Calling all out of this world Front-End Web Developers



The Design Group is looking for a Front-End Web Developer to join our dynamic team of go-getters!

The ideal candidate has a deep understanding of semantic HTML and CSS; experience with PHP, JavaScript and WordPress; a keen eye for design; and thorough knowledge of up and coming web development trends and technologies.

We are looking for an individual who has:

  • Vast experience with custom WordPress development, plugins and theming
  • Extensive knowledge of HTML(5) and CSS(3)
  • Experience working with PHP and JavaScript
  • Experience developing responsive websites and/or mobile web applications
  • Thorough understanding of web standards and browser/platform compatibility
  • Passion for up and coming trends in Digital Design and Development

Consider yourself a shoo-in if you also have:

  • Solid Graphic Design knowledge base; strong Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator skillset
  • Experience with Git, Angular, React, Jquery, Bootstrap, Underscores and ACF
  • Knowledge of common email APIs (MailChimp, My Emma, Constant Contact, etc.)

This position requires 2+ years of agency (preferred) or freelance web development experience. Charleston area applicants only please – no telecommuting.

For more information, read our detailed job description. Resume with cover letter may be emailed to

Marketing your Site: Why SEO + SEM are so Important

At The Design Group, we build all of our sites to be ‘Google Friendly’, which involves following best practices and principles governing search engine algorithms. Yet, even after we structure and launch a site, we encourage our clients to explore our Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing plans.

You might ask why you would want to spend more money on your new or newly revamped website, and the answer is simple: When done properly, SEO and SEM have proven track records of driving traffic. Traffic equals exposure, and exposure equals sales and conversions. In the end SEO/SEM lead to increased impressions and subsequently increased revenue as a result. Even the best foundational SEO techniques constructed into a site can not offer what ongoing SEO and SEM can in regards to driving traffic.

The reason? An important keyword in this equation is the term ‘ongoing‘. Google likes to see ongoing communication and activity from your site. It is time to start thinking of your site as a living, breathing, organism. The more movement, changes, and shake-rattle-and-rolling Google sees, the more content Google is going to be with your site. The number of sites that were built and subsequently left alone by administrators that are successful/useful are few and far between. We, like Google, like to see things that are continuously evolving. Amazon keeps adding/updating/archiving products, CNN keeps adding/updating/archiving news, and The Weather Channel keeps adding/updating/archiving weather and all content associated with it. Each are key examples of SEO powerhouses. We completely understand that many of our clients are not realistically looking to become the next, but the foundation for marketing smaller businesses remains the same. Google wants to find things that users like, and users like evolving content and information.

Of course content additions and linking are only a small fundamental chunk of SEO and SEM practices, it is simply one of the easiest to understand. There are hundreds of aspects of a site that get factored into ranking in a search, and numerous factors that factor into how to properly manage paid search. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to figure them out or master each: That’s our job. Be sure to Contact TDG if you have any questions or would like to get started with us on a Search Engine Optimization and/or Marketing plan. We will work with you to tailor a plan to your needs and budget so we can find the optimal success for your business.

Another One for the Books: Collective Force Website Launch!

When you have a client like Collective Force, you really want to do good work for them. You root for them and work extra hard for them, as you support their purpose. That is because Collective Force caters to businesses (like ours), deal shoppers (guilty), in addition to the philanthropic spirit in all of us. The theory behind the Collective Force application is to offer local deals in a Groupon-style format for bargain shoppers, while supporting local charities with the proceeds and encouraging philanthropic involvement overall. This benefits charities, shoppers, and even provides an extra incentive for businesses who can reap the benefits of tax write-offs from their participation. It’s a win-win-win application for everyone who partakes.

While the Collective Force website doesn’t feature the full functionality of the application, you can get a rundown of each application facet, check out the latest deals available, stay up to date with the latest news, or easily download the full application.

We encourage you to check out the Collective Force website for more information, and to scope out TDG’s latest work!

The Green Front Field Guide has Landed

About a year ago TDG and Green Front Furniture initially teamed up to begin working on several projects. When you work with a client as eclectic and expansive as Green Front is, there is a lot that goes into the process of rebranding and revamping their identity as a whole. With little idea of what we were diving into initially, we visited their iconic flagship location in Farmville, VA

Photo Credit from

In case you have never been to Farmville, it is a quaint, smaller town located in central Virginia. It has shops and eateries, a river, great scenery, Longwood University, and Green Front Furniture. To be specific, it has 15 buildings of Green Front Furniture. I’m not talking boutique sized shops either, I am talking about huge former tobacco warehouses offering multiple floors of various kinds of furniture and rugs from top to bottom. Our second day there, we had only skimmed the surface of all of the product offerings. Our second day there, we had only skimmed the surface of all of the products that Green Front has in stock. With all sorts of different prices and types of products, Green Front is an Interior Designers paradise, a treasure hunter’s trove, and an adventure for anyone who visits. Green Front is AWESOME.

The problem that many individuals often find with Green Front, is that it is so expansive and chock-full of products, it is impossible to see them all – even if you have allocated a full weekend to doing so. In order to achieve an optimal experience when exploring Green Front, one really has to create a targeted plan, with coordinated breaks, dining and lodging. Thus bred the concept of the Green Front Field Guide.

The Green Front Field Guide is a full-featured explorer’s navigation with diagrams, facts, guidance, tips, and cheats to help individuals navigate their way through Green Front and Farmville. From a general lay of the land with store procedures and navigational guidance, to a ruler for product measuring, and a section for taking notes, the Field Guide has a plethora of useful features, all geared towards enhancing the Green Front experience. The Guide also includes maps of downtown Farmville, the Green Front buildings (remember when I said there are 15 of them), parking resources, and a full fledged 3-D diagram featuring pricing, styles, brands and detailed building information.

While the Field Guide is an awesome tool for Green Front adventurers, the coolest part of it is that it folds up to 4.5″x6″, so you don’t have to worry about lugging around a hefty brochure or informational packet. That definitely qualifies it for some sort of awesome utility award, no?

‘Fronties’ can stay tuned for the Green Front website redesign coming in Spring 2017, which will definitely be featuring additional Green Front fanfare worth celebrating. We will be keeping you posted!

Aqua Blue Pools Website Redesign is now LIVE!

Aqua Blue Pools specializes in designing and building custom swimming pools, spas, water features and water parks. Launching the Aqua Blue Pools website redesign has been a task in the works for a while at the TDG office, however, with weather in the 70’s this week, and set to approach the 80’s this weekend, it was practically a necessity.

The site is pretty much covered in photos making us long for the days of summer, pools and beaches. If you aren’t ready to do a cannonball off the diving board or break out the lawn chairs when you check out this site, we just don’t think you are capable of normal human thought processes. Be sure to check out the Aqua Blue Pools site for yourself for a dose of summer sensation, and that relaxing feeling of drinking cocktails in the sun while dipping your toes.

The Aqua Blue Pools site was developed in a WordPress environment, and features a multitude of brag-worthy features and elements including parallax scrolling, mosaic image tiling, and Google Maps API integration. The site also features enhanced consultation forms, a multi-faceted showcase feature and a simplistic to use visual editor for advanced administrative capabilities. Be sure to visit Aqua Blue Pools to check out all the awesome features and functionality integrated by The Design Group!

Finding Surprises in Historic Charleston Buildings

2017 marks the year of the enhanced TDG office space. Our renovations are fully underway at this time, which has been quite a bit more involved than we initially anticipated. As I’m sure anyone who has done renovations previously has already realized, a lot of the ‘easy stuff’ turns out to be quite a bit more complex than initially anticipated.

Step I of Project: ‘Renovate TDG Studios’ (as it has been dubbed locally), involved ripping out the commercial ceiling tiles to expose piping, ducting, and more undesirables. As to be expected, we found quite a bit more than anticipated. For example, until eventually caving to get a completely separate A/C unit, we have always experienced issues with air flow in our tertiary office room. We definitely figured out the original problem at play when we ripped out the ceiling – the ducting was completely disconnected from the main system! That could make it a bit difficult for seamless air travel. Other treasures we discovered in our ceiling included an illuminated ‘Exit’ sign that pleasantly greeted us by smacking us in the face, and an air vent cover that was kept up there as a just-in-caser, I suppose.

Step II of the Project RTDGS involved tearing down a wall in between our main office area, and our new office addition. That was just plain ol’ fun.

Step III was a bit less fun. Back to commercial ceiling tear down – this time in the new office addition. In buildings over 100 years old, there are often stories in the ceilings and walls. We definitely found a story in our addition’s commercial ceiling. The story was in the shape of a skull! The skull was covered in dust and had what looked like a bullet hole through the middle of it. Our lead renovation officer, Brent Tabor, legit fell off of his ladder – add this to reasons we are thankful that we are located on the bottom floor.

As it turns out, we had not actually stumbled upon a sacred Indian burial ground, nor had we uncovered the solution to what had happened to Jimmy Hoffa (NOTE: This was who we were initially hoping to have found). Rather, this skull was actually left by the building’s maintenance man as a joke for us to stumble across. He had actually dipped the skull in glue, rolled it in the dirt, and shot it with a 22!!! We admired his dedication.

Group text message hilarity then ensued. Note to self: asking Siri for a solution provided another element of humorous insight. Stay tuned for more updates on our renovation progress. And if we find any more body parts, you will be the first to know, per Siri’s recommendation.

The Web Development Process: An Infographic

Often when we meet with potential clients, one of the first things we cover with them is a complete review of our web development process. Starting with discovery, moving to planning, design, then construction, followed by a full prototype, and subsequent site launch and promotion, our web development process is a comprehensive look into how we break down a project into intuitive and cohesive phases. The exact structure of our process has been continuously morphing over the years, which has brought us to the format we outlined in the infographic below. You don’t necessarily have to follow this exact process to find success, of course, however following a concise project structure will produce more advanced, and, in turn, more successful, end products.

Motivation Monday: Finding Design Inspiration

One of my least favorite feelings in the world is when I feel a design deadline approaching at the speed of light, and my creativity seems to have miraculously… disappeared. Over the last decade I have been designing, I have had this happen to me several times – often on my most important deadlines, of course. I have learned that the best way to handle a design slump can be to search for design inspiration. Often all it takes to kick my design senses into gear is to look at a plethora of design concepts, projects and motivational quotes, and suddenly my mindset will kick back into gear.

I am fairly confident I am not the only one who has experienced a design slump. Thus, if you find yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you to check out the following places I go for inspiration:

Anti-Slump Action I: Sift through Pinterest
As many of you already know, Pinterest is an excellent tool for all sorts of inspiration. DIY gifting? Check. Quick and Easy Appetizer? Check. Yes, I confess, Pinterest can be a girl’s best friend. That said, there is also a place on Pinterest for guys (woodworking, anyone?) – and there is definitely a spot for designers. In fact, I have made amazing design revelations via Pinterest just by searching simple keyword phrases such as ‘web design inspiration.’ The big picture sky view of designs provides a unique perspective for looking at imagery. The best part? If you can’t seem to find the design style you are looking for, you could always just look for an inspirational quote to keep the morale high.

Anti-Slump Action II: Check out showcase sites
My favorite design showcase site is The Best Designs, but there are a ton more to choose from. Showcase sites don’t have to revolve around web design either, Behance, Dribbble and Awwwards all explore various facets of design inspiration.

Anti-Slump Action III: Get away from your computer
Sure, this advice is not all that helpful for anyone on a timeline, however if you are in the fortunate position of having some extra time on your hands, get out of the office! Go embrace your inner foodie, nature-lover, or escapist. Go for a hike, eat snails, or go for a long drive. Sometimes the best inspiration is that which is around you, and that inspiration is often what is most taken for granted by creatives. Come back with a clear brain full of new memories, smells, ideas, and tastes. Embrace those new concepts in your designs.

Anti-Slump Action IV: Start from Scratch
Sometimes the hardest part in design is taking something you have started and bringing it to where you want it to be. Often I find myself with an amazing idea that I just can’t quite bring to fruition in my design. When this happens, I find myself best guided by completely scrapping this concept and exploring a brand new direction. Yes, that hurts to do. However, I tend to find that once I get started in a new, fresh, direction, I am able to come back to the original concept, and pull elements in gradually. It doesn’t always work, but it can often do the trick – and it is usually worth a try.

Do you have any creative slump strategies that seem to work outside of these tips?

Going Responsive with your Site

As an agency that has experienced quite a bit of growth over the past years, our design and development team recently drew it to our attention that we are guilty of being a company that neglects their own marketing efforts as we’re focusing all of our attention on our client’s efforts. While we have been doing fully responsive WordPress-clad sites for years, our own site has remained a fairly static, constricted-width site. Pretty BORING, am I right?!

That said, it has become incredibly obvious that it is time to change this! We are entering 2017 with a website redevelopment in the works through our talented team. And we are super stoked to announce that we are finally going responsive with our site – a task that has been on our plate for years – but has always seemed to be trumped by bigger, better paying projects.

Since we are officially beginning these efforts, we are advising you to follow our lead, and convert your site into a dynamic, responsive presence.If we can do it, so can you!

We encourage you to check out the list below for the top 5 reasons to go responsive with your online presence:

1. Responsive websites rank higher in Google.
For years now, Google has been prioritizing mobile compatible sites over sites that are not mobile-friendly. In fact out of all methods of optimizing a site for smart devices, responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern. Spending the time and/or money to convert your site to a responsive presence can easily be considered a pretty significant investment in your SEO efforts.

2. Responsive web design makes your site more user-friendly.
Guess what guys? Mobile browsing is not going away – in fact, it will only be increasing in the next several years. This goes the same for tablet users, and other non-desktop viewing environments. When your web site is not responsive, you are essentially alienating all users in non-desktop environments. Responsive web design makes your site easy to use in all screen sizes and environments. Have you ever looked at your Analytics to see how many users are coming from smart devices? Hint: it’s a lot, no matter what your business is. After a responsive redevelopment, you will see increased conversions, decreased bounce rates, and increased user engagement overall.

3. Mobile users dominate Social Media.
If your end game is traffic, then Social Media is a facet of your marketing plan that simply can not be ignored. Over 50% of social media users check their accounts via mobile devices. The bottom line is that if you don’t have a responsive site and you are sharing links and/or articles via a social platform, you are going to have a super high bounce rate for all traffic generated as a result of your social sharing. That is because no one likes to stay on a site that is difficult to read on the device they are using. These users essentially just end up being wasted leads. And that is a pretty big bummer, y’all.

4. Responsive Sites make for Simpler Website Management.
In this instance, I am primarily comparing the alternative mobile-friendly option of having a completely separate mobile presence (ex:, to responsive design. With a unique mobile site, you are essentially looking at managing two different marketing (SEO/AdWords/Analytics) campaigns, in addition to two different sites for which to manage content. In addition to hassle, this can also imply expense. If you are paying a developer or agency to update content in two different places, or create two different marketing strategies, I guarantee you will end up paying more.

5. Responsive Web Design is the Future.
Future Land does not consist of a single unified interface for online viewing. Future Land consists of infinite ways of accessing content online, whether it be from your mobile device, your iWatch, or the mirror in your bathroom (hey, it’s Future Land – it’s theoretical). Future Land has an infinite number of viewing technologies, formats, devices and interfaces. The only method of creating a site for infinite size growth is to create a responsive site that automatically adjusts according to size. That is a fact that you can hold me to. And since we’re in Future Land, let’s go ahead and grab some no-calorie cookie dough and hit the bottomless Bloody Mary bar on our ‘Virtual Vacation’ while we’re waiting on the plutonium for the DeLorean. No? #11 in top 35 IT staffing sites

Recently we launched a redesigned for DP Professionals in Columbia, SC. We were all really pleased with ourselves when we finally launched the site, because it represented a foray into new technologies for us. Little did we know, we would have even more reason to be proud.

Roughly 6 months after the site’s launch, our contact at DP Professionals shot us an email with great news! was recognized by as being the eleventh best IT staffing & recruiting websites out of the Top 35 best. Check it out here.

South Carolina National Guard Web Development and web design in Charleston
{ SC National Guard }

Web Design, Development, CMS+

Web Design and Web Development Project in Charleston SC
Hawk Institute for the Space Sciences Web Design by The Design Group

Web Design by The Design Group

Copyright © 2019 The Design Group