Hello South Carolina

Goodbye Birmingham, I’m moving to Charleston!

This year sees my husband transitioning from medical student to doctor. After 4 years at UASOM, I couldn’t be more proud of him and the work he has done to advance his career. He spent the better part of this past winter interviewing across the south east for anesthesiology residencies, and he matched for one at the Medical College of Charleston, SC.

Thankfully, my wonderful employers are letting me stay on as web designer, and work remotely.

See you in the Palmetto State!


Client Story: KaramFoundation.org.

An amazing non-profit organization that provides much needed supplies to those affected by the war in Syria.

Enter Ironman

Iron Man


A politically active singer partnered with Karam Foundation; dedicating the sales of his newest album to their cause.

The Plot:

I received a very concerned email from the owner of a website I helped build and currently host. The singer was apparently a cousin of a REAL Hollywood celebrity. That celebrity cousin was going to share the website in a few days. After reading the email I wasn’t overly concerned – people exaggerate after all. I assumed it was going to be “that guy, from that movie.” Someone who’s filmography was an extensive list in background characters, not the first to die in an action/horror flick, but definitely not hero material.

She had some legitimate updates to make, and I busied myself with those while watching the email chatter as this progressed through the week. Who was going to take a moment away from the red carpet to share a website built in the “dirty south?” I quickly found out Robert Downey Jr. is who!

Robert Downey Jr Post

I staked out his Facebook Fanpage, frequently checking for the post of the century. It came on Friday morning, a “Family Friday” post with a link to the singer’s Youtube Video and to the singer’s page on Karam’s website. 

The Results:

I watched the Google Analytics Real-Time tracker as visitors started rolling in. As expected, most stayed on the page RDJ had linked. Others branched out – visiting the board of directors page (vetting the organization before donating), and then onto the projects and donation pages deeper within the site.

After it was all said in done, the site had more visits that day than it usually gets in one month. The Facebook post itself had 424 comments, over 13 thousand likes, and 271 shares. Not bad for a days work.

Most of the comments were relevant to Syria, commending RDJ for sharing this subject, or declaring themselves as past or present citizens of the war torn country. I had been worried that due to RDJ’s typical post archetype (fun and superficial) his fanbase might not respond to the more serious post.


Defending the Glitch

Screenshot of HealthCare.gov

Screenshot of HealthCare.gov

The launch of the healthcare.gov site has shined an interrogation style spotlight on the often over-looked world of Mountain Dew, Corn Chips, and Snicker bars, the world of web development. As a basic PHP developer myself I feel like my brothers at keyboard are being unfairly crucified for mistakes that are sadly industry standard!

On the first days of the failed site Obamacare proponents were pushing a story of site overload. Similar to when Oprah shares the girl next door’s blog entry on her website, the girl next door’s blog crashes. Why? Volume. A webserver can only handle so much traffic, and when it reaches capacity it gets gridlocked just like the Red Mountain Expressway in 5:00 traffic. No one goes anywhere.

Read More »

Google Cart is Checking Out


It was good while it lasted.

Webmasters around the globe, get ready for the scramble, Google Checkout is going the way of the dinosaur! That once simple, easy to integrate ecommerce solution is no more. As of November 20th, 2013 if you are using Google Checkout, you had better change to something else.

Google Checkout was introduced in 2006 as a way to simplify online purchasing. Create one profile and use it everywhere Google Checkout is accepted. No need to retype your address and payment information. Sound familiar? Yep, sounds a lot like Paypal.

On the sales and development end it sounds has a similar model to Paypal’s as well. It boasts an easy integration into your website. Just a few quick lines of javascript and you are basically done.

As a developer I loved Google Checkout. Small businesses with only a few items to sell, who had no real order fulfillment process in place, no actual credit card processing contracts were perfect for Google Checkout. It integrated easily with static HTML websites, dynamic PHP websites and there were even some really nice plugins for WordPress out there.

Google WalletIn 2011 Google introduced Wallet, and Checkout became a part of Google Wallet. I suppose we should have seen the writing on the wall then. Wallet was integrated with GMail and allows users to send and receive money to and from each other, once again, just like Paypal. If brick and mortar businesses support the app then you can pay with your digital Google Wallet on your Android phone instead of a plastic credit card. This change is shifting the payment model from eCommerce to personal finance and 2013 sees the final nail in the coffin – then end of Checkout.

For the small business owner it looks like Paypal is the only “easy” option left.


Emily L. Hunter | Graphic Design | Web Design | 205.821.9056 | Birmingham, Alabama