Josh Bethell

Bournemouth, UK
Josh Bethell

My Work

Clove Blog & Retail Site

Compare The Beard (2015)

Compare The BeardScreenshot_2016-03-10-22-39-55 is a website that was developed as part of an in-joke with a personal friend during a drinking session at a New Year’s Party.

What began as a joke mocking the prevalence of beard related websites, artwork and businesses in popular culture, ended up a serious attempt to design a tongue-in-cheek social network.

Due to the nature of it being an individual project, Compare The Beard was sidelined after the initial concept went live due to me not being able to put the resources into the project required to realise the potential I had unwittingly released upon myself.

I researched a number of potential avenues and realised the site had the potential to develop into more than a simple social network, including blogs, reviews, advertisements and monetized content to capture the burgeoning male grooming category, whilst remaining an ‘indie’ outlet.

The project though remains at a hiatus. I have ideas and code ready to deploy or quickly develop that could very quickly allow individuals to begin uploading images and sharing/rating each other’s content. I am though unprepared for the possible influx of user-uploaded content and personal time that could be taken up both monitoring this and attempting to further develop the site as an individual.

Damsel Designs (2014)

Screenshot_2016-03-10-22-51-22Whilst designing a fan-oriented, user-driven retail website for a pair of mutual friends (not listed or embellished upon here because it never went live, due to some dubious copyright issues levied against them by a major multinational gaming publisher…), I was given the details of a local entrepreneur who wanted a new retail site himself.

Damsel Designs is a trade website built upon the PHP-powered Opencart online retail package. Opencart is open-source and therefore free to download and install. It can also be heavily modified. In some ways it is like the WordPress of e-commerce, even though WordPress itself is now powerful and adaptable enough for the mid-range dev-slash-techy to become an e-commerce wizard overnight.

Creating Damsel Designs provided me with invaluable experience in understanding object-oriented PHP and real-life time-management, as it was a project I undertook during personal time-off at the same time as full-time work (a few months of incredible productivity and sleeplessness I will never forget).

I also developed an understanding that when you are your own boss, even for a single project, your client depends on you not just to get the job done, but also for guidance, and therefore it is OK to say no.

That was the lesson I’ll never forget. Anyone can learn a programming language or commit some new style techniques and shortcuts to memory in a few minutes. What I learned for the first time and forever however, was that I was right about certain decisions and that it was very important as the supposed expert in the room to put my foot down and say what was and wasn’t possible within certain time frames.

As a result Damsel Designs was designed, built and deployed within a few days of my own personal time. Content & product creation belonged to the client, and the full code was given to them and left on their server due to the condition that I would not provide ongoing support.

Sign & Print Graphix