In college, I was super interested in the Web and its potential as a publishing platform. So I bought a copy of HTML for Dummies and learned HTML during my off time. I didn't even own a computer at the time. I worked on the library computers using Geocities to learn how to FTP files and structure a website.
After a year of graduate school I moved to Chicago to pursue Web Design as a profession. I loved the vibrance of the city and the time I had to create. Long story short, I never finished that degree, but I learned a lot along the way in terms of software, hardware, and design theory.
My pursuit of Web Design took a long, curved road . After starting my family, I spent time as a janitor, college lecturer overseas, homeschool dad, freelance developer, and even a minister for a while. My journey has been very international--included living in South Korea for 4 years and traveling to China, Russia, Spain, Canada, and the Dominican Republic.
In 2015, after 15 years in pursuit of being a Web Designer, I finally landed full-time work as a Web Developer with Tyndale House Publishers. It's been great to get back into Web Development and push the boundaries of my knowledge. I've also had some really great opportunities to help others and begin to develop some ideas that (I hope) will change digital publishing.
I still pursue freelance work on the side and have gotten more into consulting and teaching over the past few years. I love to help people learning web development and teach new code and concepts. I have over 100 tutorial videos on YouTube that you can check out.
If you have a project or idea you think I'd be a good fit for, please contact me and we'll talk about it.
I'm the Front End Developer for a Top 10 book publisher in the United States. Every day I create marketing websites for the books and products we produce. I'm fully versed in:
Video tutorials for learning CSS Grid Layout
A long-term WordPress project developed by Tyndale House Publishers
Design: Josh Force
Personal project highlighting the photography of Unsplash.com
Event site developed for Tyndale House Publishers
Design: Josh Force
Video tutorials showing users how to build a complete HTML website using Mobirise
A personal project testing out a new kind of electronic book: JSON-fed web apps called, uBooks.
Here's an outline of how projects work with me:
Before the project begins, we will talk about the project. This is part of the discovery phase where I learn about you and you learn about me. You're free to ask any questions. I'll gather the information about you, your organization, and the project. This will help me write up a proposal for the project.
I'll email you a proposal that you can look over and double check to make sure that I understand the project and your expectations. I'll outline the things that we discussed in our initial call and give you an estimate of time and cost. If you're satisfied, you agree to the proposal and that becomes our contract for the work to be done. I don't like a lot of legalese so you'll notice that my contracts are pretty straightforward. I want to be able to create trust in our relationship.
As soon as we agree to the terms of the project, a payment is required to begin the project. Agreement to the proposal is not enough to get the project started. I must have a payment in hand first. I require at least half of the project total up front to begin working. Of course, you're free to pay the full price up front, but most clients opt for a half payment up front and the rest paid at different project milestones.
After the initial payment is made, we will enter into the design phase. The complexity of the project will determine how many revisions and reviews we will go through together. Those will be outlined in the proposal/contract. Once the design is complete we'll move forward to development.
The development stage takes the design and moves it to actual code online. There might be some questions about what sorts of analytics, sharing, or animations you want, but the design will be settled at this stage. I like to measure twice and cut once so all of those look and feel decisions will be complete by the time we get to the development stage.
Before the testing begins, the next 25% of the total price will be due. Once that payment is received, we will have a short period of testing before going live with the project. You will have access to the test site and I will make sure that the site looks good on all major browsers and on mobile. Any fine tuning to correct errors in the code will be done during this stage.
Before going live with the site, the payment of the final 25% of the total will be made. Failure to pay this amount by the date specified will delay the launch of your site. Once the site is launched, the world will be able to see your new website and you can begin driving traffic to it.
Mistakes sometimes happen. If there are any errors in the site as originally agreed upon, I'll follow up and correct those without charge. However, if you want a new design, section, or functionality added to the site, we will draw up a new proposal for the work done.
The normal timeframe depends on the size of the website or project. Most of my projects are small so timeframes are 0-3 months. You will be charged by the project, not by the hour.
All charges for contingencies and overages will be clearly outlined in the contract. I will always be up front with the financial consequences for design or development changes. Then the ball will be in your court to proceed with those changes or not.
I charge on a project by project basis so there's no cut and dry answer for this question. I have an hourly rate that I try to hit, but I am more concerned about how we fit together as a team than how much I'm going to make on the project. In the end, I want to help people get online with a quality, beautiful website. I want you to be successful and to get a great value for your money. I also want to support my family.
That said, for most commercial websites (i.e., for-profit companies), you can expect the range to be $1,000-10,000. Depending on the complexity of design, functionality, and software used, it could go higher than that. A website is a great long-term investment and I'm an experienced builder. If you'd like to explore a cheaper DIY option, please ask me. I'm happy to direct you to another solution that might work well for you.
Money can buy you time. I can take a lot of decisions off your plate, which helps you focus on your business/customers/clients and get your site online (and working for you) faster.
I am available to take on a new project. Contact me with the details of your project and we'll set up a time to talk about it.
I'd love to speak to you about your next project. Here are a couple of ways to get hold of me. We'll schedule a time to talk more about you and your project. I look forward to hearing from you!
The site isn't broken. This is actually the design by intention.
Left to my own devices, I will design using a super minimal style. Communicating clearly and quickly is an important part of being small on the Web. Photos without purpose cause the page to load slower. Marketing speak will just get glossed over.
So I've chosen something super bare and minimal in order to highlight the important parts of working with me and to make the site content easier to consume. In the end it's a more genuine representation of me.
These are the decisions that I have to make as a designer and will make for you if we work together. You can see that I'm more than capable of creating something a little more flashy if you look through my work samples.