Hoot ‘n Annie

Sruli and Lisa – two very talented Americana music experts.

When they approached me Sruli and Lisa already had a domain name (www.hootnannie.us) and a rudimentary website (see below), but were frustrated at not being able to update their site themselves. Every change came with a price tag and a lengthy wait (if you haven’t read it already, check out the horror story “Webmaster? No thank you!“)

The old Hoot ‘n Annie site – fugly.

Because Hoot ‘n Annie bill themselves playing “America’s Greatest songs on America’s weirdest instruments”  we wanted a real red, white and blue theme for the site. Sruli and Lisa chose the Glow theme in red from Elegant Themes which has a background of stars in the header and I built a logo in Photoshop using the Rockwell with a blue to white gradient which really added to the Americana theme. To top it all off I miniaturized a US flag and used it as their favicon.

Delicious pictures can really make your website stand out

We decided to use the slider available in the Glow theme to showcase three great professional promotional shots Sruli and Lisa had and used their terrific review soundbites in the caption section of the slider.

Music is clearly what these guys are selling and it was important to find a way to present examples of Hoot ‘n Annie’s work.

We began by using the plugin Audio Player and although the player it creates was very cute (and we customized it to make it red, white and blue), we found we couldn’t use it in a widget.This forced me to do some more plugin research (always a good thing because I find lots of new and great stuff I wouldn’t otherwise know about) I found WP Audio which simply converts links to mp3 files uploaded to your website to a player.

It worked well in the Hoot ‘n Annie sidebar where we could create a text widget and simply add the links to the mp3 files, one under the other. By default the player is blue, so we didn’t need to do any code-tweaking since it fit well with the website’s theme. More players have been added on static pages with six songs on the Santa Paws page where Hoot ‘n Annie talk about their doggie versions of holiday favourites.

Sruli and Lisa have been very pro-active with their website and it’s been a real joy working with them. They now have a web presence showcasing their work, their glowing testimonials are now available for all to see and a contact page means that their email addresses are safe from spambots.

Marilla Wex is the founder and owner of Wex Sites.