Freelance Projects

Last week I had two meetings with new clients. Yep, 2 new clients – woohoo! And they look like pretty interesting projects too.

The first one is for the lovely David, he is a counsellor in Brighton and Hove and wants to advertise himself independently. The key thing for this site is it has to be non-triggering  as it cannot spark a potential episode in one of the users. What does this mean? Calming images, not lots of movement or animation, no flashing images etc, very easy to read text in small chunks, a natural colour scheme and easy navigation. This all seems pretty doable.
Because of the size of the website (relatively small) I figured Skeleton might be a good approach to this, so I’m currently working on building the layout using skeleton’s lovely grid system. I’m loving the fact it comes with normalize.css too as it immediately looks like a pretty decent website even with no custom CSS added yet! Looking forward to spending a bit more time on this one.

Just in case you were curious, this is how Dave and I know each other - hitting drums. Although not sure he'll appreciate me showing off his bald spot.

Just in case you were curious, this is how Dave and I know each other – hitting drums. He’s the one with the green flowers.

The other website is for Andrew The Artisan Craftsman. Oooh. He started off by telling me that what he wanted was ‘really simple’. An hour or two later he realised he had maybe underestimated the project and what a website would need to include for him to be a successful freelancer.
This site is going to predominantly feature a filterable gallery. This is one where the user can click on aa category and those images will show up in a little menu, with the first one being displayed full size. The user can then click on the thumbnails to see each image properly. Here is a mock up I quickly did of the basic layout:
mockUp of filterable gallery
I’ve started working on the gallery, attempting to code it in javascript from scratch. It’s going pretty well so far, but obviously work still needs to be done. I’m actually quite enjoying this, its a good challenge! I should probably save it for when my coursework is done though… Anyway, I will then need to integrate it into a fully fledged website, which again I may use skeleton for. As Andrew will want to upload new photos when he finishes a project I’m probably going to need to implement some sort of CMS too. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Wandering through WordPress

One of the projects I’ve been working on is an online sweet shop. Mmmm sweets. So, for the website I needed to integrate e-commerce stuff such as payment, product details etc. I figured the easiest way to build a site like this was to use WordPress – it also means that I can teach the owner how to add products etc themselves when they’re ready.

It’s been a tough but exciting challenge working with WordPress and WooCommerce but yesterday we were finally ready to release phase 1 of the website! Eeeek! (I say ready, realistically it needed to be up today and so I manically worked on it till it was at a point we were happy enough to work with…)

Anyway, here it is: Sweet Deliveries

I had a bit of a nightmare attempting to migrate the site from the subdomain I was building it in to the root of the site but after a few panics and a couple of  heart stopping moments, I managed to sort it out.

It’s still work in progress so please leave any feedback and let me know of any glitches!

 

Sweet Deliveries

Back in July I participated in BeePurple’s UltraViolet Summer School – a week long course about setting up your own business. It was a fantastic experience where I got to think about what it is to set myself up as a professional freelancer. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone else at the University of Brighton – whether a current student or not.

Anyway, during that week I got to meet some incredible people and offer my services as a web developer. Low and behold one of my teammates is now in the process of starting up her own business and I have been building her website! And being paid for it!

During this process I have dabbled in WordPress as an eCommerce platform but mostly fought with CrateJoy as my clients’ choice of eCommerce and subscription host. CrateJoy is a nightmare to work with on the code and design front but seems like a pretty great tool to use to deal with all your business subscription needs. With one week left till our deadline I was still fighting with CrateJoy, scrapped my work so far and rebuilt it all using a BootStrap model. I built the site in one day – panic over. CrateJoy now deals with the order process but I have built the rest of the pages for our lovely new site.

It’s been an exciting and challenging process – and one that isn’t quite over yet! We are still working to create the one-time shop and themed pages. I will update on here when we are at the next step.

For now, here it is. I present to you, Sweet Subscriptions!

 

Lantern Fayre Website

Big News: My first professional job as a freelancer is complete.

I was tasked with building a website for The Lantern Fayre – a Brighton community event at the Level, put on by the same person who runs Kemptown Carnival. We’ve worked together on smaller projects in the past – mostly gig posters and site maps – but now the time had come for our first major collaboration. I decided to use WordPress to build the site on as it allows for quick customisation and is also a very easy content management system for the client to later update the site himself.

Check it out here: http://thelanternfayre.co.uk/