On the surface, this website is very simple. Florida voters visit the site on their mobile phone or computer, choose the county that they vote in and it generates a customized Voter's Guide, telling them how the candidates running for office have responded to a list of questions posed by this LGBT civil rights political action committee. Behind the scenes, this Voter's Guide leverages Drupal's ability to deliver relational database information as dynamic displays. A set of tools allow staff members to enter information about elections at every level of government and then to create users for each candidate. Every candidate has a profile that records their responses to the questions. Different levels of races have different questions. There is also a tool for the PAC to endorse candidates and highlight them. This site also uses a technology called 'responsive design' which delivers a legible display for mobile devices based solely on the width of the display, making it extremely portable across multiple platforms.
This has been the most challenging and far-ranging project so far. Equality Florida is a statewide organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights in Florida. I used to work there as the Central Florida regional director so it was great to put my experience with the organization to work while stretching what I could make Drupal do.
The main objective was to take a lot of really complex information and present it in a very simple and easily digestible way. Equality Florida works on 6 main issues and in many geographical regions throughout the state. I was able to create unified views of information by creating a keyword system (taxonomies) that hold different types of data together. When viewing one item of information, other relevant information is displayed to help the visitor easily find what s/he is looking for.
The site is also highly interactive with ways for visitors to comment and tell their stories, to contribute information and to view videos.
Some other features:
- A workflow that includes content moderation for quality control of posts. Posts by contributors are reviewed by an editor before becoming live on the site.
- Integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
- Dynamic slide show blocks on the front page that connect to additional content elsewhere on the site.
- A dynamic sponsor database that is displayed on a front page slideshow, a sponsor page, and sponsored events.
- An event calendar that connects to Google Maps.
- Personalized contact pages for staff, board members and key volunteers as well as an organization-wide contact page.
- A custom theme that provides consistent branding with organizational color pallete, fonts, and other visual presentation.
- Tools for staff to easily manage content.
- Live training for staff.
- A user manual for content management.
I really enjoyed working on this project because it present so many opportunities for finding technical solutions to organizational puzzles and because I got to work with former collegues as new clients.
Phase I of this project launched live to the public on August 24, 2011. After a few days, it was clear that the shared hosting service where we deployed the site wasn't keeping up with the load of traffic the site was getting. A week later, I migrated the site to a new host, HotDrupal.com and am extremely please with the speed and stability of the site now. Watch for more features on this site in Phase II and beyond
This site features the books, music, poetry and counseling practice of Elizabeth Cunningham. Elizabeth is the author of the critically acclaimed Chronicles of Maeve series, which centers around the life of a Celtic Mary Magdalene. This site was created in Drupal 7 and includes many dynamic views, links to booksellers, a music player, and social media integration. While an established author, Elizabeth is not technical, but looks forward to updating her website herself and keep the content current with her many activities.
"You made launching our new website much easier than we thought it would be. And we completed the project at exactly the cost and time estimates you provided!
Communication during the build process was excellent and the site is functioning perfectly, generating credit card sales for our satisfied customers. I also appreciate the fact that you have been easy to reach for answers or issues even after the launch. Thanks Again!" Mark Elliott - ElliottDiamond.com
If you ever need to drill a hole or cut something that is really hard, you may want to visit this site. This full-service e-commerce site is for a manufacturer of diamond saw blades and drill bits. The site features payment processing that integrates with the owner's Sage/Peachtree accounting system and automated shipping quotes. Checkout also supports a purchase order system for established customers. Using the custom user's manual that I wrote for them, the owners have been successful in adding and editing items in the inventory, updating prices and tracking orders.
This site features the work of a musician and so it has a lot of audio content. In addition to providing full-length streams of some music through a player right on the site, it also organizes her work into an extensive discography that is linked to CD's for sale and to collaborators' sites. As a touring performer and workshop leader, it has a very easy to update calendar of events.
As always, Ruth's site came with a User's Guide with step-by-step instructions so she can happily update it herself.
Sybil Perry is a visual artist who creates realistic and abstract paintings in pastels, watercolors, and oils. Her body work spans several decades. I worked with Sybil to create an online gallery to display her artwork and to give her the ability to arrange pieces for display. Sybil is not a big computer techie, so the interface had to be really simple. We worked together to design an aesthetic setting that is very simple to the eye so that it enhances rather than distracts from the visual impact of the paintings.
RefusetoLie is a national campaign that promotes awareness of the inequalities faced by people in same-sex marriages. Specifically, the IRS instructs gay married couples to file their taxes as single because the federal DOMA prevents recognition of their marriage by the federal government. This campaign was extremely active during tax season as its key message was to encouraged them to check 'Married' on their tax returns. This project came to me in early April and because of the urgency of tax season with its April 18 deadline, the development time was extremely quick. The site moved from initial go-ahead to live deployment in about 30 hours. The site was being talked about on MSNBC, NPR and the NY Times while I was still working on it! One of the advantages of working in a one-person freelance practice is that I have the flexibility to take on a project like this and the nimbleness to work under such a tight time-constraint.
The site features:
- A spread the word block with Facebook Like button, Tweet button, and a Link to Us tool. The site received 1400 Facebook 'Likes' in one week.
- Optimization for quick performance on inexpensive shared hosting, even under peak traffic.
- Visitor interaction with moderated comments.
- Voluntarily collected visitor information for notification of future action
- Easy content editing by the site owners.
- A blog for posting news stories, with headlines updating to a block on the front page.
OMFG LIghts makes and sells super bright LED poi for dancers and performers. This full service e-commerce site also integrates many features of social networking. It works as a Facebook app and authenticates users via their Facebook accounts. Visitors are encouraged to share their videos and photos of themselves using the products with other visitors to the site. Visitors can rate videos and photos with a 5-star system and the highest rated videos and photos are displayed in the the product's page and in a rotating slideshow in the front page.
The site also features:
- Full-featured e-commerce including shopping cart management, live calcluation of shipping quotes via a UPS API, calculation of sales tax, and payment processing through PayPal.
- Forums for users to share information and ask questions about the products, performances and technique.
- A technical support section connected to each product
- a easy way for the site owner to update inventory, prices, and other site content.
- 5-Star voting
- Visitor contributioned photos and videos
- A aesthetic design that highlights the beauty of the product.
- Facebook authentication and integration.
The Bay Area Women's Directory is both a business and shopping guide for women-owned businesses or women professionals in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and a social networking site where members can share a community calendar and blogs. The business profiles are linked to user accounts for the members who update their pages themselves. Each page has a fields for video and audio content in addition to images and basic contact information. Each record is also geocoded for quick lookup and mapping using Google maps.
This business site is for a Property Management company in Poughkeepsie, NY. The company owns and manages a variety of commercial and residential rental property and has some property for sale. Feature of the site include:
- Dyanamic views of available residental and commercial rentals and property for sale.
- Online maintenance requests for tenants
- Online application process for residential rentals
- A relational database of commercial buildings and commercial units so that the units inherit the characteristics of the building.
- Very simple updates by staff
- Advanced image handling with a fluid number of images and captions per property, with automatic resizing.
- A comprehensive user's manual for staff maintaining the content.
This site features Fortune 500 companies that operate in Florida and implement human resources policies eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identitiy or expression. EqualityMeansBusiness.org features a dynamically-generated slide show on the front page, a dynamic view of the advisory board members and resources. One one page, it embeds another site to provide visitors with a directory of pro-equality businesses. It also allows visitors to sign up to receive email updates, donate to the organization, sign up to be included in the business directory and contact the organization. Embedded videos help deliver the message effectively. Tight integration with Facebook helps the organization engage visitors and activists within their social networks.
This multimedia site is the most dynamic and complex site in my portfolio, so far. The site features a weekly internet TV show that covers spiritual, personal growth and current event topics of interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. It includes a full set of archives so that visitors can find shows that cover specific topics or that feature specific guests. Resources that are referenced an a show are also listed and cross-indexed with the show itself.
Another feature of the site is a directory of LGBT-friendly therapists and counselors, the Coalition of Counselors. After joining, members of the coalition may sign in to the site to maintain their own pages. Visitors to the site can search for a therapist by a plethora of parameters - including a zip code proximity search in which the user enters his/her zip code and desired radius and the website returns a Google Map with flags identifying nearby therapists. There is also a workflow system that allows a site editor to review and edit text narratives. A sponsor directory is also easily accessible.
All of the views of the site are generated dynamically so that the most recent content is highlighted with minimal effort by the staff.
The site is easily maintained by staff members who are editors and publishers rather than tech geeks.
This site features the work of a team of writers, editors and a graphic designer based in Washington DC. It features flexible pages that the owners maintain themselves and a gallery of artwork. The owners easily upload images and metadata to the gallery which then displays thumnails to site visitors and when clicked, displays the larger image and the rest of the data. The owners of this site have not had a website before and needed something very easy to maintain. A step-by-step manual and telephone training has been the ticket to get them off to a good start.
I was just finishing reading the book Three Cups of Tea, about Greg Mortensen's work building peace by building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and feeling very moved and inspired, when I received an email from Etienne Mashuli of Ubuntu in Action. Etienne and the rest of the Ubuntu organization are doing similar work in the African Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, eastern DRC and Tanzania, an area that has been devastated by war and genocide in the last 2 decades. Etienne himself grew up in this area and is now a student in the United States. I was honored to be able to contribute to this project by designing a new website for Ubuntu in Action, to help spread the word and raise funds for this vitally important work.
- lots of graphic design elements and photographic content
- online donations
- easy for visitors to post and share to social networks and email
- RSS feed
- automatic backup
- live Twitter feed
The development of this site has been a long-term project working with the Communications Committee and staff of New York Yearly Meeting, the organization of Quaker meetings in New York state and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. This project consisted of an entirely new Drupal site, the migration of some content from an old html site, and the development of much new content. My role was to do the Drupal design and creation, organize and manage volunteers to migrate and write content, edit and review the content and finally to deploy the site on a new hosting service.
Features of this site include:
- Lots of new dynamic content
- Online calendar of events
- RSS feed
- fresh graphic design
- online donations
- coming soon will be online event registration
The Mosaic Initiative is a grassroots organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. This website is a public information and advocacy platform to inform the public on options for self-testing at home. Features include:
- Tight integration with social networking sites
- A bright, accessible design
- Easy updating by volunteers
- Embedded videos
- Tools for visitors to add links to this site from their own sites or blogs
This site is for a Quaker meeting in Washington DC and will help them keep members informed of events and news within the community and also introduce members of the public to the faith and practices of this religious community. I did a lot of writing on this site, adapting language from printed materials to more simplified website style writing.
This site features:
- A rich text editor.
- An online calendar and detailed scheduling system that allows staff to easily see when a room is being used and when it's available.
- A way to distribute newsletters electronically, saving the meeting large printing and mailing costs.
- A 'Printer-Friendly' link on each page to allow easy printing by visitors, even those who don't have a PDF reader.
- A way for staff to easily enter announcements and to generate lists of announcements by date for inclusion in weekly bulletins and newletters.
- A detailed user's manual and in-person training for staff and volunteers.
This e-commerce site is for a start-up company based in Clearwater Florida that sells an environmentally-friendly swimming pool product.
BalancedPools.com needed an easy way for website visitors to calculate the volume of their pool and how much product they need and also to estimate their energy savings. For this site, I used Drupal 6.14 and wrote two custom modules using PHP and Drupal's Form API.
Other cool features include:
- A system for wholesale customers to create their own log in accounts.
- A rich text editor so the business owner can easily update text and graphics.
- An easy-to-use interface for the owner to approve wholesale accounts and interact with customers
- Shopping cart and order management using Ubercart
- Integration with UPS Shipping Tools to calculate shipping costs.
- Integration with PayPal API's to handle transactions
- Handling the county-specific Florida surtax and state salestax for retail and non-tax-exempt customers.
- Search Engine Optimization and integration with Google Analytics
This organization came to me because, although they had a functional, well-constructed site already, the person who had been maintaining it was leaving the organization. They needed a solution that would allow people with less time and inclination for technical stuff to be able to maintain the site easily.
Some of the coolest features of this site include:
- a rich text editor, so that staff members can enter and format content, including images, with an interface that looks a lot like Word;
- a powerful calendar and date system, so they can enter an event just one time and have it appear in multiple places on the site, and then disappear when the event is past; and,
- a rotating slideshow on the home page that is easily updated with new photos
I created this site for them using Drupal 6.10.