I first learnt website design using Dreamweaver 4.0 back in 2003, when the company I was working for had little daily business because of the SARS threat in China. I was sat at my desk every day with little to do and my boss suggested I could update our dated website. It was a sharp learning curve to say the least!
Since then I have kept an interest in website design when time permits. In late 2009 I upgraded to the latest software which is Adobe CS4 – including Dreamweaver, as well as other goodies such as InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks and Photoshop. My next goal is to get in to the depths of InDesign to make a new brochure for the company I work for.
The most annoying thing about working out of China is the speed of the Internet, just updating pages to an online server through FTP can be a slow job and often means twiddling your thumbs while waiting for the page to upload, or refresh.
I enjoy practising and developing my skills on Dreamweaver and believe that you learn more of the source and code of building a website. However online Content Management, the likes of WordPress (as I’m using here) is so convenient and a box-ready solution. All the Open Source development that goes with it a quick and easy option when working with different goals. You can also get inside the code to change themes and make them less blog-like and more corporate.
Over the years I have been approached by a number of friends who want helping setting up there first website and I have helped develop many sites.
Although I prefer working with static sites, that means I need to spend more of my time updating the site, so I usually end up trying to direct new sites to WordPress, as the online interface is pretty simple for anyone with the smallest computer skills to get to grips with – even if just the simplest of updates. That can even be done by sending an email to WordPress – instead of to me!
I normally have to start at the very beginning, giving you a web address (domain name), web folders (web hosting) and a simple self publishing program so you can start creating your own content for you website, including a blog and images.
Here are a selection of the websites I have made, the latest at the top;
Grassroots Soccer – Soccer Academy in South Carolina – 2010 project
NearbyTheTree, sister restaurant to The Tree, in Beijing.
Forbidden City FC, amateur football club in Beijing, website maintained by Yabbox
Shooters Beijing, popular bar in Sanlitun (no longer, maybe I should make one for 2F instead?)
BGFS Associates, financial services company in Beijing, static and content managed site
Sexy FC, amateur football club in Beijing, static site to promote their 10th Anniversary
The Tree, Belgian Beer Bar in Beijing, famous for word fired pizza
River Hotel, Family run business in Oxford (update due 2010).