Derrick Kirkman
Derrick Kirkman
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I build websites, databases, and do custom programming. The sites vary from simple brochure-type sites to complex eCommerce sites with custom shopping carts and such.

Site Design

Millions of words have been written about web design, probably this week, but here are a couple articles I liked. They're both from conversionxl.com.

But, as great as the internet is for scoring free stuff, sometimes its better to spend a buck. Before you start anything that requires at least decent design, I recommend The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams, published by Peachpit Press. It's almost a Strunk and White for graphic design.

Anyway, here are a few from my own work over the years.

One final word about site graphic design:

"There are three rules to architecture: Get the job, Get the job, Get the job!" - Henry Hobson Richardson

I have built a few sites that were as ugly as a pair of bowling shoes. And you know what? My client was happy. Sometimes you have to get over your artistic self and go with the client's vision, even when you don't agree.

Website Building

For simple sites I prefer to use responsive design. This site is built that way. It adjusts to whether you're viewing it on a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop or your big screen tv.

There's quite a bit written about it on the web, most famously starting with John Allsopp's A Dao of Web Design. And that's a good place to start. But to get serious about it, I'd recommend:

More complex sites are, well, more complex. Over the years I've done everything from completely custom code to off-the-shelf CMS solutions. Sometimes they're responsive, sometimes not. Whatever works for a specific project, I say. But I also say, drupal ain't bad (but there is a learning curve).


One of these days I'll include some examples of code here, but in the meantime, I'll just offer a little advice. Stanford offers several programming courses for free on YouTube. Take advantage of it.

CS106a - Programming Methodology is a great place to start. Mehran is your friend.

Don't be like young me (and a LOT of other people) and just piecemeal your way through. Try to learn programming the right way from the start. Sure, it's a little difficult. It's Stanford. What did you expect? But it's so worth it.

8392 Hwy 22 N.
Climax, NC
contact at derrickkirkman dot com