Sites and Testimonials

Sites and Testimonials

Doo-Rags eCommerce Website

Doo-Rags.com is a fully-functional eCommerce website, selling Doo-Rags, Doo-Caps, and patches.  It interfaces with PayPal and utilizes the WordPress plugin, Woo Commerce, the most popular eCommerce plugin.  The site also includes a blog so owner Kathleen can converse with her many “groupies.”  I was referred to Kathleen by the owner of a Webhosting company, Khimiara, where I do a lot of business.

This website, like many, fell into disrepair over time from lack of maintenance.  The shopping page did not work anymore and the owner’s business was suffering as a result.  She also wanted to start over and update it for 2020, which is the 25th anniversary of her business.  The site took about 10 hours to build from scratch.  The most time-consuming part was adding all the products, especially since she now had a working website, she wanted to add numerous 50% sale items of existing stock.  I continue to maintain this website.


Baseball Scouting Book Website

Author’s Frederick Day and Ray McKenna are set to release their book, Feeling A Draft: Baseball Scouting and the First 50 Years of the Amateur Player Draft in September, 2020.  They reached out to me to create a website for educational purposes and to help promote their book, so this was a new website and domain.

This website is very content-rich, with numerous fascinating, entertaining and inspiring stories as told by players, coaches, managers and scouts.  But the primary focus is on honoring MLB scouts and the critical role they play in baseball.

The site took approximately 20 hours to establish, configure and add the majority of content.  The site includes trivia questions and numerous “Read More” opportunities and thus makes extensive use of the non-PRO version of a pop-up plugin, Popup Anything on Click, by WP OnlineSupport.  This is one of the easiest pop-up plugins to use – I highly recommend it.  I continue to maintain this website.

“Mary Russell is everything that one would want in a website designer.  She is extremely responsive, her service is excellent, and she works extremely quickly.  Mary is that rare individual who has a solution for every problem and who implements changes in an impeccable manner. 

She has placed an extraordinary amount of text on our website.  The arrangement of the text has been flawless and extremely attractive.  Mary’s composition skills are first-rate.  The flow of the material that she has placed on our website has been superb.  She is the consummate professional and provides service that is far above what I have seen from other website designers.”  Frederick Day, Co-author, “Feeling a Draft.”


Security Company Website

Digitronics, Inc. is a single source for electronic security solutions, specializing in access control, intrusion detection, CCTV, and intercom systems.  This website had many battle wounds.  The site crashed 2 years ago and was hastily thrown back together by an outside firm.  Digitronics was not pleased with the results, but were unable to get any changes made once the site launched.

When I asked what the President of Digitronics, Inc. wanted for that critical front page, she said “I want it to POP!  It must be simple and elegant.  And I want something to rotate.”  If you go to her site, you will see a grey rotating cube.  Note, this type of animation is a PRO feature, meaning there’s a subscription fee – usually $30-$60 per year.  She wanted to use her logo colors of burgundy and grey, so these two colors dominate the site.  The header photo is so important in catching your prospective client’s attention.  I gave her several photos to choose from and she chose two photos which I set to a randomizing header.  That means whenever you visit the site, you could see either of the two photos.   I have included both photos below.   This site took approximately 25 hours to overhaul.  I continue to maintain this site.

“We recently updated our site utilizing the professional services of Mary Russell. Mary presented us with many options and listened to our ideas and concerns. Mary was able to create an impressive site that adds a “WOW” factor and is visually stunning. Mary turned the design around rapidly and her technical knowledge is superior. The site is professional and attractive.”  Senior Leadership, Digitronics, Inc.


Non-Profit Website

Merica House provides independent living for severely physically disabled adults.  The Alliance for Persons with Disabilities (The APD) is a non-profit that manages Merica House.  The Merica House website was completely overhauled.  When I asked, they all said the site needed “Pizazz!”  So, I incorporated bright colors and funky fonts, making the site convey a happy and vibrant feel.

The site was relying exclusively on posts, rather than pages, to provide content.  Posts can be very dangerous, as they can present a cyber vulnerability.  Spambots seek out and target post-enabled pages and will post inappropriate content or embed malware.

All post-enabled pages were removed from this site.  The overhaul required that content be extracted from the posts and new pages created, along with a new, restructured menu.  For the website header image, I had a vision of a person shadowed in a wheelchair with arms raised in triumph.  I found this image with the sunburst – it was perfect.  This site has fundraising links, such as a GoFundMe page and an Amazon.com partnership for additional fundraising.  The overhaul took about 15 hours.  I continue to maintain this website.

“The website looks fabulous! Thank you so much Mary!  You’ve been a tremendous asset already.  Definitely would love to see you stay on.  I love the “Tour Our House” idea on the vacancy page.  Great idea!”  Annette Porter, APD Board President

“Thank you so much for agreeing to work with us on the website for Merica House. Your ideas, enthusiasm and knowledge are inspiring and hopefully contagious! The site looks fantastic! We’ve come 4 decades in a week and while you were on vacation! Brilliant work!”  Father Matthew, APD Board Member


Non-Profit Website

The Page Free Clinic is a non-profit 501-C3 organization dedicated to providing quality medical services to those who do not have access to affordable healthcare in Page County, Virginia.  They rely exclusively on grants, donations and volunteers to fund and operate the clinic.

I did not create this website, but rather I took over its maintenance after the prior webmaster retired. Several changes were made to reorganize content and additional pages were created for some of that content.  I spent about 5 hours on the content changes, including uploading numerous photos into several new galleries to highlight prior fundraising events.  I continue to maintain this site.

Even though we just started working together, Mary has been a pleasure to work with. She is a motivated individual who is quick to respond to calls and emails, and make the requested changes to our website. Mary is not only creative, thinking of additional information to add to the website, but is also a master of her craft, she understands the ins and outs of the website building technology and features. I would highly recommend her to assist with any website build or update.  Ben Dolewski, Executive Director, Page Free Clinic


Volunteer Rescue Squad Website

The Luray Volunteer Rescue Squad‘s website suffered a breakdown and they needed a new website fast.  A board member contacted me on a Wednesday, and I built the entire website from scratch in 6 hours ($300) the next day.  The site has photo galleries, a contact form, training, volunteer and a donation pages, with integration to Paypal and Amazon Smile, which takes 5% of your purchases and donates directly to the rescue squad – without costing you a penny.  This is rescue squad 3, so they embed a 3 in Res3cue on their vehicles, so I replicated that on the website title.  I continue to maintain this website, although the board member that contacted me may also make content updates.


Photographer Website

This Professional Photographer website was developed from scratch using Smugmug.com not WordPress.  Smugmug is ranked as one of the best website platform tools for photographers that want to sell their photos online.  Business models vary widely, so researching and choosing the right eCommerce platform is critical to the success of your business.  This site consumed about 40 hours, spanning one month to complete, with the majority of the time spent uploading 400+ photos at an average of 35MB each.  I continue to maintain this website.

“For several years I had my photography business hosted through a third party website provider.  The site was limited in so many ways and fulfillment to my customers took as long as two months!  It really made my business suffer.  Mary Russell worked collaboratively with me to create a beautiful, customized website through a platform designed specifically for photographers.  My customer fulfillment takes only seven days on average and my business is humming. 

I highly recommend Mary Russell Web Services, LLC to any small/medium business seeking to optimize their online presence or eCommerce-based business.”  Mark Wolsky, Photographer/Artist


Woodworking Crafts Website

This website, shenandoahcrafts.com, was built from scratch in 6 hours ($300).   The owner has been making log cabin birdhouses and other woodworking crafts for decades and while he had an eCommerce site hosted by Square, it did not offer the range of design and capability that WordPress offers.  He was also looking to downsize the online presence and focus more on local distributors for the majority of his revenue.  So, he wanted a new website that featured his wood crafts, but only wanted orders to be made directly to him.  Therefore, the website is a browse-only site and if you want to purchase something or you are a distributor that wants to carry his products, you would send him your order/info via a contact form.  I continue to maintain this website.


Homeowners Association Website

Skyline Lakes is a 50+ year old, rustic cabin community, bordering Shenandoah National Park.  Cellular reception is nearly non-existent on the 3 mountains that encompass Skyline Lakes.  So, this website needed a feeling of remote, mountainous beauty.  The header photo is of the blue ridge mountains in Shenandoah National Park.  The HOA board did not have any members with website experience, so over time, the website fell into a broken state.  It had broken links, missing or old information and lacked visual appeal.  When I was asked to become the HOA treasurer, I quickly adopted the newsletter and the website.  This HOA Website was overhauled in 2 days or ~18 hours, with additional updates following, as needed for maintenance and new content.  I continue to maintain this site.

“Mary, thanks so much for your efforts revising and updating our Skyline Lakes Homeowners’ Association website!    It looks great!  It is easy to maneuver around to find information, topical and inviting.  I know that the shape it was in before you began had to frustrate owners and potential owners, alike!  Thanks again for bringing us into the 21st century and putting a fine public face on who we are!”  Beth Cayer, Secretary, Skyline Lakes Property-holders Association (SLPA).


Historical Fiction Author and Press Websites

Historical Fiction takes a figure or event in history, and weaves a fictional story within it.  So, the story is part fiction, part historical facts.  Christine Trent’s books take the reader down a journey of mystery and murder, centered around a strong female in an unlikely career – especially for the time period – 18th and 19th centuries.  For example, her Lady of Ashes series features a female undertaker.

Christine has two websites.  The first is her site, ChristineTrent.com, and includes her books, about the author, her blog, calendar of events, etc.  The second is her press site, Twopence Press.  I did not build either of these websites, rather I took over the maintenance, and recently made significant content updates to both, which consumed about 6 hours.  I also migrated both sites from an older GoDaddy Web Hosting plan to a newer, more secure and comprehensive plan.

Christine’s website incorporates Zazzle eCommerce integration for merchandise, and links for book purchasing through common online book stores, including Amazon, Books-a-Million, and Barnes & Noble.  You can also sign up for her monthly newsletter.

Christine’s press site stays up to date with her Lady of Ashes series, and includes approximate release dates.  This site makes use of the the Visual Composer plugin by WPBakery, which enables block content, allowing you very precise formatting.  The site was also using a Gridbox WordPress Theme, which advertises a three-column grid-layout right out of the box.

Wait a minute…?  The theme and plugin are both designed to do the same thing, but I discovered the two were conflicting with one another, so I swapped the theme for the current theme, giving the site a facelift in just minutes.  Using the Visual Composer plugin is great for collections of objects, such as jewelry, car parts, and yes, books.  But, you do not need a plugin for displaying collections of objects.  Christine’s books on her primary site make use of good old-fashioned HTML tables, where I maintain them in raw HTML.   I continue to maintain these sites.

“I appreciate the lightning-quick turnaround on changes to my web sites. Ms. Russell was not only fast, she was thorough enough to recommend numerous changes and enhancements to my sites that improved their look and performance. I can’t wait to see what other new ideas she may have for making my websites even more appealing and professional.”  Christine Trent, Historical Fiction Author


CPR Training Site

I collaborated with a colleague on this site.  He wanted to learn WordPress basics and at the same time, help a friend get a new website started.  We built the initial site in a teaching fashion, where we toured and I explained every tool in the WordPress tool bar, including how themes and plugins work.  This teaching/site-building session took 2 hours.   My colleague will add the content, while I configure the security and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  We plan to transition this site to me for maintenance and further development.

This site is still being updated but it looks great so far!