James work on laptop

A front end web developer who cares!

I like to think of myself as working at the "front" of front end web development. That is to say I enjoy working with CSS, HTML and JavaScript which compliments my background and education in graphic design quite nicely. I find design systems fascinating, and love working on them. However I'm no stranger to databases and API integrations when needed. With more than 10 years experience in web design and development I'm well placed to help you take your online presence further.

I build creative marketing and e-commerce websites with WordPress that require bespoke front end designs and solutions. I also use Eleventy which is great for a number of projects, whether it's smaller websites not requiring a CMS, or if a client wants to use the Jamstack with a headless CMS.

I'm a firm believer that the only way to change the current state of the web and improve it for everyone is to lead by example. As such I'm concious of ensuring all the websites I build are completed to the highest standards I can deliver.

I like to advocate for a no-nonsense approach when developing websites. Sematic markup, responsive design, accessible practices, and cross browser compatibility form solid foundations for websites. And can be improved with progressive enhancement, and high performance optimisation which also helps keep websites more energy efficient and sustainable.

James hiking at Moose Lake, Jasper, Canada

How I became a front end web developer

It took some time to figure out that becoming a freelance web developer was the path for me, however I'm really glad that I got here in the end!

I have always enjoyed tinkering with computers, learning to build pc's together with my dad from a young age. However my education predominantly followed a path of art and design, letting me explore various creative opportunities. At university I studied graphic design, with a focus on typography, and enjoyed a shortlisting at the Penguin design awards once upon a time.

Eventually I decided that bringing together my passion for computers, code, and design was a good fit for me. So I grabbed multiple .net magazine publications (way back when) as I didn't know where else to learn about coding, and studied them furiously alongside any information I could glean from the internet. Fast forward 6 months later and I had my first job as a web designer at a small agency, thanks in part to my background in design.

In the following 10 years I progressed from junior web designer to a company director. Learning some invaluable skills and lessons along the way, through a combination of successes and failures. Eventually though I knew I needed to find a new challenge, and took the leap of faith to continue my journey forward self-employed as front end web developer.

Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work alongside some fantastic clients, building lasting relationships with some wonderful design agencies and freelancers alike. I've been involved in projects from multiple sectors including councils, charities, photography agencies, property, startups, e-commerce and online marketplaces.

Currently I'm enjoying the challenge of working for myself, along with the freedom it provides to make the most of each day.

James riding a mountain bike at Bike park Wales

Enjoying life outside, and away from the computer

When I'm not at my keyboard coding there's a good chance I'm out exploring in one way or another.

Whether it's walking our springer spaniel, going on a hiking adventure with my photography enthused wife, or racing around the local Shropshire hills on my mountain bike, outside is where I like to be.