1955 Design provides website development services to Rochester, Rochester Hills, Troy, Shelby Township and Oakland County, Michigan. My skill set also includes both design, development & maintenance using the WordPress content management system. Isn’t it time you got started on your website design project?
Note: We are not affiliated with the City of Rochester.]]>
Over the years, David has expanded his writing to the point that it now includes very few political articles, but rather a wide assortment of musings about life in general. David has the keen ability to understand human nature – and to see both the best and the worst in all of us. It’s rare that I read an article that David has written that does not cause me to gain some further insight into both my past – and perhaps – my future.
A couple weeks ago it came to my attention that David had installed a new WordPress theme at his website. I complimented him @DavidMcElroy via Twitter to let him know that I liked his new website. This led to a discussion about what David saw as the failings of his new theme, including some features and design elements that he’d like to see on his new website.
I have a fair amount of experience with developing WordPress websites and I have always enjoyed David’s writings, so I offered my services to help David develop his new theme so that it included most of the things he wanted. The end result can now be seen at DavidMcElroy.org.
As has been the case for at least seven years, I developed David’s new theme using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. I started with a pre-packaged theme, but made significant adjustments to both the theme styling and code so that the site worked the way David envisioned. I am pleased with the overall product and so is David.
Client website: DavidMcElroy.org]]>
A decade ago nobody dreamed how handheld devices and smart phones would take over the web. If your website wasn’t designed to work well on these devices, you’re missing out in a big way. In fact, Google punishes your site if it is not mobile friendly. I’ve been developing mobile friendly websites for years. Is it time for your new website?
If your site loads slowly, that’s just one more reason Google punishes your search ranking. Is it time to speed your site up? It’s probably time for a new website.
Just like the trends in home design and decoration, website designs come and go. Is your website starting to look retro, but in a bad way? It’s probably time for a website redesign.
If your old site isn’t built with a backend content management system, your are falling behind your competitiors. I specialize in developing sites using the WordPress content management system. It’s probably time for a website redesign.
If it does, you know it’s really time for a website redesign.
Contact me today to learn how I can solve the puzzle of website design for you or your business.]]>
The cathedral is the home of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and is the mother church of the diocese. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron presides over the diocese and the cathedral is his church.
Working with the cathedral staff was wonderful. My point of contact at the cathedral is well versed in the process of developing new websites, and is a very strong user of the WordPress content management system, which is the backend of all websites that I develop.
The cathedral wanted an updated website, with a polished and professional look, but uncluttered as well. Their first goal was to provide useful information to their site visitors in a clean format that allowed visitors to easily find the information they were interested in.
The website itself is made up of dozens of pages and hundreds of past articles. As such, it was necessary to use a combination of horizontal drop down menus (two submenus deep) in order to make the wealth of information available to site visitors. In addition to this, several secondary menus were needed to provide access to all the site information, from social media links to privacy and sitemap pages.
As usual, I used the Genesis theme with a heavily modified child theme as the backend of this WordPress website. The site is coded to be mobile friendly, and to adjust seamlessly depending on the viewport size of the site visitor.
It was a plesaure working with the cathedral and they are very pleased with the new website, as am I.
Client website: Cathedral.Aod.org]]>
As usual, I developed the new website using the Genesis framework (from StudioPress) and WordPress as the backend content management system.
Working with the Miss Madison admin team was a dream, as the team had done a great job of already compiling the new art work and content that they wished to use on their new website. Communication with the team was always fast and efficient, and as a result I was able to get their new website rolled out in time for one of the Chevy Detroit HydroFest, one of the biggest races of the year on the unlimited hydroplane circuit.
It was a pleasure working with this team to make their website design goals come true. I wish them the best of luck moving forward in the 2018 season and for years to come!
Client website: MissMadisonHydro.com]]>
As a result, I am looking for a cost efficient email subscription plugin for their WordPress website. Any suggestions?]]>
Did you notice that they didn’t say “A check for the remaining 50% project cost is in the mail.”
Probably not an oversight.]]>
The site had originally been built using WordPress as the content management system behind the website. The person responsible for updating the website has become somewhat of an expert in using WordPress, so naturally the redesigned site would continue to use WordPress.
This time around, however, I used the Genesis Framework and a highly customized Education Pro theme as the platform on which the site was built. I’ve been using Genesis exclusively for the past several years and it’s become my go to framework for building websites.
The site administrator is delighted with the new website. So are the Board of Directors of the organization. So am I.
Believe in Miracles is a fine organization serving the needs of some very sick children in Michigan. I am pleased to be associated with their website and was happy to supply my services pro bono on this project.
Client website: BelieveInMiracles.org]]>
Currently, I am developing a website for a management consulting firm in metropolitan Detroit. As you might expect, there will be an About Us page with biographies of the staff members. After designing and populating the About Us page with content, I decided this might be a good time to take a better look at custom fields and implement the page in this manner.
You know what? It turned out to be a great idea. Using the Advanced Custom Fields plugin handled the back end drudgery of the custom fields themselves, and coding a custom page template to handle the front end display took care of the rest.
I’m hooked. I am already trying to think of how to use custom fields elsewhere on this client’s website. If you, too, have been putting off using custom fields it’s probably time you took a closer look!]]>
I have been creating websites using WordPress for the past ten years. I absolutely love WordPress. Combining a decade of experience along with the features and functionality of WordPress, I am able to provide my clients with easy to update websites regardless of their computer or technical ability.
Early in it’s lifespan, WordPress was known as a blogging platform and was used almost exclusively for bloggers. But over time, the WordPress platform was improved and expanded into the product it is today – a full featured, open source content management system.
To be honest, many of my clients are not even aware that WordPress is the back end platform for their website. Many of them never experience the convenience of being able to update their own websites or add new content. These clients take a hands-off approach to their website and rely on me to do updates and add content. So in some ways I guess you could say I use WordPress for my convenience, too. Client sites are easy to update and edit.
I can create a custom WordPress site for your business or personal website. Whatever your needs, I have yet to find a project that I could not develop using WordPress.
Did I mention that I love WordPress?]]>
Their current website was being driven by WordPress, and as I work exclusively with WordPress it seemed like a natural fit. I worked closely with Dr. Gill and with their very efficient office manager to learn what features, look, and feel the practice wanted for their new website.
Once I was understood their needs, I built their website using the Genesis framework from StudioPress using a custom child theme. There were some minor tweaks needed along the way, but to be honest working with the staff at Naber & Gill MDs was a terrific project. They were focused, knew what they wanted, supplied content quickly, and were very efficient in answering emails and keeping in contact.
The project came together nicely and I am very pleased with the result. I think the doctors are, too! As they were also looking for a new webs hosting company, I suggested SiteGround as a reasonably priced and great performing option. The doctors took my advice and moved their website to SiteGround. All and all it was a fun project to work on and the client was great!
Client website: NaberGillMDs.com]]>
While I was backing up and moving domains and client accounts I had a real opportunity to think about a better way to manage the WordPress installations that I am responsible for. Up to this point I have been managing each site individually. Although this is no issue when you only manage a couple of websites, it starts to get cumbersome once that number increases. And it really gets cumbersome when you find yourself moving many sites to a new web host.
So I started doing my research into the many services available that allow you to consolidate and manage WordPress websites. After spending considerable time pouring over the research, and doing some trial tests with the various services, I finally settled on ManageWp. Here’s why:
If you’ve ever managed multiple WordPress sites then you know how cumbersome and time consuming it can be to keep the sites updated to the current WordPress version, backup and secure files, keep plugins updated, review and manage comments, clean up and optimize databases, etc. ManageWp allows you do handle all of these tasks from one common screen and in a single control panel. In addition, you can also run security and performance scans, create reports for your clients, and do a lot of other tasks that you’d either not be doing at all or that would take much time to accomplish.
Backing up your websites is an important function. If you’ve never learned the hard way how important regular backups are you are living on borrowed time. In the past I have used a very nice backup utility plugin and it has served me well. A yearly subscription was required, but it was worth the money. The good news is that ManageWP comes with a great backup feature that I tested rigorously during my free trial period. The backups worked great, were easy to restore and the upgraded version of ManageWp even includes a cloning tool so you can move site from one server to another.
The cloning tool would have made the recent move from one hosting account to another much easier. In the future it will make developing client sites on my testing server and migrating them to their live hosting server much simpler, too.
As you can tell, I am a big fan of ManageWp. I committed today and upgraded my trial account to a full fledged professional account under the ManageWp umbrella. I’m looking forward to a long and successful relationship with the folks at ManageWp.]]>
The sad thing is, the headline is totally true. Anyone, anyhwere, can get a website up and running in record time these days. Services such as SquareSpace and Wix are big advertisers and offer users the ability to get up and running very quickly. Some people see value in that. After all, everyone needs a website, right?
The real problem with this approach is that in order for *your* website to be successful it needs to stand out from the rest. The process of discovery – learning what you want your website to do and how you want your website to look – is a critical part of the website development process. Without adequate time devoted to discovery, your site is not likely to be the successful venture you want it to be.
Once you understand just what your needs are, the execution of a website design that will accomplish your goals is another key ingredient in the recipe for success. Understanding this, do you really think that boilerplate templates from a “Get it done in five minutes” web host will put you on the road to success? Probably not, eh?
Your website needs to be meaningful, beautiful, clean, uncluttered, dynamic, full of great content, offer a great user experience, be easy to update, be coded properly, be designed to be search engine friendly … the list goes on and on. Your website simply needs to standout from the rest of the clutter on the web.
There’s both a cost and a time element associated with achieving this success. Certainly, some can accomplish this with little investment and a do-it-fast template website at SquareSpace. But you are probably not going to be that lucky.
If you think developing a website is cheap and easy, you’re right. If you think developing a website that is effective is cheap and easy, you’re wrong. SquareSpace and Wix have helped a lot of people develop a fast web presence. Most of the time, you get what you pay for.]]>
WordPress started out as a content management system (CMS) designed to drive personal blogs. Over time, as the versatility and reliability of WordPress was recognized, web developers continued to implement the WordPress platform to manage many different types of websites. In fact, companies such as CNN, Best Buy, and Sony have all used WordPress at one time or another to power websites they control. WordPress continues to be a versatile software package that has many uses in many settings.
WordPress is a database driven content management system. As such, the content of your website (text, photos, videos, etc) are stored in a database for retrieval when needed. This data is kept completely separate from your website’s design, which is contained within an individual theme that presents the look and feel of your website. Both the content and design are kept separate from the actual WordPress functionality that drives your website. Because these features are not intermingled, redesigning or updating your website is quite simple if you use WordPress
The developers of WordPress use high quality code that meets the standards required by major search engines like Google. As a result, websites powered by WordPress are seen as friendly by the search engines, which results in your website being indexed and ranked properly.
WordPress is an open source software platform. An advantage of open source software is that you are not tied to a proprietary piece of software to drive your website. You are also not tied to a particular person, developer or company to maintain or update your site. This leaves you in complete control of your website.
The WordPress developers and the WordPress community work together to update and optimize the code daily. In fact, developers across the world contribute to continuing improvements of WordPress. Being the most popular content management system on the Internet means that WordPress is loaded with features and upgrades that you can put to use on your website. In fact, whatever your needs, somebody in the WordPress community has probably already thought about the problem and developed a plugin to do just what you want!]]>
When I sat down with the Executive Director to discuss their needs, she told me that although their needs were significant their budget was small. Never one to bypass a challenge, I offered to take on this project at no cost to them.
Although I thought it best to develop an entirely new theme for their website, they thought it best that they keep their current theme, which was familiar to the person charged with making regular updates to the site. Working with that restraint, I made significant changes to their existing website and am pleased with the result. So are the folks at Rochester Area Neighborhood House!
Client website: Ranh.org]]>
For at least a decade I have hosted my account, and many of my client accounts, at HostGator. For years I was pleased with their service and their support.
However, in the last year or so things have changed. I have become quite frustrated, however, as the page load times and general speed of my site has decreased over time. During the active development of client sites I am constantly uploading files, modifying code, and using resources on a minute-by-minute basis. And my site has been dragging along at each step of the way. Twenty seconds to load this, 15 seconds to load that, and sometimes as long as several agonizing minutes to save a file. I’d had enough.
Earlier this week I decided to change hosting companies. After much research I settled on SiteGround to be my new host. Earlier this morning I changed over not only my business website, but several of my client development websites as well. Guess what? The page loads are so fast it almost scares me. No latency, no delays, no tapping my fingers waiting for file saves.
Although it’s too early to give them a ringing endorsement, I am delighted with what I see so far. Thanks SiteGround!]]>
I am conveniently located in downtown Rochester, Michigan. Rochester is located in Oakland County, which is the county immediately north of Detroit.
If your business is in need of website design, website maintenance or other web related services please contact me to discuss your project. I have ten years experience in developing websites for both business and personal use and am confident that I can work with you to develop a website that satisfies your needs.
I provide website design services to Rochester, Rochester Hills, Troy, Shelby Township and Oakland County, Michigan. My skill set also includes both design, development & maintenance using the WordPress content management system. Isn’t it time you got started on your website design project?
Note: We are not affiliated with the City of Rochester.]]>
In my experience most mobile websites are very limited versions of the full website. In most cases, important content is lost and not displayed on the “mobile” version of the website. For this reason I am opposed to developing mobile websites for my clients.
On the other hand, a responsive website is probably just what the doctor ordered for most clients. If a site is designed properly, one of the primary considerations is that site visitors will likely be viewing the website on smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktops.
The first image on this page shows how this website is viewed on an iPhone 5S. The second image shows how this website is viewed on a MacBook Pro laptop. Both versions a different in appearance, but each offers up the same information to the site visitor. What you can’t see on the mobile image is that the sidebar and footer portions of the full desktop version are simply shown below the content when the iPhone user scrolls down. All the content is present – each and every bit.
A responsive website attempts, within reason, to render the same content to all visitors, regardless of their hardware. Although it’s not always possible to achieve this goal, I have found that in most cases careful development results in a responsive website that works well on any and all devices.
Without a doubt, the site will not look exactly the same on all devices and platforms. If a developer sets this their goal they’re bound to end up frustrated. Rather, the developer should strive to build a website that works well on all devices and serves up content that is both useful and accessible. After all, content is king on websites. In fact, responsive websites that are viewed on handheld devices are often free of some of the design fluff that takes up screen space on the desktop version. Content is often easier to find on a responsive site when viewed on a handheld device.
The future of responsive web design is now. Contact me to discuss how I can help make your website content available to all your visitors!]]>
Both of these modules are web based programs that allow you to monitor traffic sources, site statistics, visitor demographics and other details related to your website visitors. Google has become the standard in providing statistics to allow you to better understand the needs of those who use your website.
Contact me today to discuss your website project.]]>