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My exhausting experience trying to build a music site!


#1

Being someone who uses the web a lot as a designer and as an end user, I am often frustrated with how things are coded for the web. I can't tell you how many times I see things that are not designed with user-friendliness in mind. Most of the time it's things I discover within seconds and realize just how lazy the developers were. Had they would have checked their work, they would have realized right away that it's not up-to-par.

I'm dealing with a good example of this right now. I've been trying to build a music site for weeks using a few platforms. The problem is nothing is perfect, and that is speaking about website builders and the places where I've had my music. I have had many head-bashing moments.

Initially, I started out using webflow to build my music site. The problem was that webflow did not have any type of audio widget nor did it have audio embeds for the CMS. Obviously, now they now have embeds, but more on that later.

The problems of not having a built-in audio widget here in webflow has caused me a lot of extra work, which I have now discovered is futile.

The first thing I did was to create YouTube videos for all of my music so that I could embed them on my site using webflow. I dreaded having to spend all of that extra time doing this, but I gave it a try. But I realized after I had made numerous videos that YouTube embeds suck on webflow sites when viewed on mobile. The videos launch fullscreen and that is not what I want. I want the users to be able to continue scrolling, reading, and clicking on other things if they so choose. So, this was a deal-breaker for me. I not 100% sure if this is a problem with YouTube embeds in general but it seems like I remember using some websites where YouTube embeds do not go fullscreen.

After this disappointing experience, I also created my music site with WordPress and the Extra theme to see how things go. What I love about it was the fact that it has an audio player built-in. And it works marvelous.

However, there are other issues, namely layout issues that drive me nuts. For some stupid reason, the posts width and length (in masonry mode) are dependent on the size of the text rather than keeping it consistent. This makes the main blog page look retarded, and this is not an issue I've encountered in webflow (but webflow has another glitch going on with layout which can be seen on my music site).

Besides the layout problem with my WordPress site, I really do want to use webflow and build all of my sites here. But I continue to have problems with building a great, user-friendly music website. And all of this could likely be solved if we could get the webflow team to give us a proper audio widget. The new embed option just isn't going to work for me when it comes down to it as there are numerous problems going on.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad we have embeds for the CMS now, but it doesn't solve my problems completely. I tried using SoundCloud and that was horrible. My site would continually crash on mobile, and it was slow to load on all devices. Also, if you did get a song to play, it would launch fullscreen just like with YouTube embeds. Again, this is not a user-friendly way to have audio playing on a website.

I was told not to embed many SoundCloud links, but my thought was why give us the ability to embed SoundCloud in the CMS if we can't really use it without it wreaking havoc on our sites? I think I've come to realize that this is a problem with just how SoundCloud embeds and mobile often work together, although I'm not sure if this happens on all platforms. I've used numerous SoundCloud embeds on Adobe Muse website and don't remember experiencing any problems.

The last thing I've tried with webflow is embedding BandCamp links. At first glance it looked like it was going to work. Songs didn't launch fullscreen. The website loads quickly and doesn't crash. However, I realized some very user-unfriendly things about it.

Firstly, I noticed that the BandCamp links play on top of each other rather than pausing. That is not cool and why any developer would make it work like this is beyond me. Secondly, as you scroll, if your finger touches the timeline of a song, that songs starts playing. It's things like this that make me say "these developers are retarded".

I am the kind of person that is wired in a way to look for things to be more efficient and user-friendly. My brain is ALWAYS working in this manner. I know that I may seem a little bitchy a times but this is just how I am wired. I get so frustrated with how so many things, especially on the web, are not developed to be user-friendly and intuitive.

My wife always tells me that I should be a developer. If I had the passion and desire to do it, I would make a damn good one, that's for sure. And it goes back to how I'm wired and how I believe in making things the most intuitive and user-friendly as possible.

And I didn't say any of this to complain about the webflow team. Sure, there is room for improvement with some things but overall you guys have a great, solid platform that rarely has any hiccup and you have a great staff. And that is saying a lot, as I am a very picky person.

But back to what I said about why my work has been futile here. I guess that I will have to keep using WordPress (which I don't want to do) until there is an audio widget here on webflow.


#3

I'm also building a music site for my client and had the same woes, thanks for more feedback though regarding your dilema. I have decided to stick with Webflow, designing around what I have available and hoping for more features in the future.

Good Luck!


#4

@Aidz That's cool! Good luck!


#5