Website Development

I am available for hire as a contract programmer/website developer. My goal is to build sites that gives the client control of their content.  From text to photos to employee directories, there's no need to contact a developer (and wait for their schedule to free up) to make changes to your site.  You control your content.

I have been working as a programmer since graduating college in 1992, initially with Microsoft and more recently as a freelancer doing projects in Drupal, PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I aim for standards-compliant websites that are great experiences for the average user but still fully functional for those with different configurations. There's nothing wrong with a flashy website as long as everyone can enjoy it!

My strong suit is not graphic design. Let's be honest — I'm a computer programmer. My artistic side begins and ends with photography. That doesn't mean I can't put together a decent looking web page, but I work better when someone has a vision of what they want their site to look like and lets me work on the implementation of that vision.

Some recent projects:

  • Well, there's this site, though I have to admit that it doesn't get the attention it deserves. Mostly because no one pays me to work on my own homepage!
  • Cozi, a local startup that builds software for busy families asked me to convert their existing marketing site from a custom built CMS to something they could control. They wanted the marketing department to be able to drag-and-drop elements to rearrange the page as different promotions came and went. They also needed to be able to make one-off custom pages, easily reorder which articles are "featured" and maintain high search engine optimization. The solution had to be able to scale to meet the 10,000+ hits they get each day.  Cozi was in charge of the design and I handled the initial implementation.
  • Two Seattle-based photographers, Justin Gollmer and Dennis Wise, came to me with similar requests: Web sites to promote their photography and allow them to easily rearrange photos, add new photos and remove old ones.  In both cases, the target audience is photo editors (who generally have large monitors) so we could get away with using a larger layout and, in the case of Dennis' website, requiring JavaScript be enabled.  Justin and Dennis have an administrative interface that lets them upload new photos and drag-and-drop the layouts of their portfolios.  There is also a "backdoor" that lets them upload a directory worth of photos share those with friends as if it were part of their portfolio but without making it part of the public-facing portion of their sites.
  • More recently Justin, Dennis and two other photographers from Getty opened a studio in Seattle called Lucile and asked me to do their site. The idea was to make the photos the focus (pardon the pun) of the site so we don't use thumbnails and the images will scale to size of the browser. This allows photo editors to view huge images with tons of detail. This site also includes an administrative side that allows them to easily add photos to their various collections, rearrange the order they appear and upload galleries via FTP.  By adding metadata to the uploaded photos, they can have them automatically titled and categorized. Unfortunately, the studio is no longer in operation.
  • The University Temple Children's School was done as a volunteer project and is essentially two sites in one. There is "brochure" site for the public and a more interactive site for parents who can log in and see the latest from their kid's classes in the form of blog entries, upcoming events, news articles or forum posts.  There is also an auto-generated newsletter sent once a week with summaries of the latest activity on the site. More detail can be found in my write-up about the project.
  • The Columbia City Bakery site is a classic example of a company "brochure" site -- owners want to promote their company but don't want the burden of learning new technologies.  In this case, the bakery staff have logins that grant them permissions to add photos or easily change the content of the pages using a WYSIWYG editor.  This frees them from having to contact a Web developer everytime they change the price of a latte or scone; they are in control of their content.
  • I'm also the author and maintainer of the Drupal module Better Exposed Filters.  But unless you're a Drupal developer, that probably doesn't mean much to you...  Suffice to say that Drupal is an open-source content management system that gives a developer an astounding collection of components out of the box yet allows great freedom to customize.
  • I've done several projects for the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group (CIG) including an online presentation request form, a database of climate change case studies and a directory management tool.  I should point out that I did not have control over the design of these pages, only the functionality.  These are also Drupal-based sites with password-protected admin pages that allow users with the proper permissions to easily make changes to the site.  One of these days I'll get some screenshots together as most of the action is on the password-protected pages.

If you're interested, please contact me and we'll talk.