We provide competitive E-Commerce & Web Development Services
Paul Dickson Design is a web design, development, portfolio based in Perth, Western Australia. We have been designing and developing web sites on/off since 2003.
The primary purpose of our website is to offer businesses in Australia and Perth competitive
E-Commerce, Web Development and Web Design services.
We have clients in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney running OpenCart, Prestashop and Joomla CMS platforms.
My name is Paul Dickson. I’m a full time freelance Web Designer/Developer. I spend a lot of my time working within Opencart, Prestashop, WordPress and Joomla CMS platforms. It’s safe to say that my fiancee thinks I spend too much time with technology.
I have always had a passion and interest in computers. When I’m not being a geek, I enjoy AFL, going to gym, taking the dog for a walk and riding my Specialized Roubaix Expert Road bike.
After seven years, nine months I left my job working for the government as a public servant in Perth. My true passion is and has always been Web Development however running a small business is challenging. It’s amazing how much has changed since 2005. The principles are the same but technologies have really matured in the past 8 years. Some of these innovations include smart phones. Who could forget Steve Jobs releasing the iphone in 2007. This was about the same time as Facebook was born. Before your whole family were your friends. Mobile devices such as the ipad, kindle, nexus and samsung galaxy tabs. There are apps and new websites being born every day. A big change that I have noticed is Open Source Content Management Systems which are more available to web developers. Some of these include Joomla, WordPress & Drupul which are driving so many websites now days. It’s hard not to agree that now is a really exciting time to be involved in web and mobile application development. Since April 2013 I have been freelancing for new clients such as Urban Habitat Real Estate, Plastic Passion Records, Byblos Constructions, Firedam Civil, DHDD, PALS Computers and DIY Security Cameras. I keep up to date with my web development skills by freelancing and utilising online learning websites such as Lynda.com, Team Treehouse, Tutsplus, Joomla Beat & Build A Joomla Website. These fantastic clients and online learning resources are very helpful in keeping my skills up to date.
I applied for half a dozen jobs whilst at Escape Travel. The Advertiser newspaper, Adelaide Government, SA Water & JABA Design. I received a call from HR from the Advertiser & JABA Design. I was more interested in getting back into the web industry so I put all my best foot forward forward for the job at JABA design. There was only one problem, I did not have a working Portfolio Website online to show JABA Design. After my second interview this would be the deciding factor that would stop me from succeeding at getting the job at JABA Design. About the same time I received a call from a government department telling me that they were happy to offer me a position as a systems operator in Perth, Australia. Desperate for employment and stability I accepted the contract.
Whilst in the UK I did receive a few requests from Stephen at NTC to update next productions. Apart from that I had not taken on any new work or had any new requests from past clients. I did try apply for a couple of jobs in web deign in the UK but never really found any success in Edinburgh Scotland where I was based. Arriving back in Australia, it was now clear to me that I had the travel bug. I think this influenced my decision to apply for a job at Escape Travel West Lakes. After all I had been out of the web industry for a couple of years and had a new found love of travel. My time at Escape Travel lasted just under 18 months. I found the sales aspect was effecting my overall happiness and I really needed to either go back to Web Design or start a whole new career.
By mid 2006, things were really looking good for my small business Paul Dickson Design. I had a few clients. Word of mouth was spreading around Adelaide. Things really could not be better. So I decided one day to buy a one way ticket to the UK. I think my main reasoning for this decision was due to hearing all these great travel stories from people close to me. I knew if I continued down my current path that I would not get another opportunity to travel. I think the term is tired down. So having no real commitments I walked into STA travel Marion and booked a one way ticket to the UK. I applied for a UK Work Visa, which was approved and within a couple of months I departed Australia with my cousin Heidi Stokes. I would not return to Adelaide until early 2008.
My next client after completing the Employ SA website would be Noarlunga Theatre Company. A good past work colleague of mine Stephen Lee was involved with a Theatre Company located at Port Noarlunga, south of Adelaide. Stephen needed a website to advertise NTC upcoming and current theatre productions. I was over the moon to receive a call from Stephen and advised him that I would be happy to provide my services to the Noarlunga Theatre Company in developing their website. Being primarily a volunteer organisation their budget for this project was small. However I still believe to this day that I d to produced some of my best work on the NTC website. Once live the website received a lot of positive feedback. I would continue to design new productions each month for the next 6-12 months. At this stage of the business I was being asked by clients how to manage websites independently. This was niggling at my brain as I had not had much experience with CMS as they were driven by PHP/MySQL with was a new language to me at the time. I tried using Adobe Contribute which allowed anyone with Adobe Dreamweaver knowledge to update a website but even this had limitations.
During the Paul Dickson Design name change transition period I received a telephone call from a potential client called Employ SA. Employ SA were searching for website quotes and my website name came up. I did not ask how they found me as the important thing was that they did. What Employ SA needed was a website to compliment their existing corporate identity. Employ SA had the content, but just needed someone to provide them with a Website. At the time I was an active member of Sitepoint and was investing a lot of my time in Sitepoint Books. Sitepoint Books helped me win a new client and I’m thankful to the team at Sitepoint to this day. Employ SA was a massive client for me. I was extremely excited working on a government non-for-profit organisations website. I spent a great deal of time working with Employ SA. The challenge for myself and the marketing department was handing over full control of the Employ SA website to the Employ SA marketing department. The staff were not trained in Adobe Dreamweaver and I provided 2 weeks of free training to the Marketing Manager. Although I would have liked to continue updating the Employ SA website, being a non-for-profit organisation meant limited government funding. At the time Content Management Systems existed but were not readily available to the Open Source market. Therefore this seemed to be the most cost effective solution at the time.
Just after completing the Falcon Shopfitters website I decided to rename my business one last time. I think my dad was the main instigator in this decision. After much thinking and research into other companies in Adelaide I settled for a simplified business name. I picked up the phone, called up the Australian Small Business register and changed my business name to “Paul Dickson Design”. For some strange reason I was confident that this would not effect my future business. Half way through the transition period I pick up my next client Employ SA
Falcon Shopfitters would follow soon after Giftables. It seemed to me like word of mouth was getting around Adelaide. I knew the reason for a sudden interest in my services was due to my small overheads and quick turn around compared to larger design companies. The owner Greg needed a website to advertise and promote his shopfitting company Falcon Shopfitters. Having a little bit of experience now, providing a quote and concept was pretty straight forward for the Falcon Shopfitters project. This was also my first real CSS/XHTML constructed website. I spent a lot of time making the website W3C compliant and learnt a lot about Google Sitemaps using Google’s Webmaster tools & SEO on this project.
After 2 months of hard coding, tweaking, testing & designing the Square Frame Studios website was complete. Give on take a few small updates. What happened next was unexpected. I received a call from Mark Annesse, the Manager and store owner of a Bridal store called Giftables. Mark needed a new website for his business giftables but required a few special requests, it needed to have a resolution of 800×600 and be basic so that Mark could update easily. Click here for more information.
During my time at Anthony Cirocco Design (Square Frame Studios) I learnt the importance of a written contract. As we all know with a work contract, there are no surprises or disappointments at the end of that contract. After all designing/developing is meant to be fun, right? Something was still missing though. I needed a business name. After all you can’t write a contract without first having a business. Thus “designstudious” was born. I chose to call my business “designstudious” for 2 reasons. The first was I wanted to let people know what I did which was “Design”. Secondly I needed to let potential clients know that I was serious. This is where “Studious” came from. In the dictionary the meaning of Studious is “Marked by steady attention and effort” . Merging these words together saw the birth of “designstudious”. All lowercase to hide the real meaning but over provoke a response whoever discovered me. I registered my business name which gave me a ABN . This also allowed me to start issuing quotes, invoices and most importantly contracts. I can’t stress how important this was for me at this stage and I highly recommend any new developer, designer who is starting out to do the same.
After gaining some vital experience in the Web Design industry I decide to move back closer to home. This was a difficult decision because in my eyes there were more opportunities on the east coast. Things were a little quite when I first got back to Adelaide. I designed a website for my dads business Dickson Shopfitters until landing a website contract with Anthony Cirocco Designs. Although their primary business is Architecture, two of their architects Ben & Pedro decided to start their own company within called Square Frame Studios. Specialising in 3d architectural walkthroughs, Animation and music clips. With Flash Actionscript being the popular/trending web technology at the time, I would spend the next 3 months developing Square Frame Studios Portfolio website.
Landed my first Junior Web Designer job in Brisbane, Queensland working for a company called Devnet Designs. Whilst here I worked on web banners, advertising , content management systems for Telstra and smaller design projects for Rider Plus, Redd Leather, Gunn Menswear, Trace Australia. My contract with Devnet lasted 6-8 months however I picked up some vital knowledge and information.
After 2 years of hard work I finally completed my Diploma in Multimedia. I spent the next few months fine tuning my portfolio and focusing my skills in the area of Web Design/Development. At the time Adobe Flash (Macromedia Flash at this time) Websites were becoming increasingly popular and I decided to focus my coding abilities on the Actionscript. CSS had not come into it’s own yet.
After completing Year 12 at Cabra Dominican College I decided to take 6 months to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I had a strong interest in computers, but I also had a strong love and interest in music. After much thought I decided that when creating something visually it is rewarding to be able to hear the result. Music usually requires a response in emotion and is something that can only be heard. Therefore the logical choice was Multimedia. I enrolled in a 2 year “Diploma of Multimedia” course at Prides Business College, Adelaide South Australia.