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The new year has brought fulfilling projects and exciting opportunities and we have a recent launch, present site transition and a panel SXSW to talk about. Read more ›

Recent Launches & News

Its been a busy week and about to get busier. Right now I am getting ready to head to the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco and I am really looking forward to meeting some longtime and new online friends while I am there. I’ll be interviewing my fellow Idealware bloggers too and posting the results on the Idealware blog soon.

Also this week we launched the Bailout Watch Web site – a group project by six leading organizations in government transparency. If you have been wondering where all that TARP money went or need some help understanding the who, what and where of the bailout, check out the Bailout Watch site. Find out more in our portfolio.

And one more thing… NRDC asked us to translate their Eat Local campaign design to this cute little widget that’s all kinds of handy for eating local and eating well. Just pick your location and the time of year and you’ll see what’s available fresh in your neighborhood. This was another fun one and I learned a lot working with Sean Fremouw of Free Flow Data about iWidgets, which allows for the widget’s functionality and ability to be shared on all the popular social network sites and more.

Its really fantastic to get to work on projects where I learn more about the issue and that I know I will use them myself.

Eating my own dogfood

If you have visited my site before you are probably noticing some drastic changes and long overdue upgrades.

After years of being too busy to update my built-by-hand HTML site I have finally taken the advice I give to all my clients and moved the site into a database driven solution. Although it was a tough choice between Plone, Drupal, Joomla and WordPress I finally decided on WordPress.

One reason is that my site is small and basic and I wanted to demonstrate how nicely WordPress can serve as a content management system for simple sites like this. I have added a couple bells and whistles for usability and fun.

In the middle of this redesign, or more toward what I thought was the end really, WordPress released a new version that had me going back to the drawing board for a while since the plugins I had planned to use were not up to date and compatible with the new version. Needless to say I was not such a happy camper at first, but in the end I think the site is better for the changes.

For the curious and technically inclined, here’s a list of what I have used on top of WordPress 2.7:

Its still not perfect and I hope to find the time between clients to keep improving the site but hopefully having a CMS and all the nifty plugins will result in making it easier to keep this site up to date and useful for my visitors. I have plans for expansion in the near future and am also starting up a Email newsletter that I hope folks will find useful and fun. Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave your thoughts about the redesign in the comments.

Sample Web Site Project Plan

Although every project is unique, I have found that sometimes its helpful to get a sense of the common steps involved in a visual way. I decided to post the generic project plan I share with my clients here in the hopes that it will help someone just diving into their Web site or redesign project get a handle on what to consider.

Download the Sample Project Plan PDF (385k) here.

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