As my time drew to a close at Flitch Creative, I finished one final project: our own website.

The design was out of this world and packed with creativity from our incredible designer. Futuristic, robotic, glitchy, sharp.

The old site was a mutant half custom PHP, half WordPress that was simply not given enough attention and love. This would be what I consider my first ever React.js website deployed into the wild. We still used WordPress as a major part of our stack, and so we used its API as our CMS for the company’s highlighted work and employee bio/information.

To see what the site looked like at the time of completion, check it out on web archive here!

All Strings Attached Desktop screenshot
Desktop home page

A Disorganized Brand

The All Strings Attached community orchestra group was one of the most memorable parts of my musical career in high school and college. This non-profit group was completely volunteer and ran by an amazing director. But there’s always one thing that non-profits struggle with: their branding and web presence. Understandably, they put every penny they can back into serving the community and a good brand identity doesn’t come cheap. I saw the need for uniformity and eagerly wanted to give back to this wonderful group.

Overcoming

At first, there were some hurdles. Communication wasn’t easy, being 1300 miles apart, and trying to work with several people who all had a part in the current set up (between who owned the domain, website, any logo or graphics created). Other negative experiences with old website or domain owners as well as some ecommerce fraud caused some apprehension. Over time, I was able to calm nerves and help build trust by assuring them that this was THEIR orchestra, THEIR brand, THEIR identity, and THEIR assets to control. I was not there to take control or cause other headaches but to give them a “Carnegie Hall” experience.

Work Began

At first, there was no official logo. I referred back to an old graphic that was on their website almost 10 years prior: which used a clean font and a simple treble clef shape. I fine-tuned that graphic and finalized it into the official logo. Next, I created a brand style guide. This guide laid out the official orchestra name, all proper uses of the logo, fonts, the sizing for print and web, colors, photography standards, and put together the key points of what the organization stood for (which the director created herself).

The Website

10 years prior, the organization had a really nice website. However, somehow this old domain was held on to by an individual of the group, and the organization switched to another domain with a different ending. The switch caused confusion with the community, the website was put together quickly and then consequently not kept up to date. I completely redesigned and programmed the site to clearly show the critical information: upcoming concerts, ways to participate, and contact information. The website is ready for e-commerce and ticket sales, although it is not implemented as of this writing. Online donations were finally implemented in the Spring of 2020 when the COVID pandemic forced shows to be virtually recorded and broadcasted and the donations couldn’t be collected at the performances.

Conclusion

All Strings Attached patrons began increasing the use of the website. The social media interaction greatly improved from the dedicated work of an orchestra member following the brand style.

Southern Utah Home Builders Association needed to migrate from their existing platform, which was unreliable and outdated. Slightly improving the design, I reprogrammed the site to allow for easier maintenance and updates.

Saint George Cookies got a wonderful new design that matches her wonderful cookie creations. Check it out!

This non-profit organization rebranded, with an entirely new name, and I gladly took the programming challenge. This was a long time client that I was excited to give a new website to, and to help transition away from the existing and unfriendly CMS they had to a user-friendly WordPress experience.

This project had many challenges:

  • There were 4500+ articles to migrate
  • There was over 100GB of images and video necessary to migrate
  • File structure, database structure, CMS, everything was custom already
  • Duplicates were everywhere
  • The migration and launch had to occur between school semesters

And many others. After a lot of hard work, I was able to migrate to WordPress for an improved writer and publisher experience as well as for future-proofing by using the WordPress platform.

Simple, clean design. No fluff. A simple gallery for the client to control and upload their latest work! Click here

I was given a complex design for the new Swig website: one that looked easy enough on paper, but programming limits were pushed. I learned some cool stuff with SVG’s and making them continuously responsive in the background, keeping them placed in a way to match each section of the home page as well.

The live website is no longer the one I programmed since the company was acquired and rebranded. Here was the website according to Web Archive

 

One of my more recent projects, this was a task I looked forward to for a very long time. I managed their previous website, which had become outdated in functionality and design. It was long overdue for a refresh!

Dixie Direct and its sister companies had a few specific needs:

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Western Woods was a business my grandfather started in the 1980’s. They sell semiprecious stone and gift store merchandise. I worked here on and off throughout my early college years, thanks to the flexibility of the type of work. I started my job at Flitch Creative full time and left Western Woods. Flitch Creative actually managed their website that they had recently gotten through another company. The site just wasn’t quite doing what they needed it to however, and Western Woods finally decided to get an upgrade.

Originally, it was planned to let another programmer do the work so that I could not be associated with the project (since it was a family business) but it ended up with me anyways as other projects had to stick with other developers. That’s okay with me!

There was also a legal battle that involved a competitor who had been squatting on the .com version of the company name URL. They won the battle and after almost 10 years, could use the .com version and owned it outright.

Link to Website