I work with clients to determine the appropriate web technologies for meeting particular needs. I don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach, nor do I think every problem is a nail.
My tools and experience include static html and css, WordPress, Joomla!, and SquirrelCart, though I don’t use this stand-alone shopping cart much anymore. I offer custom templates for these content management and e-commerce systems. Custom programming goes beyond just crafting the look and feel into sculpting the information to accomplish your goals and meet your customer’s needs. Sortable data tables, custom post types or just custom fields, whatever it takes to make it easy for you to manage updates without having to worry about formatting.
Static html or Content Management System?
While I still have a few clients with static html sites where a separate file is created for each page of the site, I now recommend some kind of database-driven solution for most clients. Whether a shopping cart, a blog, or just an information site with a few pages, the flexibility and power that comes with a CMS proves its worth when you want to make changes.
A content management system like Joomla! or WordPress allows me to create sites that my clients can maintain themselves. If your needs are very basic, we may develop a site using SquareSpace.
Help getting started, Help along the way…
While some site owners dive into these systems and figure things out themselves, most clients appreciate having me navigate the hundreds of options and decisions involved in getting things set up. Then some take over all maintenance while others prefer to let me make the changes on their sites. That choice is yours! Artists and business owners shouldn’t feel that they have to do it all themselves… their time may be best spent painting, creating music, cooking, or managing the other aspects of their business.
I keep an eye on the code!
Whether creating a static html site, or a custom template for Joomla! or WordPress, I will write in code that keeps the content separate from the presentation. Your pages are written in html (hyper text markup language) and the code that controls where and how it appears on the page is in a cascading style sheet (css) document. This external file with all the font, color and layout specifications separate from the content can be modified or even replaced when your site is ready for a facelift — without having to rewrite all of the pages!
Note: There are many tools on the web for building websites “without code” — Don’t be fooled. There’s plenty of code, you just don’t see it unless you choose to View the Page Source. A common problem with sites built with these tools is that the files are bloated with excess code — for every line you write there’s a layer of code: tags specifying fonts, sizes, colors, etc. If you view the source of this page, you’ll find the content is easy to read and the tags are limited to those needed to mark beginnings and endings of headings and paragraphs. Excess code means larger files, longer download time, and poorer search engine indexing.
Have something to sell?
Need to sell things on your site? I’ve worked with SquirrelCart and found it to be a highly customizable shopping cart solution at a reasonable price. More recently I’ve been building small store sites with J2Store for Joomla or WooCommerce for WordPress. Sometimes the best solution is a simple PayPal button.
Call me at (802)257-7391 to discuss your particular needs. You can also checkout my recently launched sites to see examples.
Domain Name Registration, Hosting, and Email Solutions
I can help you with getting your domain name registration and can provide hosting for your website on my Virtual Private Server maintained for me by LiquidWeb. Most clients like the convenience of a Gmail account and I can help you set that up so you can use a firstname.lastname@example.org instead of sharing your @gmail.com address.