This is Dan Wilkinson, of Wilkinson Web Design. As you can see, he lives in the woods. It’s so sad. He’s such a talented web designer. I don’t know what happened to his life. But now he has to build all of his websites from his mobile phone. Doesn’t he do awesome work, though? Look at my brand-new website right here! Amazing, right? It took Dan two-and-a-half years to build it by tapping on his cell phone in the woods. But it was totally worth it, don’t you think?
I’d pay him for building this site, but I know he’d only spend the money on weenies, toilet paper, and a razor for his head. So I dunno. We’ll see.
Ha, ha, ha. I’m sure Dan is laughing at this right now. Except that he has no sense of humor. So probably not. But I’m sure that somewhere, out in a meadow or underneath a tree, he’s right now staring at his phone, wondering if I’m being funny.
Okay, so seriously. About Our Man Dan. A while back I posted on my blog the founding tenets of ThruWay Christians. I got a crazy response to it; people loved it. So much so that, to be honest, I felt sort of morally obliged to create some kind of online place where the people who felt so enthusiastically about the document could hang out.
Out of nowhere Dan pretty immediately popped out of Facebook and volunteered to do it. Within, like, fifteen minutes, we had ThruwayChristians.com and the ThruWay Christian forum. (As you’ll see if you go there, I have about no idea what to actually do with TWC.com. But that’s another story.)
And Dan didn’t just build those sites. He took full responsibility for them. He dealt with the host, he told me what I was supposed to do, he coordinated with another awesome volunteer, Lisa Salazar, who stepped forward to design the fantastic TWC logo. And through it all Dan was just as pleasant as a warm afternoon breeze across one of the fields in which he wakes up every morning.
It was seriously impressive. It was Dan’s attitude that so bowled me over. Calm, kind, smart … sane. The guy was just … a miracle of even-keeledness.
And now he’s built me this site. Not for free or anything. Just because he’s homeless doesn’t mean he’s clueless.The astounding thing about Dan is that he never, ever complains, or in any way seems even vaguely grumpy or snarky. You would not believe what he did to build this site. He migrated my site over from BlueHost, where it had been, to HostCo, where it is now. (HostCo rocks so hard I can’t even tell you. If you’re looking for the home for your site, benefit from the research that brought Dan to conclude HostCo was the way to go. He was right. It is. Those guys are amazing.) Dan set everything up; he hand-walked my site to its new server; he tested everything—and through it all he never for a moment failed to be anything but gracious, funny, helpful, patient, and mind-bogglingly knowledgeable.
A month or so later, I sort of all in a moment saw what I wanted for this website. So I sketched it out, sent that plan to Dan the man, and asked him if he thought it was anything he could build.
And just look what he did with it. The truly amazing thing about Dan is that he has infinite technical chops and extremely finely tuned aesthetic sensibilities. That such a rare combo. He’s an artist. And, again, through it all—through all my questions, all my phone calls, all my trying to help with the site and basically screwing up everything he’d built or was planning to—Dan remained unflaggingly easy going.
Plus, he enabled me to make awesome pull-quotes that in no way interfere with the flow of the text!
Could this site be more beautiful—not to mention functionally unique? See those six “Posts by Theme” boxes on the front page? Those aren’t just modular plug-ins. Dan built those. Just looking at them makes me want to hug Dan if he’d recently showered.
Obviously, you’re invited to poke around here all you want. Let me know if you find anything hinky; I’m sure we’ve still got some kinks to work out in this brand spanking new site. (Once we’re all stabilized here, we’re going to install on this blog the fully buffed-out Disqus comment management system. One of my primary motivations for getting this new site built was to give my phenomenal community of commenters a venue worthy of their work. I can’t wait till we get Disqus running here.)
Thank you for this, Dan Wilkinson. When I grow up, I want to have the quality of character anywhere near that which you possess.