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Follow my web building experiences on this blog.
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In The Beginning
My introduction to the world of web design and development began way back in 1999. My employer sent me to a training session to learn Microsoft Frontpage. I was intrigued in using this editor to actually build a live website. But I was never happy using the drag and drop mode, as I could never get the layout aligned properly. I than tried switching to the editor mode, and I was introduced to the world of code. I began teaching myself HTML and CSS and switched to Dreamweaver when it was owned by Macromedia. I actually began to understand HMTL and CSS when I would reverse engineer a free template. I discovered how to move a sidebar from the left side to the right side, create a multi-column footer, etc. I learned how css works, as there was not much videos at that time.
I launched my first website on a free hosting site called GeoCities, and also had websites on another free hosting company called AngelFire. Those were the days when people who built websites were called Webmasters.
Websites were simple back then, no mobile devices and tables were commonly used.
Back than Flash was used on a lot of websites to display a more dynamic content. Many hours was invested in working with Adobe Flash and in other Flash formats such as Swishmax and Motionartist. In addition one of the trends at this time was designing a website in Photoshop, then converting it into HTML and CSS. Spent countless hours doing this, designers and developers would send PSD files to each other.
In a way, I was kind of sad to see Flash technology fade away, but in the end moving on to HTML5 and CSS3 is a much richer experience in the long run. I still receive requests to do Flash today, but I no longer work with this platform anymore (been so long I forgot how)
Forward to 2007, I was busy cleaning out malware-infested computers and bringing slow running laptops back to speed. Using my knowledge of web design, Pctweaking made its appearance on the World Wide Web. With my interest in designing static websites, I began adding web design “stuff” to this website.
So Pctweaking became a hybrid, computer repair/maintenance/web design website. As I got more involved with web design and development, I started weening off working with computers. My focus shifted towards building websites and Pctweaking slowly evolved into a web design and development website.
IslandWebTek officially opened it’s doors as a Web Design business. Just a side business, building websites.
Since clients didn’t know code, I ended up learning several CMS platforms so they could do their own updates. Trying to find the best CMS in those days was not easy, as many of these platforms were in the early stages of development (WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal).
One big problem, with a name like Pctweaking, I continued to receive questions about fixing and troubleshooting computers. So in 2013, I decided to rename the website to Frontntweaks, which still stands today. The focus is on the novice web designer, and those interested in web design and development.
In 2014, I got involved with photography. As some of my clients required fresh photos for their website, I began to study and practice shooting images. Photography has since become a release for me, something where I can recharge my batteries. You can find some of my pics on the links below.
I love hand coded static websites, they are fast, no database, secure and easy to migrate. I have also used static site generators.
But for the most part, clients cannot code or understand the terminal, so they need a platform where they can perform their own edits and updates.
In the majority of situations, WordPress is the answer as this CMS powers over 1/3 of all websites.
That’s why hackers also love WordPress and it has kept me busy.
In the past 3 years I have fixed and restored more WordPress sites then building them.
Sometimes a flat file CMS like Grav is available.
But many clients hate editing in markdown and don’t enjoy using FTP to update their sites.
As for Ecommerce sites, I used to setup clients for Lemonstand.
But Lemonstand has since shut it’s doors forcing store owners to migrate to Shopify or Woo Commerce (WordPress).
I usually turn down ecommerce sites, because I have spend hours editing hundreds of product images, inputting product information and prices in the past and kind of end up being a data entry clerk. That being said, I recently completed a eCommerce site, LOL.
Occasionally, I have steered a few non-profits, small businesses, organizations and groups to Saas online website builders (Squarespace, Wix and Weely). I feel a one stop location where their maintenance and security are taken care of is the of best interest for them.
I usually build the website and hand the keys over.
Project in the works:
Free Lance Web Designer Manual
“The things you will never learn in a codeschool, code camp, or university.”
Converting this blog back to a static site using Publii SSG.
Frontntweaks is just a side gig of mine and updated between projects or when I can find that spare moment.
Much of my spare time is taken up caring for my son who has been diagnoised with Low Functioning Autism.
Why I do this? “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
Oldie But Goodie
What I used back in 1994.
Mac Performa 638CD