Bee Dawson

Bee Dawson


Size: 68 pages

My professional status: independent web designer/developer

Website client: Bee Dawson

Dates: February - April 2018, with ongoing webmaster support after delivery

Categories: Scoping/pitching/quoting, Client liaison, Project manager, Website designer, Front-end developer, Content-loader, Webmaster, CSS-based layout, CSS3, HTML5, WordPress, Small sites

Brief: Bee Dawson is a New Zealand author, columnist, public speaker, and a social and oral historian. She writes books and articles about a wide range of New Zealand subjects, from Lady Painters to the history of High Country sheep stations, as well as all things historical and NZRAF-related.

She has a small themed WordPress website built for her a few years ago, which had become a bit messy. It needed a tidy-up and for some of the pages to be redesigned and rebuilt so that they looked nicer and were more user-friendly.

Bee also needed help recovering some missing website emails and accessing the control panel of the website's hosting company. Access info had been lost when Bee's previous webmaster moved on to other projects.

I’ve checked the website and am delighted to see the book up there so punctually. You are doing a marvelous job... I’m delighted with the result.

Bee Dawson, Website Owner


  • Tracking down the access info for the webhost and figuring out how to restore all the emails Bee had received via the website over the past year or so
  • Improving the website's existing styling and formatting, making the website look much better without having to start again from scratch
  • Updating various sections on the website to include the latest book summaries, reviews and news items
  • Adding a new Articles section into which I added Bee's latest articles from NZ Gardener and the Stuff website.

My responsibilities included:

  • Client liaison and project management
  • Liaison with the webhosting company, in order to regain access to all the emails that Bee had received via the website over the past year or so
  • Regaining access to the webhost Control Panel so that I could tweak various functional aspects of the website
  • Figuring out how to get FTP access to the website so that I could update admin access info, which had been lost
  • Identification of design and formatting changes that would improve the look and functionality of the website
  • Exploration of the existing WordPress theme, figuring out how the theme worked and identifying inbuilt theme functionality that the site wasn't currently using
  • Improving the formatting of the Homepage, while retaining most of the existing homepage design
  • Tidying up the formatting and styling of the Books & More, Reviews and News & Events sections to improve consistency across the site, and to improve the flow of information in these sections
  • Restoring all the books to the Books & More section (the oldest ones were missing)
  • Adding a new section - Articles - into which I added some of Bee's more recent articles from NZ Gardener and the Stuff website
  • Searching online for more reviews of Bee's books, which I added to the Reviews section
  • Adding a number of recent events to the News & Events section, and expanding some of these into news article pages as required
  • Tidying up and tweaking the formatting of the Contact page
  • Creating standard Photoshop templates for the different image types on the website - including the homepage, Books and Article hero images - to keep the consistently the same size and shape to improve the look of the site
  • Browser testing of my updates on the live site, to ensure that everything looked good and was behaving properly
  • Ongoing support and loading of new content onto the site, as and when required.

Bee's website provides a comprehensive overview of all her creative work, as well as info about upcoming book launches and speaking engagements.

Bee's a writer, not a website guru, and she really just needed someone to take the website in hand and sort it out, so that she could get on with what she does best. I first met Bee at her house on an incredibly stormy Wellington night, where we bonded over a love of gardening and a shared enthusiasm for Getting Things Done Properly.

I'm really pleased to have been given the responsibility of webmastering Bee's website, and I look forward to working with her for many years to come.