As I mentioned in the Home
Page, I developed
this site as a bit of a showcase for my Web
design talents. I'm an exceptionally good
Web designer, but I don't pursue it as a
living. I actually make my living managing
professional software development for an
internationally-renowned camera manufacturer.
I do this stuff because I don't feel that
my creative muscles get enough exercise in
my day job.
Some guys play music.
Some guys do artwork.
I do Web sites.
Since I come from a professional engineering, as well as from a creative
background, I'm really good at getting the
job done right. A Web site is an engineering
effort, every bit as much as it is a creative
effort. Web sites are expensive and time-consuming.
There is a heck of a lot more to Web design
than slapping a few HTML pages onto a server.
There is also a heck of a lot less to 90% of sites than those super-massive
systems that Fortune 500 corporations need
to run their intranets and CRM systems. Those
are multimillion-dollar projects that require
armies of consultants, dedicated servers
and a dozen interacting technologies. If
that's what you need, then I'm probably not
However, as I have done a bunch of non-profit sites, I've gotten very
good at doing a lot with a little. I don't
do sites that have GPRs
much over 3 or 4, so the servers are cheap and teeny. I use open source
and free technologies where possible, and
I don't need to subcontract stuff.
I also don't need to do this for a living, which is both good and
bad. Since I'm not having to battle for every
site, I can choose only the ones that interest
me, but it also means that I may not be as
"bleeding edge " as many Web designers. This is not a bad
thing, as you should be conservative when producing
a production site. "Bleeding edge" is for people who
want to show off, and I believe that production sites
should be solid and usable, as well as arresting and
attractive. You don't get solid and usable from the
very latest. You need to let things mature a bit.
I can write heavy-duty active sites in PHP and Perl,
I can write good relational MySQL,
I know how to manage projects and I'm a pretty
good graphic designer. I also know XHTML, CSS
Now, why is this site special?
For one thing, every single page validates XHTML
1.1 and WAI-AAA
Also, many people base their site on a single CMS (Content Management
System). With some plugins and whatnot, most CMS systems
give you 95% of what you need to run your
own site. Since most sites seem to be blogs
these days, blog engines, like WordPress seem
to take the lion's share of the site CMS
I want TWO CMS systems. I use WordPress for
my blog, and Gallery
2 for my image
gallery. Notice how seamlessly they fit into the theme of this
site? This is because I made a custom
theme for each that goes right into this
site. Most Webmasters use either unmodified,
or very slightly modified versions of
the "canned" themes. Gallery
2, in particular, is a real bear to theme. It has a geek factor
of 11, and is the most complex CMS
project I have ever seen. It was quite
a job to write the themes. However, they
seem to work rather well, don't you think?
Notice also, that every one of THEIR
pages validates properly.
Another feature of this site is that all the navigation, all those
fancy rollovers and whatnot, are done with
XHTML and CSS
2. That may not mean much to many people, but it basically
means that the site is very simple and very
robust. I have tested it on a number of different
browsers, and solved several rendering problems
without having to resort to special CSS hacks
I know how to do neat Macromedia
Flash tricks, but that is a technique that is
best used sparingly. Notice that I chose
not to hit you with my Site Intro Page. It
is just too much for most users.
And finally, I take a GREAT DEAL of care in all my sites. I'm a big
and I try to exercise it in all of my designs.
Notice things like the links to pages being
turned off when that page is selected (look
at the "About
This Site" link, directly below this page.)
These little details mean a LOT. My Web sites
are designed to be practical, tough, robust
and useful. Information is presented well,
I don't use excessive navigation (for example,
this site is too small to necessitate breadcrumbs,
so I won't use them, although they do appear
in the two CMS systems.)
In summary, I'm pretty good at this stuff. If I choose to do your
site, it will rock like a big-time site on
a shoestring budget. There are a lot of good
designers out there, and every one of them
is striving to outdo each other. That seems
like a waste of energy, so I strive to outdo
myself. That seems to work for me.
If you are interested, contact
Housekeeping: Every image and every word on this site is/are protected
by copyright, with the exception of quotes
and whatnot. In those cases, I provide attributions.
If this site is so kewl, why'd it take ten seconds to render the
my page rendering or navigation, and I am relying
on only CSS. This means all those images and rollovers
you see are being drawn as background images underneath
the important stuff, which is the page content. After
the main page has rendered, all the subsequent pages
will go just fine.
If you will notice, all the text and navigation links on the page
appeared immediately in their correct positions. There
was none of that annoying "reflow" you get with so
many "Web 2.0" pages, where you head for a navigation
link to click on it, but, by the time you get there,
it moved out of the way for an ad for incontinence
control products, so your click winds up showing you
adult diapers instead of information about AJAX.