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Web Design and Development

Experience

I have been coding web sites in HTML since 1993 (before most people even knew the web existed). Since then I have developed sites with diverse looks and purposes. Some of my recent development projects are listed under the Examples of Our Work sidebar. Feel free to contact any of my clients directly as references for my work.

Goals and Best Practices

My web development goals are to always to create sites with the following features. Please contact me to discuss why the following are critical to a successful web development project:

  • Experienced with modern, cutting-edge, HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript frameworks such as jQuery, Initializr, Modernizr, Twitter Bootstrap, HTML5 Boilerplate, SASS/Compass, HTML5shiv, respond.js, etc.
  • Expertly hand coded sites or custom Drupal themes (for quality, efficient, and fast-loading code)
  • Standards-based coding that follows ever-changing, modern best-practices
  • Accessible coding (for visitors with disabilities or using assistive devices)
  • Semantic coding (for optimal search engine rankings, SEO)
  • Attractive and professional appearance
  • Consistent navigation and structure (for visitor usability)
  • Cross-browser and mobile device compatibility (consistent display in all modern browsers)
  • Separation of content (HTML), presentation (CSS), and logic (PHP, JavaScript)
  • Progressive enhancement using client-side scripting (JavaScript)
  • Responsive, "mobile-first" layout using modern CSS3 techniques
  • Experience building custom sites using the Drupal 7 content management system (CMS)
  • Security, stability, documentation, and maintainability are considered at all stages of development

High Quality at Low Cost

We commonly produce web sites at prices significantly below that of other qualified web development firms. It's no secret how we accomplish this. First, we specialize in web sites for small organizations and businesses and only undertake projects of a reasonable size. Secondly, I (Tim Snoots) will personally complete all aspects of your project from the initial planing meeting to the site's launch. Therefore, with Snoots Technology Services you will not be paying unnecessarily high prices that other firms must charge to pay the salaries of an entire team of developers to work on your project (and the time it takes them to coordinate with one another). Instead, I am able to rapidly design and code your web site in a very efficient manner by communicating directly with you, and being involved in every aspect of your site's development. This allows me to produce a highly optimized and quality site without wasting time communicating with and then waiting on multiple team members.

Lastly, when pricing a web developer ask them if they use a WYSIWYG editor (like Dreamweaver) to produce their sites or are experienced with hand coding HTML and CSS. Be cautious when hiring a web developer that uses software like Dreamweaver to produce their web sites. More often than not, these web designers are very inexperienced and know little if anything about modern web development best practices. It's entirely possible that these designers can produce examples of great looking web sites on the outside, but that are coded like a train-wreck behind the scenes. It's unfortunate nowadays but nearly anyone can take a single class, buy drag-and-drop software, and call themselves a web designer. However, most are far from qualified and need to be avoided when choosing a developer for your web site. If you are currently choosing a web developer for a new project, ask them if they will use HTML5, CSS3, and a responsive/mobile-first design. If the answer is no, then find another developer!

Coding Methods

My development method has always been to hand code all HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript using nothing but the text editor BBEdit. Hand coding sites is a dying art in these days where every novice thinks that they are a web designer because they can use drag-and-drop web software or canned templates with a CMS to produce a "cheesy" site. Hand coding produces code of exceptional quality, reliability, efficiency, and standards compliance. All my code is highly semantic, complies with the W3C's HTML standards, formatting and layout is through CSS, and all code is created with web accessibility in mind.

I prefer server-side scripting using PHP and either MySQL or SQLite databases for dynamic content delivery. Where client-side scripting is required (e.g., JavaScript), I strongly believe in the concept of progressive enhancement (where visual and functional enhancements are layered on top of fully functional basic coding thereby allowing use by all visitors regardless of browser version). I have the ability to write custom, modern, DOM-based JavaScript coding as needed for your site, or to make use of popular frameworks like jQuery. My sites are typically tested on Chrome, Safari iOS, Firefox, and Internet Explorer web browsers on Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and mobile platforms to assure a consistent experience for all visitors.

And lastly, as of 2010, I embraced Drupal 7 as my recommended Content Management System (CMS) for most projects and have adopted HTML5, CSS3, and the use of many standard code libraries/frameworks such as jQuery, Initializr, Modernizr, Twitter Bootstrap, HTML5 Boilerplate, SASS/Compass, etc. With the proliferation of mobile devices and hundreds of operating system, screen resolution, and browser version permutations to cope with, taking advantage of such code libraries has become a necessity of modern (professional) web development. Doing so now allows all of my recent sites to use HTML5 and CSS3 to achieve responsive, mobile-ready layouts (one site that adapts fluidly to any device or viewport).

Guidance

In addition to actually developing web sites I am also glad to provide research and technical consulting on all aspects of a new or redeveloped site. I can also provide assistance with many of the highly technical and daunting tasks associated with setting up your web and email presence (e.g., domain name registration, web server "hosting" plan selection, site development and maintenance, domain name (DNS) records configuration, and email configuration).

Have you already established your web site through someone else, yet think you may be paying too much for it? I'll be glad to review it and suggest if you are getting a fair deal or being taken advantage of. Also, do you have your own web site and domain name but use an email address with a different domain name? We can fix that as well.