I have built more than 85 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.
Below are screenshots and brief project descriptions of just some of the many websites that I have created.
North County Health Services (NCHS) provides primary health care services to low-income people in north San Diego County. Their old website was based on a now-defunct CMS that greatly hindered workflow management within the organization. Also, the website design was outdated, and needed sprucing up.
I developed a far more capable version of their website, using Drupal, a better CMS. As requested by the client, the new website retained the content, navigation menu structure, and much of the design of the legacy website it replaced. Yet it gained sophisticated workflow and revision tracking capabilities based on user roles and content types, thereby allowing different departments to manage changes to the website. For instance, when a content editor alters a page, moderators were automatically notified, could accept or decline the proposed changes, and could even view color-coded side-by-side comparisons of the different revisions. I created a drop-down navigation menu, a password-protected area for sensitive content, and an editable events calendar. I added an image slideshow on the home page (using jQuery) and social media widgets for Facebook and Twitter. The website included CiviCRM, a powerful free CRM system, so the staff members could contact past donors and potential donors, as well as announce community events and services provided by NCHS.
Three months after its launch, the new website had increased the number of unique visitors by 28.5 percent, and reached more than one million hits. It was featured by Drupal experts DrupalEasy as a "Site of the Week" in their podcast episode #48, 2010-12-15.
Just as a beautiful diamond is created from relentless pressure upon everyday coal, it is possible for an attractive website to be developed even when the project is under significant time pressure. In this case, a client needed a new website as soon as possible due to substantial changes in business relationships. This firm offers many resources to the colored diamond community — including technical information, courses on diamond cutting and polishing, access to industry experts and their publications, and quarterly and more-frequent newsletters and other reports.
Using Drupal in conjunction with design mockups created by a professional designer, I built the website with speed and yet the utmost care in planning the information architecture and file naming and directory structuring, to make the final product well organized and easily maintainable in the future. The site featured gallery pages for jewelry and diamond colors, individual pages for each piece and color, inquiry forms for each product, dozens of static pages, all of the organization's publications, pages and icons for affiliates and industry press information, a contact form, and links to various social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. I made the new website fully mobile responsive for optimum viewability and functionality on devices with small screens. It received extremely positive comments from visitors.
Even though a website's content is what lures visitors to return, it is the visual design that makes a first impression and determines the attractiveness of the website. A client can pay a professional designer to create a custom theme for her new website. Yet a less expensive option is to purchase a commercially-available theme, and then customize it for the particular website. These themes are usually packaged as Drupal "distributions", with the intent to make them easier to install. But sometimes this is problematic for people not adept with Drupal, as they wrestle with errors, such as database connection problems.
A client of mine, experiencing such difficulties, asked me to install the "Seven" premium theme, which uses HTML5 and CSS3 and is fully responsive on desktop and mobile devices. It offers numerous home page and slideshow options, more than two dozen jQuery effects, and integration with social media networks and Google Maps. I created copies of the website on a local web server first, and then the remote server, after updating all of the Drupal modules as needed. The resulting website looked attractive and served as a solid foundation for the client to build his new graphics design business website.
One type of online business that an entrepreneur can create, without having to sell a product or provide a professional service, is one that makes it easier for sellers of their own products and services to find potential buyers.
An example of this was a calorie-tracker website that also matched up nutritionists with people interested in receiving expert guidance in improving their diets and overall health. The website allowed their clients — and other registered users — to record and track the macronutrients of their daily meals and snacks: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, as well as total calories. Any meal entry could be designated as frequent, and given a name, so it would be displayed for reference when meal data was entered in the future. A prospective dietitian could submit a questionnaire and, once qualified, became eligible to be assigned to customers whose needs matched the expertise of the dietitian. Clients could complete nutritionist feedback forms to rate the nutritionist and the consultation. The website offered several pricing plans, a blog for health-related information, a password-protected newsletter, a contact form page, a search widget, and a section for frequently asked questions. Registered users could enhance their profiles with descriptions and personal photos. A forum, with multiple categories, allowed users to post and comment on entries, such as common concerns and success stories. Nutritionists and clients could communicate using private messages without need for any third-party messaging service.
I built the website using Drupal and a customized responsive theme. Consequently, the entire process was quite straightforward, and the website owner had a robust platform for building a community and possibly offering further health-related services in the future.
To be successful, a business website does not necessarily need such capabilities as user registration and login, content access permissions, form pages, and other dynamic functionality that require heavy web scripting and a database. A static website is completely adequate for any organization that needs only an online "brochure". For instance, a client was so happy with a previous project I had done for her that she asked me to build a brochure site for a licensed therapist who offers psychiatric diagnosis and treatment for patients with various mental conditions.