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About

Boutique web design and social media marketing company specializing in providing a full range of marketing using open source platforms that are easy to use and fully integrated. We've been in business offering everything from web design, graphic arts, social media content strategy to blogging and script reviews for over 26 years.

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A great website has intuitive navigation with the most important information for your viewer front and center and reachable from every page. The design does not overwhelm the content and the purpose of the site is very clear. The site's branding carries over to all social media as well as payment gateways if used. The site's SEO is based upon great links from respected websites and not on spammy keywords. The site is secure and easy to update by non-developers.

My first questions deal with setting up requirements for the website.

1. What is the purpose of your website?
2. Who are your customers?
3. What outcomes do you expect from the site? For example, are you selling things? Are you marketing something such as a movie? Are you informing people about information? Are you aggregating information from other sites?
4. If you have any websites where you like the design, please provide the links. Note that your website should be unique and these other sites are just ideas of layout and design.
5. Do you have a logo? I work with a professional illustrator who is able to develop a brand for your site if you don't yet have one. If yes, what colors related to that logo do you like for your website and associated social media?

I collect requirements and work up a formal contract containing my proposed work based on those requirements.
I research templates that meet the requested design elements, such as slideshows, Call to Action area, testimonial sliders, maps and contact area and so forth. I present three such templates to the client and explain that all colors, design sections can be moved and customized.
Using the selected template, I install Joomla! and the related extensions that come with the template onto the client's hosting service.
I proceed to customize all parts of the site, changing colors, sizes, adding images either received from my client or obtained via stock photograph sites. I set up the site navigation according to topics I have gleaned from discussions with my client regarding the purpose of the website and their business. These topics, called categories, drive the navigation of the website. I add content, such as a Call To Action statement, famous quotes that seem related to the client's work, slogans that are provided to me or I write, and other marketing headlines and hover images that when clicked can easily lead to areas deep in the website bringing important information forward and more accessible.

I provide the client with access to the website as it is being designed and we discuss changes such as colors, text, images and the locations of information (called modules and components) on the pages as well as menu items and their organization. I will do this four times. I have to limit reviews to avoid requirement creep. All changes should be related to the original list of requirements on the proposal.
If I am contacted to do so, I then install and layout articles provided by the client or if paid to do so, articles I write with notes from the client that fill out such areas as biographies, company history, mission statement, products and services, pricing tables, portfolios, storefront products and prices and so forth. It is critical that I receive all written work promptly to make deadlines that I contracted for in the proposal. I'll add illustrations, where appropriate, to articles.
I provide four hours of training on the editor and how the website is constructed so that the client can take over updating and adding information to the site.
I add security and Google analytics as well as site maps and localization as required by this search engine to ensure that the site stays safe from predatory web bots and hackers as well as is successfully searchable. I can never promise first page locations, but I strive to set up the website such that its page ranking will eventually lead to appearing on a search engine's first page.
I am not a programmer, although I can hire one. I am a graphic artist and writer who creates websites using off-the-shelf add-ons and templates associated with either Joomla! (my preferred content management system platform) or WordPress (my preferred blogging platform). I am highly familiar with HTML and CSS and will customize all parts of the site to ensure it looks and feels like the customer wishes within strict design theory values, such as the rule that pages should be laid out such that fifty percent of the area consists of white space. That paragraphs are kept short for easier reading and only two fonts are used, again for legibility. The current trend towards flat design objects versus anthropomorphic design (items that look like things) is something that I will discuss with the client at the time that a template is selected. I also will guide the client into using more text than large graphic images for articles so that Google and devices for the Blind can access the information on the website (graphics cannot be read by either system).
A lot of the work is guiding clients gently into good design principles while listening closely to their desires and trying to fulfill them while creating a modern, long-lasting site.

As a professional designer/developer I never divulge login credentials but I will need access to many parts of your Internet world.

1. Do you currently have social media sites such as Facebook fan page, Twitter account, Instagram account, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so forth. I'll need the logins for those accounts and administrator rights.
2. If you are designing a storefront, do you currently have a way to process credit cards? I'll need the login for that payment gateway. For example, If you wish to use Paypal, I'll need your login information.
3. Do you have a web host? I will need the login credentials for their Customer Account area (if they use one) and the CPanel. This is the web server where your current or future website will live.
4. Do you currently have a domain? I will also need your domain registrar's login credentials, such as GoDaddy, TuCows, Cheap Registrar, and so forth where you bought your domain.

I do hosting reselling as well as domain registration if you are interested. If you are currently using GoDaddy, I strongly suggest you move your website account to a more robust and professional host who is able to support dynamic platforms.

I love creating solutions from the perspective of my client's organizational purpose as explained to me. This may go beyond their scope of work but I believe in being proactive and suggesting solutions to problems they might not have even thought about when we begin our discussions of requirements.

I had been working for corporations as a Federal proposal writer and succeeding in winning large contracts that never were finished or I never saw the results from. I loved the research and writing as well as the design elements of the work but not the bureaucracy. So when I became pregnant with my first child, I lit out on my own writing "how to" books about Macintosh computing and the new-fangled thing called The Internet. I haven't looked back but keep educating myself about the next new thing.

I am an omnivore. I study the big picture and gain a long view of my client's work and when we sit down to discuss their requirements I'm able to provide a solution that supplies specifically what they request or I may be able to suggest a better solution to a problem they haven't recognized they have. I'm known for my proactive research and ability to learn new things as well as my problem-solving skills honed from many years serving the movie industry, small businesses, and non-profits.

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Services

Design and implement a website based on the Open Source Joomla! or WordPress platform including off-the-shelf add-ons and template that are completely configured and customized based on a client's needs. Include "responsive" technology that allows the desktop site to automatically resize to fit the various types of mobile devices used by visitors to view the website. Provide search-engine optimization such that the website appears on the first page of major search engines such as Google and Bing. Set up Google Analytics and Site Maps using Google's Webmaster Services. Set up anti-spam and security features such as links to HoneyPot IP tracker, firewalls, PHP lock downs, web bot foils and other ways to prevent hacking of the website. Use images that support the newer high-resolution screens of tablets and smartphones to animate a website with sliders, slideshows, hover images and other features allowing better navigation to important information on a site.

Design and implement a stand-alone or integrated e-commerce solution based on Open Source storefronts such as OSCMax, Avantis, Magento or Joomla!-based products such as VirtueMart, HikaShop, La Tiende, K2-Store, or Paypal solution.

Using a commercial email management solution such as MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact or Emma build a mailing list and design a newsletter based on either a custom-built template or customized commercial template and track the resulting regular mailings for bounces, meeting conversion goals and communicating information that is fully integrated with a website or social network platform.

Using a tool such as ShortStack.com, construct add-ons for Facebook such as contests, blog posts, email signup forms, photo galleries, storefronts or advertisements that promote posts or the fan page itself to further grow a client's brand. Construct an integration with a website such that the social media is either published on the site or vice versa (the contents of a blog on the website is automatically posted on the media) through the development of applications in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other media. Connect Addthis.com or Feedburner to the website to further add the ability to share postings to visitor's social media sites.

Research and write regular blog entries on topics pertinent to a client's needs (including search-engine optimized entries). Build blog sites using WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal, or Joomla's solutions (EasyBlog, RSBlog and so forth) that offer subscriptions, sharing, emoticons, private messaging and other standard blog features.