Services

In a nutshell:

I build websites. I am here for you in the early stages of defining a strategy and concept. I'll help you find the ideal visual language for your business, and define a fitting textual form of address to communicate with your target and focus group. I'll help you to define and realize an online advertising and marketing campaign. I can integrate 3rd-party software into your website. I can sync your offline and online data. I can migrate your old CMS content to a new one.

Last but not least: I will be there for you long after the site has launched - for support, additional features, or just any kind of general advice and help.

The following is a detailed description of my capabilities and services:

Frontend Development (HTML, CSS, JS), tailor-made applications

I'll create any kind of responsive layout for your site, i.e. making it look good on all current displays, on all platforms and in every browser: Traditional desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Unlike many in our industry, I will not just take a ready-made template and tweak a few parameters - I'll build an entire site from scratch. Readily available templates are practical for lowest-budget sites, but if you want to stand out from the crowd, you'll do yourself a disgrace going that route: Thousands of other sites will look just the same.

Serverside Development (PHP, mySQL)

If you have special requirements that can't be realized with standard scripts and software, I can help you to solve your business problem with a custom app. Be it an interface bridging your ERP software to your website CMS, an online shop syncing data with the rest of your website, or adding functionality to your installed CMS.

Content Management System (CMS) setup and customization

There is no shortage of CMS software today. You're able to fulfill 99% of all your tasks with ready-made modules / extensions / plugins. Sometimes there are situations though, when an off-the-shelf script won't do what you want it to do. Some CMS also tend to be too rigid when you want to build your own special layout from scratch.

As long as the CMS is open-source, I can help you to extend the standard functionality.

In spring 2013, my favorite CMS (and CMF) is ProcessWire. It's open-source, lightweight, fast, very flexible, well documented, and has an (API that lets you build almost anything you want. In the last 5 years or so, my CMS of choice has been MODX.

I'm also familiar with WordPress, Drupal, Contenido, CMS Made Simple and ExpressionEngine (to name just a few).

Around 2001, I've built basic CMS myself, simply because there wasn't anything useful CMS out there (at least not in the open-source realm).

Consulting

With more than 12 years of professional 1st-hand experience under my belt, I have a fair amount of expertise to bring to the table. No matter if you plan a complete redesign, if you think about venturing into e-commerce, if you have to run a big online marketing campaign - chances are I can help you with technical expertise.

Conceptualization

Everybody has already at least one website. Everybody wants one. Most people think they're experts in web technology, just because they're browsing the web on a daily basis.

Building a site though always begins with a solid concept. Content is - and always will be - king. A solid foundation, before you even think about design or technology, is worth gold. Let me help you build a concept that puts you and your business in the best possible light. Site structure, language, content, navigation, target groups: This and much more are important things that need to be discussed and agreed upon, long before Photoshop gets started.

Don't insist on featuring a blog, if you can't warrant a regular stream of business-relevant updates.

Don't insist on having dozens of social media presences, just because everybody else seems to do likewise.

It's tempting to use the latest cool gadgets, but sometimes less is more. Don't let technology or trends stand in the way of communicating yourself and your business in the best possible way: Form follows function. Technology is a means to an end - make it work for you, not the other way around.

Software Evaluation

The sheer number of software today is overwhelming. If you don't have the time, inclination or expertise to try out dozens of apps yourself, I can help you narrow down your selection to the top 3 products of virtually everything that's available on the market today.

Prototyping

For almost any kind of online presence or application, a static Photoshop mockup won't do. It may look nice and shiny, but it won't tell you much what it feels like to actually use it.

That's where prototypes jump in. I can help you to build a functional prototype of your site in a very short time, using tools like Axure, or fully functional HTML / JS / CSS pages, with or without database / AJAX / server communication. Dashboards, intranet control panels, member-only features, sophisticated forms.

Only online tools that are fast and user-friendly are acceptable today. The technology is here: Javascript frameworks, CSS3, stable browsers, AJAX, cloud providers.

Design

I've said it already above: For a quick'n'dirty hobby site it's perfectly OK to install a Wordpress theme and run with it. If you want to communicate visually in the best possible fashion though, a custom developed design is a must.

If you want your customers to make believe your products or services are something special, don't try to communicate that with a run-of-the-mill design - it won't do anything for your brand credibility.

Search Engine Optimization / Online Marketing

Most experts believe that old-fashioned SEO is a thing of the past. And I would agree, by and large.

Simply having an online presence though is not enough anymore to ensure you'll get enough visitors and customers.

In an oversaturated market, advertising and marketing are still necessary; perhaps more than ever.

Support

If the people who built your website years ago are no longer available for maintenance, it causes a problem if you don't have equivalent know-how in your company.

Content management systems (actually, any kind of online software) should be kept up-to-date, for security reasons alone. Hardly a day goes by without news about major sites getting hacked.

If you are in a position where you need to outsource technical tasks, either to add functionality, fix errors, or to update modules and plugins, get in touch. If you run a system based on open-source technologies, chances are I can help.

3rd-party / API / Web-Services implementations

In the last few years, it has become common sense to use certain services from 3rd-party vendors. Simply because commercial alternatives have become too expensive. Few companies have the funds to build a worldwide server infrastucture such as Google or Amazon. Some tasks are better left to the top players - you'll have more resources left to focus on your core business.

Among the many web services used by millions today, here are some I have used for clients:

  • Youtube: Embed videos in your own site, build custom playlists, save time with a modern admin interface, and deliver state-of-the art fast streaming to your audience.
  • Google Maps: Build your own shop-finder, or virtually any other kind of custom map-based tools.
  • Amazon: Use their CDN for static assets like downloadable files (PDFs), images or videos.
  • Google Drive: Use it for internal file-sharing and -syncing.
  • Flickr: Manage your photo library and build customized galleries, private or public, with or without community features like comments.
  • Facebook: Build your own page or app.
  • Paypal: If you don't need a full e-shop with all the bells and whistles, a minimal Paypal shop will do. It's the no. 1 online payment solution, backed by one of the biggest internet players out there: eBay.

Database applications

Most CMS packages these days offer a basic module for managing data that's stored in an SQL database: so-called CRUD modules. However, for complex data sets with a multitude of relational tables, these are hardly useful.

Over the years, I have built countless tailor-made database-centric applications. If you face a situation where you need to make something work online, using your existing data, get in touch. Likewise, if you need to sync your offline and online datasets automatically.

E-Commerce / E-Shop installations

I have installed and customized several shop systems in the past. Depending on your needs, client base and budget, certain solutions make more sense than others. I can help you to evaluate the best product for your business.

From a simple Paypal shop that only uses only a one-page form, to a full-blown multilingual shop system that accepts all kinds of payments internationally and uses fancy features like the big boys at Amazon: Imagination and budget are the only limits.