Happy Pride ! Especially to my fellow QTPOC <3

Inlustris Visual Storytelling

Inlustris Visual Storytelling Testimonial

"rainbow forge is a joy to work with! they are so solution oriented, attentive, and knowledgeable -- and committed to getting you the highest quality of work as accessibly as possible. i cannot speak highly enough of them and their work."
Andromeda Rodriguez
Inlustris Visual Storytelling

Wix to WordPress Migration for inlustris.art

How it Began

I consider myself very lucky to have had the chance to work with Andromeda of Inlustris Visual Storytelling. When they replied to my email, they told me that they had a week before their Wix subscription would auto-renew, and they didn't want to cancel before having their new site ready so as not to have a ton of downtime. As soon as I heard that, I dropped my own portfolio that I was in the process of writing, and got to work on building their website within a week, so that they wouldn't end up being stuck paying for another year of Wix's egregiously overpriced and morally bankrupt services.

Our Work Together

Based on an amalgamation of their existing website and the redesigned preview site they'd been working on, as well as based on input they provided along the way, I built their website on WordPress, using only free plugins (as I almost always do), saving them not only the cost of paying for Wix's site builder but also saving them the cost of paying for the PDF flipbook app that on Wix was annually costing them almost the entire yearly hosting cost for their new WordPress website. The PDF in question, their Pride Zine, showcases some absolutely gorgeous photography, and I'm so proud to have been able to help them showcase their talents in a more ethical and also cheaper way.

Lessons I Learned

I think the main thing that working with Andromeda taught me is that I need to get better at asking questions, and requesting my clients' input, especially when I'm rebuilding an existing website. On Wix, inlustris.art had default Wix entry animations and I, instead of checking in with my client about whether they actually wanted said animations or not, put a great deal of effort into making them work, only to later find out that Andromeda was indifferent about the animations. I've learned that no matter how much I feel like I might be bothering someone, it's better to ask them to confirm whether a specific feature is actually desired or not, especially if it takes a lot of work to implement.

What We Accomplished

Ultimately, the end result of my work with Andromeda is that they will be saving somewhere around 200 dollars a year on Wix and the Flipbook App on Wix, and they have a newly redesigned website to which they can add whatever features they might want to in the future with ease, and without having to pay extra subscription fees (unless they choose to use a paid plugin, but there are so many good free plugins on WordPress that that is unlikely to be necessary anytime soon). I taught them the basics of maintaining, editing, and extending their new WordPress website themself during the free tutorial session I offer each of my clients, so they might not even have to hire a developer to add new features and functionality to their website in the future.

Future Plans

Andromeda is a consummate professional whose graphic design, videography, and photography chops are irrefutable, and if anyone I work with in the future wants help with graphic design or social media management, or has photos or videos that need taking in the Long Island area, I'll definitely be directing them to Inlustris Visual Storytelling.

Blue Heron Therapy

Blue Heron Therapy's Testimonial

"Rainbow Forge built me a fully customized website, as well as exploring cost-effective options for running the website. The website was exactly the aesthetic that I envisioned. Although I have little experience with building a website, Rainbow Forge was able to easily and patiently explain the ins and outs of being able to edit my own website into the future. Rainbow Forge is not only knowledgeable and skilled, but a true joy to work with! They were quick to respond, and tended to all of my questions as a therapist building a website for the first time. If I needed skills like this in the future, I would be sure to choose Rainbow Forge. Their work ethic, knowledge, creativity, and patience made the experience enjoyable, and I will certainly be collaborating with them in the future with other projects."
Haley Witt
AMFT
Blue Heron Therapy

A Therapist's Website, Blue Heron Therapy

How it Began

Haley contacted me after having seen one of my Lex posts, and mentioned that they needed a website to prepare for when they would be ready to start their own practice. From the very first time we met, I was so eager to work with them because their perspectives on mental health were almost perfectly in alignment with my own.

Our Work Together

If all of my clients were as enthusiastic and generous with praise, I'd have a lot bigger ego. Despite the fact that they wanted the design of the website to be very simple and minimalistic, they were so enthusiastic and excited about having a website of their very own. Once we had the bones of the site set up, we had to wait a while before they were able to schedule a photoshoot for the pictures to actually be used on the site. And once that was done, I guided them through the process of purchasing hosting and registering a domain, and migrated their website from the free hosting provider where I'd built it and kept it in the freezer for the time between me finishing up the first draft of the design and the photoshoot being completed.

Lessons I Learned

This project I think really taught me that sometimes in this gig I will need a lot of patience. Because of the fact that the website wouldn't be fully finished until we had the headshots of my client, I had a lot of downtime between actually building the site and then finalizing everything. I think had my client been less of a generous, perfect-client type, they'd have been a little pissed off at how much I was pestering them about when they wanted to finish up their website. So yeah, next time, I need to give people the time and space they need to bring me the content that they want on their site, rather than rushing them because I myself feel the need to be a perfectionist and try to finish each job before I move on to others. Not that that's at all realistic in the life of a freelancer.

What We Accomplished

Blue Heron Therapy has branding, a logo, and a website designed and built that Haley loves, and knows how to make changes to themself if they ever need to do so. I think in this specific instance, my greatest accomplishment wasn't actually designing or building the site, because the design was so minimalistic, but rather, being able to teach my client exactly how to do pretty much each and every thing that I did to build their site, because it was so small. It is my hope that if they ever want to do so in the future, they will be able to expand their website themself without needing to hire someone like me thanks to the multiple tutorial sessions we did.

Future Plans

Next steps for Blue Heron Therapy include some search engine optimization work, as well as making a ton of directory listings, so that they can begin the process of finding clients for their private practice. As for me, I am happy to say that if I ever move to California and need a therapist (and can't find someone who thinks about psychology the way that BHT does and also isn't white, of course), I know exactly who I'll be working with. Plus, they want to be a part of my barter economy directory, so hopefully someday soon I'll have the time and energy and resources to set that up so that more people can get to know Haley Witt of Blue Heron Therapy.

MUCK House Herbs

eCommerce Website for Online Herb Shop, muckhouseherbs.com

kittybat art

Chambers Pottery

Chambers Pottery's Testimonial

"It was great to work with Bri, they were super responsive and helpful and happy to explain things when I didn’t understand. It was also easy to communicate with them and act as a go between for them and my boss. My boss, who is not very tech savvy, found it pleasant to work with them as well and appreciated their communicativeness. 10/10 have recommended"
Anny Chen
Ceramicist at
Chambers Pottery

Redesign of chamberspottery.com

How it Began

Believe it or not, I never actually directly interacted with my actual client. Someone who works for Chambers Pottery happened to see my posts on Lex, and asked me if I'd be willing to take on redesigning their boss's website. Chambers Pottery's previous website had been left in a half-finished state by a previous designer. My client despised how it looked and felt, and didn't understand how to make changes to it. She hadn't even been able to add her pottery class schedules to her website, and was being bombarded with spam, basic questions, and otherwise useless contacts due to the previous designer's decision to link nearly half the buttons that existed on the site directly to her email address.

Our Work Together

My journey began with a video call with her employee, my co-designer and liaison on this project, where we looked at previous versions of chamberspottery.com that my client had liked more. Based on the oldest version we could find, which was the one the client communicated (through my invaluable liaison, of course) she liked the most, I started work on the redesign on a subdomain, so as to prevent downtime for site visitors. By the time my first draft was nearing completion, there was still no sign of the copywriting or images that my client was preparing. Instead of panicking, I decided to pivot and move the free tutorial session (for once not given directly to the client, but rather her employee) up, so that my collaborator could learn more about how to use WordPress, and upload the content whenever her boss was ready to do it. And while we waited, we decided that embedding the class schedule on the old website that was still live was the best course of action. With the Google Sheet embedded, my co-designer took over the responsibilities of communicating with her boss and determining what changes needed to be made to the design to make it more to her boss's liking, and determining what content had to be prioritized before the new site could replace the old one.

What We Accomplished

Within 1 day of moving new.chamberspottery.com to chamberspottery.com, two new contacts who would've previously either not contacted Chambers Pottery at all, or sent a generic question about schedule that may have been missed, had looked at the updated website, the embedded schedule, and submitted the newly built contact form with Cloudflare Turnstile bot protection to ask to enroll in specific classes. Because of our work together, chamberspottery.com will have a reliable way to update their schedule easily through google sheets, and have those changes automatically updated on their website. My client will have a website she doesn't despise the look and feel of to represent her business, and won't have to field ] hundreds of confused emails every month from potential students who haven't found the information they need on her website, and from bots and scammers. Her employee will know how to handle the more complicated aspects of WordPress design and content editing and uploading, and will be able to take that on as a new job responsibility, if they so choose. No longer will chamberspottery.com be incomprehensible, even to the people who actually work there.

Lessons I Learned

Two weeks after the final delivery and launch of the new site, we discovered that the number of visits to the website had dropped rather severely. As of this writing, I'm working on reindexing the website on google search console manually, as the updates we made to the website for some reason seem to have made google Less keen to serve the site to people. I shall update this section once the issue is resolved. I am adding this now in the hope that anyone who happens to read this in the meantime will see that I do my utmost to be transparent.

Future Plans

I taught my collaborator everything they needed to know not only to maintain their boss's website if needed, but also to move their own website to WordPress in the future once their current website's hosting plan expires. chamberspottery.com will not require any major updates, aside from the content upload of images and text that my collaborator will easily be able to handle as her boss gets them ready. And my client will be able to utilize the most important parts of her website, the class schedule and incoming contacts, without having to leave the far more familiar environment of Google Drive. And I sincerely hope that I will someday have a chance to work with my collaborator again, as it was a genuine pleasure to get to know them and collaborate on this project with them.

Queer Behaviors

queerbehaviors.com, AKA Chrissandra M. Andra, LCSW, PLLC

Genesis Rogue

A Visual Artist's Portfolio, gnsis.pages.dev

Multilingual Movements

Multilingual Movements' Testimonial

"Choosing Rainbow Forge was the best decision for our website. Despite lacking web development experience at the time, they helped us create a platform that showcases our expertise in language justice, and set up email accounts using our domain for grant applications. I really like the website design they came up with without much input from us, and in a very short timeframe. If you're looking for a developer who strives to fully understands your needs, and/or just have a project that needs to be completed very quickly, I highly recommend Rainbow Forge."
Rebecca Chowdhury
Language Justice Worker
Multilingual Movements

My First Paid Website, multilingualmovements.org

When I was first approached to build this website, I had previously only built around 2 other sites using WordPress for free, for people I knew personally. This project, with its timeline of 'we need this done by the end of the weekend,' therefore, was a rather challenging experience for me. The organizers of Multilingual Movements didn't have much in the way of design inputs or choices, so I was essentially left to my own devices to design and build a full website from scratch. At the time, I did the best I could in the time I was given (i.e. about 3 days).

Now, looking back at it, despite my everpresent imposter syndrome, I'm quite proud of what I accomplished in the amount of time I had, and the client was happy with the website. I'm very glad that I had the chance to work with them, as I believe their mission is vital, and they deserve to get support to increase their capacity for running Language Justice Trainings from NGOs and grant foundations interested in reducing linguistic barriers preventing people from participating in movement and organizing work.

Silver Productions

The Only Website Using Squarespace, brandymsilva.com

Silver Productions had unfortunately already paid for an annual Squarespace plan, and their refund window had passed. So, I designed their website using Squarespace, and for me it solidified an opinion that I already held that Squarespace's marketing campaign about it being easy to use is rather dubious. While the drag and drop functionality is cool, the editor is Slow AF and also certain choices that they have made about where to put specific settings and options in the editor menu make no sense to me. There are also numerous things that my client wanted in terms of design and functionality that are simply not possible to accomplish for an average person using Squarespace due to its supposed ease of use, despite it being barely an inconvenience on self hosted WordPress or static HTML.

For instance, they wanted the heading font in the hero section to be more similar to their logo font. In order to accomplish this without changing EVERY other heading to have that same font, I had to go and look in the developer tools to figure out what Unique ID was assigned to that H1 tag, and then code custom CSS to change the font for only that tag. Meanwhile, on WordPress, changing the specific font of only one element takes approximately 3 clicks, and perhaps even less. There may have been an easier way to accomplish this but Squarespace doesn’t have the best documentation, nor much in the way of online resources.

Anyway. I'm getting off topic. I'll save the rest of this rant about Squarespace and its many shortcomings for when I start a blog. For now, let me just say that it was a pleasure to work with Silver Productions, their filmography looks amazing, and I hope that they have great success in their endeavors, and to help with making the website aspect of their future endeavors easier, I will be rebuilding their website on WordPress when their annual Squarespace plan expires. Finally, not only does Squarespace suck as a website builder, it also have a very restrictive iframe policy applied by default, so I can't provide you a live preview here. Click here to go check out brandymsilva.com.

EcoVisualLab

EcoVisualLab's Testimonial

"Finding a responsible, responsive web developer can be a challenge. And if you do find one it can be excessively costly. Rainbow Forge is a whole different resource. Reliable, cost effective and technically competent. Plus, they’re easy to work with. They did an outstanding job on our Website, handling design and technical challenges and a complex migration with ease."
Rick Colson
Master Printer/Owner
EcoVisualLab.com

WordPress.com to Self Hosted WordPress Migration for ecovisuallab.com

When I found EcoVisualLab's Craigslist post seeking a WordPress developer, unfortunately they had already hired another developer, been ghosted by said developer, and built the website themself using wordpress.com, which is vastly inferior to self hosted WordPress (Why, you ask? YAY I get to rant! Click here😸). So, they were understandably cautious about hiring another developer who might leave them in the lurch.

To reassure them that I could recreate their vision exactly as they had already built it themself on wordpress.com, I first built the site using a free WordPress host. When they were satisfied with the fact that the design was copied precisely from what they had built, then I migrated the site to a subdomain on their hosting provider. Then, I backed up their old HTML website and delivered it to them in a zip file, and finally, when they were fully satisfied with the self hosted WordPress website, and understood how to update and change the site to their liking later on, we migrated the website again to their main domain. It was a pleasure working with them, and they even gave me a tip, as well as writing me a very nice testimonial that you can read below.

Anisha Kohli

Wix to WordPress Migration for ak0hli.com

Ak0hli.com was my first pay-what-you-can BDS Movement Solidarity Wix migration project. I quickly found out it was impossible to directly move a website from Wix (this is one of the reasons why I complain so much about closed, proprietary ecosystems like Wix and Squarespace). Essentially, the previously existing website becomes no more than a design guideline file, not much different from a PDF.

Anyway, so on with the story. The client decided that because the website wouldn't exactly be getting a lot of traffic, nor need to be visible in search results, their priority was to keep the costs associated with it as low as possible. Therefore, I recommended that we use tinkerhost.net (a free WordPress host that allows for connecting a custom domain to your website for free) to host their site.

Because on free hosting plans the host reserves the right to delete your account without notice at any time, I made sure to provide my client backup files for migrating their website, along with detailed instructions on how to use said files to migrate the site to another host. One thing that we struggled with was enabling SSL, due to tinkerhost's support for Cname record domain connection being new, and automatic SSL installation not being possible on tinkerhost.

Despite the complication in maintenance that this will cause, I'm confident that my client will be able to handle it, and if not, I will always be here to help them figure it out. After all, if the result is that you get to host your portfolio website for free (the only cost they're paying for, and will pay for till they decide to upgrade, is the yearly domain renewal price), and ALSO get the ease of editability that WordPress provides, wouldn't you?

M.Gaux Media

The One That Got Away, mgaux.media

This website, despite still being unfinished, is probably my favorite website that I've worked on. The client in this case provided me a good amount of design input, and I enjoyed collaborating with them very much. I implemented custom CSS code within WordPress Kadence theme, using a child theme, to make the footer buttons work with the moving background that I chose.

Speaking of the background, I liked the background animation that I chose so much that I went and followed the tutorial that it was from on medium about how to make particle waves in Unity Engine, and the background that you see on my website is a result of my efforts to replicate the instructions in that tutorial.

Unfortunately, my client got too busy to finish the website, so the work will unfortunately never be finished. That said, I do love the idea of a platform for QTPOC artists to showcase their work, and be supported by public donations directly to the artists.

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