The following three sites were all hand-coded by Dave Smith of Smiffbuilt without the use of any proprietary programs or Content Management Systems of any kind. This was, for Dave, the best way to learn html.
PlasmaResources was the first site built by Dave and was the catalyst for what has now become much more than an interest and hobby.
It it the first of a number of hand-built sites.
Another hand-built site, ColumbiaDisaster.info is a very different site from most. It is a self-published study into the evidence surrounding one of the most significant incidents of the space-age.
This is the personal website of Robert Moore, an author of plays, books and poems. Robert saw the need for a web presence but was not comfortable navigating the vast array of “do-it-yourself” websites, many of which look shabby and are plastered with advertising. He wanted something he would be proud to direct prospective publishers to, and sought Dave’s help to achieve this.
Though Dave did the physical work and is responsible for producing all of the graphics including the “velvety stage curtains” effect, every aspect of this site was approved by Robert making it very much his own creation.
UPDATE: Robert’s site has now been converted to a WordPress site, to give Robert more auonomy. The original appearance of the site has been maintained.
We also host several sites on which the site owners determine the look, feel and content of the site.
The first example is that of Stephen J. Crothers, who has used his own knowledge of html to build his own site from the ground up, using a sub-domain of the plasmaresources site. This is by far the least costly option available.
In this case, Smiffbuilt just supplies the hosting and installs the updates for Stephen from time to time.
This example is one where we host the site and the owner, Geoff Sharp, has his own domain name.
Geoff was somewhat comfortable with the idea of using Drupal for content management, so we installed it and Geoff has designed and built the site himself.
Dave has been performing volunteer work for The Thunderbolts Project for a number of years now. In that capacity he has moved the site to a new host with regular backups and 24/7 support available.
After the big move it was decided that the site could do with a facelift, so Dave set to making adjustments to the look and feel of the site, but was somewhat limited due to the superseded program which had been used to build the site some seven years prior.
Thunderbolts now uses WordPress as it’s Content Management System. Due to the fact that there were some 2000+ articles on site before the upgrade, all of the older material resides in “legacy” archives whilst all newly generated material is handled via WordPress.
The Electric Universe site of Wal Thornhill was first built late last century! Since then it has had little by way of upgrading yet Wal has been adding articles to it for well over a decade. He was becoming frustrated at not having any autonomy of site changes apart from the very limited uploading of new articles.
Not only is he now able to update using the versatile WordPress software, but all of his over 100 articles have been manually entered into the WordPress system to give a seamless updating ability to the site. And all this without Smiffbuilt taking over the hosting account.
This work was labour intensive and as such it is the most expensive of site re-vamps available at Smiffbuilt. Even so, you would pay thousands less than many operators would charge for the same level of service, if they’d even be willing to take it on!
I was recently requested by an artist to build a site from the ground up, to make it interactive (facebook “likes”, comments, etc) and of course it had to be pleasing to the eye. Though the client supplied the artwork the rest of the site features were determined by Smiffbuilt. The result is another clean, uncluttered and functional site. The site domain and hosting account are entirely owned by the client, who needed only minimal tuition from Smiffbuilt.
Then of course there’s the site you’re currently on, Smiffbuilt.com. Built entirely from the ground up using the same techniques and freely available programs and plugins that we recommend for anyone else.
Please understand though, that Smiffbuilt.com is also a “testing ground” for plugins or other software and can, from time to time, be affected by those tests. Usually a special test page is set up, but sometimes a plugin can affect things across the whole site without intent. This is why we use the live site for such testing. Anything can and does happen on development sites, but nothing gives a call to action like knowing you’re actually affecting a “live-to-air” site! Fixing faults comes down to “I want it yesterday” instead of “I haven’t got around to that yet”…