What and Who is the personal web site of web designer David Gowrie. Building sites with web standards is my thing and (almost) pays the bills.

WebModia is my web design and development business.

Need help with a website design project? Just wanna be nice and say hi?
> Drop me a line.

Go Where?


Web Design and Stuff...

I'm still figuring out what this site is supposed to be. Right now, I guess it's a web design blog that also crams in posts about music and whatever else I feel like writing about. Bear with me and the randomness. Someday, there will be a more consistent theme to the content and (d'oh!) an actual design concept. Meanwhile...

WebModia Redesign Launched

Thursday, 01/29/2009

It's been a while since I've updated here, and might be a while before the next update after this one (full disclosure, that's my policy). But I did want to make a quick announcement, simply because I'm pretty darn proud of this. v.2 is LIVE!

WebModia is my website design studio and the new site includes a full portfolio of my work.

The redesign only took, oh, some 8 months to complete ;) - just been too busy with client work to ever really focus on this. But patience has paid off nicely, I think. What do you think?

Latest Web Design Project:

Monday, 4/07/2008

I am happy to announce the launch of, a project in which I contributed XHTML and CSS templates and worked with a truly talented team of web professionals - read more.

GOODBYE SAFARI 2: Safari 3 makes A-Grade Browser Status

Sunday, 2/24/2008

I noticed today that Safari 2 is officially no longer supported as an A-Grade Browser per Yahoo, having been displaced by Safari 3. This is a much welcomed development for web designers (like yours truly)… read more.

Top 10 Web Design Usability Principles

Tuesday, 2/11/2008

Smashing Magazine recently published this list of tips for effective usability design, and it's been getting some nice play on Digg. The article (which has plenty of helpful examples and links) makes mention of "Krug's first law of usability" - which is a nice tip of the hat, seeing as all of the points are explored in much more detail in Steve Krug's book Don't Make Me Think. Smashing's article is a mere introduction - read Krug's book for the full dish.

CSS Gradient Text Effect

Thursday, 1/17/2008 gives us what has to be one of the smarter CSS tricks I've seen in a LONG time... very slick, its genius is in the simplicity of the method. It uses no JavaScript, no Flash, just pure CSS. It involves rendering a PNG with alpha transparency over the text, so a small hack is needed for IE6 (of course...), but I don't care - I can't wait to use this!

D'oh! DreamHost Overbills for $7.5 Million, Then Jokes About It

Wednesday, 1/16/2008

If you are a DreamHost customer (like me), you probably received a series of unexplained invoices followed by an explanation to ignore the charges, which were a mistake caused by a "fat finger." DreamHost issued an in-depth explanation of the error on their blog, using a perhaps too light tone that at one point states to the customers "the joke is on you." After reading the comments, it is clear many customers don't find it so funny.

Macworld Keynote in 60 Seconds

Wednesday, 1/16/2008

The Macworld expo was held yesterday, and the main event was a 90-minute keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Mahalo Daily did a nice job of squeezing that down to a slim 60 seconds. Almost as impressive as Apple's new superthin MacBook Air.

Latest Projects, Recent Work

Saturday, 12/16/2007

It's been a while since I've posted here, and with good reason: I've been busy with some new projects (and some traveling, too - gotta have balance in life). A few projects involve non-disclosure agreements, so I've listed only those that are fit for public consumption on my portfolio page.

And yes, it's still the temporary, no-frills portfolio hosted here on The official WebModia Studios portfolio is still "coming soon." But what can I do - I'm busy with paying jobs, and in my book that's a good thing!

Introducing Mockup2Markup - Slicing Service & XHTML/CSS Outsourcing

Friday, 10/20/2007

It's been nearly 4 months since WebModia Studios, my professional web design agency, was officially launched into cyberspace. And oh boy have I been busy since!

Some truly incredible projects have been underway, including one that is so top-secret I can't talk about it publicly. But among the less-confidential but equally incredible projects that I can tell you about is a repeat performance for the Travel Channel brand, providing HTML/CSS templates for a new home page design, among others.

So what's this site got to do with anything, you ask?

Well, since making this web design gig a formal business venture, it has become apparent to me that the most readily available work for a freelance guy like me in this crazy business is in the outsourcing niche.

Nurturing a client's entire project from inception to launch is great, but there is a very real market for specialization - and in my case, that specialty happens to be standards-based, XHTML/CSS development. Give me a fully-designed PSD mock-up, and I'll slice it up into clean, lean markup, using advanced CSS and best practices to get it looking right across all major browsers - and of course you'll get that nice green "valid" flag from the W3C validation service (like these ones).

Since XHTML/CSS development clearly is where I get the most business, I've simply decided to really promote this aspect of my business much more directly. To that end, I've launched this new website to establish it as an "affiliate business" of sorts for my full-service web design agency over at WebModia Studios.

As a specialized slicing service, my goal with will be to target busy graphic designers, web designers, and developers who could use a hand getting a project completed and would benefit from cost-effective, high-quality XHTML/CSS outsourcing.

In the past year or so, I've had the privilege to work with some very talented designers and build out the code for several beautifully crafted designs. With this new focus on that niche area of my business, I expect Mockup2Markup will lead to even more successful and fullfilling partnerships!

Hacking Your iPhone - to brick or not to brick?

Thursday, 8/28/2007

So by now I'm sure most folks (or at least the geeks at heart) have heard about that NJ kid who cracked his iPhone (and later traded it for a new car). If you have a soldering gun, a little perseverance, and whole lot of software hacking skills, you might just be able to follow his directions and get an iPhone to work on networks other than AT&T. On the other hand, you're just as likely to end up with a $399 brick.

I'm actually curious if anybody else has successfully repeated the feat and unlocked their iPhone. I read about another guy who approached it an entirely different way, by cancelling the AT&T plan right after activating the phone and essentially getting his iPhone to work as a wi-fi only device without AT&T (or any other mobile carrier) service. Not sure how that's still going for him, though...

So, my non-existent readers: has anybody else with an iPhone been ballsy enough to try anything like this, and succeed? I'd like to know.

WebModia Studios - Web Design Agency / Portfolio site launched

Thursday, 6/21/2007

I've officially launched my web design agency / portfolio site - OK - truth be told, it's been launched for a few weeks now. But I've been testing and tweaking some code. And furthermore, I'll freely admit there's not much there yet. If I were one of those Web 2.0 bandwagon types, I'd label it with "beta" in a big lime green star - but I'll refrain from such silliness.

Fact is, I'll continue to work and expand it over the coming days/weeks and then it will probably sit static for some time while I (hopefully!) work on PAYING projects. But don't hesitate to check it out now, and then let me know your thoughts!

Older Posts - AKA "The Archives"

Tuesday, 6/19/2007

I am perpetually delayed in moving this supposed blog to a true blog platform. Mainly I'm just too busy with other projects. But I am also torn over a CMS solution. I am still tooling with Symphony, but have grown increasingly tempted by the oh-so-easy-out-of-the-box-goodness of Wordpress.

Until I have this decision made and implemented (I'm my own worst client!), I'll just manually move old entries to this archives page - go there now if you want to read older stuff.

Random Bits

Misc. items of interest (to me, at least...)

Current and upcoming personal web design projects

Recently completed web design projects

(Note: sites have been altered by clients since delivery)


Some things that caught my eye, or which should catch yours:

Code Examples

Nothing extraordinary, just some meanderings in the code sandbox...

Website design by WebModia - standards-based web solutions and web design at affordable prices.