Hopefully it’s obvious by now, but this project is what you’re experiencing right now – my portfolio site and my home on the web: josephgreve.co.


Create a platform where I can market myself, as well as share my thoughts, projects, and art.


My first inkling of wanting my own site started somewhere in the Winter of 2015: I had graduated from Kalamazoo Valley Community College with an associates in Web Design, but had not yet landed a job. I didn’t know how to set up a Linux server, or how to use Amazon AWS. I was barely familiar with FileZilla, and – I hate to admit it – had never used anything other than Dreamweaver to code (GASP!). My older sister, a graphic designer of over ten years, wisely told me to hold off for a little bit.

Skip ahead to the Fall – I’ve scored a job working at Maestro: an incredible forward-thinking creative firm where I was working as a newbie web dev. Within a week I was introduced to cloud-based Linux servers, text-editors that rock (and are free! Check out Atom and Brackets), and a wealth of knowledge that left me feeling thoroughly overwhelmed. It was at Maestro I began to learn just how big the world of web development is.

Lets move ahead even further. I’m working at Maestro, and I’m wrapping up my second semester at Ferris State University – studying game design. By the end of the spring semester I’ve left Maestro – and am once again looking for work in the web development field. I’ve developed a full-scale WordPress site (Communities in Schools: Kalamazoo) and feel ready to tackle some projects of my own. Namely: a portfolio site.


Firstly – every single one of these are free – though some are also modified.

Akismet (Go figure. Almost every WP site has this one.)
Disable Comments (Nice and convenient. I’ve used this plugin in every WP site I’ve made.)
Disable Emojis (Necessary because of some funky trickery I’m using to display font-arrows.)
Foo Gallery (Still haven’t found a free gallery plugin I like more. Lightly modified.)
FooBox Lightbox (Ties right into Foo Gallery)
Google Analytics for WordPress (I have this because Yoast wasn’t happy with me one day.)
Hello Dolly (Never ceases to amuse me.)
Jetpack (This has some fantastic features considering its free. Give it a good look.)
Preloader (Hard to beat how well this works.)
Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin (Convenience.)
Toggle wpautop (Yay fewer headaches.)
WP Add Custom CSS (To be clear – I do not generally like adding CSS this way, but on some particular pages its the easiest and least-messy way.)
WP Super Cache (Self explanatory.)
Yoast SEO (Lots of SEO stuff. Great plugin.)

Lastly, smoothstate.js. This is NOT a WordPress plugin, and it took some fiddling to get it working. Fantastic once it does work, though!


I made the theme completely from scratch. I made it for myself – if you try and use it on anything other than this site, with my particular setup of native WordPress and non-native plugins – it will break miserably.
Text animations are done by using CSS3 transitions (color and letter-spacing properties, specifically).
I had my videographer-friend give me some nice photos of myself to work with, mocked up the design and colors in Photoshop, and went to work.


I’m running on an Amazon AWS Ubuntu 64-bit server. This is phenomenally cheap compared to other services like HostGator or GoDaddy. If you have the time and patience to Google many, many things – I can’t recommend AWS enough. Their free-tier is incredible, too!