By May 13, 2014 Read More →

Meet our web developer

Dan Hopkins, Bluearsefly67, web developerTo help us update WfHW in February we turned to Dan Hopkins,

a local web developer and manager

whose calmness under pressure was a huge advantage during a stressful time!

I got to know Dan when he took over the running of Frome Jelly from me,

and he now also runs Bath Jelly.

Which proves that Jelly really does help you to get more business, in a very organic and relaxed way with no pitching!

Dan’s web developer services are exactly what many home business owners need, and here he talks about life working on websites and blogs.

How did you come to be a home working web developer and manager?
I have created and managed websites for the best part of fifteen years. Two years ago I was made redundant from the NHS where I was working as a Web Manager looking after 20 websites. After trying some different things I found that my web expertise was still very much in demand.

How does working from home compare with working in an office?
Much quieter, no demanding phones ringing off the hook. I find that I get much more work done and I’m much more efficient working from home than in an office. The tea is far superior and I can go for a walk when I want to.

What have been the benefits of running Jelly?
Jelly has been great! Running Jelly in Frome and Bath has helped me to meet many people without the pressure of networking events and to engage with local small business owners. I hope that I’ve offered attendees help and advice on social media and WordPress that has been useful. Collaborations have become commonplace.

What are the most common problems home business owners have with their websites and blogs?
Dealing with content and retaining the accessibility of the site. As websites grow, people just keep adding content and so the amount of content can spiral out of control and become harder if not impossible to find.

On the WordPress side, plugins can cause problems – they can be great but they also can make your website slow and unresponsive. Much better to upgrade your theme to one with better functionality than just keep adding plugins. But this can be a daunting task as it’s often not straightforward.

We had several face-to-face meetings to talk about the redesign of WfHW because we all live locally – can you work with people who aren’t on the doorstep?
I have just completed a website built from scratch for a company based in Spain. Unfortunately there was no time to visit their office in Barcelona. Though I am hopeful for the launch party! Most communication can be dealt with through email or Skype.

What would be your ideal project?
I have been working to package my photography to make it easy to view and distibute through social media. The resulting videos or soundslides can be mini adverts or audio visual experiences of an event.

I have adapted some to working within Instagram as an alternative form of distribution. The slides contain an audio track which can just be atmosphere or a track describing a product or service. The images speak for themselves – see below the Soundslide I created for Frome’s Supermarket Day.

Frome Supermarket October 2013 from bluearsefly67 on Vimeo.

So my ideal project would include soundslides and some graphic design (I have many years experience of graphic design whether that be logos or layouts), all wrapped up in a bespoke WordPress theme.

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