Updates to the Horn Matters Web Site


Regular visitors may have noticed some changes here at Horn Matters. The overall look-and-feel of the site has changed significantly over the past few weeks, including:

  • a new logo and title style
  • updated navigation
  • a revamped home page
  • a new, “responsive” design

Drupal or WordPress?

logoHMBehind-the-scenes I have been busy planning out an updated layout and design for some months. The process began with a failed experiment to migrate the site from WordPress to Drupal. WordPress and Drupal are platforms that help making web sites like this easier to create, manage and maintain.

In a nutshell, the experiment with Drupal did not work out. With over 1,500 articles, the database of content was simply too large to import into Drupal without major effort.

This setback did, however, lead to greater things.

Responsive Design

mobileFor me (as a guy whose day job is in web design and development), the most notable and exciting feature of the updated Horn Matters site is how it looks on all the different types of technologies that people own these days: desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones. 

Through diligent and careful coding, the new design “responds” differently to each technology so that the content and layout looks good no matter what device is being used.

Fortunately, with advances in web coding, this challenge has gotten much easier since I started making web sites back in 1995. Rather than having to create completely different web sites in order to accommodate desktop computers, tablets and mobile technology, I can rely on the site recognizing the differences by itself, and re-adjusting itself accordingly.

Pictured at right is an example of how the site looks on mobile platforms.

Site Traffic

In spite of the fact that I have not been writing much in the last year, site traffic has been trucking along without me. In creating and fashioning this recent update I was inspired at the level of web traffic that hits on Horn Matters on a daily basis.

Here is an example from the past week. These are the rough numbers of unique, daily visitors.



As my partner-in-crime John Ericson noted on the Horn Matters Facebook page:

..we are constantly humbled by the stats for this site. Hundreds and hundreds of different people are reading articles in Horn Matters on a wide variety of topics every day. We both deeply appreciate your support for the site and we do plan to keep it running for years to come, with the desire for it to continue to be the leading online resource on the French horn.

I can only echo this sentiment. While I cannot guarantee that I will be writing articles at the same frequency as in the past, I am certainly inspired to reach out and resume writing.

This begs the question then, “why did Bruce not write any articles for so long?”

That is a good question that, over time, will be addressed in new articles. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and readership of this web site, a project that I hold near and dear to my heart.

This, by the way, is one reason why I incorporated a heart into the new logo. Not only do I love playing the horn and performing music, but I love working on this web site and providing it as a reliable resource for others to read and learn from.

University of Horn Matters