Archive for the ‘Site Building’ Category

You Lookin’ At Me?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

… to paraphrase Travis Bickle.

It’s always fun for me to look at the statistics for this site and see the occasional view of a months- or years- old post. It makes me curious just how someone was led to or decided to look at an old post.

If you’ve done that today or recently, I’d love to have your comment about

  • how you came to the site to begin with
  • what page or post began your visit
  • how or why you chose another page or post to read.

(And if you don’t want your comment to be published, just say so in the comment itself — I am moderating all comments.)

Or send a private message using the contact form.


A Post from iOS 5

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Having just upgraded my iPhone (believe it or not, I got an iPhone 4S on the first day they were available), I’m writing a test post using the WordPress iPhone app. This app had been crashing on my old iPhone. If you’re reading this, then we know that it runs okay under the news OS!

Maintenance: Thank You, Pharma Hack

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Well, I’ll say this for the WordPress Pharma Hack: it has made me look more closely at my website.

Well over a year ago I began the process of converting this website to use WordPress. As I did so, I created pages in my WordPress install to introduce the Chicago Bass Ensemble to new visitors, to mention the musicians in the Chicago Bass Ensemble, to host our contact form and mailing list. I mostly left the old .html and .php pages in place, figuring that if anyone had bookmarked them, I wanted them to get something better than a 404 error.

Of course, the RIGHT thing to do would have been to put proper redirects in place, but I was focusing first on getting WordPress running, and then on getting the right site design in place (still not done, as of this writing).

I did get WordPress running, and good pages in place, and started writing blog posts about this and that. But I got distracted from the task of finishing up the redirects. The silver lining in getting hacked by the crafty devils who created the Pharma Hack is that I’ve been visiting google and searching every few days in order to see my progress in clearing out the bad page titles and content visible only to bots. In the process, I have noticed how many old pages are actually showing up in search results. The first impression some visitors might have of the website is of the old pages, stripped of all the css and graphics that I had used with the site first went up. (The wayback machine doesn’t capture all the old images, but don’t worry, you’re not missing much.)

So in addition to diligently following instructions for removing the Pharma Hack, I’ve been adding redirects here and there, and fixing links within the pages that–for whatever reason–I’m leaving in place.

I don’t know how quickly I’ll see improvements in search results, or whether traffic will really suddenly zoom (pretty sure it won’t actually), but I know that for those visitors who do make it here, the Pharma Hack has actually improved their experience.

Oh Dear, Hacked!

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Sigh, I’ve just spent the last two hours working to remove malicious database entries from the WordPress install that runs this site. I came across a Google SERP for my site that suggested that I was a source for a pharmaceutical of some sort:

Of course, this is NOT what the Chicago Bass Ensemble provides. We are a musical group, performing chamber music for double basses. In our repertoire, we have a mix of styles from the renaissance, classical and contemporary (not so much from the late romantic period). But we’re open to anything that works well for us.

We don’t do pharmaceuticals. In removing the malicious stuff from the site, I got a lot of help from Thank you!

I intended to write Chris Pearson a comment on his blog thanking him for sharing his knowledge, but there are so many comments already, I think I would be adding more noise than signal. So I’m thanking him here!

I always appreciate comments on THIS site, so if you happen to have noticed that we’re hacked again, please say so!

Begging for Comments

Monday, November 1st, 2010

I know that you must be breathlessly awaiting to know the results of last week’s plea for comments.

No, of course you’re not. It’s easy enough to see that there were only two, and if you know much at all about the group, you’ll see that both come from current members of the group. Thank you to John Floeter and Doug Johnson!!

Why worry about comments? Why blog at all? The answer is in three letters: SEO. Search Engine Optimization. Search engines like content. A great discussion about bass playing, or a recent performance, or some musical repertoire is an addition of great content to the site.

It’s much more valuable as content than the spam comments that regularly cross my inbox!

So now, an update on the goal stated last week: two well-played and well-recorded tracks before December.

  • We’ve got a tentative rehearsal schedule,
  • which will be updated when Michael Hovnanian confirms some things in his own schedule.
  • We will record two pieces, presuming for the moment that the composers have no objection:
    • Sawtooth Hammer by Seth Boustead, and
    • The Open Sea by Doug Johnson.
  • I had a dream that I was talking to my favorite recording engineer when my iPhone went dead. But actually, I have already left him a message in non-dream-land.

It’s not huge, but it is progress. Stay tuned . . . both of you.

Today’s Focus: Content

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

So as you can see today, I haven’t yet licked the make-it-look-like-the-custom-design problem yet. And what with other priorities and events in life, that hasn’t been a top priority and won’t be for a while.

Instead, today’s focus will be, for a few hours, on adding content. I have notes and announcements of performances that were a part of the site, and I’ll be adding them retroactively to the “Performances” blog category.

After all, search engines crawl content, not designs!

WordPress Install, Day Two

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

It’s early Sunday morning, and I’ll say that I’m pretty pleased with the way the cut-over (cut-over? more like a smush-over) to WordPress has gone.

Customizing the header appears to be the next tough task — as I write I’m still using a barely tweaked version of the default header:

screen captureAfter that, trying to actually get all the spacing, fonts and miscellaneous graphics back to Antony Viot‘s original vision will be a major chore. WordPress experts who care to recommend a theme to start from are welcome to comment!!

Traffic-Building: a Pingback

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

As part of this exercise in rebuilding the site on WordPress, here’s a remark about a blog posting about us. It’s on Jason Heath’s blog, and it happens to be a release we sent out, and Jason republished it verbatim.

Initial Install Going Fine

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

The initial install of the WordPress application and such has gone just fine.

You may notice that the header of the site doesn’t look anything like the pages which are linked to it. Modifying the site theme and then re-building those pages is next.

It seems unlikely that anyone would already be commenting on the site, but if you are out there reading, I’d love to hear from you!

Hello world!

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!