I’ve been a freelance designer since graduating from Sheridan College in 2003. While my primary training was as an illustrator, there was a heavy emphasis on web skills and promotion. Since that time I’ve been self taught when it comes to understanding CMS platforms and CSS coding for design.

I’m a web designer. What does that mean exactly? Well, I design websites. lol Just kidding – sort of. I’m a graphic designer who specializes in internet design applications. This might be as simple as an icon image or as complex as a website.

When it comes to websites, my specialty really is the visuals. There are those that specialize in fancy function coding and others who specialize in marketing (SEO practices). I’m not one of those experts.

I know HTML. I use this for basic websites (single pages or several pages linked together via menu links). These are ideal if all you need is an online brochure – static information about your interests, products or services. The beauty of HTML sites is that I have a lot more flexibility when it comes to layout. I’m not restricted to the boxy structure of main content lined with boxy modules. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. A boxy structure equals orderliness.

I’m very familiar with both Joomla and WordPress, (and consequently, if you need some content management done on your other CMS system, that familiarity makes it real easy for me to catch on to assorted admin panels). OK – so what’s a CMS site? It’s a content management system – a database of information over here and a skin for displaying that information over there. You got your template that remains pretty much constant, your main pages linked together by menus and around those pages you’ve got your modules – blocks of content that are shared left, right, above and under.

CMS sites are getting more and more complex these days. Many templates come with all sorts of features and complex functions, like shopping carts, forums, blogs, event calendars, memberships and more. If you need a website that does more than just look pretty, you’d be better off with a CMS site, rather than an HTML site. Bonus, these kinds of websites come with administration panels which are fairly easy to learn. If you’re savvy enough to send email, you can manage your CMS site.

Aside from websites, I do a lot of other web based design and management projects; social media graphics and integration, newsletter design and mailing list management, banner ads and image editing… just to name a few.

Hi. I’m Evelyn Shifflett and I’m a web designer.

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