web site/application design/development in boise, idaho


Here's a few of my recent projects. I can work at any scale, from the simplest WordPress project to complex web applications.



GrainBuys is a startup offering a market channel to buyers and sellers of animal feed, so that farmers and ranchers can avoid having to work with middle-men as they find matches for things like corn feed, shredded beets, and bakery waste. It's a pretty complex web-app built in CodeIgniter, with gobs of JavaScript, too.

waste equals wordpress site

Waste Equals

Ben Stauss is a brilliant re-purposer of industrial materials. I helped him migrate this WordPress site from Wordpress.com to a self-hosted site. We built a customized products inventory.

boise philharmonic

Boise Philharmonic

I worked with designer Kristy Weyhrich on creating this new site for the Boise Phil. It's a customized WordPress site with a bunch of custom plugins and modules for their calendar, musician bios, and a home-page management system.


Advocates for Children of New Jersey

This is a customized Wordpress site with a few complete layout changes for various "sub-sites" within. I developed quick searchable media library, too, for reports and articles.

spark commission

Boise Contemporary Theater

A souped up Wordpress site with significant extra data tables for performances and events. Design by Kristy Weyhrich



A web-based timeline application for exploring history and project planning, used by over 500,000 teachers, students, and professionals.

carla caruso jewelry

Carla Caruso Jewelry

This is a hand-modified Shopify site for an incredible artist. I'd build her an earlier "ZenCart" site way back in, like 2003, and we migrated data over from that.

stave puzzles

Stave Puzzles

A wicked complex e-commerce site integrated with HandEye CMS, interactive games, and gobs of back-end management tools.

gunilla norris

Gunilla Norris, author

a quiet, contemplative site. Each book-feature page has an audio excerpt

Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities

Mass Humanities

Designed by Bidwell ID for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, using HandEye CMS with customized backend data management tools


Hi. I'm Michael Richardson. I'm a web developer in Boise, Idaho.

michaelI've been a web developer since 1999. My background as a designer, craftsperson, and writer gives me a full set of tools for working with small- to medium-sized companies. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more responsive, creative, and thoughtful programmer in Idaho.

As a "full stack" developer, I work with back-end programming and database languages (PHP, MySQL) as well as front-end graphic and interaction design (HTML, JavaScript). My work ranges from simple Wordpress launches, perhaps tweaking existing templates, to highly customized application development that meets unusual business needs. I often work with designers who provide graphic direction and concepts.

Get in touch!

As I grew up, in Norwich Vermont, my family was a little ahead of the curve with computers. I remember, in the early '80s, using my dad's Radio Shack TRS-80 and getting a huge thrill from writing a Basic program to move an asterisk around the screen with the keyboard — almost like the videogame Asteroids. Our elementary school had a terminal connected to Dartmouth College (where Basic was invented), and we used to spend time in the terminal room (a converted closet) "chatting" with others on a network using an ancient UNIX application called "joi xyz": really just a slew of inanities being buzz-printed onto a continuous feed — a clear percursor to instant messaging.

In college I was a sculpture major at Wesleyan University, after which I morphed slowly from being a custom furniture maker into being a designer and bookbinder. I love graphic design but web design, capable of interaction — and quick correction — was appealing. In 1999 I dove into Flash, then PHP and MySQL, and it felt like I had come back the thrill of that TRS-80 again.

I live in Boise with my wife Harriett, our kid Simon, a cat named Buster and two frogs: Pab and Pab.

Get in touch, goldarned it.

All web sites should be considered "applications" because they they revolve around user interaction. I try to emphasize the possible and desired actions of users over a typical "information architecture". This emphasizes "doing" over "knowing". What do you want people to do on your site? What will they want to do?

My projects are often composed with PHP interacting with a MySQL database and I frequenly make use of libraries and frameworks, like JQuery for Javascript or CodeIgniter for PHP, to make sites more managable or richly interactive.

I rarely make a website that is not based on a content management system (CMS) framework. This is a two-sided interface: one side for users (public) and the other side for the owner/administrator of the site. I've created a "bare bones" CMS framework having been disappointed in the PHP CMS workhorses available: Drupal, Mambo, and others. The HandEye CMS uses precious little code, is easy manage, and integrates easily with other components.

In addition to "pages," sites often need complex database-driven resources. The Idaho Humanities Council needed a complex system for exploring their Speakers Bureau. Each speaker has a biography, an image, a catalog of presentations, and links to books they've authored. I built an interface that allows visitors to search and browse a Speakers catalog, and a back-end suite of tools that controls all the content.

I'm especially proud of TimeGlider, a web-based timeline authoring application I built in Flash, PHP, and MySQL: It's currently being used by thousands of teachers, students, and professionals to plan and explore history.

Michael Richardson
333 S Straughan Ave #226
Boise, Idaho   83712

cell: 208.850.8512