Many will browse the brand new site and operantly say that it seems controversial, perhaps too mainstream or even commercial alike, a somehow neat and clean visual approach that have morphed us into sold outs, lest dare say rockstars and less underground? Many will not even bother to be fully aware that we just felt the urge to level things up to everyone, anywhere, any time, yet remaining true to our principles! Then again, ignorance is in its true nature a virtue for those that deny to evolve, that restrain themselves to older patterns that are afar from today’s reading audiences as well as content authors, this not to speak about accessibility in an era in which iPad, Tablet, iPhone, and countless other futuristic devices are gaining more users rather than old and good, desktops. Times have changed, and so have we in order to adjust; a natural process of revolution I might say.
It has not been so long ago when we were approached by United States site owners asking us how come a European website ended up top ranked on a National Newspaper as the most referred and visited news source related to Heavy Metal by American readers? We hold no proof of evidence of such fact been true or not, however we rely in our statistics which clearly shown that our prominent users are American, followed by Europeans and then South Americans (last in which a grand part of our audience is Colombian). Overwhelming taking into consideration that our history is not that long but from it we have learned plenty. Even whence we dominated the desktop environments by overpowering other websites similar to ours, it did not seemed enough and our tension to conquer new devices vastly grown. Early this year we planned to rebuild its entire structure and reorganize the team, a turn of events that by our stipulations would cost us a great sum of resources, both monetary and human, so we had decided to delay our plans for a later stage. That was our initial aim, in which we would follow if we did not had troubles sooner than expected when accidentally one of our former web hosts decided it was time to tweak their servers into a non-compatible introspective that soon reflected in the site performance and accessibility, which went from fairly acceptable, to non-existent. For over more than four weeks we constantly battled against CPU outrages and critical downtimes, and the situation seemed not to have a quick resolution at hand as their technicians kept avoiding from providing us with an accurate status on their development.
To avoid the melodrama, stressful situations and the down peak in the analytic charts, we took things at hand and decided it was for the best to shut down the website and engage into hard labour. For over a week we completely reinstalled, redesigned, and recoded our new site from scratch and shared screen prints of the new work via social networks which surprisingly caught some investors attention. Shortly after we did the sharing we were approached by strong willing investors (most of which are associated with such companies as Universal Studios, Warner Bros, Sony Entertainment, and Rackspace) which were asking us if they could contribute by donating non-refundable funds and/or sponsored services to us so that we could bring up the version we always wanted to our members. I must confess that we juggled between reaching to agreements with investors while re-uploading our files to new servers and purchasing some subscriptions such as Vimeo Plus.
As for the present status; we are now hosted in a Cloud Server (Rackspace) and caching our files through Content Delivery Networks such as MaxCDN and CloudFlare while setting up a service partnership with Amazon CloudFront to speed up things furthermore.Amazon has been working with us since early this year and already powers a part of our Radio Station. Our partnership with Google remains untouched and we keep distributing their advertising exclusively as part of our agreement as well as our affiliation with TicketMaster.
Unfortunately and due to server technical issues, it was impossible to migrate and import the older databases leaving us with no other option but to reset to zero and move forward. This situation was unexpected and surged as a big blow to all of us. Nevertheless, we have now two other developers working in order to correct both older versions of our databases and merge into the new one which will result in a merging of up over 5,000 articles and 25,000 registered members (database dates way back to 1st November 2010).
Besides all of the above, we had a general team meeting this past Sunday in which for about three hours we unedified our position, assigned duties, responsibilities and battlemented for a new approach. Today we start a new era as our 2nd anniversary is hastily approaching, consciously awaken to a new reality which reminds us that our work is of foremost importance, now more than ever since we are accessible through all major devices worldwide. We have broken the standards by going responsive, consequently throwing the new site out as the world’s fully accessible heavy metal portal!
To bid my farewell; I wish to deeply express gratitude in the name of the entire team and to all investors that trusted and approached us just by checking screen captures and that in their way helped us to acquire the quality we needed and the resources we always wanted. To the people that kept suggesting features and sending their feedback, to the beta testers, and to the developers that came took their time to check the codes and tweak things around.
Also published on Medium.