Internship Week8

For Thinkbigger, we ran into a problem where just some new uploads weren’t registering on the new site. We both research the issue which turned out to be a small PHP change.   She launched the site live yesterday, and we met earlier today to admire our work (mostly hers)! I got my timesheet approved, and I informed her that I wouldn’t be available, except for emergency, since I needed to shift gears to Kowata Tree. I agreed to let my bill float until mid May, since I might still do some work for her. She also needed to get paid for the project.


I met with the owner of Kowata Tree as planned to gather typical client information and discuss the general internship agreement. Note to self: I really need to make a big checklist of items if I’m going to be doing this regularly. As follow-up I researched some hosting pricing options to compare with his current plan.

This morning I wrote up the majority of the Internship Agreement, first consolidating my notes, and then making it look pretty. I plan to finish it this weekend and hope we can meet early next week to finalize.

Internship Week6

I got back to my ThinkBigger client right away last Saturday. I wasn’t exactly sure if I knew how to modify the WordPress site to make the home page change, but the other email issue would entail a call to the service provider. I figured that there was some risk to us, not so much about whether we could or couldn’t do the job, but that it might take us a while … even putting our heads together. Not to mention the time to get in driver’s seat, make sure we had a backup, and that we were clear about when they wanted the job done.

She called her contact and got the word that the original developer wanted $350 to do the tasks, and figured ThinkBigger could do it cheaper!   We discussed it, and because of our newness to the situation, and with limited experience, she backed out of the RFQ.

We met on Monday to look at my internship form and what I proposed. She wanted to make it flexible for both of us, so I re-wrote it and met again with her on Wednesday to have her sign it. In the mean time, she wanted me to research some WordPress templates that might be a fit for her larger project, a re-vamp of Woodland School’s site (Milwaukee) in WordPress. She also thought that developing on MAMP would be a good idea, which I’m growing fond of.

I fired up the MAMP servers, for me and at her place. She was doing the site layout and any design work, so I was to test theme features and plugins, and optimize images. When I couldn’t get the theme to deliver sticky menus, I looked into some plugin options on Envato to make the menus sticky. I got excited about the Ubermenu plugins, purchased and installed them.

I plan to stop by her place tomorrow to get my timesheet approved.

Internship Week5

I received a call yesterday from a friend of a friend, who’s a freelance web designer. Her business is She’s a schooled graphic designer, and a self-taught web designer. She is having too much work now, and got a request from a client referral to quote on a change to an existing WordPress site. She asked me to look at the email request and at the current site and get back in a few days.

I explained my internship program, and asked if she might have enough work to include me. She foresaw a few weeks, and wanted to discuss with me early next week. In the mean time I began looking at

Internship Week4

Home for Sale.  I got a call from the client and they said that they wanted to put the project on hold. Apparently they weren’t sure if they wanted to sell the place before having a condo lined up. We agree to meet on Saturday to get my timesheet signed for now.

Internship Week3

Home for Sale.  I’m getting into WordPress. There’s so much to learn from my theme author’s blog postings and from customer forums. I tried a few other sliders, for my own benefit. I nailed down the image size that would work best and optimized the pictures I had.

I photoshopped one of the images of the house, from the road view, to make it into the header background. One of my ideas that they liked, was to use Google maps satellite views to show the subdivision and their parcel. I created several views that clarified where the lot was, and inserted a north symbol for bearings. I created a link to Google maps from a normal subdivision thumbnail.

I tried a few mortgage calculator options, the web is full of freebees, and settled on one that was plain. Then, I got a little creative and added a Menomonee Falls Village sign, which I had to do some retouching on, to the home page.   As of today I haven’t received any content from them, so I sent them an email reminder.




Internship Week2

I spent some fun time over the weekend to look into WordPress themes for the home-sale web site project. I liked the Elegant Themes offer, unlimited use of their roughly 55 themes for $89 for one year, upgradeable for another $150 for a lifetime subscription, full access to updates, etc. I’ll stick with the annual for now.

I decided to use MAMP for development and watch Morten Rand-Hendriksen’s series on Lynda about installing MAMP and WordPress. I think he’s one of my favorite authors on Lynda. Fun to hear his accent, and he goes at a nice pace and is very clear. I got MAMP Pro and set it up, installing WP locally under a unique server name, not the normal localhost setting. It took me an extra hour to figure out the details with this twist. Now I get it.

I installed two of my Elegant Themes, and some plugins and created some pages to experiment. I figured out how the menu structure relates to pages, and created the page layouts.

The client emailed me some pictures, but many were so similar, and there were too many of the flower gardens and not enough of the house. And, there weren’t any of the interior rooms. So, I made a new list of what pictures and other content assets I felt we needed, in prep for our next meeting. I used some of the images to experiment with the sliders I had, and to figure out what the best image physical size would be.

I packed up my nice MAMP server and met with them today to show off my progress, and get them to sign-off on the 18 hours I put in this past week. They were satisfied with the layout, and were happy with the way the slider worked and how I intended to list each room’s features. They understood the picture gap and said they’d get me some ASAP. We agreed to a tentative meeting for the next Saturday, pending having the content ready.