Client: All Track Security Tracking Solutions

All Track needed a new site–theirs was built on ASP.NET about ten years ago, and they had a disclaimer at the bottom that said they needed to purchase ASP.NET storefront. There was a lot of duplicate information and the design itself seemed out of date. And being in ASP.NET, the clients could not make any changes to the site themselves, which in my book, is not a fair thing to do. Some would argue, yes, the client might mess it up, but that’s what you invest in a backup plan for! Your client will only learn by making mistakes, so let them, then fix it for them, and this is how you keep a good relationship with your clientele.

So naturally, I chose WordPress to re-design their site. It is still in the works, but it is up and live and looking a little more “fresh.” What was a little difficult was pulling a video file from the root directory of the original site and sticking it into the new site on  the Slider Revolution plugin.

To see the final product, go to gpsmerchandise.com and take a look around!

To get WordPress tips, travel news, and updates from my biz Coco Creative(Code + Content = Coco), please sign up for the newsletter on the bar below!

 

Client: Citation-Financial Group

Citation-Financial has had a Twitter account for a while, but never really saw engagement or growth. In the past three months, I have managed to triple their Twitter followers and double their engagement on Twitter alone.

twitter social media marketing

The keys I use:

  • Crowdfire: A free app that manages Twitter and allows you to see what people you follow and those who don’t. It also uses a script that searches other users that use the same keyword as the user. It also suggests some posts to use to get more engagement on each tweet. This is a MUST for social media marketers, but also a great tool if you just want to use it personally to grow your own Twitter. (Pssst. They have Instagram features too–and they just came out with Facebook, Pinterest, and links to your sites too!)
  • Tweetdeck: A free app that is the saving grace of social media marketers everywhere. It allows you to switch between twitter accounts, schedule posts at a time you want, and respond to tweets you are mentioned in. It looks chaotic, but it’s perfect for automating your social media.
  • Buffer: A Chrome extension that lets you queue up different links and tweets, and sending them at the “best time” or a time you schedule on your own. What I like about Buffer above the others, is that you can “re-buffer” items without having to write the entire tweet or pull an image again.

Other ways I am helping Citation-Financial:

  • Search Engine Optimization: I am putting keywords into all the images on their website and in the files.
  • Email Campaigns: Each month, I send out a newsletter to their list of subscribers featuring a new plan.

Over to you! What are your favorite social media marketing tools?

Client: Olivia Adams, Actress

This site was really fun to build, as it was a completely different style and design than what I normally do. Olivia Adams, SAG-AFTRA actress based in Los Angeles, was inspired by Katy Perry’s website with her headshot as the background and then bits and pieces scrolling over it.

View live project here. The long way of building this would have been to use a scrolling Javascript plugin over the HTML file, but since Olivia wanted to be able to hand this off to her agent to add things and make changes, I worked backwards. I started with a free WordPress theme and CSS’d it until it looked the way I wanted it to. I almost felt guilty about doing this–like I wasn’t doing it from scratch or I wasn’t really building it, but that’s just silly. WordPress is open source, and I made it look the way it needed to without making my life harder. Work smarter, not longer is what I learned from this!

 

Project: Hispanic Corporate Council Website + Wireframe

I loved working on the Hispanic Corporate Council of Atlanta’s (HCCA) website! It is a non-profit cause that is near and dear to me, as it is about diversity and inclusion in the corporate workplace. It was a complete re-do of a Weebly site, which already was pretty good for a free drag and drop site, but the President of the organization wanted something a little more user friendly.

After loads of research, I started with a Wireframe, sketching it out in Adobe XD.

Then, I started coding! I downloaded a template from Bootstrapious, and hard coded what I wanted the site to look like. Then, I translated the site into a custom WordPress theme with the help of the WordPress codex and the Bootstrap to WordPress course I had taken on Udemy. 

Then, I pulled different colors through, doing the visual design aspect of the site. This was fun, because I wanted the site to be branded as a Latino organization, but also very clean and corporate to portray the right message and draw in the audience we want.

View live site at hispaniccorporate.com.

Event: Feature on Skillcrush Stories

I am blessed and honored to have been featured in a social media campaign that Skillcrush runs called “Skillcrush Stories.” They said that they loved me Instagram takeover that I did on February 1, and they wanted to write a blog post about my journey. How could I say no?!

Read the Story here.

Have a great weekend, and keep on crushing it!

I am rolling out four new projects next week, so be ready to be on the lookout for them!

Client: F&F Cleaning Services

F&F Cleaning Services did not have a web presence at all. They needed one right away because they signed up for Bank of America Merchant Services and they needed a place for their clients to pay online.

First I coded out the page using a Bootstrap starter template. Then I found photos and pulled them through Photoshop to make them a little darker so that the words would pop. Then, I wanted the “location” to have a Google Maps widget, so I made my first foray into Google APIs and created a Google Map API for the F&F Cleaning Services headquarters.

faviconAlso, what was kinda fun, was designing the favicon. I made it in Canva then pulled it through Photoshop to make it 16pxby16px and linked it at the top of my HTML.

I learned quite a bit about Google Maps, especially that they don’t take style from anything but what you write inside the div tag itself.

Finally, I integrated the Bank of America Payeezy portal on their site by creating a Hosted Payment page on the Payeezy portal, that way I didn’t need to write out my own form and put it on the site, I could redirect to the payment gateway and then re-direct them back to the site when the transaction is done processing. To make this necessary, you need to make sure you set up an SSL certificate for the site because, in order to process payments, your site MUST be secure.

F&F full page

View live site.

This being a rush job, and having other projects on my plate, there are some things that I am not happy with that I will change when I have a few minutes to get back to it. For one, the typography on the button does not match the typography of the rest of the site. And I wonder if I should make the footer the same color as the header? And the Google Map does something funky when it sizes down. Also, I am not too crazy about the pictures, but until some really great free ones come up, those will have to live there.

Speaking of stock photos, I was recently recommended by a friend on Instagram that I should subscribe to “Death to stock photo” and those images are really amazing! You get a free photo pack each month, and they are unique, high quality photos that you do not normally see on Pexels.

Project: Atlanta Commute Terminal Game for MTAP

A few months ago, I applied for the very unique Manheim Technology Apprenticeship Program, and passed the first round interviews–the behavioral interview. The program is very well know in Atlanta among self-taught developers because the program admits junior developers of various backgrounds and ages and pays them to learn how to program better. It is not for people who are writing their first line of code, but for people–like me–who have been coding on their own for a while, and need a formal structure and guidance to advance.

Once you pass the preliminary behavioral interview, they ask you to write a text-based game–simple or complex–in any language you would like. In honor of just creating the dice rolling game at the RailsGirls Workshop two weekends ago, I wrote mine in Ruby. I pulled from the Intro to Ruby Girl Develop It class I took about a year ago and the lessons from Learn Ruby the Hard Way.

I turned this in yesterday, it being due today, and I already know that there are some things that my reviewers will say. First, the code is a little messy. I didn’t store the objects into classes like I should have, but in my defense, I tried for a few hours to store them in arrays and kept hitting bugs. I opted for having a program that functioned on the client side and on time rather than a program that was written cleanly after pulling an all-nighter. The other thing is that it doesn’t show what I can do. I know the basic fundamentals of object oriented programming better than I showed on this program.

We could make a game about anything, and as I was telling my dad about this, we were sitting in traffic in Midtown. Manheim being a car company, and my dad being a road rager, joked that I should make a game about Atlanta traffic. I couldn’t think of anything funnier–especially it being the game that no one wants to play–so naturally, I went with it.

Feel free to take a look at the code here: https://github.com/rcmoldovan/atlanta-commute

And if you want to play it, here are the instructions:

  1. Open your Terminal (search for it in finder)
  2. Go to the Github file: https://github.com/rcmoldovan/atlanta-commute and download the “atlantacommute.rb” file to your Desktop.
  3. In your terminal, type “cd Desktop” and hit enter.
  4. Then, in your terminal, type “ruby atlantacommute.rb”
  5. The game will begin!

Event: Teaching Intro to WordPress at General Assembly

My passion lies in WordPress and education, so thanks to m fabulous friend Holy, my name was mentioned as next in line to teach the Intro to WordPress workshop yesterday when the instructor called in sick. I was thrilled! I have attended so many General Assembly workshops as a student, loving each and every one of them, and always wanting to reach the level of expertise to teach.

Teaching adults is really different from teaching high schoolers–these adults want to be there, they paid money for it, and they have questions at the ready. It was a really exhilarating experience.

 

When you are teaching your first paid WordPress workshop! 🍾👍🏽💻☕👏🏽❤02;03;2017

A photo posted by Rey ☕️🎨💻✈️ (@techgirlgo) on

I hope to teach more in the future!

Event: Learn to Code with Ruby Workshop with RailsGirls

This weekend I had the honor of attending a free “Learn to code with Ruby” workshop at Strongbox West, organized by the fabulous Rails Girls Atlanta. We worked through this curriculum: http://docs.railsbridge.org/ruby/what_is_ruby . Check out my end project, a die-rolling-game for the terminal with multiple die with 6 sides on my Github account.

What I love about a workshop like this, is that I am surrounded by people who want me to succeed and learn as much as I can. By eliminating distractions (ie: Netflix, cats, work, ice cream in the freezer), I can focus solely on understanding the concepts of object oriented programming and working through the exercises. With my education background, I LOVED that we had assigned seats and groups, with two coaches and four student at each. And we had a Q & A box at the end where you could anonymously put in questions.

Also–the food was phenomenal! They chose Dulce Vegan for breakfast, and I had the most heavenly lavender chocolate scone, and Naan Stop for lunch, basically the best samosas in Atlanta.

 

Event: Teaching the Build a Website: Intro to HTML + CSS Class

I am SO excited to announce that I will be teaching the Intro to HTML + CSS class for Girl Develop It Atlanta starting in February! It has been a dream of mine to have the opportunity to teach a class, and now I am finally putting in the work and making it happen. Expect lots of travel photos in the slides and come ready to code! This is a four-part class that meets once a week from 7pm-9pm at eHire in Buckhead starting February 21. The whole course is $90, and you walk away with a website and a team of other women supporting you. We DO have scholarships available, and we want everyone that wants to take the class to be able to, so please sign up for those if you need!

Intro to HTML and CSS

How to prepare for this class:

  • Make sure you have a laptop that works. (Slow is fine, dead is not.)
  • Make sure you have a power cord to that laptop. (I recommend fully charging the laptop before class just in case.)
  • Download Sublime Text editor. (It’s free and a great text editor to have for your first line of code!)
  • Follow Girl Develop It on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and make sure you introduce yourself.
  • Do a little research. (This is not necessary as we will walk you through everything you need to know, but it is helpful to know a little of the lingo before you walk in.)

How to do a little research:

Again, You do NOT need to know anything or do any of this before you get to class. We will teach you all of this, it is just in case you want to dip your toes in. If you have any concerns or questions at all, please please message me through Girl Develop It’s Instagram, or write me an email.

I hope you join me and the team on this journey to learn tech, and even if you don’t want a full-on tech career, these are the languages that play a huge role in our everyday lives, it would be a great hobby and self development tool!

See you soon,

Rachel