Toasting a new Gindependent

After a brief sabbatical and re-conceptualization, I am proud to release the next generation of the Gindependent.  Welcome to the new site!

This new and improved version of the site puts the publication on a faster and more stable platform, it provides some much-needed flexibility in terms of design, indexing and navigation, it gives our readers a more consistent and reliable look and feel across devices (most of our traffic comes from mobile), and it refocuses on the original heart of the blog: gin.

Things you’ll notice about the new Gindependent:

  • A new, color imbued look and feel.  The previous version of the site had black and white, stylized photography in a variety of settings.  Not only did this box me in creatively, but I also felt that the style detracted from the (sometimes) colorful and playful appearance of the gin’s packaging and marketing itself.  Moreover, the settings often implied something about the gin that was not always clearly interpreted or understood.  I feared that at some point these photos would be misunderstood, so I made a conscious decision to move away from them.
  • A rebalancing of navigation and articles.  Readers are used to seeing a mix of articles about gin, style and commentary.  On the previous version of the site, these articles carried equal weight, and visitors landing on the Gindependent homepage would get a mix of these articles.  The new version puts the gin in the spotlight, and while other articles still exist, they very much fill in the background.
  • Focus on gin.  In addition to changing the site layout, indexing and navigation I also am refocusing on the gin itself. Readers will see the introduction of more articles in the cocktails category. I will be writing some feature posts on gin styles, flavor profiles and experiences. I also intend to do some more in-depth features on the distilleries.
  • A faster site experience.  As traffic has increased to the site, I decided to put some effort into finding a new, dedicated host.  I wanted the site to live somewhere it had room to grow, and provide a fast and reliable experience for my visitors. Additionally, I chose a WordPress theme that was equally fast, and intelligently responsive depending on your browser and device.
  • Promotion and outreach. There are several new programs and outreach activities planned around the re-launch of the site. These activities will focus on building a larger readership, but also to build a broader community around gin.

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