the things i do

I do just about everything that needs to be done to design and build a website. Ideally, I like to design the overall look and feel for a site, write the HTML/CSS that turns that design into web pages, and then add whatever front-end scripting is needed to make the site function as it should. If you need help with content, I have plenty of writing and editing experience as well. The only thing I don’t do myself is back-end programming, so sometimes “doing everything” includes hiring a capable programmer to help with creating a custom database or adding interactive functionality. In those cases, I’ll work closely with the programmer to ensure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together nicely.

complete site design/construction

My favorite type of project is putting a website together from the ground up. If you have a new business that needs a web presence, I can help you think through your goals for your site and how the site will dovetail with other marketing or service strategies you may have. Generally I’ll propose two or three design concepts for you to consider. We’ll talk about how your site’s design and content will work together to achieve the results you’re looking for. Once we settle on the design, the real construction phase begins, including coding the pages and producing web-ready graphics. When a protoype is complete, I’ll test it on a variety of browsers to make sure the site functions well.

content development

Some clients come to the table with web-ready copy in hand. But for the rest of you, there’s good news. I’ve been doing various kinds of writing and editing for a long time, so if your words need smithing (or if you have no words) I can help you out. The best content development is collaborative, but if you’d like me to just do it, that works too.

content management

This seems like the logical time to talk about content management. We build a site, we fill it with content, and then we keep that content up to date. But in fact this is something we’ll discuss early on. It determines what framework I’ll use to build your site. If the content of your website will be static, perhaps you don’t need a CMS (content management system); but most sites today are updated frequently enough that you’ll want a system in place to help you keep your produce fresh. I prefer WordPress or Drupal. Both are free, open-source systems with extensive user communities that contribute useful plugins and modules. And they’re pretty easy to use.

graphic design

I’m an artist/designer first and a tech guy second, so I really enjoy the time I spend with Photoshop (which is a lot of time). A website needs to deliver information clearly, so I like to keep things clean and simple—but the site has to look great.

HTML and CSS

Here comes the geekiest statement that I’ll make on this site: I love HTML (especially HTML 5) and CSS (especially 3). There’s something about organizing information and presenting it clearly and logically that’s very gratifying. Maybe it’s my background in technical writing, but I really enjoy designing the presentation of well-structured content.

Flash and javascript

I know enough about javascript to make it work for me, and I’m learning more all the time. Javascript is pretty ubiquitous now and is extremely useful in a variety of ways. In fact, much of what Flash is used for can be accomplished just as well with javascript, which is friendlier to both search engines and iPhones. But there’s no denying that Flash is flashy. For certain sites, it’s the obvious choice.