Hello, I’m Paul Houser and I make websites.
What is this?
This is my website.
What do you do again?
I make websites. Well ok, that’s rather reductive. My specialty is making website platforms. That is, custom applications for the web that don’t fit the mold of a typical out-of-the-box website. Something that would be impossible or impractical on a system like Squarespace or Shopify. (Although, I do work with those too sometimes.) If you have a need for a website that is more than just a marketing front end, you need it to do something, I can help you out.
I’ve been professionally developing and designing for the web since 2005. That’s at least 7 internet eras ago, I remember when Twitter was fun. And I’ve seen a lot, been behind the scenes of so many client sites that I lost count, and I hope to soon start moving into less actual coding and more teaching & education. We’ll see, I suppose.
What have you done?
Do you like real estate? I’ve made a lot of websites and platforms for selling real estate. Right now I’m working with a company called Vestor Filter to make WordPress-based websites with custom-indexed property listings. It sounds rather boring but it’s an enormously useful system for both agents who want to broker real estate, and property owners who want to buy and/or sell real estate. If you’re an agent who can’t find the right fit in any of the major platforms, please check Vestor Filter out.
I spend a lot of time fighting with the limitations of Shopify, but cool and unique things CAN be done on their platform. Like,
I made this website for a super great board game publisher, Floodgate Games. They needed some enormously complex and unique product layouts that simply aren’t possible with standard Shopify product functionality, but we pulled it off using a LOT of meta fields.
Shopify’s standard search indexing is basically a joke. There’s almost no filtering ability, when you put together a collection of products, the best you can do with standard Shopify templates is sort by a few common fields. By try out The TackHack’s Catalogue - you’ll notice a comprehensive list of filters in the sidebar. This is accomplished with a huge set of metafield data that is sent to the browser and then applied to product results entirely client-side, page refreshing isn’t even necessary. A great example of stretching the limits of Shopify’s front-end template possibilities.
A Kickstarter pledge manager that directly integrates with Shopify to provide backers with rewards, allow upsells, and additional backer management.
A database and plugin platform for connecting customers and local food growers to businesses, retailers, grocers, and other local resources.
A multi-site network for quickly building job board websites to fit a specific industry.