Website Consultant & Developer
Professional Experience: 20+ yrs
Languages and Platforms: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Windows, IIS, MS SQL, Coldfusion (yes, really), WordPress, Drupal, ExpressionEngine, Joomla
Titles Held: Director of Client Service, Interactive Director, Director of Technology, Partner, Project Manager, Lead Developer, Janitor (unofficially), Boat Boy (that one is real)
Point of Pride: I have several clients that have been with me for over 16 years
Recognition: PR Platinum Award, Pollie Award
Relative Fact: I developed a proprietary and commercially successful Content Management System (CMS). However, today I am an open-source convert typically recommending WordPress
The Genesis of a Website Consultant
In 1995, I launched my first website, a simple yet ambitious project introducing me to website development.
During that time, the World Wide Web was still in its very early stages, and terms like “CMS” and “SEO” hadn’t even emerged yet.
Anyone Else Remember Dial-Up?
I vividly recall our digital conversations being accompanied by the buzzing sound of modems, and internet speeds were measured in “baud.”
Those foundational days were challenging, but they fueled my passion for website consulting and the various services it entails.
Today, whether creating a new WordPress site or offering actionable insights to improve website performance, my expertise as a WordPress consultant is rooted in those initial experiences.
Agency Days: A Young Web Consultant
Working in these agencies allowed me to work on various projects, from website development to search engine optimization strategies, and gain valuable experience in PR, website consulting, and marketing strategy.
I had the opportunity to collaborate with talented professionals in the industry, learning from their expertise and gaining practical insights. I focused on improving website performance and understanding marketing integrations.
The knowledge and experiences I gained during this period were invaluable and helped me build a solid foundation for my future endeavors in website consulting, website development, and business strategy.
Diving into Consulting Services
Throughout my career, I have focused on website consultancy and web development. I worked with major corporations such as Ford Motor Company, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard.
This chapter provided valuable learning experiences, exposing me to diverse business cultures, marketing strategies, and technology landscapes. Engaging with these industry leaders allowed me to gain actionable insights and expand my expertise.
I gained a deep understanding of their unique digital challenges, including selecting the right technologies and integrating essential marketing strategies.
This experience enhanced my consultancy toolkit, enabling me to offer valuable insight, guidance, and tailored solutions that align with each company’s objectives and technical requirements.
Our teams from these renowned agencies, consisting of web consultants and communication professionals, played a crucial role in transforming corporate communication.
We pioneered web development, creating interactive press and media centers for Fortune 500 companies.
Our focus was not only on presentation but also on user-friendly design, visual appeal, and integration of essential features for efficiency. These platforms provided up-to-date corporate news, financial reports, and critical information while improving website performance and delivering actionable insights.
Our website consulting services paved the way for modern digital newsrooms, revolutionizing corporate communication and setting a new standard in website consultancy.
Establishing Early Online Presences for Enterprise Titans
As a website consultant, I worked with industry leaders like Mastercard, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard. We created some of their first websites to increase brand visibility and engagement.
Our team of web consultants and developers built user-friendly websites that reflected their corporate identity and showcased their products. We also focused on optimizing their site performance and ensuring intuitive navigation.
These efforts significantly impacted how these companies are perceived online today. They helped establish these corporations as market leaders with a strong online presence.
A New Chapter: Acquisition by Project BIG fish
In 2004, my professional career took a new direction. Larrabee Interactive Business Communications, LLC was acquired by Project BIG fish, a design and website consulting firm based in Washington, DC.
This acquisition brought together diverse talents and expertise, driving innovation and growth. As the Director of Technology at Project BIG fish, I had an opportunity to further develop my skills in website consulting, development, and optimizing website performance.
This experience deepened my understanding of digital dynamics and contributed to the company’s success.
Expanding Horizons at BIG fish: More Than Just Web Consultants
At BIG fish, we provided many clients comprehensive services, including website consulting and custom website design and development.
We had the privilege of working with various clients, from national nonprofit organizations to political figures.
Our work extended beyond organizations to encompass gubernatorial, senatorial, and congressional candidates across the political spectrum.
Whether developing digital marketing strategies or designing user-friendly websites, our involvement played a crucial role in shaping their online presence to achieve their goals.
This chapter of my professional journey was not just about exploration; it exemplified the transformative potential of the digital world.
The Journey to Becoming a WordPress Consultant & Developer
At BIG fish, we encountered a new challenge that prompted the next phase of my professional journey.
Despite WordPress being around since 2003, in its infancy, it did not possess the capabilities to build fully functional business websites.
However, as the diverse needs of our clients emerged, we recognized the demand for a more intricate web solution.
Consequently, we extended our website consulting approach to address their advanced objectives and tailored them to their unique goals.
I Built My Own Content Management System (CMS)
To address a specific need, we created our own content management system (CMS), called finCMS. Unlike other basic, young, rudimentary CMS systems (like WordPress at the time), our CMS was designed meticulously to meet our client’s requirements.
It provided clients with a customized and user-friendly platform to manage their digital content effectively.
This project was a significant turning point in my career. It allowed me to expand my knowledge and skills as both a website consultant and a web developer, transitioning from using existing platforms to developing our own.
Enter Custom WordPress Development Services
In 2008, I, as a website consultant, noticed significant changes happening in the digital space.
Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla Were Growing in Popularity
Platforms like Drupal and WordPress were evolving, catching the attention of many in the web consulting field. In particular, WordPress plugins and themes showed maturity and became strong contenders for complex development needs.
As a consultant, I witnessed their continuous progress and refinement, which made me realize that these open-source platforms could surpass our proprietary content management system.
It Was Time To Retire our Proprietary CMS
Recognizing this, our studio was ready for change. Embracing this digital transformation promised increased efficiency, adaptability, and user-focused design.
With this in mind, I transitioned from utilizing our own proprietary systems to becoming a dedicated WordPress consultant and advocate.
I embarked on this journey, eager to harness the power of these platforms, especially WordPress, and provide top-quality consulting services to those navigating this changing landscape.
Embracing WordPress at FatLab, LLC
I gained valuable experience through establishing and growing FatLab, LLC. I have served diverse clients with unique needs and challenges as a web consultant.
This has helped me develop a website and WordPress consultancy expertise, establishing myself as a trusted professional.
In about 2013, we dropped support for Drupal and Joomla and became focused on providing WordPress-based services.
Over a Decade of WordPress at FatLab, LLC
Today, we are trusted WordPress professionals specializing in website development with extensive knowledge that we apply to even the most complex projects. Our team of dedicated experts crafts visually appealing websites with tailored functionality that aligns with our client’s brand identity and goals.
As experienced WordPress consultants, we prioritize website security and implement rigorous measures to protect against cyber threats.
In addition to standalone WordPress sites, we specialize in seamless integration with third-party applications, expanding the versatility of our clients’ WordPress websites.
Our reliable WordPress maintenance and support services ensure uninterrupted performance, allowing business owners and organizations to focus on their primary missions without worries.
We are committed to harnessing WordPress’s potential and delivering the best WordPress consulting services.
A Focus on WordPress Support
As a long-time website consultant, I noticed a need for reliable and fast web support.
Businesses of all sizes struggled with post-development website maintenance and security. I saw an opportunity to fill this gap by providing indispensable services that enhance clients’ digital presence.
This led to the establishment of FatLab, LLC, a pioneering web consulting firm. Our primary focus is delivering comprehensive WordPress support services.
We aim to ensure clients’ WordPress websites maintain performance, remain secure against potential threats, and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. We want to work with our customers to improve performance no matter how they define that.
Over time, our support services have become a hallmark of FatLab, LLC. As dedicated WordPress consultants, we are committed to ensuring the long-term digital success of our clients, considering their achievements as our own.
Prioritizing Premium Hosting Solutions
At FatLab, LLC, we understand the crucial role of hosting in optimizing a website’s performance and security.
Our strategy focuses on endorsing premium hosting solutions that offer more than just website availability.
As experienced website consultants, we recognize that outstanding hosting goes beyond ensuring a website is always online. It involves creating a fast, secure environment for fluctuating traffic and digital demands.
Our commitment to our clients drives us to provide WordPress websites with unbeatable uptime, fast loading speeds, and robust security measures.
Reflecting on my Web Development and Consultancy Career
Throughout my career as a web consultant and over a decade of providing WordPress consulting services, I find it amusing to reflect on its evolution.
Initially, the novelty of the space elevated me to an ‘expert’ status straight out of college. Now, after more than 24 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge, my expertise as a WordPress consultant is derived from my dedication to learning and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of web technology.
The constant evolution of development requires continuous education and adaptability to stay ahead of the innovation curve.
This dynamic nature excites me and adds vitality to my work. I eagerly look forward to the future and remain enthusiastic about the challenges ahead.
Related News & Blog Posts
Explore a 20-year journey in web development, leading to expertise in WordPress consultancy. Benefit from insights and best practices honed over the years.
In this article, I recount my personal journey through the changing landscape of web hosting. From its inception to the present day, experience how the web evolved from a unique perspective.
A dog’s legacy is typically limited to the memory of its family. However back in 2011, I named this company after the most prominent physical trait of my black lab (Guinness)