Tom Kealy has designed and made contemporary furniture since training at Parnham College in 1979, and for ten years was senior craftsman in the John Makepeace workshops. He runs furniture making classes from his workshop, and teaches at the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship in America and the Building Crafts College, London. We have worked with Tom for a number of years. Coming from a creative background, Tom is very specific about what he wants and we always listen and guide. Initially, we set up his office and workshop IT systems including laptops, netbooks and provided advice and guidance on external network cabling to connect his Workshop to his house. We also developed his original personal website on the MODx content management system platform. Several years ago we developed his Furniture Making Courses and Classes website with significant input from Tom in terms of the exact design and layout that he wanted.
Tom is a regular user of Excel, so we developed a custom bespoe Excel VBA application specifically designed to handle the custom way in which Tom handles the booking and payment for furniture making classes and courses made by his students. Tom now has a system that allows him to add students, classes, bookings and payments. Allowing him to keep track of blocks of classes purchased by students so he can determine at any time whether a student payment is due or whether they are on the first, second or third class of their respective block. This system also provides Tom with the ability to generate a booking and availability calendar that he can easily export and attach to an e-mail in order to distribute to students. The booking calendar shows all bookings by all students and scheduled teaching days, the availability calendar shows students the number of places available for a class on any specific day.
We recently undertook the development of a Responsive WordPress site for Bariville, a 17th Century Farmhouse that Tom’s family rent, situated on a working farm in Normandy, France. Tom and his daughter generated the site designs and requested that we emulate their designs as a custom WordPress theme. Tom previously used Chez Nous and iOwners (two platforms that handled the availability calendar and booking for the property) but this was very expensive. We explained to Tom that there were cheaper alternatives he could use and that he could have much more custom control over different aspects of the booking process, including the ability to accept payment in the future if/when he elected to do so. We implemented a custom Booking System and added a SSL Certificate to support online payment in future if/when selected. Tom’s sites are both hosted on our dedicated server and we handled the maintenance as well as providing Remote Support to Tom on his Mac and PC
Finally, during February 2016 we migrated Tom’s original personal site www.tomkealy.com from MODx to WordPress. We combined his furniture making courses and classes website with his personal website in order simplify maintenance and create a single point of presence. We customised a light box plugin and gallery plugin to function exactly as Tom required. We undertook training to show Tom how to modify and update his site, recording the training session and providing Tom with a video to allow him to revisit his training in the future should he forget how to do something. Tom’s new site is now hosted on our own dedicated hosting server and Tom can be reassured that he has us on hand if he needs us at any time.