Decorating a real Nova Scotian Christmas tree, with its distinct smell and bright green colour, is a treasured tradition in Nova Scotia. Growing Christmas trees is a decades-long tradition for the Reeves family too. Located in New Ross, Lunenburg County, their 'greens' (trees, wreaths, and boughs) are sold locally, and internationally. Perhaps one of their trees has graced your home.
They had an existing website, that they were generally happy with, but it was getting dated. They asked me to "modernize" to website. In short, a 'refresh', as opposed to a complete redesign.
The 'refreshed' website features a balsam fir background to re-inforce the Christmas theme, larger pictures, and an easy-to-use menu and site structure. As a modern website, it is now mobile-friendly, editable online, and is 'secure' using https … which improves the website rankings in Google search results! A real benefit of the modernization process.
Reeves Christmas Greens - Old Site
Winchester Disposal Service provides two essential services: septic tank pumping for folks with their own septic systems, and portable toilet rentals. Those portable toilets are a welcome sight at outdoor events on the South Shore of Nova Scotia!
Earlier this year, I created a simple one-page website. However, to enhance search engine optimization, Winchester wanted to expand the web presence. With that goal in mind, much research went into choosing and using the right keywords throughout the 7 page website.
Great to help get the word about this well-established business, and its can't-do-without-it service :-)
Are you an ATV enthusiast? Looking for a pull-behind trailer for your ATV? Allan Hubley, at Outdoor Solutions, Wileville, NS, has been designing and building ATV trailers for decades. Recently, at the request of a client, he invented a new type of wheel chock for RVs - one that really minimizes rocking and shifting.
Allan had a website for ten years that served him well but was focussed on retailing ATV Wagons®. Allan wanted his website redesigned to showcase the ATV trailers he builds, and his 'Ultimate RV Wheel Chock.'
In the redesigned website, the ATV trailer and RV Wheel Chocks are front and center. In addition, he builds and/or sells accessories and parts for ATV trailers. He welcomes custom metal fabrication work requests too.
The product photographs serve to demonstrate his outstanding workmanship - thoughtful design, precision assembly and finish - in every product :-)
The website is responsive (mobile friendly) with an easy-to-follow site organization. A pleasure to build!
Outdoor Solutions - Old Site
The Queens County Museum, part of the Nova Scotia Museum Complex, collects and preserves artifacts and culture of Queens County, Nova Scotia. Their diverse collection spans Mi'kmaq and settler artifacts, replica privateering ship, and costumes for kids.
The Museum had a website maintained by a single desktop application, a system that made it difficult to share the editing responsbility among museum staff.
The new Wordpress-based website features almost 200 photos and two professional videos to give visitors a real 'taste' of what the museum has to offer. A giftshop catalog will be added shortly.
For fun, I added a couple of mystery elements to the site. Can you find them?
Children laughing, playing, well-nourished, full of life - that is how we hope all children experience life. But, in developing countries children can face severe hardships.
Woodhouse Children Relief Fund was created, by a group of Nova Scotians, to fund a Community Care centre in Mataffin, South Africa. This centre feeds and care for 250+ children in a desperately poor community.
The goal of the website is tell the centre's story, and to raise funds for the centre. It is a remarkable project helping local people give their children a chance at a better life.
Nilamot Property Management manages residential properties, developed and undeveloped, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. They have a changing inventory of properties for sale or rent.
The website displays photos and information about available properties, with contact information.
An uncluttered clean layout serves to quickly put the focus on the properties.
The new website for Mark Oickle Construction showcases many of the homes he has built or renovated over 25 years along the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
Building a new home (or renovating) is about fulfilling dreams. But, it can be a challenging experience too. The site prominently displays many glowing client testimonials, attesting to Mark's ability to listen and deliver his clients' dreams.
The website features over 3 dozen photos, with wood accent and warm colours for a sense of warmth and 'home'. And, of course, built to be mobile-friendly.
Mersey Consulting offers a wide range of environmental and energy engineering services. Projects include the Port Mersey Commercial Park (former Bowater site) and Harbourside Commercial Park (former Sydney Steel Corp.)
For this new business website, the aim was to highlight the scope and depth of their engineering expertise.
The blue and 'ocean water' theme serve to emphasize their business specialty: tidal energy projects. Mersey Consulting is one of the partners setting up a tidal energy project in the Minas Basin.
Looking for environmental and energy engineering expertise? Give Mersey Consulting a call.
If mowing the lawn in the summer is not your favourite chore, then maybe you need to hire Liverpool Lawn and Landscaping.
A new one-page website contains a list of their services in a simple, easy-to-read format. The grass-green colour, leaves no doubt about what the business is about.
Like all websites I create now, it is also mobile-friendly.
In February 2015, Google announced a change in its' search rankings algorithm for smartphone users: mobile-friendly websites would be ranked above those designed for desktop computer viewing only.
Recognizing the need for a mobile-friendly website, the SNBR Association asked me to convert their website to meet Google's new standard.
The "new" website looks essentially the same as the "old" one, but is now "responsive." Visitors using a mobile device will be able to view the pages without scrolling sideways. The revised site meet's Google's mobile-friendly test! Test it here.
Other work included migrating the entire site to a new web hosting company, as well as content updates and edits.
What is a "Biosphere"? An UNESCO designation recognizing "areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use." Learn more at Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.
UFOs, ghosts and paranormal investigations - the first-ever East Coast ParaCon is the must-attend event if you are interested in "things that go bump" in the night!
Event organizers approached me to build an ecomerce website where they could sell tickets online. We chose Shopify as it offers a complete solution: a content management system with ecommerce and event management features, all in one place.
The event is jointly organized by the Queens County Museum and Crossed Over Paranormal Society.
Working with Linda Rafuse and Kathleen Stitt, we got the website ready in just 4 weeks. Organizers can now focus on spreading the word!
Who do you call when you have large, heavy equipment to be installed? HRS Industrial Contracting! Mike and Beth Hupman have the skilled tradespeople to handle industrial and manufacturing equipment installations.
For their new web site, the focus was on their specialized skills, and impressive project list. Ongoing projects include work at the former Bowater site (near Liverpool, NS), transforming the pulp and paper mill into a bioresource research, development and demonstration site.
A WordPress-based web site, I provided training so they could update the web site themselves. I also set-up a YouTube "channel" where they can upload more "project" videos.
How do you promote a service like cleaning and maintenance? For Speedy's new web site, the focus is on client testimonials to support their 100% satisfaction guarantee; and on concise explanations of their services.
Placing their fun "Speedy" logo on all web pages, added a memorable element to the web site.
The file format for their logo did not support scaling to larger sizes. So I created a scalable "vector" version of their logo. It now graces their Facebook Page, business cards, and their van. You might spot "Speedy" on the company van as they cleanup around the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
*Update: The website has been removed.
Speedy Cleaning and Maintenance
Seaside Cottages has been welcoming guests to shores of Crescent Beach, Lockeport for more than eight years. New owners, Dave and Erin Fuller, asked me to re-design their cottage rental web site.
Guests can check cottage availability, and request a reservation using a third party service linked from the web site. The 'responsive' redesigned site is easy to use for visitors on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
For this project, I also created a new logo for the business, using the seahorse theme selected by Erin. I am delighted to say the seahorse logo was a hit with Dave, Erin, and their family!
In addition, I set-up an online rental management service. With this system, they can communicate with guests, track deposits and payments, export data to Simply Accounting, and keep their online "availability calendar" constantly up-to-date.
Seaside Cottages at Ginger Hill - Old Site
Liverpool Adventures Outfitters has grown their outfitting business into a year-round business with retail, rentals and increasingly-popular guided tours. Their cycling, paddling and multi-sport tours give visitors an "outdoor" taste of the area's many natural assets.
Their existing web site was in need of a refresh, and updated content management system. The new web site features more photos, and a catalog where you can check out the many products they carry in their retail outlet.
To book rentals and tours, the web site is linked to a third-party service to collect reservation information, and securely store credit card information (to process deposits).
Following some training on her new WordPress-based web site, Caitlin said: "I really love the new system!" Exactly what I hope to hear :-)
Liverpool Adventures Outfitters - Old Site
Jaspro is in the business of "clean" … cleaning residential and commercial properties on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
For their new web site, a "clean" design – incorporating their business logo, strong colours, and straight-forward text – is used to clearly communicate what they do. In addition, I set-up a new Facebook page for Jaspro.
Mindful of the ever-increasing use of tablets and smart-phones, the site is "responsive" … built to be viewed comfortably in almost any device, large or small.
Amy had a business web site that she had created using an online web builder system. She was not happy with the results, and asked me create a new site from scratch.
The new web site clearly presents Amy, and her three primary wellness services (Yoga, Massage Therapy, Bowen Therapy) with descriptive text and photos.
Considerable attention was given to the graphic design of the site. Amy wanted the site to use her business colours: yellow, red and green. The "sunny" theme was a perfect match to the welcoming atmosphere of her clinic.
Using WordPress as the content management system, Amy can do fast and easy web site edits entirely on her own! And Amy's new web site is mobile-friendly too!
Amy's Healing Touch - Old Site
After being an employee for 30 years, Leona decided to set-up her own coaching business. To promote her new business, and highlight her extensive coaching training, she needed a new web site.
Together we worked out how she wanted to present her coaching services, and the "goal" for each web page. All aspects of the design, her custom logo, page layout, written content on each page, were thoroughly discussed to ensure every detail was just "so".
This "responsive" web site was built using WordPress, so Leona update her coaching sessions, and add blog posts on her own.
Want to travel and learn about far-flung locales - from the comfort of your own chair? Wyntersea Productions extensive collection of videos spanning travel, historical and literary topics, will (virtually) transport you around the world!
I was asked to add an online store to the Wyntersea existing site, where their videos (physical and digital) could be sold. The selected store "plugin" had to be extensively customized to blend into the distinctive design of their site.
After working through all the details of taxes, shipping costs, online payments, shopping cart, and hosting of digital versions of their movies, the new shop is up and running!
Checkout their unique video collection!
Messer, staff, longsword and dagger - some of the weapons used in classes at "The Forge," a western martial arts club in Calgary, Alberta. The club wanted a new web site to showcase their club, promote club tournaments, and attract new students.
The new web site features western martial arts videos, photos and training materials, and class schedule and fees.
One distinctive web site feature, is a member-only section where students access training materials, not available to other visitors.
For tablets (eg iPads) and smart-phones users, the site is "responsive" … designed to fit perfectly into their screen size.
Rover's Quay is a new residential development planned for the town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Rover's Quay tenants will enjoy an expansive view of the Mersey River, and worry-free living.
The web site illustrates the floor plans, rental terms and the many amenities the rental townhomes offer. Using a "responsive design", this site "adjusts" to fit into smaller screens such as tablets and smart phones.
At the project launch, interest was very strong. In fact, most units were rented in a few days.
*Update: The client has been put the project on hold, and the web site removed.
Rover's Quay Developments
A Halifax-based dental practise, Daniel Daniel Dentistry's web site features detailed service descriptions, and a collection of "before" and "after" client photos, videos and testimonials.
Taking over maintenance responsibilties from the original designer, I completed a restructuring of the content into three main sections, with a "flat" menu system, removing all drop-down menus. More videos, photos and testimonials were added.
To make the site iPad friendly, the Flash-only videos were converted to allow iPad users to watch the remarkable videos. Also, the new menu system is now accessible to iPad users since it does not use a "hover" drop-down sub-menu.
Tied to their marketing campaign, I have developed custom landing pages (for online ad campaigns), and created graphics for Facebook Timeline Coverpage and "tabs".
Late in 2012, the web site was migrated to hosted CRM platform which integrates web maintenance and marketing. While on-going edits are completed by Daniel's staff, I continue to supply graphic design and other support.
Homeowners and commercial property owners rely on D and B Services for reliable year-round property maintenance. The company had an older site with "out-dated" appearance, and scant information.
The re-designed web site focuses on communicating the benefits of D and B property maintenance services, and provides strong "calls-to-action" to encourage viewers to request a free quote.
To make web site updates easy for business owner, Barry Tomalin, the site was developed using Wordpress as the content management system (CMS).
*Update: Website has been removed.
D and B Residential and Commercial Property Maintenance Services
Port Mouton Sea Adventures is an vacation experience - combining accomodation, home-cooked meals, and daily guided excursions around Port Mouton Bay. A local fisherman, Clyde Fisher, takes guests on guided tours of the Bay's islands and beaches.
The web site features a “photo slider” to show the beachfront cottages, and sea adventures guests can choose from. Clyde is the "star" … extending a personal invitation to stay at his beachside cottage.
Photos of the Bay's beaches and aqua-blue water, highlight the undeniable appeal of this Nova Scotian fishing community.
*Update: Website has been removed.
Port Mouton Bay Sea Adventures
The Chamber faced a problem shared by many small businesses and organizations - an old website that lacked a professional look, and was painful to update.
Web site content and page layout were revised to reflect their web site goals - promoting Chamber work and member businesses. WordPress, an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) was installed so staff could comfortably update their site. Add in a fresh new design, and the Chamber website is a "business-like" venue to address business issues, and promote its membership.
The response from Chamber members has been overwhelmingly positive.
*Update: The website was redone, and is now managed, in-house by Chamber Board members.
South Queens Chamber of Commerce
When buying real estate, most people start online - checking out listings, looking at photographs. New Elm Estates had an older site that originally served it well (more than half the lots have been sold). But todays' buyers expect much more — more photographs, more attractive and in-depth information.
Recognizing this need, a new website was built: bold green colour emphasizes the natural, treed setting; greatly expanded lot descriptions, photographs (with links) of the local attractions, all help viewers to learn more about Molega Lake area in Nova Scotia.
A custom-made Google map enables viewers to use the power of Google to truly explore the area!
Careful use of keywords has improved the number of visits from search engines like Google and Bing. New Elm Estates has seen an increase in enquiries about its properties.
Location, location, location. Selling real estate is about selling the location as well as the property. In redesigning the web site for Golden Horizon Drive subdivision, the emphasis was placed on promoting the area - Port Mouton Bay. Few areas in Nova Scotia can surpass the natural beauty of Port Mouton Bay … many white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and sand dunes.
Photographs of the area (3 dozen) give visitors an extensive tour of the Bay. Potential buyers learn about the building lots for sale, the community, and the recreational opportunities available in Port Mouton Bay area.
*Update: Website has been removed.
Golden Horizon Drive
South West Port Mouton
Need help with exporting and importing services? Global View Import Export stands ready to handle the intricacies of trade rules and negotiating contracts.
I was asked to work on the partially completed web site. Content and page formatting were revised. As well, the underlying markup was completely revamped to make the site more search engine friendly.
Security - of our homes and businesses is a priority for everyone. Safe Home Security is an established business offering a range of security services including monitored security systems, video surveillance and access control systems. John and Martha Bryson requested a simple, straight-forward site to highlight their awards for customer service and many enthusiatic client testimonials.
Established in 1899, the Bridgewater and Area of Chamber of Commerce (BACC) is the business voice in Bridgewater and surrounding areas.
The redesigned Chamber web site sports a brightly-coloured but clean visual design. In addition to Chamber news and information, the site features a new community events calendar. This calendar gives the public the opportunity to promote their events at no charge. A comprehensive content management system allows staff to easily manage events, and all their Chamber content.
The website I created has since been replaced with another design in 2013.
Bridgewater and Area Chamber of Commerce
Sweet Cheeks offers a cloth diaper service in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The new company web site highlights the numerous benefits to the baby, parents, and to the environment; plus pricing and service details.
CRUSISIS promotes sustainable living in Nova Scotia. The site features great information on fair trade and organic products, as well as local businesses with products and services that foster sustainable living.
The first version of the site featured custom designed graphics. The site was re-designed to take advantage of a new content management system (CMS).
It is a delight to work on a site that provides well-researched and practical information enabling Nova Scotians to truly live "greener".
*Update: Client closed the business and website.
The Well Logs database project provides an easy mechanism for users to search the Nova Scotia well logs database. This database contains information on dug and drilled wells in Nova Scotia from the 1940s to the present. Read the provincial press release for more details.
The project included migrating data (about 107,000 records) from the originating database to an online database, as well as development of search, search results and detailed well log pages designed to fit seamlessly in the existing provincial web site.
The Construction Industry Portal brings together all the provincial requirements, such as permits, licensing, and approvals, that apply to the construction industry in Nova Scotia.
The Province is actively promoting to the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (a partner in the project), and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce's “Business to Business Expo”. For more details, read the provincial press release.
Based on input from the target user group, the construction industry, the web site is already receiving positive reviews. The Portal is sure to be a time-saving resource for the industry.
The Department of Finance recently completed a dramatic renewal of their web site. As part of the project team, I was responsible for organizing, renewing and rewriting insurance content. I worked closely with department staff to review existing content, develop content groupings, and assemble revised and new content.
The Regulatory Craft Conference web site provided information for registration, speakers, schedule and session topics. After the conference was over, photographs, slide shows and video presentations were added to the site.
Revamped a web-based survey that gathered feedback from government staff. Staff were able to complete the comprehensive survey over a number of sessions, starting where they left off. This web application featured custom password creation, automatic email notifications, and ability for staff to generate new account passwords.
Port Mouton Bay, located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, is a historic community with an economy based on tourism and the fishery. In the last number of years, the community has become very concerned about the harm an aquaculture site has done to the Bay. A proposal to add a second site has further heightened community concerns. As a member of the volunteer committee organizing opposition to the fish farm, I wrote the content and designed the web site to document the evidence backing their concerns.
A diverse and very large government web site consisting of over 2500 files needed a complete overhaul. A new content structure was designed, and further refined based on user testing. A new graphic design and page layout were developed. Then new and existing content migrated over to the new standards-based templates. As the project lead, I was responsible for managing team members as well doing hands-on coding. The new web site was launched on schedule in 2005.
In April 2008 the department was split into two separate departments. Portions of the original design still live on in the two separate web sites.
The business's client account and transaction information needed to be upgraded to a newer system. I met with staff to collect initial requirements analysis, developed the database, and later returned for installation of completed application, migration of existing data and staff training.
The client wanted to set-up a web content management system to help coordinate the activities of the web team, and remote content contributors. I authored a report that investigated available web content management systems. The evaluation process included downloading, installing, testing numerous software products. I traveled to Washington, DC, USA to establish software requirements. Final report detailed features and evaluations of over two dozen products.
Designed and developed pilot web site for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The work included creation of original content (text and diagrams) based on employee interviews and existing documentation. The web site was built to meet "Common Look and Feel” standards established by the Government of Canada for web page design.
Staff in this office wanted to upgrade their system for managing a complex workflow. I worked with the staff to document the information flows and data requirements of their work process. This documentation will enable future development of a new database application.Get Started Now!