Upright Builders

Believe you can and you’re halfway there - Theodore Roosevelt

Michael Irwin is starting his own construction business, called Upright Builders. Michael decided to approach our Computer Animation and Web Design (CAWD) program and ask us if we could help with his website. Alex Goodman and I happily agreed and began working on his website and logo. Alex was in charge of graphic design aspects, whereas I worked on the more technical side of things, by building a Wordpress theme.

This website is powered by a program called Wordpress, which allows easy editing of pages through a interface comparable to Google Docs. This allows the client to add their own content, without having any knowledge of programming or web design. I had never used Wordpress before, but I was enthused to begin learning the software. Behind the scenes, I used HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP to design the theme. I began thinking of some different site ideas, and asked the client for his input. After we had decided a general site design, I started out with a base HTML5 theme and modified everything until it fit the client’s needs perfectly. Throughout this process, I made an abundance of revisions. Anytime the client wanted to change something I would be sure to meet his needs. For example, the client recently asked for me to add a slideshow, and a couple days later I gave him a fully-functional carousel with Wordpress integration (for allowing the swapping of images).

The Upright Builders website represents how I can adapt to new situations quickly and efficiently. This project is also a great example of real-life client work. Above all, I am pleased with how the site came out and enjoy the overall design. Throughout this project, I learned the ins and outs of Wordpress, as well as how to talk to clients and ask for their input. I would show the client some design ideas, and ask for his input, rather than building something that only I enjoyed.

If I were to do this project over, I would probably use something other than Wordpress. It’s a great tool, but it can be difficult to work with at times. I much prefer JavaScript over PHP so I’d be inclined to use something like GatsbyJS + Netlify CMS + React. This stack would still allow for an easy-to-use interface for the client, but allow me to code using JavaScript and React.

Overall, I’m very happy with this project. Believing in myself helped me through the journey, and fulfilling the clients need came easy with my prior coding experience. I found it was important to keep believing in myself, even when I was struggling with the technical details of Wordpress. This project gave me real world experience which will help me later in life when it comes to talking with clients and fulfilling requests.

Made with by Alexander Cardosi