A job well done! I thank you very much for bringing my idea into fruition. Thanks to you, establishing a site that can pretty much run on autopilot, is I think a winner in my book.
I build websites that are functional, attractive, and accessible — and that get results for my clients. Most of the recent ones were built using Drupal, a powerful CMS that allows clients to easily update the text, images, and videos on their websites.
The websites are proving quite successful for a variety of purposes:
Of all the content management systems one could use for building a website, Drupal has arguably the best security. But any Drupal site should be kept up-to-date with the latest security patches, otherwise it can become vulnerable to hackers exploiting the latest attack techniques. One of my clients was responsible for the website of Umar Mycka, a poison ivy horticulturist in the Philadelphia area. His Drupal 6 site had been neglected for more than a year, and had missed multiple security releases. Also, the database was more than 10 times larger than it needed to be, which hampered the performance of the site.
The client brought me in to help. I restored the Drupal core to the latest release, implemented critical security updates for more than half a dozen modules, and purged 95 percent of the database filled with old unneeded records. As a result, the site was made faster, fully protected, and easier to backup and maintain in the future. I also added text, images, and video to promote a planned conference.
Even though Drupal is sophisticated enough for powering major commercial, government, and nonprofit websites, it is equally suitable as the underpinning of a simple blog. A young lady asked me to create her personal blog, which is named RunPrayLove, to reflect her interests in running, prayer, and the activities she loves to do, such as cooking. She had a limited budget, so she chose a prebuilt theme, to avoid the expense of hiring a professional designer to create a custom theme from scratch.
Using Drupal 7, I was able to rapidly build the website, with separate pages for the three main themes, as well as a contact form (protected by a CAPTCHA), a biography page, and a section in the sidebar listing the running-related posts that are race reports. For the design, I modified a prebuilt theme, and added a favicon, resulting in an attractive website that garnered compliments from the public.
Sometimes a client will find an opportunity to pitch a new business concept to potential customers, and will request that I quickly build a proof-of-concept website. For instance, one of my clients was going to be a lead speaker at a sales presentation within a couple days, and he wanted to propose a new rewards program to an annuity company. Using a few images that he created, I put together a very simple website — just enough to allow him to illustrate his ideas to the prospects, but without our having to invest hours or even days of work in building a highly functional website.
Jelly Skateboards, both as a product and as a company, represent an innovation in the skate industry, by offering transparent skateboards with tremendous flexibility. The young company needed a website for selling their boards to — and connecting with — fellow skating enthusiasts. One of the cofounders of the company asked me to build such a platform for them.
Using the winning combination of Drupal 7 and the Ubercart e-commerce system, I built a new website that has all the standard shopping cart capabilities, with payment using PayPal Website Payments Standard. The website has numerous informational pages, a contact form, a dealer inquiry page, an image slideshow, and a form allowing visitors to sign up for the company newsletter (hosted by MailChimp). Social media is becoming increasingly important for online marketing. This website features links to the company's Facebook and Twitter accounts, a Facebook widget on the homepage showing followers, and a media page with embedded YouTube videos. The client was excited and happy with the final result, partly because within days of the website launch, the company had received several orders from customers.
A Drupal camp is any event that brings together Drupal enthusiasts for a chance to meet one another, attend sessions, participate in code "sprints", and generally share knowledge. Such a camp typically lasts for a couple days, and may be hosted on a college campus. DrupalCamp Las Vegas 2012 was no exception. Held on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on October 5 and 6, the event was a great success. It marked the first Drupal camp ever in the state. The primary organizer of the event — and head of the Drupal Users Group Las Vegas (DUGLV) — asked for volunteers to design and build camp's website.
Using a colorful header image crafted by a web designer in the group, I built a new Drupal 6 theme, which featured half a dozen regions, a right sidebar, and a single-level navigation menu with labels that changed color on mouse hover. (In the process of building the theme, I also built a test Drupal 6 website, with example content.)
Using Drupal 7 and the Ubercart e-commerce system, I built a new website that offers all the features requested by the client: The pages listing the diamonds and jewelry products can be sorted by any of the columns, with a single mouse click. Products can also be found standard search controls. The primary and secondary navigation menus are easy to read. A shopping cart summary is always visible to the prospective buyer. There are two sections for items on sale and new arrivals. The client can easily add or modify products -- each with an image, color categories, and all the other information associated with a diamond or piece of jewelry. The client requested that a simple theme be used in order to make the store operational as soon as possible. Despite the limited development time, the website is fully mobile-ready for handheld devices, such as smartphones.
A client was so pleased with a specialty website I had created for his organization, that he asked me to create a second one, as a replacement for their main website. The new one needed to be built in just a few days, and yet be attractive and fully functional.
Using Drupal 7, I quickly built a new website that has all of the features requested: multiple static pages with embedded pictures and data tables; an illustrated guide to colored diamonds; an FAQ section; a contact form with a variety of fields, and a CAPTCHA; sample newsletters; links to social media website; a running total of all non-admin visitors to the client website; and a slideshow on the homepage. The client was quite happy with how well the website turned out and how quickly I was able to build it.
A business owner with knowledge of graphics and/or web technologies may prefer that I build a bare-bones website that she can then use as a starting point for extensive customization on her own. One such client requested a website for their new academic tutoring business.
Using Drupal 7 and a simple prebuilt theme, I quickly created a website that has multiple static pages, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) content editing, a contact form, a page for frequently asked questions (FAQ), and editable blocks of text in the footer. This approach allowed the website to be completed in a matter of days, for a modest budget. The owner requested and obtained full privileges for modifying every aspect of the website, including its content, the navigation menu, and any registered users.
In India, there is tremendous demand for training in every field — including technical skills, cooking, sports, arts, lifestyle interests, and professional skills. But the demand far exceeds the available supply of teachers and formal educational institutions. To serve this need and help people learn, one of my clients asked me to create a peer-to-peer educational network for students and teachers in India to connect online. The goal of this platform is to "create a million tutors for a billion skilled Indians".
Using Drupal 7 and a prebuilt theme, I built a website that makes it possible. Anyone can register a new account for free, and add a profile description and picture for others to see. Account holders can register to take a class, and even offer to teach one — by submitting a class description, location information, a price (if any), and one or more skills that will be taught in the class. All 35 of the largest cities in India are covered. The website has a couple static pages, a contact form, a blog, a list of the user's classes, a page showing all 51 skills hierarchically (with class counts in each category), and a class listing page that allows fine-grained search capabilities. For the design, I modified an Artisteer theme. The client, a young entrepreneur, was extremely happy with the website we successfully launched. He was profiled in an article published in the Indian daily newspaper Deccan Chronicle, which has readership in the millions.
One effective method of increasing traffic to your main website, is to build one or more satellite websites that encourage visitors to continue on to the main website. The best satellite websites typically offer a valuable service, free of charge. An excellent example of this is a community service website I created for the world's largest outdoor cinema equipment supplier and event producer (they sell high quality inflatable movie screens and complete outdoor cinema systems). They asked me to build a website that allows visitors to quickly see all of the outdoor movie events scheduled within the continental United States, and share the events with other people, using the leading social networking services. The website needed to have multiple contact forms — one for generic communication, and the other for rental inquiries. It also needed informational pages, a site map page, and links to the company's social media pages.
Using Drupal 7 and design mockups created by a separate design agency, I created the website with all of the features requested, as well as several improvements that I suggested. The project was completed more than one week ahead of schedule, and the client was delighted with the results. It was featured by Drupal experts DrupalEasy as a "Site of the Week" in their Podcast #83, 2012-05-24.