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Presentation video for digital display

Just finished a great project for one of my longest standing clients P&M Kitchens in Wexford. The video is for a digital display for their showroom in Rathwood Furniture Showrooms in Carlow.

They liked it so much they have opted to add the video to the home page for their website here.

The video is a combination of video footage, still photography and high fidelity 3D images mixed together into a 6 minute presentation outlaying their skills, services & process.

To accommodate the video on the website we have upgraded their a hostinger server that can handle the load .

Mobile loading has also been considered here, where the video does not auto play on Mobile but rather you have the option to play the youtube video, does cuts down on costs for the mobile viewer visiting the website not using WIFI.

Graphic Design for an Arts Festival

I have been help with web and graphic design for the Gap Arts Festival since it started 2011. We have collaborated on some great projects that I’m still proud of today such as the Podcast series “Are you Ready” which explores 3D soundscapes of stories based on locations in and around the Gap on the Wexford / Wicklow border.

But mostly I design & print programmes with sponsorship, posters and website updates. It’s a lot of fun on the day for a lot of people but alot of hard work goes into the months leading up to the event done with great pleasure.

I helped POM celebrate 8 years in business with a video of all they have achieved.

It’s not often I get to work on a project like this but when one of the most successful fintech companies in Antwerp ask you to work with them you have to give it your all. This project celebrates 8 years of business from a humble 2 man business, working day and night to get their feet off the ground POM have certainly began to spread their wings with fast growth across many different industries with one simple piece of tech.

Why I built a new agricultural show management system on wordpress

Most websites in the world are built on wordpress and it is already a well known web building framework that most people feel confident to build their business on and with very little knowledge can easily find information online to fix any problem.

Let’s summaries the tech part first. I utilised wordpress to manage all the complex interactions between competitors and competitions by building our own theme and plugin to work with woocommerce so that competitors can easily enter competitions and in the back end the show coordinator can allocate winnings to the competitor or send them exhibit numbers include them in a show catalogue and instantly publish winners and schedules PDFs as well as print notification letters with address labels. Because it is built on a wordpress multisite we can easily create and setup new accounts within an hour.

Check it our here: https://agricultural-show.com/

A paragraph about agricultural shows for the uninformed.. Each year agricultural communities meet to show off their produce and animals in a festival atmosphere where they can enter hundreds of competitions ranging from Eggs to show jumping. These shows attract thousands of entries each year and takes a massive amount of time and organisation from mainly a small group of volunteers. Our system helps them manage the show with ease.

So why wordpress ? Previously I built PHP web apps to do the same job. Which sounds great but the main problem with these is that ‘time marches on’ and technologies change and they need to be updated to secure your system, this makes your system more expensive to run and that expense gets passed on to the user and when you are a primarily volunteer society saving money is a priority.

WordPress updates itself automatically and without us having to change our code. That way user accounts are safe and less prone to breaking. Choosing to host the system ourselves as opposed to integrating the system into an existing website is what makes sign up so fast. By centralising our system it gives us more control when it the system actually does need an upgrade or we add a new feature, so instead of trying to implement new features on web apps installed on numerous servers all accounts get updated in on action.

The advantages of building our app on wordpress

  • Updates automatically and secures the system.
  • Create new accounts instantly
  • Centralised hosting enables for unilateral upgrades.
  • Built in Page editor
  • Easily Expand our App with new plugins or theme
  • Build in Mobile first frameworks
  • Utilise powerful Plugins like woocommerce
  • Universal knowledge online for wordpress

Building new functionality using ACF and bootstarp

Stretching back in time to our industrial and product design roots we were able to design and build functionality that does not exist (and still doesn’t) . The easy solution is to build a plugin that does the work but the cheapest solution is to utilise an existing plugin and build a template that can do all the heavy lifting.

See the project here : https://erk-nederlands.taalunie.org/beoordelingen/b20220217084727/

The project is an educational tool for educators to understand the scoring system. They can guess what they think is the appropriate score for an ‘example’ test paper, feedback is displayed on the page weather they selection is correct or not.

With over a hundred different examples on the website this grid / table needed to work across all examples without needing individual customisation. We knew ACF ( Advanced Custom Fields ) was the solution to creating the table but the problem was it was too limited in how we wanted to display the table. But thankfully bootstrap comes with a really useful library of css and js options which enabled us to display and hide what was needed, when it was needed.

I built a Horse Auction website

This solves a bigger problem than you would think. Online auctions are everywhere but auctioning a horse is complicated process with in a very litigious industry. So you really need to get it right when it comes to auction snipping. Even with prominent terms & conditions the technology needs to hold the weight on a burden of proof.

Take a look at the project here : https://boleybawnhorses.ie/auction/

That’s why we love Woocommerce Simple auction plugin . It provides the basics for your auction needs and there is plenty of room for customisation.

Combined with a stringent registration process we were able to provide an easy auction experience for everyone involved. We provided the extra services of being on hand on the day to trouble shoot and put out fires and be the ones proving proof of bidding history.

We got alot of interest and positive feedback about the auction and have built a project around that idea but instead of integrating it into existing websites we would self host the auction to keep control of cron-jobs and servers to ensure notifications are sent on time.

Clean Up Your Front Door ! – Why better design pays off

The pursuit of new clients is often left to the mysterious workings of the grapevine – ” recommendations “. Which is great, because you already have peaked their interest and the client comes knocking on YOUR door.

But, what if your door is badly painted or has a cracked window. What if outside your door you have an over turned rubbish bin or faded shop sign, with an old phone number, the appeal to investigate this “recommended” supplier is slightly less – would you agree ?

Potential clients want to establish a relationship with a supplier, which starts with trust. So, when they come to your rubbish laden badly painted broken door, their “Trust” would begin to waver at least, if not – probably just turnaround and drive back to the office.

Obvious stuff, right ? Yet that’s what happens when customers visit your website everyday !!

Broken Links, Old information, out of date styling, cheap looking designs, not viewable on mobile phones – Your Website is the Modern Day Shop Front or Office Door, clean it up ! You might be a €1,000,000 company but if a potential client comes to your website and is greeted by an old broken down “Front Door” and your competitor greets them with a lovely shiny new, sliding door that smiles at you and says ” Hello, I’m the business you’ve been searching for “, I think you get my point.

The same reasoning can apply to Business Cards. If a “contact” goes to his boss and wants to put you forward as a possible supplier, how do you think a set of “Vista Print Cards” will come across ? That combined with a poor website does not amount to a good first impression (at least) .

So when you’re thinking about updating your website, invest in something that is gong to do a good job for you. If you choose the alternative, Yes OK you will save a few €100 euro (at best), but with a well thought out design you could earn potentially €1000’s of euro more income, because you made a good first impression and you followed that up by providing your top quality Product or Service.

I just learned how to build a Web Scraper in Python

See the course: https://www.udemy.com/course/build-a-web-scraper-with-python/

I’m so happy this happened. I just assumed I wouldn’t really get it, but having a strong basis in HTML and CSS made this course easier.

The tutor was very good in how he explained the code, he presented it in a way that was not chronological but rather experiential. As-in instead of saying you type out this line.. like this.. and so on.. he explained why you need to type the line.

Which made the course intuitive through just explaining logic. It reminded that coding is a conversation, where all questions and answers are made by the same person.

I Launched a New WordPress Support Website

Visit the site : https://wordpressboom.com

After 20 years of building websites I discovered something mind blowing…

Businesses literally wasted hours of their valuable time trying to find information for the simplest of wordpress issues.

When they eventually came to me for help they were surprised that I fixed their problem over the phone sometimes literally without even having a computer in front of me.

Who knows how much money they could have saved if they came to me first !

That’s where WordPress Boom comes in.

I already offer this service for clients I build websites for. But then I realised there must be thousands of people having the same issue but not knowing how to fix it. They’re wasting their time on something that I can fix within minutes.

I keep coming across broken websites with plugin or security issues or even User Experience issues, that I know if it was fixed, it would vastly improve their customers engagement with their business. And in turn show that their brand is something that is reliable instead of a somewhat broken / we’ll fix it later type of “vibe”..

At the time of writing I’m offering a free website report, go visit the new site to read more. https://wordpressboom.com

Free your website from Vendor Locking

Control your own Domain Name & Hosting and migrate your website to an installation that you own and control.

What is this about ?

Some Web Development companies own and control their clients website files, administration access and Domain names.

Some of these companies take advantage of that fact and can charge you whatever fee they wish to update content. Because they are holding all the cards.
These are your assets and the key to your organisations success. If you are “Locked” in this type of supplier situation you can free yourself of this relationship by :

  1. Getting Control of your Domains
  2. Owning Your own Hosting Account
  3. Migrating your site to an open source system

I can help !