I have built and worked on many sites, including
Lucinda came to me with a request: could I please help her figure out how to set up her website’s new theme. This was a complex theme, with a lot of built-in features, but but one thing it did not have was easy to follow instructions. The finished site was simple compared to the demo, but it still looks great.
The Creative Penn is a site where authors can learn how to create, publish, and market their first book, and where to go from there.
I provide ongoing maintenance and updates including SSL and plugin replacements due to conflicts, and I add new features on request. Recent changes include tweaks to the site’s AMP pages, a new more efficient search feature, and the addition of a search box in the menu bar.
Lateral Action is the site of author, poet, and business coach Mark McGuinness. I helped Mark update a decade old site. First we switched it to HTTPS, and then I identified and replaced outdated plugins, tech that modern web browsers no longer support (Flash video, for example), and page elements that could look better (outdated signup forms).
Mark is also a current support client.
Mike Quick is a plumber based in Fredericksburg, VA, and he has also written a few books. He has several sites, and one of them (onlineplumbingadvice.com) was a very basic affair based on the twenty eleven WordPress theme (Wayback Machine).
I replaced the theme with a better design, tweaked it to suit his blogging style, and fixed spelling and formatting errors in the content. I also added the usual security and SEO plugins on the backend.
Kylie needed a few small changes made to her website, and I was happy to oblige. I added a new background image, replaced the bookshelf plugin and reuploaded the book listings, and tweaked the header so it blended in better with the body of the site.
This was a small project, but I am pleased with how it came out.
Lisa’s site needed a lot of work, including both updates and a migration to a new hosting company.
I added HTTPS, imported blog posts from Lisa’s old blog, and then moved the site from Godaddy to Bluehost. The site is now faster, costs less to run, and and will have better SEO as a result of the added blog posts.
Here’s a fun little weekend project.
At one point I looked into building a turnkey website hosting service, and as part of that process I also set up an FAQ where users can find answers.
There are several free FAQ themes for WP, but they all looked awful. So in addition to answering all the questions, I also had to modify the CSS and layout so that the site actually looked nice.
It was a small project, but a fun one because it was such a change of pace.
Dreamwatch is an indie press. It had a well established site that needed a refresh.
I created a new front page for the site, and added a second blog. The new home page is designed to bring all three of Dreamwatch’s main activities to your attention, and entices you to find out more.
Allise Hurd is a children’s author. In late 2018 I designed a site for her using a simple and clean WordPress theme. I continued to support and host Allise’s site until late 2019. (The site is now defunct.)
Waystone is a newly-launched small press that focuses on fantasy and related non-fiction (studies of historical myths, for example). I designed and built the site using Genesis, found all of the press’s books on Amazon and added them to the site, and completed other important parts of setting up the site.
This is an event calendar I designed and launched in early 2020 / late 2019. The site collects all the writing events in the Northern Virginia region, including conferences, workshops, book fairs, etc. The site was built by adapting my Author Website in a Box project to fill a very different purpose.
Atomic Centaur was going to be a new SF&F fan blog. This blog never got off the ground, but I did take it as far as finishing the site design. I gave the site a theme that practically shouted SF blog, and tweaked the colors to replace the muddy stock colors with a vibrant palette.
These are handouts I usually give away in exchange for signing up for my mailing list, but you can have them for free.
Website Speed Checklist
This PDF covers a dozen steps you can take to speed up your site such as installing a caching plugin.
This handout explains how you can use the porn name parlor game to invent a name for just about anything.
Author Website Checklist
Here’s a 3-page handout that you can use to make sure you didn’t forget important parts of your site.
Author Bio Workbook
You will need at least five different bios for your various blogger and social profile, and this workbook will help you write them.