A.J. Swoboda, a friend of mine, and also a PhD, author, speaker, and pastor, asked me last year if I would create a website for him. I love A.J., getting coffee with this guy is always a huge treat, so I was excited he would trust me with this: you all know how work for friends can be! Fortunately, he knows that too and made sure there was no weird friend expectations or anything. I met with A.J. to discuss what he was looking for in the online presence. Among the conversations about content, needs, and functionality, he showed me this photo of Karl Barth, a Swiss theologian to convey the feeling he wanted to express through his website. It was perfect. I went to my friend Noah Cremisino with the photo and project details. With some minor input from me, Noah created this design which perfectly rendered what A.J. and I had in our heads.
This was my first full-on foray into responsive web design - making the site work fluidly across any device browser size. Because the layout is fluid (and so are some text elements and images), I only saw it necessary to create one break-point when you get to a really narrow screen resolution. This makes it play beautifully with phone and tablet sizes. I had a great time creating and coding this site! All of my work now incorporates media queries for responsive (responsible) web design.
School of Global Transformation
Lately I’ve been working on a lot of custom WordPress installations. SGT is one of the several in the past few weeks I’ve done. I work with a couple designers to code and integrate the design into WordPress. In addition to doing a custom theme, this often requires modifying the install through Plugins or custom PHP code.
Blessed to Be a blessing
BTBAB needed a site they could easily maintain themselves, yet were willing to invest some time learning a system. Because of that, and because I was handling the entire creation of the site for them, including design, I decided to go with Expression Engine rather than writing a custom CMS. This helps speed the process up a bit while still giving me plenty of flexibility in the structure and backend. The majority of the design here is rendered using semi-transparent PNGs. This, of course, presented a small challenge in the form of Internet Explorer 6, but one that is surmountable. Using the PNGs allows the content area to work no matter where it is sitting on the background image, giving the user the flexibility to use whatever screen size or window size that suits them.
Philip Renich | Websites
Well, when I first started redesigning this site I figured I would need something as a placeholder at least! But hey, it’s still my work and therefore will reside in my portfolio. Not to mention that at the moment, it is still a work in progress as I continue to learn Expression Engine. I also have some design touch-ups I would like to make. Finesse and subtlety.
This is the 3rd edition of elfboy.com (well, 4th if you count the short lived WordPress version of the 2nd design used). The color scheme is based off of a huge tree in my back garden. I am really pleased with the outcome of this site, especially since it went from conception to completion in about 2 weeks! I decided to go to WebStock, a web design conference in Wellington, New Zealand and knew I need to revamp this place. Next time I think I’ll try to give myself more breathing room!
Intel - Cool Software
Cool Software is a site where users (especially including the general public) can submit software they find for other’s benefit. People can then say if they like it or not, moving it up and down the ranks of the site in a Digg-like fashion. The software at the base is an open source program called Pligg. However, Intel needed some custom features and a template to match their corporate brand. I provided them with both of these. Previous to this job I had only glanced under Pligg’s hood once, and that was for minor CSS and theme modifications only. Given the tight time frame, I was quite pleased how quick I learned the inner-workings of the software so I could write Intel’s custom plugins and other custom features.
Cool Software received around fifty-five thousand visitors in its first public week and now receives about one million a month making it the #1 site on the Software Network. It was very rewarding to work on a project that received such exposure, especially with one of the big players!
“Edurelief is a development organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty, improving quality of life, and encouraging hope in the future of people’s lives around the world through sustainable education, training, and advocacy on their behalf.” - Mission Statement
I work with Edurelief as their web consultant and site developer. As a young grass-roots NGO, I have helped them create their branding and identity, bring consistency to their design, and advise in their online presence. The website is running a custom setup of Expression Engine.