Sometimes I get my nose so deep in my work I practically get boogers on my screen. Um, too much imagery for you there? Sorry. As a full-time freelancer, it’s important that I show off my latest projects so potential clients can take a look. But, it can be hard to find time to update the portfolio when I have another project pending, and I don’t particularly like bragging. I’m from the Midwest. We’re humble.
But, it’s late at night and I’m avoiding doing something else, so it’s a perfect time to show off my latest wares! Step right up and take a look!
Roni Noone is a web publisher, healthy living blogger and social media fanatic (and I confess, a friend). It’s always fun to work with friends because I get particular pleasure trying to blow their minds with a great design. Yeah, working for money is great, but working to make your friends happy is a bonus.
Roni is preparing to leave her day job to blog professionally fulltime. (Rock on, Roni!) Although she’s a web developer herself, Roni was swamped with other work and didn’t have the time to design, code and launch her personal web page. Since this site would serve as a welcome mat for the rest of her online ventures, it was important that it be beautiful, professional and well built. She decided to entrust the site design to Make My Blog Pretty, because she knew we’d create a site that lived up to her high standards. Also, I got to say, it put particular pressure on me to make sure the coding for this site was flawless because I knew Roni would be taking a look under the hood. Some of the features we whipped up were:
- We created a rotating tag line in the header that fades in and out between multiple statements that reflect Roni’s many interests.
- The latest headlines and images from other blogs in Roni’s network appear as visual buffers and promotional links between posts.
- Roni is active on several social media sites, so we created a compact, floating media bar on the left side of the page that scrolls along with the user.
- Roni loves to respond to visitor’s comments, so we created a custom style that highlights her responses in the comment thread, making it easy for visitors to hone in on her comments.
- We collaborated with Roni on her site logo, creating an image that is professional but also reflects her sunny disposition.
- Upon Roni’s request, we made it easy to add new items to the menu while still incorporating a yellow sun background in the rollover state.
Roni was so happy with the design, that she immediately installed the theme only hours after receiving the files. She then announced the redesign enthusiastically on her multiple sites and twitter feed.
J. Maureen Henderson
A few months ago, J. Maureen Henderson hired me to design a home base for her professional identity. (Don’t say “personal brand” or she’ll smack you!) Maureen is a Generation Y expert, freelance writer and blogger. She provided me with several hi-resolution images, which really jump-started the design process. We collaborated on a post-it note motif in the design to reference the same image in the logo for her blog, Generation Meh, thus creating some visual continuity between the sites. It also allowed Maureen to include informational and playful notes about her identity in the header. The site is built in WordPress, which gives Maureen the ability to add and update her latest projects with ease. It was great working with a client who had a clear idea of what she wanted and provided high-quality materials to make it happen. I was really pleased with how the site turned out.
I also pick up a lot of work making small updates to a few regular clients sites. Work like that, I don’t usually put in the portfolio. But in the past few months I’ve:
- Completed two WordPress database restorations
- Seamlessly transferred four sites, dozens of emails, and three databases to a new host
- Enabled a blogger to leave her web address as a link to her name on Blogger.com comments
- Lots of other stuff I can’t remember because it all starts to blur
Sometimes freelance web design work can be stressful because you have a dozen bosses and you want to please them all. But this past month has really been fun because I’ve gotten to work with some great people and learn new things as I’ve worked on their projects. Thanks, you guys! You make it worth it!