All Posts in the 'Design and Development' Category

Choosing the Right Elements for Your Website or Blog

December 1st, 2007 · No Comments

You ever see a website or blog that looks so fabulous, you think, that’s what I need for a kick-arse web presence? You know those sites with a billion cool looking social bookmark plugins & apps, mini Flash animations, crazy animated navigation bars, video, audio, really cool dynamic picture galleries, very shiny design, funky tag displays and so on. I admit, as a web and blog designer, I suffer from “site envy” whenever I stumble upon a really great, dynamically jam-packed site or perusing the amazing site designs posted on sites like CSS Remix. It’s natural to feel a little envious. But, I remember what I need to remember before the envy erodes my common sense: simplicity and distinction trumps complicated and shiny.

You ever noticed that the most simple ideas are the most profitable? Shoe laces? First generation of MP3 players? Netflix? Underwear? The point is, no matter how dynamic and full of bells and whistles, your site visitors need one thing above else, relevant and easy to find information about whatever they’ve come to your site to read, see, purchase or hear. Of course, giving them a little somethin’ extra, goes a long way too. But, don’t over do it. Focus!

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Tags: Design and Development · Tools · WordPress

Redesign Projects Over the Thanksgiving Break

November 26th, 2007 · No Comments newHoliday breaks are a great time for getting personal projects done. I decided to redesign two of my personal sites. One is Film Tops, a film blog and the other is, my personal website that I converted into a blog for easier updating and maintenance. Both and Film Tops are hosted on one account with Lunarpages but have separate installations of WordPress. is the main domain and redirects to

I’ve been wanting to do these redesigns for a long time now. Let’s take a look at first. The two images on the side here are the old website (top) and the new blog (bottom). The goal here was to make updating easier especially considering I have so much going on right now and not time to waste fiddling around with code unnecessarily. I built origninally using PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Most of the JavaScript is used for displaying pages from a click of a link in the top portion, blue area, to the dynamic load area on the bottom portion, white area. I used PHP to make it easier to load the navigations on the bottom right side in the white area since they vary given what page you’re on. Everything else is HTML and CSS. I had fun building this site originally a couple of years back when I started using PHP. I especially loved having the data for my “kemipedia” (random facts about me) and the links to my favorite websites dynamically imported from a database, which was also replaced with new facts and new links, respectively, whenever the page reloaded.

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Tags: Design · Design and Development · WordPress

Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 with Better Beta and More Accountability

November 9th, 2007 · No Comments

web 2.0 meet web defines Web 2.0 as “a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration and sharing between users.” Gibberish? Yes. Forget the jargon. Web 2.0 is is simply a new wave of using the Internet for users to get what they want and need in a more dynamic way that promotes interacting with other people on the Web. More important, this new age of the Internet is about developing mutually beneficial relationships between users and website owners, users and users, website owners and website owners, etc. Remember the days of static, non dynamic one-way interactions with websites where you searched, found, read and moved on with your web surfing? Well, they’re gone, even if you are still using Internet Explorer. Now, you have a hell of a lot more options and have a hell of a lot more control over how much or how little you can receive, share and contribute to websites, and blogs. You even, on some level, have more choices with how much advertisement you get exposed to. That alone is reason enough to embrace this new Internet age. The most appealing aspect of Web 2.0, the current generation of all things web is the perpetual interactivity and interconnectedness of users to the site creators and the content created. It’s like the wild west, digitized and Digged.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Design and Development · Innovation · Writing

How to Hire a Website or Blog Designer and Be a Good Client

November 5th, 2007 · No Comments

As Featured On Ezine ArticlesSo you need a website or a blog and haven’t the faintest idea how to go about choosing the best one for you or your business? My best advice to you, speaking as a small business owner, a website and blog designer, and well, a human being is know what you want your website or blog to accomplish first and then start your search. Why? Well, it will cost you less in time and money. You won’t have to do as much research for one. And second, the designer or firm you hire will spend less billable hours talking with you and redoing whatever it is you want undone or adding whatever it was you forgot to mention for your website or blog to meet your needs.

Ultimately, when you’re looking to hire a designer, developer or firm to design your website or blog, know your needs and know your wants, then get a reality check. In writing school we were always told to “kill your babies”. Meaning, get rid of the part of our story or article that we love too much, so much that everything else suffers or so much that we get stuck. My advice to you individuals and businesses who are looking to get a website or blog created, make a list of your needs first, your wants second. Keep those things that overlap, keep the rest of the needs, put the rest of the “wants” in your pocket for a rainy day…or until your budget expands to support these wants.

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Tags: Blogging · Design and Development · Essentials · Web & Blog Business