I am currently Director at Peacock Carter Ltd, a web design agency based in the North East of England I founded in 2006. For work-related enquiries, please contact me via the Peacock Carter website.
Web and design expertise
I have particular expertise on the WordPress platform. I am also an experienced web design consultant and have helped clients including the Scottish Government, the NHS, City & Guilds, and Edinburgh University.
I have authored 7 books on website design and web content management systems, and acted as technical reviewer on many other technical publications. As someone who began their career self-taught,
Interests, beliefs and aims
As a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), I have a deep interest in contributing towards a better, fairer society for all. I am also a patron of Durham Cathedral, a gem in the region in which I live.
I believe in community learning and sharing, and am organiser of the regular WordPress North East user group meet-ups and other community meetups in the digital and creative sector.
Appointed as a non-executive director of Durham Business Group some years ago, I help guide this non-profit organisation which provides services to help sustain and grow small businesses in County Durham and the North East of England.
|WordPress North East events||2020||I’ve continued my role as co-organiser for the WordPress North East events during 2020, collating a wide variety of speakers on web design, development, marketing and other digital/creative topics.|
|A year for learning||2019||A chance to mentor a web design student to improve her skills and knowledge for a future career.|
|And on, and on, and on….||2018||A year full of speaking engagements; some talk slides are available here.|
|A good year for business||2017||Peacock Carter grew in size thanks to contract wins with the NHS and private sector clients.|
|Peacock Carter celebrates 10 years||2016||My web design agency celebrated 10 years of business in November 2016 – a definitive milestone for me.|
|Technical reviewer on Magento 1 and Magento 2 books||2016||Technically reviewed Magento 1 DIY and Magento 2 DIY books for Apress.|
|Became a non-executive director of Durham Business Group (NE) Ltd||2016||I become a non-executive director of Durham Business Group, a non-profit organisation founded 35 years ago to help small businesses in the region. I advise on their technical and digital strategy, as well as ongoing business operation.|
|Frontend North East user group||March 2015||Helped to organise the first Frontend North East user group for other web designers and developers in the North East of England (fellow organisers Sam, Colin and Martin were able to put a lot more effort in than I was, so kudos to them!), and Peacock Carter sponsor the beers, too. We’re nice like that. Brilliant attendance of 50 people for the first event, and regular attendances of 80 – 100 people a month and some truly world class speakers, too.|
|Visiting lecturer||February 2015||Was invited to act as a visiting lecturer for Fashion Communication students at Northumbria University.|
|Book #7 released||August 2014||Learning Magento Theme Development is released by Packt Publishing.|
|Web design curriculum editor||May 2014 – ongoing||I’m working with City & Guilds to build a web and graphic design assessment process for students in the Middle East.|
|Book #6 released||December 2013||Magento Responsive Theme Development is released by Packt Publishing.|
|Book #5 released||July 2013||Drupal Commerce Cookbook is released by Packt Publishing.|
|“Introduction to Drupal Commerce” at Drupal North East.||May 2013||A brief talk at my local Drupal user group on Drupal Commerce; notes by @vickytnz are available on her blog|
|“E-mail Etiquette When Applying For Design Jobs” article||April 2013||Article for Student Guide To Web Design.|
|“10 simple but effective newsletter designs” for CreativeBloq, an offshoot of .net magazine.||December 2012||An article discussing some contemporary email newsletter designs with simple aesthetics.|
|Article in Student Guide to Web Design||August 2012||An help article published on an up-and-coming website aimed at students of web design.|
|Article in .net magazine||August 2012||An opinion piece on the benefits of Inkscape featured in .net magazine, the world’s most popular magazine for web designers.|
|Speaking: Upgrading Drupal 6 to Drupal 7||July 2012||A brief talk on the upgrade process from Drupal 6 to 7 at Drupal North East|
|Speaking: DesignInterest||March 2012||My talk was titled ‘Designing a different type of website’, a discussion of my approach to a wiki customisation for a client of Richard Carter Consultancy Ltd.|
|Peacock Carter Ltd||Q1 2012||I became sole shareholder in Peacock Carter Ltd.|
|Peacock Carter’s 5th birthday||1 November 2011||Peacock Carter’s 5th birthday; there was much cake and rejoicing.|
|Speaking: Front Row Conference||20/21 October 2011||I spoke at the Front Row Conference in Krakow.|
|Speaking: SuperMondays||28 July 2011||I presented to an audience of around 100 on the theme of ‘design/CMS integration‘.|
|Book #4 released||January 2011||‘Magento 1.4 Themes Design‘ was released.|
|Book #3 released||July 2010||‘Joomla! 1.5 Templates Cookbook‘ was released.|
|Book #2 released||July 2009||‘Magento 1.3 Themes Design‘ was released.|
|Book #1 released||August 2008||My first book, ‘MediaWiki Skins Design‘, was released.|
|Peacock Carter formed||1 November 2006||Peacock Carter was formed.|
I graduated from the Department of Computer Science (now the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences) at the University of Durham with an honours degree in Software Engineering. My dissertation was entitled ‘An empirical study of stop-list program slicing‘, and my supervisor was Dr Keith Gallagher.