Charleston & Fort Collins Technology Swap

Announced last week, the City of Fort Collins, CO and Charleston are swapping startup entrepreneurs.

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.30.49 AM

I’m particularly excited because Fort Collins, or The Fort, was where Rainmaker Web Design was founded back in 2005. It seems like an exciting opportunity for a couple entrepreneurs from each location to gain market reach and insight into business environments from a totally different part of the country.

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the city of Fort Collins to create Innovation Swap, an initiative that’s essentially like a weekend-long student exchange program for startup companies.

One entrepreneur from each online slots city will be chosen to trade places, which the organizers say will prep startup companies for national growth and promote collaboration between like-minded markets.

~ Post & Courier

There’s a short time fuse on applying though, so if you’re interested make sure you go to the Charleston Chamber’s website and fill out the survey by Monday May, 12th.

New Web Design: E+E Architecture

Every now and then, a client comes to Rainmaker Web Design knowing exactly what they want.  E+E Architecture, Inc. in Athens did exactly that.  And one look at their project list and photos, it’s no wonder – an eye for design like theirs transcends all forms of media from the physical world right onto the web.

It’s often said about restaurants, that if the food is that good, people will find you in a warehouse.  Now don’t take me wrong, E+E’s office in the Bottleworks development is one of a kind, but it’s no small wonder local favorites new and old such as Creature Comforts Brewery and 5&10 chose E+E as their architecture firm.  A quick look at their projects, and it’s easy to see why their new website focuses on their work and leaves their designs to speak for themselves.

Home Page Slideshow


Mobile Layout


Project Listing


Contact Page


New Web Design: Ridge Pointe of Athens

Welcome_to_Ridge_Pointe_Ridge_Pointe_Community_-_Athens,_GA_-_2014-04-26_00.22.04 copyAnother great opportunity, another happy client. Millworks Holdings, LLC came to us with a blank slate for their next development in the Athens, GA area. We worked closely with their marketing team, offering suggestions and guidance to target the local real estate market by utilizing mobile/responsive design, elegant image galleries, videos, and on-site driving directions to best showcase this attractive development located just outside Athens in Bogart, GA.

Continue reading

Charleston Hackathon 2014 Dates Announced

Hackathon Charleston 2014 dates have been announced for August 23rd & 24th, 2014.

Pillaging your neighbors is highly recommend and encouraged.

Judging categories include iOS, Android, Windows, and Responsive Web Applications.  Apparently, rum, fun, and plenty of “booty” will be in store for all software “pirates” of Silcon Harbor.

Check out SPARC’s website for Hackathon Charleston for more information and to sign up for email updates.

Responsive Grid Status Trick w/ Media Queries

responsivetemplatesThese days there are tons of great tools for designing responsive websites, including many built right into the browsers.  But even if you fire up the Responsive Design Mode in Firefox or the equivalent – how do you know what media queries are being fired?

The quick and easy trick is to add a 10 pixel colored bar to the bottom of the site, so that it changes colors as screen width changes. This can make it really easy to tell quickly what media queries are firing.

(you can insert this in your footer, and remove it prior to production):

<div class="responsive-status"></div>


.responsive-status {
/* Width > 980 px */
@media all and (min-width: 980px) { background:red;}
/* 768px < Width < 980 px */
@media all and (min-width: 768px) and (max-width: 980px) { background:green;} 
/* 480px < Width < 769 px */
@media all and (min-width: 480px) and (max-width: 768px) { background:red;}
/* Width < 480 px */
@media all and (max-width: 480px) { background:purple;}

Digital Athens – March 21st

Digital Athens is a day-long event of workshops, seminars, speakers, and networking that brings together students, entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, solution providers, and executives to discuss the Digital Marketing space. This year, we are focusing on developing a “toolkit” where guests will leave the event ready to utilize Digital Marketing techniques to generate value for themselves, their businesses, and their clients.

Topics include:

  • Social Media
  • AdWords
  • SEO
  • Digital Marketing ROI
  • Websites
  • Content
  • Digital Advertising
  • E-commerce

Who, What, When, Where…

  • Friday March 21st
  • 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • Holiday Inn Athens
    197 E Broad St
    Athens, GA 30601

Six Web Design Books You Should Read In 2014

Pro jQuery 2.0

by Adam Freeman (10/13)

Since jQuery 2.0 being released last year, dropping a bunch of weight in kb’s along with it’s support for older versions of Internet Explorer this is an overdue read for your’s truly.

Web Designer’s Idea Book, Volume 4

by Patrick McNeil (Available 10/14)

As a proud owner of volumes 2 & 3, I can tell you this is one of the most enjoyable and useful resources I have at the office. It’s simply a few pointers and a ton of screenshots of some of the best web designs out there currently to learn from, emulate, and inspire.

Know Your Onions: Web Design: Jet Propel Yourself into the Driving Sear of a Top-class Web Designer and Hurtle Towards Creative Stardom

by Drew de Soto (Available 3/14)

The title of this book makes some big claims… But, 160 pages for under $15 and I’m hooked. In fairness Drew’s 2012 book has great reviews, and the gentlemen has the CV to back it up.

Building Web Apps with WordPress

by Brian Messenlehner (Available 3/14)

The last couple years in WordPress development have really pushed the once blogging platform to new limits in applications, and I for once expect the trend to continue if not accelerate.

Type on Screen: New Typographic Systems

by Maryland Institute College of Art (5/14)

The follow up to Thinking with Type, finally a book that translates typography in a classical sense over to screens – or in other words a typography primer for 21st century creatives.

Mobile Design Pattern Gallery: UI Patterns for Mobile Applications

by Theresa Neil (Available 5/14)

O’Reilly’s updated Mobile UI patter guide update for the Flat Design revolution?

Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose

by Nicole Fenton & Kate Kiefer Lee (Available 6/14)

Looks like a great read to provoke thoughts on voice and tone as storytelling becomes such a hot trend in digital.

The Greatest Website in Athens Contest

Thought we’d have some fun today, even though it’s not quite Friday.

The submission deadline has been extended to Friday February 21st at 5:00 pm is the final call for website submissions.

athens-greatest-websiteSo the question came up “What’s the Best Website in Athens?”

A place with as much creativity as Athens renders this a very hard question to answer.  However, together with the help of other Athens creatives and the greater public I think we can pen an answer to this question and hopefully start a friendly competition between all of the usual suspects as well as some rising stars from the area.

Rules & Regs.

  1. All submissions must be entered by Friday, February 14th at 5:00 pm using the form below or comments section of this post.
  2. An all star selection committee will be posted by weeks end that will exclude me.
  3. Said selection committee will meet, possibly over a pint or two to discuss submissions and choose the winner.
  4. The winner & runners up will be announced Wednesday February 19th.

Criteria & Eligibility

  • To be eligible the website must be a business based within Athens-Clarke County
  • Websites will be judged based upon their appearance on a variety of devices
  • The main criteria for the selection process will be: User Experience, Style, and Creativity


Bragging rights aren’t enough? 

Having your name associated with The Greatest Website in Athens for the whole world to see into perpetuity still not enough?

Well then, I personally will buy the designer and submitter of the winning design an adult beverage of their choice at an establishment of their choosing, along with as many high fives as one can muster in a 4.5 hour period.

Website Submissions:

Your Name*

Your Email*

Website URL*