For a number of years, mainly during high school, I worked on and off as a freelance web designer. I got into it as a throwaway vocation while poking around online—a basic knowledge of HTML seemed like a valuable thing to have—and ended up interested enough that I kept at it, eventually doing it for pay. I’d pick up work doing small sites for local businesses, via word-of-mouth referrals or occasional advertising through Craigslist or the like. I didn’t work very much, but because I was a high school student with no real expenses, everything I made was cash in my pocket, and I could essentially pick up and put down the business as I pleased; there were times when I literally thought, “I could use some cash,” and sought out work to fill my pockets.
Toward the end of 2005, I came to terms with the grim realities that (1) The general practice of web design had largely lost its allure, and (2) I had never been a very good designer. (I was a competent coder and a conscientious one, which put me ahead of many of the page-butchers out there, but in the aesthetic sense of design, I had no training and no talent other than trial and error.) So I decided to give it up. Nowadays I only get involved with design for the purpose of specific personal projects; my single active site is run through WordPress, which requires little backend involvement on my part.
Below are some of the sites I worked on from start to finish. Nothing is linked that I didn’t create 100% on my own (except where otherwise stated), and at least one complete site is omitted that I’m so ashamed of I’d like to retcon it from my portfolio.
All of my work, incidentally, is standards-correct (though toward the end, not zealously so; I eventually came to terms with the fact that standards were a tool, not a religious practice), valid (X)HTML with CSS used for all positioning. No tables to be found; this was actually an easy accomplishment for me, because I entered the field after the standards movement was widespread, so there was never a tables-to-CSS shift to weather. I hand-code in BBEdit or more recently TextMate, plus Photoshop for graphics, Adobe fonts, Transmit for FTP, Textile for encoding web text, and a few other toys. I habitually use PHPwebhosting.com for hosting, an excellent small-to-moderate-scale host with a dead-low cemented rate and every feature I’ve ever wanted.
- BerkeleyHigh.org: A community website for my high school, which I ran for three years and is now run by the third generation of current students.
- UseofForce.us: An informational site describing self-defense legislation in the US. Design is simply an adaptation of aseb.org (below).
- ASEB.org: A contract job for a local adult services center, Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay.
- AdultDayCC.org: A contract job for a local adult services center, Adult Day Services of Contra Costa.
- cyberbob.subnova.com: A one-page site for Cyberbob of Subnova. It’s his design; I coded it on the condition that I could reuse it for myself in the future (which I have not yet done). Looks like it’s down at the moment.
- EldercareColumn.com: A contract job for a local elder care columnist—and my mother—Mary B. Moorhead. [Update: This was later reworked using the HostBaby template below.]
- Hostbaby design submission: A submission for an open template design request by HostBaby, which was turned down. One of several attempts; this was my last and best.
- PutCupsonyourEars.com: A mostly humorous website meant to share the joys of ear-cupping. That’s me in the intro to the rap.
- EMSBasics.com: An educational website I write intended for EMS professionals. I had little involvement with the design; it’s actually a WordPress template (Mocha) with minor modifications.
- HEARTSafe Community: A simple informational site for the HEARTSafe Communities program.