All About sitebyMIKE
I started sitebyMIKE in 1999 when my interest in art and programming collided and took me in the direction of the World Wide Web. While I was learning the details of crafting websites, I leveraged this new knowledge in two different directions. During the day I was working as a web designer for Follett Higher Education Group on their ecommerce site, efollett.com, and other projects. At night I built sites for small businesses which allowed me to stretch the boundaries of my knowledge and create new web experiences.
A Shift to Independence
In 2004 an opportunity to work with NASA presented itself. The time commitment required for this project would be more than was available during my ‘moonlighting’ time, so I was faced with the decision of letting the opportunity slip away or leaving the safety of my full time job. Chances to work with institutions like NASA sometimes only come once in a lifetime, so I left the safety of my job at Follett and started doing freelance web site design and development full time starting in February 2004.
The frontier days of the Web were fun and taught me a lot about how websites could perform effectively for businesses. I’ve been doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) long before they even had a term for it.
Now I provide website design and development services for a variety of businesses both large and small. Working with mature Content Management Systems and best practice design standards are a major part of the daily routine.
My days are spent as a reliable web design resources for many businesses in Chicago, Elgin, the surrounding suburbs and thorough the country that are planning to launch a website, maintaining their existing website or hoping to enhance their existing internet presence.
I also partner with several other design studios, so the skill sets I provide to any business extend beyond what I can do alone. By keeping my business lean and partnering with these other studios, together we can provide high quality work to our clients at a much more reasonable rate than what is charged by a full design studio.
Giving Back to the Community
In my free time, I’m one of the founding members of Oddball Art Labs, a local non-profit art group. We host gallery shows in Elgin and have donated a portion of our shows’ proceeds to local charities.
You may also see the Oddball Art Labs Mobile Art Machine in various businesses in downtown Elgin. We started it as a way to get affordable original art by local artists into the hands of local art collectors. Its ‘mobile’ nature allows us to provide Elgin businesses with something fun to promote while spotlighting the talents of the local art community.