Dogs Love To Walk

Dogs Love To Walk is a Peninsula dog walking and boarding service. They wanted to have a website that would be a centerpiece of their business, from high search engine visibility, to online customer intake and booking of their services, as well as a full back end administration for customer handling, appointment approval, payments and notifications.

We designed an engaging website that’s very easy to navigate, is fully mobile optimized and places exceptionally well in search engines.

Customer required:
– Video on homepage
– Customer contract form with online signature field
– Manual customer registration approval system
– Full booking system
– Full SEO
– Assistance with linking and social media marketing

*The contract and registration form was a special challenge, as it requires customer to fill out different fields for different services, and asks for a lot of data. We’re have created complex functionality in a user friendly and easy to navigate way.

See the Google rankings in the site image gallery.


Quick Covid response guide for business

With emergency measures, brick-and-mortar businesses are reeling. Here are a few steps if you’re trying to stay open through the COVID pandemic:

1) Even if you’re a mom-and-pop neighborhood business, make sure you have a website, and even more importantly, that it’s UPDATED. List your new business hours, announce that you’re open (and if you’re open for delivery/takeout only, mention it too).

2) Reach out to your customers though a social account, such as your Facebook page or Instagram as well. Create a Facebook group if you haven’t yet, and update regularly, even if it’s just a snapshot of you working, or how you and your business cope with the quarantine. Create a space for your customers to share their experiences and coping methods. People are feeling isolated, and are reaching out for contact. Keep it positive!Some of the local businesses I follow have created virtual open mic or comedy shows – streaming live on Youtube from Zoom, or weekly cooking shows. Take this time to show off your skills, or bring a weekly dose of support to your customer’s days.

3) Apply for a SBA Payroll Forgiveness loan ASAP! You can apply through your bank or another lender, but do it fast – loans are getting snapped up and the smallest businesses might be last in line if you don’t act FAST. Remember to prepare your payroll info for 2019 and 2018, and include the contractors in the amount. You can find more details on this option and other government relief programs here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

4) Educate yourself on using online videoconferencing platforms. Zoom is the most popular one, and easy to work with. (Don’t know where to start? We can help.) Employee virtual meetings help keep everyone on the same page and help maintain the team spirit, and this is a great way to organize family Zoom get-togethers in these trying times too! A basic Zoom account is free for currently up to 100 attendees. Besides the desktop app, there’s also Zoom for phones, so no one is excluded.

Noe Valley Salon

noevalleyTransfer of an existing design to WordPress with addition of new features and pages. We closely matched the general layout, and had added the “Stylists” page with an administrative back end that makes it easy and painless for the website owner to manage the available stylists.
*Note, client requested that most of the site links lead to their other website


Chico Modeling

screenshot-chicomodeling.com-2018-01-28-09-09-58-691Elegant modeling agency site with model galleries and booking system, easy model entry system for administrator, and application form. Client demanded utmost elegance and simplicity in both looks and function. Includes basic SEO, but the client didn’t implement all optimization techniques that were recommended, choosing to instead focus on social media marketing.


The Trends Trap

An article on a difference between “Web Designer” and “Web Developer” in the fabulous Website Magazine today got me thinking about the many ways this industry scams the public. Wanna know how to avoid the pitfall of getting charged double for fancy words?

Every industry depends on pushing new trends and creating hypes in order to keep the money flowing and the Internet development is not exempt. A couple of the more recent ones in my field are simply relabeling of what any web designer worth your money should know from day one.

  • Responsive“? Yeah, way back in 1998 we considered it a cornerstone of good web design. It simply means that your website should function and be nice looking on all platforms and screen sizes, from desktop to mobile and tablet. Any web designer who IS a web designer should know how to do this, though it’s not easy. That’s why you pay a professional.
  • Ajax“? It’s simply Javascript talking to whatever the backend language you use (often PHP). Both have been around since the ’90s, and the only new element is an emphasis on dynamic interaction between the two.

Web designer vs. Web Developer – is there a real difference?

In one sense, yes. While many programmers (this is what we used to call them, you know) are not necessarily versed in design, being a *good* web designer by necessity includes aspects of programming, SEO, UI development etc. Creating a pretty site without any knowledge of how design elements and structure effect search engine optimization, including loading speed and “freshness”, what a website can technically *do*, or the viewer interaction with the site gets you a nice web postcard and nothing else. That’s how you end up with an unusable site.

A web designer doesn’t have to be master of it all (though it certainly helps), but knowing what’s out there and what is possible certainly helps. I’ve been designing/developing websites for about 18 years, and while my degrees are in Graphic Design & Photography, I had to learn a whole lot of other things in order to call myself a web designer. On top of HTML & CSS (*every* designer must know those), I now have great SEO skills, and can find my way around Javascript, PHP, Mysql etc as needed, as well as knowing some marketing-focused psychology and having an understanding of user interaction. I wouldn’t consider myself a Web Designer without those skills, even though I can create a fabulous looking website layout.

I graduated as an Applied Artist, from a college of Applied Arts. The first thing that was drummed up into our heads was the difference between Applied and Fine Art: for Fine Art, it’s enough that it just sits there. Applied Art must DO things. A website is a *dynamic* entity and a networked entity as opposed to a piece of paper with an ad on it. If all you know is to create a layout, you’re NOT a web designer.

About half the time I get hired to do SEO, for example, I end up having to redesign the basic website functionality and layout too, because someone hired a designer who was capable of designing a website pretty enough to get your money, but with elements that spell search engine disaster. A “real” web designer will know enough not to sabotage your findability.


If you’re shopping for a web designer, be wary of people who are using a lot of buzzwords, and always ask a prospective designer what their experience and knowledge is in both creative/artistic field AND in SEO, user interface development and website functionality development. While large companies often have these roles split, you can still find a single person versed in all of the above, even a reasonably priced one. They don’t have to be a Renaissance Jack-of-all-trades, but do need to know enough to be able to predict your needs in each of these fields, and coordinate with any specialists you might hire down the line.


ALP Homepage

ALP Homepage

Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) is a nationwide educational program launched by the Community College of Baltimore County, with annual conferences and highly successful track record. It has been honored by numerous awards, and was recognized in testimony to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as a top innovation.

This WordPress based web site was originally created for the 2012 ALP Conference in less than a week. Since then, it has grown into a resource center for the Accelerated Learning Program with videos, faculty resources including past conference presentations in PDF & PowerPoint form, and an online ALP Directory with a dynamic map of participating schools. Users can submit ALP Directory entries, Classroom materials, and Conference presentation proposals through forms, with automatic email routing & controlled, formatted posting.

JadeConcept was also contracted for an intense SEO optimizing and the social/newsletter setup. The website currently (2015) appears on the first page of organic Google results for the field term “ALP”, beating the Alp (mountain), the Merriam-Webster online definition of term, as well as any other accelerated learning programs worldwide, and is in the first place overall for the competitive “Accelerated Learning Program” keyphrase.

Site was redesigned in 2014 with new features and some visual changes, and now includes an administrative back end with project collaboration tools. Continuously under development with a number of new features planned. Client has been working with JadeConcept since 2012 to maintain the quality and usability of the website. We post most articles, create or edit images, and do general maintenance and updates as needed.
*Update: Since 2019, we no longer maintain this website. Any updates and modifications from that year on are the responsibility of the client.


AP Platform

FireShot Capture - CCBC APP I Community College of Baltimore County A_ - http___aps.jadeconcept.com_

Homepage before logging in

The Annual Performance Platform is a simple, efficient way to smooth the transition of your faculty and administration to digital annual performance review format. This beta system was custom built for CCBC, but can be adjusted to any school or program that wishes to streamline and modernize the annual reviews process without a steep learning curve. Built specifically for ease of use by low-level computer users, APP also has the advanced features for the savvy user; the ability to upload and display videos, pdfs and more.


  • User-friendly signup and easy online help
  • Choosing the discipline during signup displays the available coordinators
  • Coordinators signing up are matched to the list and automatically promoted. Coordinator back-end includes a page with all submitted annual reports that are ready for review. They also receive an email whenever a report is marked as “Ready for review”.
  • Printed annual reviews are automatically formatted for paper output with all relevant information. See example
  • Simple administration back-end to enter schools, campuses, departments, disciplines and coordinators.

Based on the most used worldwide and flexible web platform, WordPress, APP is ready for extensive customization and expansion, as well as the future upgrades – you will not be at the mercy of a walled-in, completely proprietary software that becomes obsolete within a couple of years. Please contact us if you’re interested in an APP for your educational institution or program.

Page samples:

CRT Program

CRT-CC.org Homepage

CRT-CC.org Homepage

CRT Program is a national cultural awareness program for faculty and students, by Community College of Baltimore County. In 2015, CRT has accomplished its Second Annual National Conference, and have been one of the programs honored through  Leah Meyer Austin Award, by Achieving the Dream initiative that encompasses over 4 million US colleges.

CRT-CC was built to visually represent the multi-cultural awareness, as well as be the meeting point for CRT updates, training and conference related activities. JadeConcept also donated the logo design for the organization.

This is a WordPress based website with a simplified and proofed back-end and admin flow for ease of use by non-technical users.


*Please note, this is user maintained website. JadeConcept is not responsible for missing content or changes in layout and usability.

Lavish Motoring, Inc

Lavish Motoring, Inc Homepage

Lavish Motoring is a luxury pre-owned car seller. The company wanted the website to reflect the elegant, high-end image, while at the same time creating a modern, cutting edge impression. Elements such as advanced search and loan calculator are an additional incentive for buyers.


6 questions to ask your future Web Designer

What the...???

What the…???

Over the many years we’ve been in this business, we’ve heard many horror stories from people who didn’t use care choosing their web design provider. Never finished websites, deadlines extending into months, sites that can’t be updated without professional help and major expense, “invisible” sites on page 236 of Google search results, and sometimes plain robbery – “web designers” who vanish after they take your money.

About 20% of our customers come to us to fix or finish someone else’s work. Yikes! Here are the 6 questions you should have on your checklist.

How to avoid having a bad web design experience:

  1. Always ask to see a portfolio. Every professional web design company has one. This will also give you an idea about whether the designer’s style matches your vision.
  2. Ask for references. A designer should be able to get you in touch with at least one satisfied customer.
  3. Ask for search engine results. A designer should be able to show you at least a couple of examples of websites that place on first or second page of Google – you’d get a couple of search terms (keywords) a site is “primed” for, and find the given site in the results yourself. Please note that the exact placement changes over time, as Google changes its search engine parameters constantly. Still, a well SEO’d site should show up high and stay there.
  4. Always ask for a written legal contract. Contract should specify the project’s price, deadlines, and scope of work, as well as procedure in case of extra work needed, or the breach of contract. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting a tiny personal website or a huge online mall – always, always get a contract. A designer who doesn’t want to provide one, or doesn’t have a standard contract ready is not a professional.
  5. Ask how the website will be updated. You should be able to add or change the basic content yourself – write new articles, change in-page photos and such. Don’t expect to be able to change the basic look of the site – if you could do this, you wouldn’t be needing a professional designer to begin with :-). A cheap website that only a pro can update will very soon become either out of date, or very expensive.
  6. Payment should not be 100% down, except maybe in case of a very small sum. For example, we require 1/2 down for smaller projects, 1/3 down, then 1/3 on the first approved draft for medium size ones, and arrange for a similarly reasonable payment schedule for large projects. The final payment is always made upon delivery – once the website is up, and you’ve seen it work. Some designers will not like that – we often have to spend months trying to wrestle that last payment from a customer; so please be professional too. After all, your web designer is someone you’ll likely need in the future (and they have full access to your new site!).