Website Design & Development
I am not accepting new clients at this time.
Many clients come to me with an older website they maintain. In most cases, they want to update the design to be mobile-friendly with a more modern look. I collaborate with them to design a new look and feel that allows them to still maintain the content. Read more about my Design services …
Functionality (including contact forms, PayPal interfaces, product databases, etc.) can improve a visitor's website experience. I help clients improve existing capabilities. Also, I've given their websites new capabilities, with a focus on enhancing their customers' experience or making it easier for them to maintain. Learn about my Development services …
Content — text and pictures — is aimed at the website's target audience. As my clients' businesses change, their website content needs to be updated. When my clients prefer not to do the ongoing updates themselves, I update existing pages or create new ones as needed. For details, refer to my Maintenance services …
Websites can be complicated. I've helped my clients translate the techno-speak about servers, domains, and specific tools. Clients who want to manage their own website and need a little help in learning how or have a specific problem to address have used my Coaching services ….
A Dazzling Day … weddings by Darcie
A few years ago I customized a WordPress website for this client. Darcie wanted to focus on her business and not the technical aspects of updating and maintaining her website.
In October 2018, after discovering that the WordPress database had gotten corrupted, I suggested we move away from WordPress. The main reasons for using WordPress are:
- Website owners want to update their own content
- Blogging and content comment functionality are desired
- Themes and/or plugins will provide features that are difficult or expensive in non-WordPress sites
None of these reasons applied in this case. Additionally, there are several key reasons for not using WordPress:
- Security issues — hackers are attracted to WordPress websites because there are so many and the code is readily accessible
- Theme/plugin expiration — once a theme or plugin used for a WordPress website is no longer supported, it is difficult to guess when it will fail and the website owner will have to find a replacement (and migrate existing content that depends on that feature)
- WordPress base updates — while WordPress can update automatically (this is a good thing since updates come out on an unpredictable schedule several times a year), each update requires a complete test of all functionality and all pages on a website
- Slow web page loading time — depending on the theme and plugins used for the website, performance can be extremely slow; lots of extra code per page is required to accommodate WordPress rather than focus on the important page content
- Content maintenance — when the website owner doesn't want to maintain his/her content, and would rather the webmaster do so, it is more cost effective for a webmaster to update content without using a bloated interface like the WordPress Dashboard
Darcie agreed to the website rebuild. Here is a view of what the WordPress version of the website looked like:
Comparing the WordPress version with the new version (at the top of this column), you can see that the design is quite similar. Small design tweaks are easier with the rebuild than with the customized WordPress theme.
After the rebuild, the website is now performing much better. It's page speed has increased significantly — per page speed tools online, the WordPress version measured 67 (red) and the new version measured 91 (green). It is easier to add a photo gallery with optimized images. The website is still "mobile-friendly", working well on all screen sizes.