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I create functional websites

Picture of me and my dog

I am a freelance web-developer/web-programmer who specializes in building functional web sites and web applications. My work is creative, built on solid technological foundations with compliance considerations, and designed to provide the end-user with easy access to your product or service.

My credentials include AA, BS (honors), and MSc degrees and over 20 years of Internet development and programming experience. I'm proficient in several web languages including HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, and Ajax. This web site is an example of my work and provides some demos of what I can do.

My specialty is not installing “one size fits-all” packages for clients but rather creating custom solutions that observe “best” practices in terms of compliance with web standards, solving accessibility issues, and thus providing clients with the widest possible audience for their products and services.

Furthermore, I'm aware of design standards suggested by the W3C; and the validation standards under the Federal Section 508 guidelines as per the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the requirements by the American Disability Act (ADA). As such, I design web sites that comply with both the client's needs and required standards and guidelines.

What is a Web Developer/Programmer?

A web developer is a professional who knows the demands of the Internet, considers the needs of the client, and integrates both to deliver an optimum Internet solution. Basically, web development can be broken down into four parts.
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Design

Creating the general artistic theme and bindings

I am skilled in graphic design and worked as a commercial artist for many years. However, I often work with designers, or web designs provided by clients, because my forte is really focused on the programming side of web site development, namely web site Presentation, Function, and Service as outlined below.

Presentation

Make the design consistent across various platforms and browsers

Presentation concerns are discussed in the " Four Internet Design Considerations Every Client Should Know" – I won’t repeat them here other than to say those are the problems that I typically address and solve. Those problems are solved by the proper application of HTML and CSS languages coupled with good server practices.

Function

Make the web site user-friendly

Function is primarily client-side problem solving. This includes providing customers with easy ways to find what they are looking for -- namely consistent web site navigation methods; web-site search devices; product presentation schemes; product pricing and discount methods; and delivering various product information on call. These problems are solved by the proper application of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript languages.

Service

Make the web site perform properly, accurately, quickly, and securely

Service is primarily server-side problem solving. Such as: providing a means to show product data via the web site as requested by the user (i.e., dynamic presentation); keeping track of inventory, sales, customers, and data; providing customer secure access to their accounts; providing means for customers to purchase products; providing clients with access to their web site for product management; and making the web site as secure as current technology allows. These problems are solved by the proper application of PHP and MySQL languages as well as knowledgeable database design.

This is what I provide for my clients. I typically charge $100 per hour but most of my work is done on a project basis. In other words, tell me what you want and I'll provide a cost and time estimate.

On many things, such as what you may find in this site, it's usually more efficient, in terms of both time and cost, for you to hire me to install whatever interests you. Most of what I provide here can be done within my minimum charge of $100.

Four Things Every Client Should Know

The Internet is a medium unlike any other. The Internet provides new and exciting opportunities in product presentation and ways to attract and cultivate customers interest. Tapping the true power of the Internet lies in understanding the difference between the Internet and all other mediums and then using those differences to promote business in new ways.
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The Internet is not print.

While a web site can be optimized by expert direction it can also be hindered by imposing unnecessary limitations found in other mediums. The Internet is neither your father’s newspaper nor your mother’s magazine – in short, it’s not print.

The Internet is more than a brochure.

Certainly a web site can be forced to look exactly like a brochure. However, doing so fails to tap the real power of the net – and that power is the ability to both reach a massive audience and inter-react with an individual customer at the same time. The Internet can present your product in ways that are unique from any other medium. It can seek out customers, arouse customer’s interest, capture their attention, and allow them to explore and investigate your product as they want, and ultimately allow them to purchase your product. No other medium provides this exposure, flexibility, and opportunity.

The Internet is user controlled.

The user (your potential customer) not only determines where they go on the Internet, but what they actually see. While your web site reflects your basic design, it is the user who ultimately controls its final presentation. For example:

  • What the user sees can be of any size, there is not one set size. Treating a web page, or browser window, or the user’s monitor as if there’s a standard size is a limitation transposed from print -- but is not found on the Internet. There is no standard size.
  • While your web site may be designed for a specific size, what the user actually sees is determined by the user and not by the design. The dynamics of the design can either resist, or adapt, to the customer’s preferences. But allowing users to view your product as they want is always considered good practice. Whereas, forcing users to review your product as if it were print is at best a waste of resources and at worst an annoyance. The Internet is not print and treating it as such limits its usefulness.
  • Users employ of a large assortment of computers, monitors, and connection methods to travel the Internet. Each of these hardware choices have different capabilities, different requirements, and even solicit different expectations by their users. For example, monitors range from the small single low-resolution to the largest multiple-high-resolution monitors; CPU’s range from older computers, to mobile devices, to the newest computers; Internet connections range from the slowest dialup to the fastest connections possible; your web site should adapt to all these differences seamlessly.
  • Users also make use of an assortment of browsers to travel the Internet, such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, Opera and others. Each browser has different methods to display web pages. Occasionally minor design adjustments should be made to allow for better presentation across all browsers. In other words, focusing on one design and one browser combination while ignoring all other browsers is simply shortsighted. No single browser dominates the Internet and no single design will be identical across all browsers. Get used to it.
  • Not only do browsers inherently display web pages differently, but also browsers themselves can have different display preferences and these can exert a large range of influence over web design elements. For example, while your web page may look “best” to you in a specific font, the user may completely over-ride your font by their preferred default font instead. Furthermore, if the user’s browser does not have your specific font demanded by your web page, then the browser will make a font substitution and use something else. Either of these two factors may present your web site in a manner you might not realize, nor approve. Contrary to print, the Internet is not an absolute. However, proper planning can mitigate differences.
  • In addition to all the aforementioned, users can also have different physical needs. For example, while some customers have 20/20 vision that will allow them to view your site as expected, or perhaps even smaller than expected, others (i.e., older users) may have vision that requires them to view your web site at larger scales. As such, your web site should accommodate various zoom levels. Proper design should accommodate these changes as well.
  • Furthermore, a user’s physical needs may extend beyond design issues, such as the need to review the content of your web site without any visual design considerations at all. For example, blind users are consumers and they use the Internet to make their purchases the same as anyone else. Designing web sites to accommodate assistive technologies should be a part of any serious marketing design. The needs of the disabled should also be considered for they represent a significant market.
  • Another aspect to consider is automation such as found in search engine evaluations and automated buying, both of which review the content of your web site without any visual consideration whatsoever. Optimizing for these contingencies should also be considered in the overall design of any web site.

In short, the proper design of a web site includes many considerations that far exceed those found in other mediums. While proper Internet design requires more attention to detail, it also provides equally more opportunity.