Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Step Afrika!

In the spring of 2013, I participated in a pro bono project through Taproot Foundation. Our group’s task was to redesign the website of Step Afrika, a DC-based stepping dance company.

My role on this project was to be the WordPress developer; “wiring up” the HTML template provided by another team member into a WordPress theme.

Step Afrika!’s website has a custom WordPress theme built on Twitter’s Bootstrap framework. Advanced Custom Fields plugin was used to give the website manager easy-to-use interfaces on the back-end to make the maintenance as simple as possible.

Because Step Afrika! doesn’t have an in-house web developer, I recommended they host the website with WP Engine hosting, because caching, automatic backups, and a staging environment are included in every plan.

This was my first Taproot project and I really enjoyed working with a new group of people on a successful project.

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Vito Services

I worked on Vito Services, a local plumbing company, website project as the WordPress developer. This was a design by Chris Marlow that was laid out on a 14-column custom grid and turned into HTML with Twitter’s Bootstrap framework.

Vito Services website uses custom taxonomies to tie different types of content (pages, troubleshooting tips and coupons) together for easy maintenance.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Estevez Aluminum

Estevez Aluminum is a Waldorf, MD -based company that manufactures aluminum awnings, car ports, patio covers and screen enclosures. The client’s old website was really bad – it was sold over the phone and looked like it had been thrown together in 15 minutes.

In order to keep the cost down, the new site was built on Prototype theme from DX themes. The theme had a very clean, easily-modifiable look and feel and offered responsive design out of the box. Like many off-the-shelf themes, its page speed score was relatively low. Using basic optimization techniques, the site now has a page speed score of 95%.

Homepage: Estevez Aluminum

Sunday, April 14th, 2013


Cassidy Duhon is a Washington, DC Wedding photographer whose website needed upgrading. He found a theme which I modified to the look and feel he had in mind. This theme also supported responsive design, which automatically adapts the website to the user’s device screen size. In other words, responsive design is a “one size fits all” approach in which the page is optimized for all screen sizes. See the website in action on multiple screen sizes on Responsinator.com

Cassidy also wanted to include his portfolio, which consists of tens of photos, on the home page of the site. The easy (and wrong way) would have been to include all of the images on the page with the initial page load. This would have caused to long page load times and terrible waste of bandwidth for mobile users, for example. To resolve this problem, I used an approach called “lazy loading.” In this approach only five photos are included in the initial page load. The rest are added to the carousel as needed with a custom functionality that runs transparently in the background.

This site was launched in December 2012 and has a Page Speed Grade of 92% on GT Metrix.

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Hispanic Communications Network

Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) is a social marketing communications firm in Washington, DC. As their name suggests, they help their clients reach the Hispanic community of the U.S. using social marketing campaigns and their extensive network of affiliated radio stations.

HCN contacted me in the spring of 2011 wanting to redo their website. We decided to use an existing theme as the base and modify that. Initially this website was hosted at Hostgator, but due to abysmal performance, the website was migrated onto MediaTemple’s dedicated DV server in March 2013.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Growth is Human

Growth is Human website was created for the short film of the same name. The film concentrates on Globe Dye Works factory in Philadelphia that went out of business after 140 years. The film was produced by the Growth Strategy Company and it shows how important continuous business growth is. In today’s competitive economy, businesses that stand still are bound for extinction.

I used Boilerplate HTML as the template for this website, which I turned into a custom-made WordPress theme. This website has a responsive design, so it automatically adjusts to different size screens. Additionally this website uses Amazon S3 and Cloudfront CDN for increased performance.

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Outrage DC

Since its launch in the spring of 2012, this website has been sold to Washington Blade and has been slightly changed from how I left it.

I developed Outrage DC website for a client in the spring of 2012. Although an off-the-shelf theme was used as the base, a lot of custom development went into this one. I really liked this project because features such as the infinite scroll (where the next set of cards is loaded with Ajax when the user scrolls to the bottom of the page) and the calendar functionality took a quite a bit of programming. Most challenging tasks were handling recurring events, events with end-times spanning to the following day to mention a few. The backend UI also required a lot of custom Ajax functionality to be able to quickly manage a large number of events.

NOTE: Outrage DC is a pretty rowdy site catering to DC’s gay community and some of the content might be NSFW.

Sunday, April 14th, 2013


Melanie Phung is an old colleague of mine from the InPhonic, Inc. days and still a friend and my go-to person for SEO. She needed to update her site before her speaking engagement at Confab 2012. She had worked with a designer to come up with a layout, which I “WordPressurized” for her. The site itself is relatively straightforward, nothing fancy but still seems to do the trick. With zero optimization, it still gets a “B” on Gtmetrix.com.

Sunday, April 21st, 2013


Better Impressions, Inc. is a family-owned, local offset printing service in Sterling Virginia. Better Impressions, which has been in business since 1974, needed to update their web presence. We changed their all-image based one-page website, which was virtually invisible to search engines, to a WordPress-driven one that was easy for them to maintain. The overall design of the site followed that of their printed marketing collateral including the messaging.

We also added links to their drop box to allow customers to upload their files for printing jobs.

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