The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Website Case Study: NexGen Music

Written by | Sunday, 30 September 2012 04:00 | Published in 2012 October
To execute an ambitious design, and to connect with customers who are on the move and using mobile devices, a record label owner turned to Joomla! 2.5. The results sound sweet.
Website Case Study: NexGen Music Courtesy Nex Gen Music Group

Project Overview

Client: NexGen Music Group
Live URL: http://nexgenmusicgroup.com/
Development Time: 7 months

NexGen Music is an established worldwide independent record label with more than a decade of history behind its innovative approach to the fusion of live, vocal and electronic music. The label introduces audiences to the dance and electronic music genres, and showcases multiple musical styles including Downtempo, Soul, Funk, Chill-Out, Nu/Future Jazz, Experimental, Electronica, Dubstep, House, and Drum and Bass.

NexGen Music was founded in London in 2001 and is now headquartered in Washington, DC. It represents artists and musicians from across the globe, and supplies music for the television, motion picture and interactive entertainment industries.

Development Team

Daniel Clarke - Lead Developer, graphic design, planning, user experience

Sascha Kluger - Custom HTML5 player enhancements and builds

Meeting the Challenge

The label’s previous website was built entirely in Flash. While it was an well-developed and well-trafficked site, it lacked usability features and mobile device interoperability. NexGen Music also wanted to offer its own online digital and physical media music store.

Creating the Solution

The developer is the owner and founder of NexGen Music Group, and a long-time Joomla! & Mambo user. “There was no other choice, really, “ said Clarke. “Building on Joomla! 2.5 made things pretty seamless, and we were able to achieve all of our goals without the need for any custom programming of the CMS or core hack modifications.”

The site design relies heavily on the integration of jQuery needed the aid of some clever extensions to achieve its results, in particular integrating jQuery/HTML5 audio & videos players and YUI  (Yahoo User Interface) for Cufon web font delivery. The ability to call HTML5 elements via javascript into the site design to make proper use of <audio> and <video> tags was key to  the project’s success.

Templating was an area that required major planning, and some trial and error. For several reasons, the use of page class suffixes was not considered the best approach to laying out the designs. NexGen Music was ultimately created with multiple site templates system, and the use of the Chameleon component was essential to achieving the design goals.

A proprietary eCommerce solution was custom-built for NexGenMusic by a UK-based development firm, and the custom Joomla! template design was used for the shop.

Extensions Used

Modules

Components

  • Chameleon (Commercial Version) - Template switching & overrides
  • SEF Advance (Commercial Version) - Extended Search Engine Friendly URL system

Plugins

Outcome

"If you've even been in the position to work on your a project for your own business, and you're anywhere near as demanding as I am, you'll naturally try to aim for perfection at all costs,” says Clarke. “The time and dedication that went into this project surpassed 700 hours. Though what you see may not seem to reflect this, if you include the time creating the graphics, writing copy, cross-browser testing, and custom coding–and project management of the outsource web design company, it all added up.”

This made Joomla! the right choice for NexGen Music. “It would have been unaffordable to pay a team for the same amount of work that I was able to invest personally, and we received a lot of assistance from the extension developers and the Joomla! community. At times it was a stressful project, but we can now sit back and enjoy the site. Until we're bored and decide that we need something else.”

Free Music Download!

Enjoy the site and the music! NexGenMusic is offering Joomla! Community Magazine readers a zip download of several tracks as a thank you for the help received in building the site.

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Tagged under Feature Stories, English
Sully Sullivan

Sully Sullivan

Brian "Sully" Sullivan has been building corporate and non-profit organization websites for 10 years, and using Joomla! almost since it was new. He lives and works in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where he is a Principal of Terrace Media Group, an independent website development firm specializing in information architecture, search engine optimization, enterprise search services and transaction data management using the Joomla! CMS.