improving the site dramatically.
The last year has been one of transition for TastingMenu. We moved (mostly) to a new platform – WordPress, and we welcomed Dana on board. WordPress is great, and Dana brings a fantastic new dimension to the site. However, even with the move to the new platform the site has still been kind of scotch taped together. Posting photos has been hacky with using flickr instead of having our albums and photopages like before. And huge components of the site still haven’t moved over to WordPress.
Today is the start of fixing all that. The first and most dramatic improvement is the brand new design (have fun finding the heat lamp). I feel like TastingMenu had a decent look and feel for the first couple of years, but the state of web design rapidly eclipsed my meager design abilities and TastingMenu has looked not as good as it should. If we’re going to have a kick ass blog about restaurants a crappy design is clearly unacceptable. This is where Jenny Lam, one of my partners from from Jackson Fish comes in with a completely new aesthetic that finally brings the site into the modern age. We want TastingMenu to kick ass and that means down to the last pixel. Jenny has certainly knocked it out of the park.
Walter Smith, my other partner over at my day job, has also taken a few cycles to build us a new photo management system that will make its debut next week. That too creates exactly the user experience we’ve wanted forever. (Yes, I was shocked too that not a single WordPress photo management plug-in did what I wanted.)
I wish we could roll all these changes out at once including moving every page, post, and photo on the site into the new templates and technology at once. That’s unfortunately not going to happen. This means that lurking in the archives of the site you’ll run into plenty of old design presentation. You may even run into a couple of broken spots. For this you have my deepest apologies. Oh WordPress, where were you five years ago?
Dana and I (and Walter and Jenny) want to thank you for your patience through all the changes so far and the ones to come. We promise they’ll be worth it when the site runs smoothly, looks great, and features tons of new posts and photos.