Yes, it’s been long overdue, given how long I’ve had a Miami Vice website, but hopefully you’ll find this new version more than worth the wait.
As has happened so frequently throughout history, we had to wait for technology to catch up to what we envision. As it pertains to this website, I had to wait for web technology to catch up to what I wanted to do with the site. True story!
I created the original site in 1996 mostly as an exercise to teach myself HTML. I redid the site in 2001, then again in 2003, adding in tools that at the time were new for the web, CSS and PHP. Between 2004-2007, the site pretty much sat as-is… not much going on, save for fan controversy over the feature film Michael Mann was creating, and I was busy with other projects and with life. During that time, I had toyed with the idea of migrating the site to a platform that would make it easier for me to update and maintain, and possibly give other people the ability to update the site… long-time fans, friends who I’d met through the website over the years.
I dabbled with Drupal, with Mambo before the Joomla split, with Joomla after the split, and other apps, and nothing I played with could work the way I wanted, the way I felt would be perfect. I had worked with WordPress since 2005, and while I loved it’s flexibility and ease of use, my knowledge of CSS, PHP and MySQL was adequate for tweaking and troubleshooting, but developing graphics is still something I leave to the experts. Also, because all of the themes I kept finding were focused toward blogging, and I couldn’t build the layout I had in mind, using WordPress for this site was not an option.
This was the year that alternative themes for WordPress use seemed to explode all over the map. There were photoblog layouts, and media themed layouts, newspaper layouts and magazine layouts… all those and more, many with a previously unheard of number of easily configurable options from inside the admin interface. The stage was set for me to start playing again, and play I did.
I know enough PHP to hack and troubleshoot the code I read, and get myself into and most of the time back out of trouble with it. It’s the same with CSS, but I still couldn’t code something from scratch, not efficiently, anyway. The independent media company that I’m a principal of had purchased the original Revolution themes developers pack, a collection of about 20 professional premium WordPress themes (no longer available), and I began reading the themes and customizing them to use to update some of the websites for our shows.
What I learned from that experience, and finding a few other high quality magazine themes that were free finally gave me what I needed to completely redo the Miami Vice Chronicles website the way that I had envisioned long ago, and the end result is what you see here… an organic site that allows for more user interaction with comments turned on in certain sections, the restoration of the image galleries (something that fatally broke when newer versions of PHP were installed on my hosting servers, and upgrading the gallery app to be compatible again was not an option for me at the time), the addition of so much more content that didn’t require me to manually update 5 different pages or more in the process, and the restoration of the forums I had to abandon 4-5 years ago.
So, launching today, December 15, is the new Miami Vice Chronicles. Welcome and enjoy!
Yes, today is Don Johnson’s birthday… why do you think I planned the full site launch for today? 😉