All in the <head> – Ponderings and code by Drew McLellan –

Work with me

I currently have some availability and am looking to take on more consultancy projects in 2019.

What sort of thing do I do? I have years (slightly too many years) of experience with content management, designing systems around publishing and delivering content, and transforming and migrating content between systems. My core expertise is designing systems to deliver content either freely over the web, through paid gateways, or via APIs.

Here’s some examples of the things I can help with.

Sorting out messes

Perhaps you have a system made up of a bundle of CMS plugins, all straining to work together to get you somewhere close to the functionality you need. Perhaps you’re worried what would happen if one of those plugins were to stop working. You want to add new functionality but you’re not sure how that can possibly happen on top of the fragile house of cards you’re currently using.

I can help you figure out how to fix it. I can assess the situation you’re in, identify the immediate threats to your business, and create a strategy to take you forward to a place where you’re working with a solid and dependable technology stack. That might mean shoring up weak spots to remove the immediate risks while we work on a longer term plan to get things onto a more stable footing, making sure that you’re able to keep trading effectively throughout.

Migrating between systems

Do you have content in a legacy system and see to migrate it to something new? Perhaps those two systems don’t have defined import and export procedures, or you don’t even yet know what that new system is. I can help you figure out how to get content out of an old system without resorting to laborious copy-and-paste, and without destroying the text encoding in the process, and then figure out how it can be re-entered into the new.

I’ve done a lot of work with different mailing list platforms. My MailChimp library for PHP has been used over 3 million times. I can help you sort out your email lists, migrate between different systems and get systems in place to manage your lists going forward.

Content management strategy

So you’re regretting putting all your content in a wiki in 2005 but don’t know where to go next. Or you like the allure of flat-file publishing systems but don’t know how to make that work with the more dynamic parts of your site. Perhaps you’re launching a new online media company and the advice you’re getting to put it all on WordPress is making you nervous. I can work with you to define your requirements and identify the right solution for your needs. We can then work on a strategy to get that solution in place without it becoming a lengthy nightmare of a project.

Perch training and development

One of the major projects I’ve worked on over the last 10 years is Perch CMS. If you need to deliver training on using Perch or Perch Runway, I can design a course to meet your requirements and deliver it either in person or online. I also offer custom development services to build add-ons and extensions to Perch, with unparalleled knowledge and access to the underlying system.

Besides designing and building Perch and Perch Runway content management systems and the Perch Shop e-commerce platform, I’ve recently single-handedly designed, architected, and implemented the entire backend of Notist, working with Rachel Andrew on the front-end.

I’m a subject editor for Smashing Magazine (and occasional author) and write for and publish the popular web design and development site 24 ways.

I’m based in Bristol, UK (same timezone as London) and can work on-site, or very happily remotely.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the sort of ways I can help! If you’d like to have a chat about anything, drop me a line and we can set up a call.