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Needless to say, this ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve spent a decade working in digital agencies all across the city, and with every new website I build, I learn something new. But the fundamental process I use to build websites—despite the constant influx of new web technologies, techniques, and methodologies invented and reinvented every quarter—remains tried and true. Here’s a sampler of results.
I don’t like surprises, and I’m sure you don’t either. In Discovery, I learn about your enterprise and analyze your competition to determine market opportunities on the web. Once we know about what the other guys are doing, I get to know what you want to do. I learn about your values, your tastes, and your personality. If you’re in the area, let’s meet face-to-face.
For service providers like agencies, this may mean involving me early in your conversations with your client, so that we can best plan for your pitch. For businesses and entrepreneurs, we talk scope and plan out what’s feasible within your time and budget constraints.
In this phase, I plan the architecture of your site and determine the best experience for your users. This involves devising logical hierarchies for your content and implementing user interface best practices that make navigating your website intuitive to users. Depending upon the needs of your project, I may invite an expert user experience designer to join the team so that s/he can best execute on this phase.
The end result is the creation of a sitemap and/or wireframes that we can refer back to as we move into the final steps. The sitemap allows us to map out the relationship between types of content in your website, whereas the wireframe is a bare-bones skeleton of your website’s structural layout, indicating what goes where and how it all fits together.
During the visual design phase, I often team up with a local visual designer who works in tandem with me to carry over the strategies we developed in the Discovery and User Experience phases. We mock up a design of two or three pages that are exemplary of most pages in your website. Usually, this means designing your front page and pages with unique layouts the user will see as s/he clicks around.
Your website’s visual design is its outer shell, exactly what your users will see and interact with once your website goes live. In visual design, all our abstract efforts earlier on are realized in a visual layout for the first time. You have the opportunity to tweak elements of the design, implement changes, or suggest an entirely different direction for your website’s look and feel.
When I slice apart your website’s design and code it up for the web, you can rest assured that its markup is performant, semantic, and search-engine friendly. My best practices are in line with the latest web standards, which results in an end-product that is cross-browser compatible and optimized for speed.
By building on top of the WordPress content-management system, I empower you completely to control your content after it goes live. You can update the website and create new pages whenever you want, from any web browser, code-free.
In the last leg of the process, we move your website to a dotcom of your own. I help you navigate the process of purchasing your dotcom and selecting a web host best suited for your build. Depending on the complexity of your site, the Deployment process may involve setting up an ecosystem of staging and production servers, installing performance-enhancing services like content-delivery networks, or coordinating local environments for your in-house development team.
In the end, you’ll be able to log in to your website from the WordPress Dashboard and manage your content without having to think about all the hoops I had to jump through to get you there.
Talented, efficient, and innovative: A Bad Penny Review couldn't be any happier with our site or with our experience. Highly recommended. —Johnny Damm, Editor in ChiefA Bad Penny Review
A fantastic job ... His work completely transformed our web presence. He's patient, thoughtful and talented. An innovator and a tireless worker. I recommend him highly and without reservation. —Jeff Parker, Co-Founder & DirectorDisquiet International
I would trust Daniel in a heartbeat with any design or programming project... he is a pleasure to work with, incredibly skilled and creative. —Howard Stelzer, Record ProducerIntransitive Recordings
Dan has been so responsive to both our design and support needs. We continue to get compliments on the website on a regular basis. Dan is great to work with; he is a truly unique blend of professionalism, talent, engagement, and fun. —Elizabeth Friend, Managing DirectorS3IDF
I know no better WordPress developer. You'd be lucky to have him work on your site. —Chad Capellman, Director of Marketing & Business DevelopmentBalance Interactive
Daniel is one in a million... He's lightning fast at whatever he does while also delivering at the highest quality. He is extremely patient and always willing to help. —Anne Brown, VP, Interaction DesignerBank of America
I appreciate [his] perseverance and understanding through it all ... we are indeed proud of the final product. —Ken Gagne, Multimedia Communications ProducerMass Eye and Ear
Daniel consistently delivers professional and high quality work. He has a great personality and he's respected by all. —Eric Hoffman, Stetson UniversityInstructional Media Designer
Certain people in the world just naturally exude professionalism. No matter what, you receive more than you had ever requested and are instantly humbled by it. Daniel is that kind of person. —Fetesha DownesYWCA Metro Chicago
Daniel's knowledge of production techniques and sophisticated design sense made me feel totally confident. The site is edgy yet professional—I highly recommend Daniel for his ability to produce great results. —Jamie Kerry, FounderBelle Étoile Studios
Daniel is extremely organized and prompt in all of his communications and deliverables... I was constantly impressed with the speed and quality of his work and the responsiveness of his communications. —Elizabeth Friend, Managing DirectorS3IDF
My goal is simple: Build a platform that performs the way you need it to, so you can focus on what you really care about, which is doing business. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. A consultation is free, and we can determine over a quick phone call if I’m a good fit for your project.