Who am I
I’m Ben Flanagan, and I make websites in Melbourne.
I’ve worked full time as a web designer and developer since 2007. I spent the first 5 years at a small web agency in Newcastle, NSW, where I performed a wide range of duties, effectively taking our clients from the early concept stages through website design and development and on to their ongoing upkeep and maintenance. In 2012 I uprooted and moved to Melbourne, where I now work on the web team at one of Australia’s big banks. There I’ve worked on various projects, with a big focus on web forms and accessibility, among other things. Working with a large team is great; there are so many different people with different experience that it would be hard not to learn something every day.
Building Websites by Night
When I’m not at my day job, I trade as a freelancer under the name JaminDesigns. I love being an active developer outside my day job, because it lets me explore aspects of web design and development that I might not usually get a chance to in my more specialised role at work.
A passion for my freelance projects
I see JaminDesigns as my opportunity to pick and choose the projects I really want to work on; projects I can put all of my creativity and skill into and be truly proud of the final product.
If I don’t think I can be really enthusiastic about your brand, or I’m not sure I can give you the solution you need, then I can usually point you in the direction of someone I think might be a better fit. The important part is, I won’t waste your time by taking on your project without knowing that I can give you the best possible results.
I don’t have to pay myself a wage and so I can be a little less strict when it comes to scope and budget, allowing me to focus my efforts on coming up with the best solution to your needs, making sure you walk away from the experience overjoyed with the website I’ve created for you. I can be a bit more flexible than a lot of website design and development companies, however I do not work for free or let a project’s scope creep too far without re-addressing the budget.
Manageable websites, in WordPress
Just like at my day job, these days I mainly focus on website development in WordPress, a very popular Content Management System (CMS). I have a broad range of skills both within and beyond that platform.
I can customise the administration area of WordPress to give my clients the best possible user experience when updating their website, instead of trying to bend and stretch WordPress’ default page editor to format pages in ways it’s not made for.
This can be really useful if you have some more complex data, like product information (prices, weights etc), and it needs to be neatly and consistently formatted for a larger number of items.
In many cases I will able to use a pre-built WordPress plug-in to make your data easier to handle, which can save time and keep budgets even lower. But then, in cases where there isn’t a plug-in out there that quite suits your needs, I can customise the administration area by hand as well, and get it just right.
I’m a pretty swell guy…
… and more importantly, I communicate well with my clients.
Having a good yarn about your business and the kinds of things that need to go on your website is an important step in your website’s development. It helps me to figure out what solution is going to work the best for you. This means not only getting the right pages and features onto the publicly-visible part of the website, but also making sure it’s going to scale well to suit your company’s plans for the future, that the administration area is easy to use, and that I give you or one of your staff all the right training so that you can use it comfortably – regardless of your previous experience with computers.
Many of my clients – both as a freelancer and in my capacity at jezweb – have horror stories about a previous web designer never returning phone calls, or refusing to meet requests for website updates, often without even explaining why. I believe with a better attitude and effective communication, situations like these can almost always be avoided, which is why I value a free dialogue with my clients so highly.
give me something to do!
If you are looking to get a website for your business, I would love to hear from you and find out more about your company. Use the contact form to drop me a line and I will get back to you as soon as I can.