What do I do?

I make websites.

Which is a bit of an over simplification considering the ever growing list of things you need to be aware of when building a website.

Performance, hosting, security, accessibility, networking, managing/creating/wrangling content, device testing, legal requirements and those of other countries are just some of the areas that need consideration.

We haven’t even started on making the actual “website” yet.

Before you glaze over, the good news is that you, the client do not need to worry or understand what all those things mean. That’s my job.

So that is what I do, I “do” websites and everything related to the making, fixing, maintaining and hosting them.

Just websites?

Whilst the large majority of what I do is making websites. My nerdy skills also extend to the creation of mobile apps, web apps, interactive touchscreens. As well as video and motion-graphics for a range of needs including broadcast and in-store point of sale.

Home automation and the “internet of things”

I am also really interested in home automation and IoT (using openHAB, MQTT and AWS). Voice control using the Amazon Echo is high on my radar and I have developed several custom Alexa Skills that I use for tasks around the house. If you have an idea for an Alexa Skill I would be very interested in discussing this.

I solve problems with technology

Technology is great, I love everything about it, I especially love doing what I do and working with it everyday. It is a passion of mine and one which I’m very good at.

I really could waffle on for hours about it, filling these lines with acronym after acronym. But technology is just the tool that I use.

My biggest skill is problem solving.

Working with a client I help them to evolve their initial requirement of “I need a website” into something that provides value to their business.

A client might think they need a content management system with 20 different page templates, online ordering, live web chat and a custom branded video player. Yet after talking to them we work out that a simple site, with some help to grow and maintain a targeted mailing list, would be much better suited.

How I do it

I really like to get the conversation started with a call on the phone. Ten minutes on the phone will tell us both whether or not we are a good match.

Every project is different so it is good to get the conversation. I use a range of different technologies, amd if you really want a list of acronyms here you go:

HTML, PHP, WordPress, WooCommerce, Amazon Web Services (S3, Route53, Lambda, AWS IoT, Congnito, API Gateway, Cloudfront), DigitalOcean, Javascript, Jquery, Node, Node-Red, Raspbian, Debian, Ubuntu, macOS, AppleScript, Python, MQTT, CSS/Sass, Gulp, Grunt, Nginx, reverse proxys, Apache, SSL (LetsEncrypt), OAuth, Jekyll, Kirby, GitHub, Google APIs.

I tend to host things myself these days using a combination of AWS and DigitalOcean services. So I know my way around a server and understand networking and I am slightly obsessed with security (in a good way).

But I can’t stress enough that it very easy to get distracted by the technology, the problem that is being solved is more important than the technology that is used to solve it.

The ‘B’ word

Budget is very important, even though you may not have any idea how much this type of work costs. You should have an idea of an amount you are prepared to spend.

Similar to buying a house or a car, the first thing you need to know is the amount you can spend. You can get a banger for £500 that would get you to the shops and back. You can also spend £100,000 on a Bentley, which would also get you to the shops and back.

So please, even if you have no idea how much these things cost, have an amount in your head that you are prepared to spend.

Knowing what we are working with allows us to keep focused on the main goal of the site.

Feel free to ask questions or call for a chat to ask about costs. There is little point in either of us spending time talking about an exciting project, or for me to work up a detailed breakdown of costs that total around £7,000 when you were only thinking of spending £500.

There is a lot you could do with £500, that is a lot of emails sent with MailChimp and quite a few Adwords.

It does depend on the project (and problem) but as a guide my minimum price for a web project starts around the £1000 mark.