Community Spotlight: Cathi Levey & Onion River Web Design

The view from Burnt Rock near Fayston, Vermont 2009

Where do the worlds of hiking, cycling, paddling, hunting, and snowmobiling intersect with WordPress? In the rural community of Fayston, nestled within the Mad River Valley of Vermont’s picturesque snow-covered mountains and valleys. With a biologist turned WordPress developer, Cathi Levey.

From Biology to Web Design

Cathi Levey’s WordPress journey began before she ever even discovered the world’s most used CMS. A biologist by trade, she operated in a world of reports and dynamic data flow. The sciences, perhaps more so than any other discipline, depend on ready access of information sharing to fuel research and learning.

Cathi worked daily disseminating data to countless researchers and graduate students that didn’t just need a static library of information, but a living, breathing, continually updated stream of intelligence.

A creative person at heart with a flair for the technical, she began research of her own on the best way to deliver on the needs of her peers. Her research led her first to Dreamweaver, a web development tool that naturally appealed to her technical and creative mindset. She first began designing sites on the Dreamweaver platform to share information among peers.

Seeing her work there, she soon began receiving requests from friends for websites of their own. Friends became clients, and a business was born: Onion River Web Design

What brought her from Dreamweaver to WordPress? Her clients.

“Once you start using WordPress, it’s really hard to go back to Dreamweaver”

Cathi loved the blank slate that was the Dreamweaver platform, giving her a medium to create from nothing what she saw in her mind’s eye. As requests started coming in from friends for business websites of their own though, there was a common thread:

“[My clients] would be like, ‘I really want to put this in WordPress’, ‘I’ve really been advised that I should use WordPress’… So that is what made me take the leap.”

The rich diversity of WordPress themes is the primary factor for her 40 some clients requesting WordPress as she tells it.

We were delighted to hear as well that it was the friendly UI and functional extendibility of Ninja Forms that brought her around to preferring the WordPress form plugin over her initial foray into building web forms from scratch using PHP.

Creating Beauty with Onion River Web Design

Today Cathi serves more than 40 clients, mostly local to her hometown of Fayston, Vermont. Like the Appalachian peaks of her hometown, the websites she builds reflect a clean, peaceful beauty. She highlighted two, Awakened Hospitality and Tamara Ellis Smith in speaking with us. You can find more on her Web Design Portfolio page.

If you’re local to Fayston and need a website, talk to Cathi. Even if you’re not, you should visit Onion River Web Design and shoot her an email anyway. The web needs more places like these!