Splashpress Media

Project Launchpad

Posted on Oct 20, 2008

perflaunchpad

Jeff Chandler over at Performancing has announced a new project at the Hive.

Here is what he reported:

Remember back in early July when I described how change was on the horizon for Performancing? One of the ideas I proposed was something called Project Launchpad. Here is what Project Launchpad is all about. The Hive is filled with an abundant amount of talent, so much so that most of the members are launching their own projects. As a way of saying thanks to them for being a part of this wonderful community, I will be featuring projects from time to time from these individuals. These projects may consist of services, new websites, software, ebooks, etc. If you are interested in having your project seen by almost 10,000 RSS subscribers and thousands more unique visitors, join the Hive and become part of the collective.

With that said, I want to congratulate Lachy (pronounced Locky) better known as eversuns on the hive for being the first one to be featured on project launchpad.

Lachy has recently launched a PSD to WordPress design service which takes a user given PSD design mock up and then slices it up into a WordPress theme. Although the domain name threw me for a loop (PSDtoWordPress.com, thought he was making WordPress.com themes) Lachy was quick to note that the themes are for the stand alone version of WordPress. I recently interviewed Lachy to get a sense of what this service is all about. Truthfully, there are many services just like his but I wanted to find out what makes his different than the rest.

PSDtoWordPress Logo

JeffC – First off, who designed PSD To WordPress because the design is beautiful?

Lachy – A wonderful designer by the name of Chris Rowe. You can see his portfolio over at Onvo.co.uk.

JeffC – Considering there are a number of PSD to Website services available, what are some points of difference that you offer?

Lachy – That’s true, there are a whole load of PSD to Website services available, but how many are dedicated to WordPress? Not many. The PSD to Website services might have some guy that learned how to code for wordpress that afternoon because they have a client that needs it, but we are dedicated to WordPress!

JeffC – How much demand have you seen for a service such as yours. Considering that if someone has the skills to create a PSD sketch of a particular design, don’t they already have the skills to create it into a usable design?

Lachy – The demand is huge! I’ve worked with a few other PSD to Website services and the percentage of WordPress clients is very high. Some of the PSD to Website services are companies that make their living off these sites. Hopefully, that will be me in a few years. A designer can design a wonderful PSD, but a high percentage of them don’t even know what xHTML stands for!

There is a big difference between knowing how to code xHTML / CSS and slicing it in Photoshop and telling it to save you an HTML file.

JeffC – I noticed that the checkout system for your service has a variable rate depending on the circumstances selected by the customer. What is the cheapest price available for customers and if I wanted the bells and whistles, how much are we talking?

Lachy – If you are just after a basic WordPress package, with 4 pages or less (Homepage, Blog, Single, Page template) and a 10 day turnaround you can get that price down to $230. If you need it done in 1 day it’s $400. But we keep the default on 3 with $300. This quote is quite basic, if you need a lot more pages, an options page, plugin integration the price starts to go up a bit, but we discuss that in email and try to give the client the best deal for their budget.

Castleaccess.com Georanking.com
Two examples of Lachy’s work. CastleAccess.com and Georanking.com

JeffC – So lets say I pay you the amount listed on your website for the project. What happens if I am not satisfied with the work? Do you offer any type of guarantees or money back offers?

Lachy – I think an excerpt from the About Us page summarizes that. “We rest assured on our ability to turn your design into your dream WordPress theme so much, that we are willing to give your money back if you aren’t satisfied with it for any reason. If for some reason we can’t do the order, or you need to cancel the order before we’ve started, you’ll get every last penny back with no questions asked.

We will do our very best to satisfy you, and if you’re not, we will try fix the problem. But if worst comes to worst, we will refund you, but you will not get the completed project files.

JeffC – Seems fair enough. Out of curiosity, I know Automattic is not too keen with people using WordPress as part of their domain name. Have they approached you about possible trademark issues?

Lachy – I came across that just after launch. Extremely disappointed! They have not approached me, but with the amount of WordPress related websites out there, with WordPress in the domain, I don’t think they will have too much of a problem. If they email me, we will sort it out there.

Additional Options

JeffC – You obviously know a bit about design, coding etc. What sort of tips can you provide to the readers of Performancing that relate to WordPress or the use of Photoshop?

Lachy – Read read read! I recommend heading down, going through the WordPress codex, downloading themes from quality makers like “Smashing Magazine” and looking at their code. Then just practice, practice and practice a little more.

Conclusion:

As mentioned previously, there are plenty of individuals as well as design firms that specialize in turning PSD files into usable websites. Some of these firms claim they can do PSD to XHTML in 24 hours or less. Lachy has a beautiful website and a very simple order form on his side of the coin. From all of us here at Performancing, we wish him the best of luck on his endeavor.

Before you go, Lachy has provided a special discount code for Performancing.com readers. This coupon code is available to whom ever wants to use it. When checking out, use the code PERF01. This code will net you 10% off your total.

And just this weekend, Jeff has come out with the second installment of the Project Launchpad series- See it Skip:

This time around, the project launcher is iisbum from the hive and the name of the project is See It Skip It. iisbum has been a member of the Hive community since February, 2008.

SeeItSkipIt Logo

Jeff – What is the purpose of See It Skip It?

iisbum – Trailers play a huge part in deciding if you want to see a movie or not, regardless of who wrote, starred, or directed the movie. Reviews and recommendations are probably the single most important factor, but those tend to come after the movies has been in theaters for a while, by rating the trailers, See It Skip It can help you decide if you want to see the movie before it has been released.

Jeff – Why would I want to visit this site over the Internet Movie Database?

iisbum –IMDB is an awesome site, I visit it all the time. It is a great information resource, however like most other movie review sites, the information as whether you should or should not go to see a movie can come a little late. Like most people I like to go watch movies as soon as they are released, and there are a handful each week, picking one to watch is the tricky part — something that I hope See It Skip It can help with.

Jeff – What sort of technology or software is running behind the scenes?

iisbum –The website is custom built on a standard LAMP architecture using a proprietary PHP framework that I developed myself. The website does some RSS aggregation and parsing to help us identify new trailers as they become available. A simple CMS allows us to quickly and easily update the site.

Movie Trailers

Jeff – Do you think that those who come across the site will base their notion of watching a movie based on the number of skip it or see it votes the trailer has received?

iisbum –If the Internet has done anything it has empowered everyone to research and make up there own mind about things, but with the little amount of free time people seem to have these days, I think people may base their desire to watch the movie trailer based on user voting, let alone the movie itself. But like all things, the voting is just a guide and people will use that as another factor in their decision making process.

Jeff – What are some things you have planned for the site now that the launch has occurred?

iisbum – There are two things that I would like to focus on now that the site has launched (other than continuing to add movies and trailers to the site).

The blog is going to be an important part of the site to keep people informed what is happening on the site and with movie and trailer related news. I would also like to extend the rating system to the movies itself to we can measure how well the trailer represents the quality of the movie.

Voting Options

Jeff – Is there anything you would like to tell our audience with regards to the site?

iisbum –I see people building websites all the time, just to turn a penny, and whilst that is very possible I encourage people to work with something they are passionate about. I am a big fan of movies and that was one of the reasons I built this website, I hope it will be profitable but it takes hard work and time for that to happen, and its far easier to do that with something that you are passionate about.

The Hive is filled with an abundant amount of talent, so much so that most of the members are launching their own projects. As a way of saying thanks to them for being a part of this wonderful community, I will be featuring projects from time to time from these individuals. These projects may consist of services, new websites, software, ebooks, etc. If you are interested in having your project seen by almost 10,000 RSS subscribers and thousands more unique visitors, join the Hive and become part of the collective.

So do join the Hive and be part of Project Launchpad!!