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About This Site

Like every design, it begins with a idea. In this case, a web site promoting web services, it was important to hit on several key points: clean and clear presentation, fully-functional back-end, and very user friendly. The real challenge came when figuring out exactly what a web design site should look like; after all, design can incorporate just about anything.

The Design

Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash. Visualization of a site must begin even before you start designing. You must have a goal in mind and a clear site structure at the outset. Thus, I began by breaking down all of the content I wanted on the site and placing them into categories. These categories helped me understand I would need several page layouts with variable content. Naturally, this list also became my main navigation.

This pre-visualization work allowed me to set out a road map for the design. I knew what elements would need to be repeated, what elements would be modified and what elements would only appear once. While the look and feel had not been started, I was already one large step into the design process.

What the site was going to look like was a whole separate issue. I knew I wanted strong, bold colors but not too many bells and whistles. As creative processes go, I cast of five designs before the current design you see today, and even this final design has been modified extensively. Keeping one's goals in mind can help direct the process and make some choices earier than others. Working primarily in Photoshop, the design process took several months and some advice from friends and family.

The Development

BBEdit, Dreamweaver, Joomla. Once the design was mostly set, the next decision was to choose what would drive the technology side. While static HTML has advantages in speed, updating site can be a cumbersome (and tiresome) process. Furthermore, the lack of integrated search features, time-sensitive pages and other really-great-and-shouldn't-go-without-haves, I decided upon Joomla, an open-source Content Management System (CMS). Joomla allows me to have a database-driven site without the cost of another system.

The final phase involved integrating Joomla's core PHP with the multiple templates I created. Created entirely by hand, I primarily used BBEdit and Dreamweaver.