Hey, you’ve made it this far, so allow me to introduce myself… (handshake ensues). Nice to meet you. I’m John. Mi casa es su casa, so have a seat, relax and let me share a few thoughts with you and introduce you to the talented folks I work with.
I started this business both before the “Dot Bomb” of 2000 and because of it. During the internet boom time before the bomb, it had become apparent that many big internet companies were charging obscene amounts of money for mostly shoddy work. Many of these companies were, even in a small town like Santa Cruz, running on the Big Business model– focused on expansion, acquiring capital investment funds, and taking advantage of the internet hype. There was less focus on turning out a consistent and functional product. I wasn’t seeing an option for the small business person who needed a professional-looking website, but couldn’t afford to spend $100k just to get it off the ground. I’ve built my business to become that missing option, and then I grew it into the realm where we can serve businesses of any size.
We’re more than a small business web development firm: If you’re part of an enterprise-class corporation, we can provide your company with a stable of managed US-based PHP coders on-demand, providing custom application development and design for that new web application. Non disclosure agreements won’t let us say who, but we are engaged in CakePHP and CodeIgnitor-based large-scale app development for firms whose products we’re almost certain you use on a daily basis.
For smaller businesses, our experience over the years has allowed us to compile a valuable toolbox of customized opensource applications which we’re now able to apply to just about any project. These re-usable tools dramatically cut the end cost when compared to custom programming from scratch, while still allowing us to provide the client with a completely custom site, designed to the client’s exact visual and budget specifications.
I firmly believe that word-of-mouth is more powerful than any kind of radio or print advertising. I’ve gotten all of my business via word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients. Many of the most established and respected business people in Santa Cruz trust me to handle their internet affairs.
Due to the remote nature of the internet, I’ve got clients around the world too… some of whom I’ve never met face-to-face. Sound weird? Well, maybe it is, but it’s not a hindrance to a successful web development project in this day and age. In fact, I support websites and create marketing materials for businesses in Costa Rica, Mexico, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Colorado, Oregon and on a tiny little Caribbean island… among other places.
I like to turn people on to new things. I love to dispel the myth that computers are scary. I love even more to teach people new things. I’m very patient, and make a conscious effort to explain the seemingly arcane world of the internet in terms that my clients understand, whatever their skill level. If you’re slightly computer savvy, I can build you a website that allows you to make many of the updates yourself. If you don’t want to deal with updating your own site, I’m happy to do it for you. I’ll also train you over time to take over management of your site. Whatever suits your needs.
Over the years I have worked with lots of other internet specialists on the 150+ client websites I have setup. I have used this experience to put together a quality team of talented individuals who now work with me on a regular basis to produce more dynamic, more flexible and more powerful websites at any level: from small business to enterprise business. Adding this team has also allowed me to expand our print design offerings, so that we can now offer a full range of logo design and print services, including logo/identity, catalogs, brochures, business cards and direct mail pieces.
So hey, if you’ve read all this and you want to meet up and discuss your project, don’t hesitate to call (831) 464-7914 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
iluminada design, santa cruz
In our initial consultation, we will ask you to provide us with some examples of what you like– either other websites, magazine ads, logos… whatever your project entails. One client once brought a purse as an example of the feeling she wanted for her website. We will want you to let us know what your objectives are and what kinds of things you like– either design-wise or feature-wise.
From there, we will write you a detailed estimate and feature outline. This outline will describe what each feature of your website or print project will consist of and how much the estimated cost will be. We estimate all costs based on our hourly rate, but we can do flat-rate bids if you prefer. This outline also details the ins-and-outs of our responsibilities to you, your responsibilities to us, and the deliverables. This is all done free-of-charge… all we ask is that you follow up with us, even if the estimate doesn’t work for you: tell us so, it’s just common courtesy.
Next, assuming you approve and sign the outline, you will be required to pay 1/3 of the estimated cost as a deposit before we start design. This deposit is refundable, less time spent designing, should you decide early on that you don’t like our design work (that has never happened though– knock on wood– we’re pretty good at getting a design that our clients like).
During the design phase, you will receive design drafts via email as jpg images. It is your job to review those and provide us with accurate feedback so that we can refine our designs to your liking. This is the period during which we will be working with you to compile content for your project. Once design is approved, we move into production. Design can take between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on the amount of drafts your contract allows and the time it takes the client to provide feedback.
The production phase (for websites) is when we code the site an install/write whatever back-end applications you need. The length of the production phase varies, depending on the complexity of your project. For web projects, the production phase is done, usually, on a staging server so you can monitor progress and provide feedback as we go. For print projects, this is the phase during which we prepare your files for press, test colors, and work with the printer to ensure the end product meets your requirements.
For web projects, the last phases are the review phase and the launch phase. During review, we work with you to run through the near-finished site and check for any details that may need fixing. This is also when we test all the software and make sure everything is working as it should— the Q/A phase. If all’s well, then we launch the site.
Once the site is launched, you can choose to enter into a longterm maintenance agreement with us, allowing us to stay on and provide you with regular software maintenance, support and training, among other things.
Based in Santa Cruz | Owner, designer, web architect, winemaker, surfer, musician.
John founded iluminada design in 1999 after an extended trip surfing and traveling in Central America– hence the Spanish language name iluminada– because the multimedia aspects of the internet had opened up a perfect opportunity to create interactive artwork for a living. He’s a graduate of UCSB with an extensive design and fine art background. His web experience began with a tenure as a designer for West Marine’s enterprise eCommerce website, and has grown & evolved since. John’s design style has wowed a wide range of businesses over the years, from enterprise clients like NASA, Americorps and a well-known computer hardware/software manufacturer, to small mom-and-pop businesses.
In his free time, John makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for fun… and for his new boutique winery, Sante Arcangeli Family Wines. He also enjoys snowboarding in Tahoe, playing music, brewing beer (he co-founded Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in 2011 and has since sold his ownership interest), and traveling with his wife to surf warm water point waves in the tropics.
John is proud to serve on the board of directors for Think Local First, Santa Cruz County, a nonprofit group that encourages people to shop as often as possible with locally-owned businesses.
Based in Santa Cruz | Project Manager, General Manager.
Based in Santa Cruz | Systems administrator, software engineer, staff hacker, bigtime foodie.
Based in San Diego | CakePHP/LithiumPHP application developer. Currently committed exclusively to one enterprise client through mid-2013 at least.
Based in San Diego | CakePHP, CodeIgnitor, Python, Ruby on Rails developer. Currently committed exclusively to one enterprise client through mid-2013 at least.
Based in Santa Cruz | Designer, software engineer.
Based in Santa Cruz | Enforcer, book keeper.
Based in Brazov Romania | Identity/Logo specialist.
Based in Amsterdam | Design idea specialist. Design roadblock remover.