Web design

X Marks The Spot - 1999 site

Landing page for boyband X Marks The Spot in 1998

Once upon a time…

…there was a young lady with a passion for music and a desire to promote artists for a living. She had a crazy idea that Internet might just be the key to make this happen in a time when the music business was still resisting the rise of the world wide web. It’s the year 1996. This is the story of myself, Nora Tol, and  my first company Virtual Publishing.

During the course of my teen years it already started to show I was on my way to become an entrepreneur. All the business ideas I had were always directed or closely related to the music business. Fanclubs were started or supported, and there once was a bright idea to start my own music magazine to sell at high school. At age 18 a few of my hobbies, like writing, layout design and playing around with Photoshop, would all come to great use once I got introduced to the Internet. That was the perfect platform to integrate all those hobbies with my passion for music.

Pietje Bell - Home

The first page of the Pietje Bell website

The first website was launched. It was a fansite for MN8 (later the official website for this pop group) and with that, a web design company was born. Many websites followed to get created, as well as logos, flyers, articles, interviews and so much more. That I wasn’t able to just sit down and keep still seemed to be a great asset to the company, as well as my interest in many creative things.

In the first few years I mainly worked on websites about artists, musical, theatre productions and companies that would somehow be linked to the entertainment business. At times I would combine my work for my company with part time jobs as being a webmaster or webdesigner for all kinds of organisations. This introduced me to the world of local politics, health care and telecom, which also affected my company. My assignments started to descent the music business.

Janet Jackson fanpage

The homepage for the Janet Jackson fan page Black Doll

In the meantime web designing became serious work. Standards were introduced, as well as official education on the matter. More scripting languages were introduced and systems that would allow people to maintain their own websites. Also, I got a little older along the way. I started having different priorities. I wanted to use the time I was spending on keeping up with all that was happening on the Internet for other things. I’d found myself not enjoying my work anymore, especially as it had drifted far off from the music scene. After 15 years, in 2011, it became time to close shop and direct my attention to a new challenge. You can see a list of my former clients and portfolio.

Since then I’ve been working as a content editor and I’ve continued to use PhotoShop to create really cool images or just to process image changes in bulk. Skills that have been very beneficiary to my content editing career. Also, my technical insights turned out to help me while I was also working on data migration projects. On my own time, I started working with WordPress and basically spend all my time on my music career. The inevitable happened. In 2015 it was time for a new company.

In 2015 I’ve founded ElNorado Productions, combining my love and interest for music, online marketing and well, anything Internet really. Online content is the main focus, but yes, web design and development is back on the list of services as well. This time I’ve surrounded myself with web designers and developers to make sure I personally don’t do it full time. And WordPress is key to all of us.

What did I do?

Even though Virtual Publishing started out being a webdesign company it quickly evolved into a full service internet company with a strong instictive knowledge of design and marketing. This led to a wide range of activities.

Draijer website

The Draijer homepage in 2000.

Webdesign and webdevelopment:
– design web sites using Photoshop
– design banners (static, animated gif, Flash)
– develop websites in HTML, CSS, Flash, PHP, ASP, JavaScript
– design and configure MYSQL databases
– design and configure Access databases
– design customized templates for PHP Bulletin Board
– create administration websites / Content Management Systems
– created / maintained artist profiles

Writing:
– write content for websites in English and Dutch
– translate content for websites (English to Dutch, Dutch to English)
– edit / write web content in Smartsite 5, Smartsite Ixperion and Joomla
– write biographies for artists
– write articles about Internet and Entertainment for online magazines
– write press releases and provide press with follow up information
– interview people

Internet marketing:
– design, write and send online mailings / newsletters (using my own system or using PHP list)
– maintain mailing list members subscriptions
– analys site statistics (webalizer, google analytics, analog, netstat)
– promote websites in search engines
– adjust websites for the best position

Webhosting:
– register domain names using Auto DNS
– create cPanel hosting accounts using WHM

DTP:
– design logos using Illustrator and Photoshop
– design flyers
– design wall papers and screen savers for Windows
– create enhanced cd’s using Flash
– design mousepads
– design brochures
– design letterheads, written forms and labels in PageMaker and InDesign
– Retouching photos

AV:
– edit / create audio files
– edit / create video files

Other:
– billing and keeping books
– filling out tax forms
– writing quotes

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