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

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

Website Design 101 : Design by Example

October 25th, 2007 · No Comments

de young museumWhat is website design? It’s not just how a website looks, I can tell you that much…and more. Website design is design in the truest sense of the word: “organization or structure of formal elements in a work.” Website design is like architecture. It’s not enough to look good, because otherwise the building will fall apart and injure people, right? Not that bad web design can cause fatal accidents (I hope), but it can and does leave a nasty taste in your mouth, perhaps blind you and cause you to run screaming the other way…or you can just hit the back button. Anyway, your website like your building has to be sound in structure, it has to be easy to “walk through” and it has to have purpose. A good website like a a great piece of architecture has a structure and navigation that serves the purpose. You know, form follows function. So, before building your fabulous website, ask yourself, “what’s the purpose of my site?”

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Tags: Design