I love the internet. After first using it way back in 1996 or there-abouts on a crappy Windows 95 PC, I was astonished that something so cool was accessible by someone like me, someone average, and not a leading scientist or somebody else privileged. Fast forward 17 years, and that love is still there, and it's about time I gave something back.
Firstly, let me explain why I'm planning what I'm planning. Like a lot of people in this era, I use the internet every day. The internet is as much as part of my life as three square meals and a nice family life. Now, I know that sounds weird and probably has you thinking that I'm a serial geek with a massive water-cooled PC, lank greasy hair and absolutely sure The Matrix is real. Well, nope. That's not me. I have a iMac, I'm bald... and yeah, okay, I have some belief in The Matrix. Maybe not now, but one day…
There is some seriousness to that though. For a start, my career wouldn't exist without the internet. I really don't know what I would be doing right now if I hadn't have started making Sonic and DragonBall Z fan-sites back in 2001, using dodgy tabled HTML and inline styling, thus giving me the determination to sit down and learn web design and development the hard way. I probably would be working an office job, wasting my days 9-5 and not fulfilling any potential I have. I would say going prematurely bald, but that happened anyway.
Another area in my life I would be lacking is my biggest one - my wife and children. I first spoke to my future wife on the internet by chance after we randomly added each other on MSN. One evening, after months of not speaking after adding each other, we started talking. 6 hours later, it was a match made in heaven. It wasn't until many weeks later we met up but in between then, we felt like we had known each other for years after many hours talking on the internet and calling each other. Nearly eight years, two kids and a happy marriage later, I can guess you can say the internet really does bring people closer together.
So, it's time for me to give something back. In between looking after family and projects, I'd like to propose an offer to a charity, organisation or reputable ethical business the offer of a website or mobile app design, completely free of charge. No strings, no hidden extras, just plain and simple and free.
Below are what I am offering:
- A website, designed and built in HTML/CSS (or WordPress if a CMS is required) to be hosted on
any hosting of your choosing which, along with a domain name, is your only expense. Under special circumstances, I can offer hosting on my Media Temple hosting but only for a period of 12 months before transfer is required.1 The website will be fully responsive for ease of mobile viewing, high-end smartphone compatible for high-resolution graphics, and once fully set up and live, a copy of all files, resources and media packaged and sent over for you to keep.
- An application design for Android, iOS or Windows platform, with only one platform being chosen. It's entirely up to you what platform you want to design for, and this can be spoken about at length if needed.
This is the design only, so you will have to find a way of being able to develop this design into a fully functional app, for which I can recommend many highly-skilled developers and agencies willing to help you.2 When the project is complete, you will receive everything to do with the design, including screen-designs, resources, media, style and colour guides, and icons.
Although I have mentioned websites and applications, if a charity or an organisation approached me to design a new logo or branding for them, then that can be offered in place if required. I only chose the above options as stand out choices, and as they're the most popular choices.
Ideally, I would like to choose a charity close to my heart, but am willing to look at any submission I receive in a fair and honest light and choose the one I think will have the most to gain from such an offer. There is no country-exclusivity, so I am open to submissions from across the globe, however, I do require that communications are in English for ease of communication and understanding of your needs.
The only terms, so to speak, are as follows:
- The website or mobile application design remains my copyright once delivered, and am I free to display this in any manner I wish on a range of websites, including my own site, Dribbble and other portfolio sites. This includes the use of your company or charity name, and in-depth writing that may make mention of contacts I speak to. This is non-negotiable.
- I would require proof of your charity status if you are a charity, or a clear mission statement from an organisation and signed by a trustee, before I would accept your submission and start work on the project. This is a deal-breaker, and if I find any submissions are faking their charity registration numbers, I will report any submissions to Action Fraud.
- Once the project is over, I can advise on further steps needed and help out in getting the site working but that's as far as it goes. Once the project is finalised and put live, or signed off and delivered, I will not be available to do any amendments or changes to the designs that aren't my fault. If a design change is required, or you change your mind about certain aspects of the site or app design, then I can recommend you to designers and developers that can assist you. Their work on the site or app is at their discretion and may charge for the changes.
Aside from those points, everything is clear and transparent, and there will be no hidden extras or charges or anything that isn't already covered in this post. All I ask is that you do the same for me.
So, that's it. You can email me here to submit your charity or organisation, and I will get back to every one who emails me. If you would like to share this post across Twitter, Facebook or Google+ use the buttons below and spread the word.
Image used with permission from Henshaws Society for Blind People, a charity for the visually impaired myself and my family support regularly.
Thanks to the amazing guys over at Media Temple, for a period of 12 months, a free (gs) hosting package will be available to the chosen charity or non-profit to host the site and resources on. This means that one of the biggest costs of having a website is covered, and with Media Temple, there is absolutely no worry about the site with regards to downtime, security and speed. Please note that a domain name is still required to be purchased. A big thank you goes out to the great guys at (mt) for providing the package, and eliminating a big cost for the eventual chosen charity or non-profit.
In addition to Media Temple extending their generosity, Daniel Tomlinson has also offered his time and expertise in helping to develop any application I design, if chosen by the charity. If a website is chosen, Daniel has also asked to help in the development of that, meaning that pretty much every area now is covered, meaning little to no expense for the charity or non-profit involved. Daniel is an iOS and web developer, passionate about coding and loves working on all sorts of projects ideas. Daniel also loves working with open-source projects and helping out the community where possible, so I'm confident that he will do an amazing job whatever the choice of the charity.