BonzoBox

Create a social homepage based around bookmarks.

My BonzoBox homepage.

My BonzoBox homepage.

You can store a custom title, description, and tags for every site you save.

You can store a custom title, description, and tags for every site you save.

About a year ago I was contracted to build a homepage that used screenshots of websites to link to the sites, had drag & drop to move the sites around, and was easy to use. Marcos Cantoni of Visual Dreams Interactive did the great design work, and I did the coding. Fast forward a year and BonzoBox has come a long way – it is a social website built around the sharing of websites. I am now a partner in the site, (and the CTO), and we are making it even greater!

BonzoBox brought my AJAX skills to a whole new level. It features drag & drop, ajax forms, tagging, dragging items out of flash movies, inbox widgets, and more, with more in the pipe. I also used a Javascript Library for the first time – I chose DOMAssistant because of its light weight and modular structure, and am extremely happy with it.

BonzoBox is currently in public beta and I encourage you to go Sign Up and try it out.

4RoadService.com

Re-design the 4RoadService.com breakdown directory.

4RoadService.com home page after the re-design.

4RoadService.com home page after the re-design.

New search results on 4RoadService.com

New search results on 4RoadService.com

Quite some time ago I was engaged to update some information in a database and increase the speed when searching the database. This small job bloomed into a lasting business relationship and a full re-design and modernization of the breakdown directory 4RoadService.com.

The redesign brought 4RoadService.com from a legacy-style table-based layout to a modern, semantic, layout using the latest web standards. At the same time I updated the data structure to further improve the site performance, updated the account system and more. To top it off, I added some AJAX scripting to make everything feel snappy.

A year after the launch of the new design 4RoadService.com continues to grow, and even more features are planned for the next weeks and months.

The Ballet

An educational website about Ballet.

The home page of the-ballet.com

The home page of the-ballet.com

Some detail work on the-ballet.com

Some detail work on the-ballet.com

The project the Ballet was developed from another website that I published years ago. Some of the primary objectives of the project were:

  • make it easy to update the site
  • bring the site design up to date
  • monetize the site
  • increase search engine visibility
Visitor Experience

The welcome page for the Ballet is designed to quickly show visitors what is new on the website and offer quick and easy access to all of the information on website. From a stylistic point of view the graphics and colour scheme represents the experience of attending the ballet at a theatre.

The most basic content pages, (and all pages on the site), maintain the theatrical style of the main page while presenting the content in an easy to read center zone. Each content area has a unique colour so the visitor will subconsciously know in which content area he or she is.

Visit the Ballet.

How the objectives were achieved:
Make it easy to update the site
I created a custom built Content Management System, (CMS), to add pages to the site with a minimum of programming. All of the information is stored in a MySQL database and is assembled using custom built PHP scripts. It is possible to add a whole new page, or simply articles or news items.
Bring the site design up to date
I gave the site a facelift getting rid of the frames that were in the old version and introducing the theatrical theme. I also updated the code to standards-compliant XHTML 1.1 and CSS making the website accessable to all visitors, including those with disabilities.
Monetize the site
I set aside some advertising space on the website, installed a web-based advertising management system and joined some advertising networks. Now I make a profit for almost every person that visits the website.
Increase search engine visibility
By doing the re-design in XHTML and CSS I inherently improved the visibility. Then I identified which searches are most popular and increased the density of those keywords. And finally, I wrote appropriate META tags for each page.

ip:Hostmaster shopping cart systems

The folks over at ip:Hostmaster needed a shopping cart for their new website and asked me to create it. They had some specific requirements:

  • fast and easy to use
  • easy to integrate into the ip:Hostmaster site
  • interface with ip:Hostmaster’s payment gateway provider

Shopper Experience:
ip:Hostmaster, just put something in my cart, (screenshot)

When a shopper adds an item to his or her cart they are notified with a simple Javascript pop-up window. There is no other page to go to, nothing else to distract the shopper from his or her shopping experience.

Looking in my shopping cart, (screenshot)

At any time a shopper can view his or her cart contents and make changes to it. In this case, since we’re dealing with web hosting, the shopper can specify the domain name to be hosted by each hosting package.

Go see ip:Hostmaster.