"Really Ame is my website therapist"
Pixel Lava is a design practice ... with a little therapy thrown in.
I work directly with my clients to provide web development and graphic design services. I do not outsource design or development work to the developing world or anywhere else. I personally design, build and maintain my sites and stand behind them to offer full service, upgrades and support. I work with the latest industry-standard technologies and software to provide reliable solutions to meet the needs of individuals, small businesses and nonprofits. My focus is on service. If problems or questions arise you can easily reach me and get a personal response with your project details at hand as soon as possible.
Okay, but therapy?
Problems with your website can be maddening. I've spoken to people who are in tears from finding a critical form broken right before a big event, or after discovering that their web person has disappeared with no notice (or worse, died without sharing any passwords). I am here to help, listen and support you. After many years of doing this work I've learned how to listen and patiently, tenaciously work through a wide range of problems. I've been called a website therapist because I enjoy working with people - and a website is just a part of a person's life.
Who's behind Pixel Lava?
After graduating from UCSD in 1991 I worked as a volunteer on a reforestation project in Mozambique, Africa and then returned to San Diego to be with family. As the internet developed I became fascinated with the ways in which it could bring people together regardless of geographical location. I began working in what we then called new media in 1997 and graduated from the San Diego Continuing Education Center for Educational Technology in their first Multimedia Certificate program. I spent the next seven years looking after the web, multimedia and graphic design needs of a terrific software company called Symitar.
In 2005 I made Pixel Lava Interactive a full time business and have hand-crafted hundreds of websites, print items and multimedia projects. In addition to me, Pixel Lava includes talented local service providers which I call upon as needed including an eco-conscious, family-run print shop, copy editors and photographers.
When I'm not working on digital goods I like to experiment with apps, lift heavy things at Stern's Gym, play with art in my studio, hike San Diego's beaches and mountains and spend time with my amazing partner Anne Wolf and our little furry dragon Mochi.
How it works
My Communication Lines Are Open
If problems or questions arise you can easily reach me directly by email and by phone. No horrid help desk tickets or annoying phone trees here. When you contact me you get a personal response from me with your project details at hand as soon as possible. I make an effort to reply within 24 hours. While texting me is fine, sending me a quick email is often a better way to get your question answered or request completed.
Leave great phone messages and emails - speed our work together
If I can’t answer my phone it’s because I’m either driving or already speaking to someone. Please leave a message with your request and details. The more info you provide when making a request or answering a question, the better I can respond.
I’ll get your project done in under 60 days
Your project has a maximum timeline of 60 days. In working with clients for over 10 years I’ve found that projects stretching longer encounter a wide range of problems from cost overruns to loss of effectiveness. My goal is to deliver a great product that you can start using as soon as possible. Please make a mental note that I’ll be counting on you to participate actively in that process.
Turnaround time: New maintenance and development requests are completed on a first come, first served basis. A block of time each day is devoted exclusively to providing service to existing clients. Please be aware that new requests have a 3-5 business day turnaround time after I have followed up with you to collect any necessary details.
Standard rates: Hourly work including meetings outside of allocated project management hours, consulting, training, maintenance, updates and repairs are billed at my hourly rate.
Rush rate: Rush requests are billed at time and a half. A rush request is one that requires action on my part within 12 hours OR requests made after 5pm with completion required before 9 am the following day. I will work diligently to respond as quickly as possible to rush requests but I can't guarantee a specific turnaround.
Billing: Projects are started with a 50% deposit with the balance due when the work is finished and you’re happy. Ongoing work is billed at the end of each month.
Late Fees: Invoices are due when they are rendered and considered late if left unpaid for 15 days or more. Overdue invoices are automatically charged a $15 late fee for every 15 days past due. If an overdue invoice is paid without including the late fee, the fee will be added to the next invoice. People who pay on time benefit everyone by not taking unnecessary time to pester so, naturally, I love to prioritize their requests.
Pricing Subject to Change: Pricing is subject to change annually. I will provide advance notice in writing for any changes to my hourly rate.
Pixel Lava Perks: When you pay on time you automatically get a $5 coupon good towards Pixel Lava services, training and products. Free money! Note that unpaid invoices are now automatically charged late fees every 15 days. (Hint: go for the free money!)
"Thank you for all that you do. You are like a website social worker therapist!" ~ Suzanne Forbes-Vierling
I'm proud to help the following organizations with monthly discounted and/or pro-bono service:
A Future Without War
Kevin L. Armstrong Memorial Sports Foundation
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego
Lambda Archives of San Diego
NCHS Class of '59
Ocean Beach People's Food Co-op
San Diego Unitarian Universalist Network
Scenic San Diego
U.S.S. Frank Knox Wardroom Reunion Association