visitavalonnj.comFinished up one of the cooler projects I’ve had the pleasure to work on a few weeks ago. The site is

I’ve worked with the client in the past and they were looking for a new site to help with the tourism of Avalon, NJ (a very nice place). Working with them is excellent and probably the best overall client relationship I’ve had to date. They know what that want, and present a professional design/concept and I build them a web solution to meet their needs.

In this case they really wanted a site that would be easy for them to maintain and add and edit content on a regular basis. Oh yeah, and they also needed it done before the start of their tourism season (middle of March ideally).

With only a few seconds into the conversation I knew that Drupal would be the perfect match for their needs.

Some modules featured in the creation of this project were:

  • Views – while I use it in every Drupal site I’ve ever worked on, it was heavily used in this project and really helped cut down on development time.
  • Calendar and Date – they needed an events calendar and the Calendar module was great to build upon. They also used dates with other content types and the Date module was a real life saver in these cases too.
  • Media – the client wanted the ability to add images inline view a wysiwyg editor. While still not a perfect solution, the Media module did help us give the client such a ability.
  • Facebook OAuth – they wanted users to have the option to login with their Facebook account instead of having to create a separate account for their site. This module was simple to set up and got the job done.
  • Google weather – this allowed us to easily bring in and display the latest weather in Avalon without too much hassle. Just some minor CSS tweaking was involved to get it done.
  • Social media – a very new module and it’s release was most timely. An excellent way to bring the now common social media button onto a website.
  • Webform – again a well known staple that just gets the job done.
  • Omega Theme – a real lifesaver for building a responsive web design. I highly recommend it as a starter theme for any new site.

The whole building block structure of Drupal really allowed us to deliver some cutting edge features without having to start from scratch. This really saved us a great deal in time and costs ($$$) and allowed me to concentrate more of the really unique aspects of the site.

Most impressive was how well the client has been able to use Drupal to manage the site. Our training simply consisted of a few minutes on a phone call. The admin interface was very intuitive to them and I did make sure to label all content types and fields so that each part was clear to them when it came time for them to manage the site.

Again, this was a pretty impressive project and and absolute treat to work with them again! I’m very impressed with it’s outcome and am very excited to check back with it’s performance in a few months.

Lots of fun.

Design Development

Landscapes & Interiors

Finishing up a website for Landscapes & Interiors. They’re a landscaping and cleaning service located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The client wanted an original website that they would be able to easily maintain and have the ability to make simple edits on their own.

We decided to build the website  on the Joomla! open source CMS (content management system). I’ve built many sites with Joomla! recently and each client has been very much pleased with the rich CMS functionality that we are able to deliver to them at a very reasonable cost. It really amazes me just how much functionality they are getting from an open source project.

We also relied on the Yahoo! YUI library to build the site as well. The site makes use of the following YUI components:

  • CSS Reset
  • CSS Fonts
  • CSS Grids
  • Yahoo Global Object
  • DOM Collection
  • Event Utility

YUI really helped us to work faster and knowing that their library is used and tested by Yahoo! for A-Grade Browser support is a real time saver.

The client did an excellent job in providing and organizing content for use on the site. I cannot stress how vital it is for a client to provide appropriate content in an organized manner for a site to be successful. They are the content experts and when we can mesh our respective areas of expertise a great site is almost always the result.

Since the business is new and this is their first website, special attention was spent to make sure that there is room for growth. The content regions and navigation elements all are easy to add or edit via Joomla! with little if any CSS adjust necessary to manage additional or changed content.

There are still some further tweaks and adjustments to be made to the site, but we did go live today, so check out and see what great services and support that they offer. Again, it was a real pleasure working with this client, I had a great deal of fun and they are very satisfied with their site and that’s always great to know.

Design Development

Playtown Cafe

Playtown CafeFinished up a site a few weeks ago for Playtown Cafe in Boca Raton, Florida. They were looking for a website and overall design package that was unique, fun, and really stood out. Geoff designed a logo for them that really nailed all those requirements.

The site is powered by WordPress, so that the client can easily maintain the site on their own. The client who claimed to be, “horrible with computers” was able to pick up the WordPress CMS in very short time and has really run with it. It’s always great when you can have a client see how easy it is to keep a site fresh and up to date using the latest web technologies available today.

Under the hood this site is using some very impressive technology to power it.

Working with client was a great experience. They had a great idea of what they needed, but also were open enough with creative and tech input that was a pleasure to work with. Check out Playtown Cafe.

Design Development

sjrates.comJust finished up building It’s a site that makes comparing local rates easy and convenient for those in Southern New Jersey.

The client approached with with a sound idea of making it easier for local people to compare rates. Instead of having to search each financial institution individually, he wanted to group them all together to save users time.

The site makes use of many technologies.  Notable uses include:

Working with the client was a real pleasure. I thought we had a great client – developer relationship and I this really helped contribute to a really nice finished project.


Bioderma Medical Laser & Aesthetics Redesign

Bioderma Laser & Aesthetics

Just went live with the redesign I had been working on for Bioderma Medical Laser & Aesthetics.  Been working with them on a site redesign and incorporating many new features to their website.  Working with them has been a pleasure and the site has turned really nice.  There’s a lot of heavy tech running in the background that gives users a great and informative experience while giving the client the tools necessary to manage their website with little training.

Some notable features include:

CMS powered by Joomla

Building on top of Joomla for the CMS gave the client an amazingly powerful and easy to use CMS solution.  They now have the ability to make basic content edits to their own site at their own convenience.  Allowing them to keep the site content current and up to without having to pay a web developer for basic edits.  

interactive mapping and driving directions powered by Google Maps API

To help their customers find them, mapping powered by the Google Maps API was incorporated into their site.  Current map, satellite, and hybrid information is delivered via Google for users.  Custom driving directions are delivered with no page refresh/reload via AJAX scripting to save users time and unnecessary load times.

newsletter management

A full newsletter management system built upon the ccNewsletter Joomla component has been incorporated into the upgraded site.  Users can easily sign up to receive a newsletter via the newsletter sign up box or through the contact form on the website.  A full admin panel is built into the CMS for the client to easily manage, create, and send out newsletters to users who’ve signed up to receive their newsletter.  A very cool feature.

custom contact form

A custom contact form allows users to easily contact the client.  Submissions are delivered to the client as well as recorded to a database for easy retrieval of information for the client.  DOM scripting found in the contact form hides/reveals content if relevant for the user.  Leading the a cleaner, simpler experience.

lightbox powered before & after photos

Before and after photos associated with their respective services are powered by the slimbox lightbox extension.  This enables full sized detailed photos to appear via a modal window ontop of the page via clicking on a thumbnail photo.  This reduces unnecessary page load for the user while looking really nice.



Just updated the ACCCEA (Atlantic Cape Community College Education Association) website.  They were one of the first freelance sites I built.

The biggest upgrade to their site was moving their blog from the custom one I built for them a few years ago to being powered by WordPress.  As a result of the upgrades they now have a fully featured CMS (Content Management System).  So now they can just login and make edits to their website on their own.

Moving the blog over to WordPress also gives them a much more feature rich blogging engine then what they were currently using.  They can be a lot more creative when writing posts, adding images, video clips, styling the text, etc.