Web Design

Social Media

Build & Maintain

Experience    Skills     Education

I freelance website design & maintenance, social media marketing, logo design and desktop publishing services. I have experience creating magazines and booklets using InDesign CS2.

Experience:

Between 1983 and 1995, I ran my parent's video store and did all the computer work required for all operations, this included databases of customers and stock. Although I did not build the programs themselves, on several occasions I had to trouble shoot and fix problems that arose with them. These programs ran in DOS.

I began Enchanted Moon in 1995 as a desktop publishing service. My computer had Windows 95 and I used the programs that came on the computer for most of the work, figuring out by myself how to use them. My sister started teaching healthy cooking classes at the same time and was my first customer. I created flyers and brochures using Corel Print House, and the recipe packets for her classes using Microsoft Works. There were other various clients I did some work for, one example is some signs I created for a small health food store.

In October of 1999 I logged onto the internet and knew right then I wanted to create websites. In February of 2000 I created my first website using BigStep’s free hosting. The site was for my sister's business, Macro Val, which had now grown to include her classes on VHS. I created all the printed materials for these tapes as well (package covers, booklets, labels). The BigStep site lasted until they started charging for hosting, an amount that was very high. My sister wanted something more affordable so I then created Val's new site with Bizhosting, this was my first experience with a web store. When I started hosting sites in 2005, she decided to go with my new hosting service for her webstore so the Bizhosting site is gone. Her main site was built with The Web Shop site builder. Her site is now rebuilt with Dreamweaver.

While I did use online site builders until 2005, I realized I needed to learn the coding of web sites. With the help of Sam's Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4, About.com, ZDNet.com, and a few other resources, I taught myself HTML 4, XHTML, and acquired an understanding of how java and other codes worked.

During the same time as the above was happening, I created 2 one page sites for D & M Plumbing and Blue Spruce Trees, using ZDNet's site builder. I also created the The Kozi Line site which is built using Bizhosting's site builder as her business is in the U.P. and she needed to be able to manage some parts of the site herself. She has since retired and the site is gone.

In June of 2005, I acquired Dreamweaver Ultra Dev 4 and Fireworks 4, the site builder preferred by professionals. I taught myself how to use it with "Mastering Dreamweaver 4 and Fireworks". Since this time, I have built many sites with Dreamweaver. Using Dreamweaver instead of online builders gave me the chance to tweak the code with xhtml. I became more familiar with Java, css, and php (very little php experience).

In April of 2006 I added hosting to my services. Hosting is only available for my clients. I am using a green hosting service, check out my Hosting Info page to find out about green hosting and other ways Wicked Rose is environmentally friendly.

In 2007 I had the opportunity to work with a friend on her magazine, "The Muse". To do this I had to learn how to use InDesign CS2 to create the magazine in two weeks! I purchased "Sandee Cohen's Visual Quickstart Guide InDesign CS2" and with it beside me, we got the whole magazine done in two weeks. This first issue has some typos and mistakes due to the rush, but the second issue came out beautifully. I also used this program to create an advertising booklet for her festival. You can download these from the Publications page.

In 2009, I set up Flying Cat Design's Cafe Press store. This gave me more experience with the set up of online stores.

In 2008 marketing was all the rage. As I built sites, I always incorporated SEO (search engine optimization) using legal techniques to help each site show up with the best possible placement. Key words and meta tags are built into each page. I would discuss with clients other options like blogs, newsletters, social network pages (like Facebook or Twitter), or Google keyword ads. I created newsletters for some clients and I have a FaceBook page for my Infinte Flame business.

In 2010 I decided to learn CSS. I have been building websites with tables, which I am told is not the best way to build them. While I agree CSS has some advantages, the biggest problem I have with it is that the placement of objects on a page is not as exact as tables. There are occasions where a picture or ad appears on top of the text. I am hoping this issue will be corrected by the time I have mastered this skill. I am using my own site for my glycerin soap, naked-soaps.com, for my learning test site.

I am now incorporating CSS into my websites but still build with tables.

Around this time there was a huge drop in the economy. Many of my clients have closed their businesses and/or retired.

2011 was a rough year with the death of my long term boyfriend and my web business suffered as I wasn't up to finding new clients. I was doing work for the clients I had during this time. In April of 2014 I had to declare bankruptcy due to these events and closed Enchanted Moon.

Present: I am looking for more clients for web design and/or a position with a company designing sites. I have renamed the company to Wicked Rose as this is a fresh start for me. I have been promoting my Infinite Flame business on FaceBook and Twitter so I am now offering Social Media Marketing to my services. Contact me at 810-923-9784 so we can discuss what I can do to help your business get the online presence it deserves.

 

Skills:

I can:
  • build a site using Dreamweaver, or with an online builder if necessary
  • maintain a site already built
  • work with photos & graphics using Fireworks4
  • create clipart and logos in bmp, gif, and png using Fireworks4
  • maintain a newsletter database and manage the newsletter
  • help you purchase domain names and manage them including DNS
  • create flyers, brochures and other advertising aids
  • promote your site online using search engines, link exchanges, Google adwords
  • advise on using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a WordPress blog to promote your site
  • create a magazine, catalog, booklet, ect. using InDesign CS2
  • help you set up shop with CafePress.com if you are an artist

I know HTML and XHTML, and have some experience with CSS, flash buttons, and Java.

 

Education:

I am entirely self taught.

I had one class in high school in 1982-1983 that taught the BASIC language. Between 1983 and 1995 I ran my parent's video store and although I did not build the programs themselves, on several occasions I had to trouble shoot and fix problems that arose with them. This gave me experience in DOS and Windows 3.1. I learned with the help of books, magazines, and good old trial & error.

In 1995 I bought my first computer with Windows 95 on it. I bought a Dummies book and taught myself how to use it.

As far as the desktop publishing, I realized I had a talent for design when I redesigned my sister's flyer that another person had done. Design comes naturally to me and I enhanced this by reading any design tips and techniques I could find. I keep these references and consult them when working on a project.

In 2000 when I decided to become a web site designer, I did not have the funds to attend classes and did not want to take out a loan. So I took every free class online I could find. I have completed online classes with ThirdAge, About.com, plus a few others. I also have several web master newsletters I subscribe to that keep me current and up to date on the newest technology. I have “Sam's Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4”, “HTML 4 for Dummies”, “Mastering Dreamweaver 4 and Fireworks”, among other books that I have used.

In 2007 when Storm asked me to help her with her magazine, I was literally learning as I worked. I had never used InDesign before we started work on it. I purchased a book and had it beside me as we put the magazine together in two weeks to meet her publishing deadline. Yes there are typos in the first edition, but the layout came out beautifully. The second issue was much better.

Since 2008, marketing has been the big thing. I had always designed with marketing in mind and keep up on the newest trends again through trade newsletters. I joined Facebook to get a better understanding of how to use that as a marketing tool. I became a fan of my favorite businesses and learned from them how to use it. Infinite Flame now has a Facebook page to help market our products. Infinite Flame, Macro Val and Flying Cat have used newsletters as a marketing tool.

At the end of 2009, I acquired a couple of e-books and one print book from Sitepoint.com on CSS so I can teach myself how to build sites using CSS and XHTML.

In 2010 I upgraded to DreamWeaver CS3. With the help of "Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual" and "Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 Unleashed" I was able to learn how to use this version. I admit that I sometimes work with DreamWeaver 4 as it is more comfortable for me to use.

In 2015 I started really using my Infinite Flame Facebook page to market my business. I also joined Twitter, but admit my success hasn't been as great. I am studying social media marketing and offer my services to post for those too busy to run their pages.

I have mastered the art of problem solving on my own. I am obviously also self motivated. There is always something new to learn. I am open to learn new technologies and marketing techniques as I need them.

 

©2017 Wicked Rose

Laura Wilson
Novi, Michigan              (810) 923-9784
Laura@wickedroseweb.com