Introducing Jennifer Randall’s new website

Today I launched a website for Jennifer Randall to showcase her paintings.

Jennifer is a good friend who has her studio in downtown Hutchinson, KS in the old Crystal Ballroom that she and her husband Dan Brizendine are restoring. Dan & Jennifer plan to convert the upstairs into a loft where they will live with their three kids.

Please visit jenniferrandall.net and spend some time with Jennifer’s work.

Websites

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ArtisTree.org website

This post is a bit out-of-date, but since I’m writing about sites I’ve developed, I must mention artistree.org. This was actually the website that inspired my career as a web developer. ArtisTree is my mom’s business, so I have been responsible for every site redesign. The latest iteration is the 3rd or 4th major redesign. It all began in the mid-1990s when I scanned in a watercolor tree, made an image map, and created some stub pages for the various branches of ArtisTree. I later added a few other graphics and had some very gawdy background images. The site was first developed into an informative and usable site in 2000 when Olivia Kobelt and I developed the site for our college Sr. Capstone project at Principia College. This was the first significant website I’d worked on, and for a couple of newbies it was actually pretty good.

After college I became a professional Web Developer for The Christian Science Monitor, and discovered many new web tools and technologies and I longed for the day I’d have the time to redo artistree.org. This past summer I finally had that opportunity and gave the site a much cleaner and up-to-date look. Of course, there’s still a lot more I’m hoping to do with it, but that’s the nature of the web. Any good site will ALWAYS be “under construction.”

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Updating a prefab template site

These days it’s much easier than it was 5-10 years ago for the average computer user to create their own website. This blog is proof of that. I only had a few buttons to click, and bingo, I had installed blog software that does everything for me (and more) that I’ve always taken it upon myself to code.

As a web developer, I like to have total control. I’m a proponent of clean code that adheres to the W3C standards. I abhor WYSIWIG editors that code the HTML for you. Worst of all are those Microsoft Word documents exported to HTML.

Art Sundquist, of Sundquist Photography in Hutchinson, KS, has such a site which he created himself from a template. Art has a great philosophy on studio and event photography. He is all about the experience and puts his clients first. Instead of diluting his attention from his clients and figuring out how to update his site himself, he asked me to make some updates to the website that he put up several years ago.

There is much more I want to do with this site to make it really start working for him, but I have done some basic optimization to a few of the main pages:

I also created a new Baby photography page based on the site template.

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The birth of a blogger

I have visions of the hypercolor t-shirt I finally got in 8th grade. Remember those shirts that changed colors when they got warm? Most of my friends got their hypercolor t-shirts in 6th or 7th grade, I got my purple t-shirt that turned pink around the armpits just as they were going out of style.

This is a roundabout way of saying that I’m FINALLY joining the blogging bandwagon. Unlike my hypercolor t-shirt, I don’t think blogging is going out of style anytime soon.

I’ve kept a journal during my around the world adventures, and it always took me twice as long to write about the highlights of each day as to live them. This blog won’t be another one of those online journals that no one actually has the time to read. I really just needed a way to help drive traffic to my clients’ sites and get them indexed by search engines.

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