All posts in PHP

Musician Freelancer WordPress Theme Examples

I have friends. We all have friends. Friends are good. When my musician friends come calling or start complaining about their websites, I like to lend a hand. I find making musician websites to be really fun. Cool photos. New design challenges. Music playlists.

Two such friends in San Francisco, from two very different musical genres, but about the same age, needed website upgrades. It is the usual story in a way. Both had ten year old sites that had these really “cool” beveled buttons and animated gifs flying across the screen. The colors were all “web safe” (dear lord, I am glad we are through with that) and of course you needed a magnify glass to read anything as the type was 11 point throughout. Forget about viewing these old sites on a phone.

Using the exact same theme, Musician Freelancer created by yours truly, I made these two sites with the existing content from the old sites.


jeannie and chuck

The theme is the Musician Freelance theme available on github.

Now I can always know where these great musician are playing around town. Do check out these great posters by Mississippi Mike.

Recent Small Jobs

A few smaller jobs that I was involved in recently and now it is time to give a shout-out to people looking for work or trying to run a taxi company in SF.


A very talented designer, looking for a gig. I worked with him at Monster and he is a great guy. He needed some help debugging the JavaScript and responsive CSS stuff.


A dependable, quality flat-rate taxi service in San Francisco with online reservations. This is a custom WordPress implementation. Originally he had his site in the truly awful VistaPrint web world. Run away from that system like the plague!!! I set ATA all up with WordPress. I created a plugin so that the data for the various fares is managed in a Google spreadsheet. This data is then used to run the entire shopping cart. The site sends the user to an simple checkout. Secure, clean, dependable, flexible and really awesome.

New WordPress Theme “Music Freelancer”

Had a great time building this theme for my son Kai. It is a WordPress theme for Musicians. Basic but effective for the playing and teaching musician. Utilizes Bootstrap 3.2 & fontawesome an upgraded audio playlist feature with images. Uses “Featured Images” as the fullscreen background to pages. Ongoing project in my desire to master custom WordPress theme development.



This is a free theme.

How to Create Your Own File-Based Image Galleries with php, ftp, Shadowbox and a Groovy File Structure

or perhaps titled:

I don’t trust anyone with my photos, not Flickr, not Google and especially not Mark Zuckerberg!


  • Linux Hosting Account (php enabled)
  • ftp program for uploading files


I wrote this post a few years ago and recently updated it with some automated thumbnail creation. Below is that original post.

Many years ago, in the dark ages of web development, when I had a Windows hosting account, you know one of those $4.95 a month deals, and I wanted to post lovely photos of my kids and vacations, I would do it a state of the art way. I’d open Photoshop 7 and chose “Create Web Gallery.” I would then wrestle the various dialogue boxes into submission and create a Web Gallery. It worked. It looked cool. It used tables for layouts. I was a genius.

Last year I closed my Windows hosting account. Never use webhost4life. It is a terrible hosting company. As I was doing a lot of Word Press, I chose BlueHost. So far so good.

Now I could have just uploaded all my old Photoshop galleries to my new hosting account but this seemed lame. I did not want to use any Web 2.0 stuff, in other words startup companies just waiting to be bought out and make your life really complicated, but I did want to use ftp to upload files. So with a little php, notably scandir, I created a way to display all the photos in lovely paging galleries.  The first time a particular gallery is accessed, it creates a folder of thumbnails in that directory named ‘thumbs.’ This makes the pages load faster.  Larger versions of the images utilize Michael Jackson shadowbox, still one of my favorite lightboxes  There is no indexing for searching, or meta tags, but to be honest, I would never get around to entering this sort of data. Maybe in the next version, I will add this feature.

A few key elements (let us say features and recommendations) of “Paul’s Amazing php Photo Gallery” are

  • Name your folders like this 2012-08-New York. The folders will display by replacing the dashes with spaces and are ordered in descending order.
  • Process your images to 1200px wide. This way they will look great when large, but not so big it takes forever to see a gallery.
  • All gallery images have a lightbox large image version. Go shadowbox!

that’s it…

SEO and Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Designs

I have always been someone who thinks beyond the task at hand and to the larger impact of decisions and the things created. Recently, I did a little project for my buddy Pierre who works at a local electronic repair shop – This little website has been a great test environment for me. This time the job took about a day. This morning, with a fresh browser I observed the effects of the website changes had on SEO.


Their old site was a clunky thing that I did in 2006 so they really needed an upgrade. This time I choose a WordPress, Bootstap 3.0 enabled theme that of course is responsive (meaning mobile-friendly). I implemented Google maps, made sure they where set up with SEO friends urls, description META tags all good, titles just right, etc. I then moved the site to my account on BlueHost which simply ROCKS!

Before the site change, I noticed that L&M Electronics had fallen off the search results of Google. A week after the site launched, they now come up on the first page for all kinds of search terms – ‘san francisco receiver repair’, ‘san Francisco autio repair’, ‘stereo repair sf.’ As well as simply “L and M Electronics.”

While Google states it does not take into account responsive designs into SEO and that it does not hurt.

From my anecdotal trial, I have a feeling that Google prefers responsive design. Google is in the business of serving up quality search results. It makes them look good when your website looks good on all devices. Even though the content on this website was exactly the same, it helps to make a new website. Google likes current information and a new website gives them the impression that the site is being maintained.

If you need to upgrade your small business website, just call or email. Here to help out.