Five Years of TastingMenu

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.

Thank you!

8 Responses to “Five Years of TastingMenu”

  1. jim says:

    Hey, I wonder if Adobe Lightroom might be helpful in your photo publishing needs. Although, if Walter is basically done coding you up something, maybe this is a day late and a dollar short.

    Let me know if you’re intrigued, though. I’m still a novice Lightroom user myself, but it does do photo publishing duties to custom web sites.

    Jim

  2. Rosa says:

    The redesign looks great! It looks so much more manageable now thanks to the smaller font.

  3. hillel says:

    The trick is that I need a solution that integrates with WordPress. I’m pretty sure Lightroom isn’t that. But I appreciate the suggestion. I’ve been meaning to check out Lightroom and Apple’s solution for awhile.

  4. It looks tremendous, congratulations!

  5. tara says:

    My goodness, kudos on the milestone and the snappy redesign. All the best to you both, and I look forward to seeing what comes of the years ahead. Happy eating!

  6. Richard Chan says:

    Great job! The redesign is awesome. Thanks again for a great blog.

  7. Ken Jackson says:

    Hey That’s great! Nice look and very proffessional. I recently visited the fish market at Pike Place in Seattle. I found the variety of fish available absoluteley astounding. I have never seen so much choice in our fish shops in the UK.

    Ken jackson.

  8. Leslie Evans says:

    Oooh! Love the new look! Congrats on five delicious yeas.

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