Here’s a sample of projects I’ve been involved in over the years. This list has websites that were built from scratch and some that I substantially revised or ammended. In some cases I highlight work on an interesting feature or interaction. A lot of the work I do (a lot of the work most web developers do) is maintenance — fixing broke things, recovering from botched edits, tweaks and adjustments, adding and removing features, upgrading themes and applications to work in new software releases, handling security issues and recovery when security has failed and a site has been hacked.
I’m happy to share what I know about anything listed here — specific projects, applications, technologies, whatever — so drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
A custom WordPress theme with a lot of designer-specified constraints. The constraints required custom post-types, extensive use of categories (and applying categories to WordPress pages), a unique layout for most pages, and a huge stylesheet. I started with Automattic’s _s (“Underscores”) starter theme and extended the CSS modules to include the many layout features, then concatenated and minified the stylesheet to reduce page-load times.(read more )
An agency that I work with a lot maintains this site, updating content, managing digital advertising, and tracking analytics. I had been doing minor tweaks and repairs on the site for about a year when the agency was asked to create two new sections on the site. The new sections were close in design to the existing site but with subtle and important changes. The challenge was to use modern, efficient, professional development tools and techniques on a site that had grown through accretion over the years while passing through multiple developers’ hands.(read more )
A clean room facility thick with environmental monitoring sensors wanted a Web-based dashboard to provide simple, near-real-time status indicators for the entire site. The sensors updated a large database continuously, our task was to extract a relevant sub-set of that massive data and update a graphical status-indicator screen every two seconds.(read more )
This is a large eCommerce site built with WordPress and WooCommerce. An agency I do development work for, Incite Response Marketing, took over maintenance and marketing for the site and I have made a few tweaks and adjustments to the site. The WordPress theme is no longer supported and has been heavily modified over the years, to there are challenges.(read more )
This is a peculiar entry for a portfolio collection but it demonstrates a valuable skill. Or maybe a lesson. The entire site was inadvertently deleted from a server (I didn’t do it) and there was no backup. That’s already a lesson — BACK UP YOUR SITE! — but not the final one. We found some pages of the site on the Wayback Machine and some people who had been involved in the initial creation of the site has some images and a little bit of text, enough that we were able to start piecing the site back together.(read more )
A custom WordPress theme started from Automattic’s Underscores starter-theme with reference to an existing site that modeled the grid and card layout, though with very different graphics. Making the site attractive and usable at all screen sizes took some excellent art direction and design along with the obvious careful layout.(read more )
This WordPress site uses a heavily-modified commercial theme built on the Genesis framework, has been around for many years, gets a lot of traffic, and serves the business well. I’ve included it as a portfolio item not because of any grand improvements or sexy features I’ve added, but to point out that success as a developer often requires more than programming skills.(read more )
Nothing fancy here. The client had an existing WordPress site and needed to add a Jobs feature into the site. They are a placement agency and the Jobs feature was the main purpose of the site so the feature had to be visually integrated into the current design and to work flawlessly. (read more )
This large WordPress-based eCommerce site was being held captive by a developer who was overcharging for hosting and maintenance and was refusing or taking a very long time to do site edits. The client still controlled the domain name, luckily, so with a goal of restoring full control of the site to the client, I did this:
- make a development WordPress installation on a good host;
- create a new theme with a similar look and feel;
- import, update, and add products
- ensure the client controlled every aspect of the site.
(read more )
This client called me out of the blue, very unhappy with a site re-design he had commissioned. The designer had started with a commercial “kitchen-sink” theme and filled in the blanks, and although it looked good, the revised site didn’t reflect the client’s business (the value proposition) or the way he thought of himself. After a few phone conversations, the client and I decided to just update his retro site with current tech.(read more )
This WordPress site was ordinary-looking when I first saw it, but the designers at InciteResponse perked things up with some subtle, but important, revisions. A smaller header, better navigation, and improved image selection made a huge difference in the site’s appearance and usability across all device-widths. Revising a theme can be difficult and time-consuming (therefore expensive), but MediaTemple’s “Staging Sites” feature takes a lot of the work out of it by quickly enabling a development domain so you don’t have to worry about breaking the site. Well, you don’t have to worry until late in the process — going live with changes is always stressful.(read more )
This WordPress site was designed and developed several years ago. I don’t know who did the initial work. If I did I would give them credit here — the site is well-built and very attractive. But it was build using a device-adaptive strategy which used a sniffer to determine if the user arrived via a mobile or a desktop device then serving content appropriately. There was nothing wrong with that approach at the time, but now, a few years later, a device-responsive strategy is considered a best practice, for maintenance reasons and, maybe more importantly, for SEO reasons.(read more )
A custom WordPress theme built from Automattic’s “_s” (pronounced “underscores) starter theme. The arrow-shaped feature on the left was difficult to dial in across various screen-widths, and the bevel-effects required a lot of CSS effort, but the site turned out well and works well on all device-widths.(read more )
This blog, shared by four Comanche Nation casinos, was the first project I did in collaboration with my (now) frequent partners, the online marketing agency InciteResponse. The site was designed to serve all four casinos with a frequently updated blog and the tricky part, from a development standpoint, was to manage the casino icons with their associated arrow graphics in both desktop and mobile screen sizes. (read more )
Another WordPress site, built to last. A custom theme with some fancy DOM manipulation made this an interesting project, but the important part from the customer standpoint is that the site is easily maintained, scalable, and build on a popular platform with frequent security updates, and a site that preserves their careful branding efforts.(read more )
In 2013, the same people at N.I.S.T. (The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology) who we did a “Preliminary Results” application for, asked us (the team at ArielMIS and me, that is) do write an application to automate their machine calibration certification.(read more )
This was one of the first responsive sites I built (after the one you’re on and a personal blog), in 2013. It was build with WordPress, which keeps getting better and better, and was designed by Daryl McCool at d.a.m. Cool graphics.(read more )
This site was built in 2012 for a small, family-owned, organic maple sugar producer in Vermont. It was built on the WordPress platform so the owners could make updates, and used WooCommerce eCommerce plugin for on-line sales.(read more )
State of the States in Cognitive Disabilities is a “sister institution” of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities — they share office space and there is some staff overlap. I build their original website for them 10 years or so ago, migrated that static site to Joomla some years later, then in 2011 we added a significant and popular new custom charting feature.(read more )
This site was built in 2011 on the Joomla platform, using a custom template and several custom modules in order to achieve the complex functionality that the client required. The intention was to build it so that the site could be scaled up to deliver thousands of documents, an intention that provided the biggest design challenge — bigger, even, than the custom Joomla modules.
This was the first (and one of the few) Joomla site I've worked on that required more than one template. Differences in one section of the site were causing the main template to become unmanageably complicated, so we built and deployed another for a few pages, despite the added maintenance load that causes.
I see that although the site remains in Joomla, the template has been revised since I worked on it last.
We had built the Joomla! site earlier, but in 2010 we integrated the site with data from a company called ChamberMaster, which provides membership software specifically for Chambers of Commerce. While we were at it, we made a separate mobile version, largely using ChamberMaster components, with a device-detector to re-direct visitors depending on the device they were using to view the site.(read more )
The challenge with this site, built in 2010 (though I had done some earlier work for the association) was to integrate an existing membership database application into Joomla and then make a separate area for those members that incorporated a professional development “points” allocation system and some member notifications.(read more )
Built in 2009, this was near the last site I did without using a CMS (Content Management System). Using the Dreamweaver/Contribute platform, the user has been able to add new content so the platform is solid, but newer sites have all used some CMS — at first FarCry, a CMS based on ColdFusion, more recently Joomla! and, more often now, WordPress.(read more )
Boulder, Colorado (where I live) passed some election finance laws in 2008 and hired my friends Cam Marshall and Bob McCool at ArielMIS to create a database to track and report on campaign contributions and expenditures. They contracted with me to write the application after Cam created the database.(read more )
I build this site in December, 2006, on a Dreamweaver/Contribute platform. So, is’t a static site with some semi-automated content management support. A WYSIWYG editor, for instance, which in 2006 was awful. I haven’t touched this site since I built it and it’s only included here because it may be the last table-based layout I did that’s still standing.(read more )
In 2006, before content management systems became easy to use (WordPress was first released in 2003 and was still a little cumbersome three years later), this site was built using a Dreamweaver/Contribute combination — Dreamweaver to do the layout, Contribute to manage the content.(read more )
Originally built in 2005, with a third-party reservation system integrated into the Joomla CMS a few years later, this site for a small lodge along a picturesque creek a few miles into the mountains from Boulder, Colorado, continues to be maintained by the lodge-owner.(read more )
I was hired to build the first website for this University of Colorado Institute primarily because of my interest in and experience with accessibility issues. We build the site with Dreamweaver and a staff-member maintained it — my part, initially, was to build the template and to create a custom bibliographic database with PHP and MySQL. At the time, the site was tested by outside auditors and found to meet the highest standards of web accessibility.(read more )
This site began life in 2004 as a static, table-based layout and a few times a year they asked for a content change, which, in the old days of static html, required either a developer or a very knowledgeable user to handle without breaking anything. Those were times when the term “Webmaster” meant a real collection of skills, but as web-technology rolled forward, high-quality, low-cost content management systems allowed less technically proficient users to manage their site with only occaissional help from a developer.(read more )