Newcomers to Wordpress are faced with a content editor that is not intuitive, visually opaque, and separated from the website's context layout. Even the new "Gutenberg" editor has serious issues (and has a 2-star rating as a result).
Inspired by the success of my Eklipse CMS, I adapted its principles into a paid plugin called The Wunderbar, which allows fully WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editing from the front of most WordPress Websites. You visit the page you want to change; you make changes while you look at it - as simple as a word processor.
web apps that DO,
not just SHOW.
When a newly-formed charter school approached me to develop their first website, their most important goal was to make it ridiculously simple for families to apply for admittance. Our first simple application form evolved semester by semester into an integrated system where multiple relational SQL tables handled applications, re-applications, tracking, and reporting.
The School Signup system is now in use by four different Texas charter school districts. The original and largest is International Leadership of Texas, where School Signup now tracks 45,000 applicants and 15,000 pupils yearly across 16 campuses in real time, and completes a fully-audited multi-step lottery process for the entire district in less than 30 minutes.
Southwest Sedation Education
This is an example of a fully realized integrated Ecommerce and Learning Management System based upon WordPress. I developed all aspects from the company name and logo to the site design to the full functional implementation
The system uses two primary plugins, Woocommerce and LifterLMS, which interact to let students purchase courses, take them online with audio commentary (or in person), and be scored for official Texas Sedation Certification. I wrote additional plugins to handle functions for which no plugins existed. The system is also integrated with Mailchimp so that students can be emailed notifications of new courses or special pricing. And naturally it is fully responsive and works well with mobile devices.
Still, this portfolio is only a
one-way presentation of my
development skills. I will happily
interact with them,
and you, in person.
FiTTR Fitness Tracking
Texas state athletic regulations require students to be evaluated in various physical fitness tests. Web applications exist to do this, but the International Leadership of Texas schools found them too restrictive, being limited to specific state-mandated tests and not allowing for additional physical challenges that ILTexas wanted to track. And so I built FiTTR (Fitness Testing,Tracking & Reporting) which allows coaches to input student test stats in real-time in a familiar spreadsheet-like format.
The back-end student database itself is updated daily through a 3rd party API of current enrollments, ensuring information on students, coaches, and classes is always accurate.
Assessment and comparison reporting functions allow access to data on everything from a single student, to comparisons between campuses and performance broken out by age or gender and over a period of time.
FiTTR has recorded over half a million student datapoints to date.
FORTE: Dallas Music Teachers Association
It was an easy goal to describe: build a system for music teachers to sign up students for events. But it turned out to require a surprisingly subtle custom implementation. No existing event tracking system was tuned to the needs and mindset of the music community.
The resulting web application, FORTE, combined easily-mocked-up Eklipse-based screens running inside an MVC-based framework, using back-end SQL databases and custom PHP code to form a harmonious system that allows teachers to assign students to recital events and specific devisions based on age and instrument, to pay for participation, and to generate recital schedules that maximize the use of time and event resources.
And it was easy enough to use that even venerable musicians more comfortable with a piano keyboard than a computer keyboard could master it.
The ambitious "CollegePrepAmerica" project aims to give high school students a way to evaluate the many new and challenging beliefs they will encounter in college. My client developed "fast-draw" animated videos on a variety of biblical and philosophical topics, and I designed and implemented a website to present them. The site tracks students' progress, scores their comprehension with timed quizzes, and even includes a social media-like "chat" system to encourage competition between family members or classmates.
The site also required building completely custom subscription-based e-commerce system and a back-end administrative system to manages users, coupons, courses, quizzes, subscriptions, and every other bit of system managed data.
Eklipse Content Management
About fifteen years ago, well before WordPress became the Internet's dominant content management system, I saw the same need that WordPress saw - to develop a flexible database-driven engine to display website content. The Eklipse CMS was the result. My client base led me to emphasize one key factor: making it as easy as possible for a non-web-savvy user to make changes to web page content. My target user was a secretary at a small Texas town who was tasked with making website changes in addition to her other duties.
As a result, Eklipse has always been fantastically simple to operate. New users can pick up editing in under five minutes. A static website can be turned into an Eklipse website in just a few minutes and adding as few as two lines of PHP code. Yet Eklipse contains real power and can drive complex websites.
This is one example of an Eklipse site: a San Antonio charter school. Each of the red paperclips on the home page is content that can be edited directly on the webpage with just a click. Wvery teacher is allowed their own personal Eklipse page, in addition to common district pages that only certain admins can change.
Now in its sixth major revision, Eklipse has been the engine driving several hundred websites, including many in this portfolio.