June 21, 201013 Comments

A new portfolio solution in more than one place.

Ever since I started to focus on Berchman.com I realized that my former "company" website, HamiltonBerchman Design Group, Inc., was no longer maintained, correct, or relevant. However, at the time I was fortunately too busy to even think about doing anything to the site.

Then one day I was doing research on a project and stumbled across a free portfolio template that stood out to me in more than one way. The template is called medifolio, by Dirk Leys who generously posted it online. I was particularly drawn to the "sliding" action when you click on a portfolio thumbnail image, and the return to the main page. There was a simple elegance to the whole thing. I looked at it and thought, "how can I do this type of page in WordPress and Thesis?" The original medifolio is a single, flat html page. How could I generate all the content, in the right order, with the right tags and syntax? I thought about it a while. A long while.

In the time since I first saw medifolio I was working on a client project requiring the listing of individual portfolio pieces, complete with images and text. It required a complete custom solution. By creatively using categories as parents I created blog posts that then occupied specific categories. I could then create custom loops to not only create a listing of the portfolio pieces at the top of the page, but I could have them link to the actual full description and image display further down the page (by using custom generated anchor links). You can see the work in action here on the website ckwrites.com. There are four custom lists generated across the top of the page after introductory text. All done within WordPress and Thesis with categories and custom page templates, and custom loops.

Since I had completed design and development of ckwrites.com I looked back at medifolio and the previous experience lent itself directly to making medifolio a reality. After some long nights tinkering with custom php and css solutions I got the basic page to work as the original static medifolio page. All the content was being dynamically generated from individual posts for each and every portfolio piece. All the tags, divs, etc. were being dynamically generated as well.

Once I had a basic working model the next thing to do was to implement. I've done this right now in two places where it lives, live on the Internet. The first implementation was at HamiltonBerchman Design Group, Inc.

I set out to rework, or basically remove, all the non-relevant content from the website and was left with a stripped down, single web page that tells what the current state of affairs is, and shows a sample of work that I completed in my time operating HamiltonBerchman Design Group, Inc.

Once I had this complete, I wanted to take it to another place and that was on the Dennison+Wolfe Internet Group website where I am a partner. This implementation allowed me to refine and rethink some things to how the portfolio is implemented.

I think both of these came out looking quite nice.

It will be a part of the new, upcoming Berchman.com redesign.

My next step, I think, is to clean this up, write a tutorial on how to implement this, and release it on an "as-is" basis. What does that mean? It means if you want it, download it, and figure it out.

That is what I had to do. 🙂

Let me know what you think.

January 20, 20105 Comments

New Web Site Published

Today was a big day of sorts. I completed design and development work on new website. It is a custom designed website in form and function. It's a significantly modified version of Thesis [ #thesiswp ] running on the latest install of WordPress (presently 2.9.1).

The site is http://www.ckwrites.com

I learned a great deal more about Thesis and what's possible. New tools and techniques that I plan to share with the #thesiswp community in the coming months. I already have at least 4 new tutorials coming; from the simple to the complex.

I'm very happy with the results of my work with Christopher Korody, a.k.a. 'ck' of http://www.ckwrites.com. I'm sure he would agree that it was a tough slog but well worth the results. In fact you could just ask him.

January 20, 20102 Comments

Taking time to update

I've been remiss in updating the blog. This is for various sorted reasons. Suffice it to say that I am back. Here is a video to help catch up.


October 30, 200922 Comments

How Long Does Making My WordPress Website Take?

I hear this question quite often from clients and thought I would answer it as best I could. If you are in the market to hire someone to build your website, or if you are a designer/developer perhaps this explanation will help.

I've decided to use the power of video to convey my answer. I find this format to be more efficient in terms of getting my point across. I have more improvements to come for my future use of video. So, if you can be patient, the quality of videos will improve in the future with the coming rollout of the 'realigned' berchman.com.

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September 25, 20095 Comments

Help In Choosing a Specialist. It’s in the Value.

There is a trend I have been noticing in doing business on the Internet lately and like any place of commerce you eventually see this. What I am referring to is the commodification of services. In other words, if you are looking for a programmer or designer to help you with an Internet based communication project; be it a website, email newsletter, SEO, etc., you know that one can find a variety of people that vary in skill set and professionalism with what services they provide. More people providing the same skill sets compete with others on price, thus making it a commodity.

Read more

August 25, 200910 Comments

A Website Realignment: Day 9: Branding Berchman

I'm picking up where I left off on the previous post.  So far I've gathered adjectives 17 friends, family, and clients perceive as my personal brand. I've also identified adjectives I would use for my personal brand.  But what else is there that might have an influence on my personal brand?

  • My opinions, likes, and dislikes
  • What tools am I working with?
  • Who do I do business with?
  • Who is my target market?
  • What are my roots, my upbringing, where I was raised, etc.
  • What is my story?

Read more

August 7, 200911 Comments

Three Thesis Sites in One Week


It has been a busy publishing week for me. I have had 3 websites go "live" this week that are based on WordPress and Thesis. Two of these website involved comprehensive design and the other involved functionality customizations. The point of this post is to share some recent work to show that all Thesis sites do not look totally the same. The best part is that I learned many new things about WordPress and Thesis in the process—some of which I will share soon.

Coming up next after this post will be a serious undertaking that I will chronicle on this website—the redesign of berchman.com on WordPress and Thesis. I will post the whole process from start to finish as a complete "under-the-hood" look at how it all gets done. So stay tuned. The posts on the redesign of berchman.com will start next week. Read more

April 24, 20094 Comments

Noticing Things That Are Broken

I came across this video yesterday. It is a presentation given by Seth Godin at the Gel Conference in 2006. He gives a slideshow of things poorly designed, the reasons why they are that way, and sometimes tells how to fix them.

Other than being hilarious at moments, the video reminded me about the importance of functionality. When designing anything it is important to give thought, consideration and ample time for reflection of your possible solutions. To truly design things well does take time: Time to see flaws, loopholes, and incorrect assumptions.

If you don't invest the time, you end up with crap.

Here is the video. Truly worth watching and please share with others.

July 10, 2008No Comments

Getting Through Crappy Work

Going through the Google Reader today and 43Folders had a link to this great video from Ira Glass of This American Life noteriety.

If you make or create anything for a living you should watch this.