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December 2, 2016 02:29:29 PM
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Client: New England Real Estate Journal & New York Real Estate Journal
Domain: &
Date: 2010
Overview: I started working at the New England Real Estate Journal full-time in 2010.  The New England Real Estate Journal is the largest commercial real estate publication in New England and one of the largest in New York.

I was originally hired for web development but soon took over all the administrative IT duties.  The dedicated web server and local exchange/file server were failing and all had to be replaced.  They had existing systems in place which all had to be reverse engineered and reimplemented under the new server system.  This was including but not limited to local custom scripts written in PHP under the Linux operating system Debian all the way to a custom made subscription system and it’s backups.  We also moved halfway through my employment which required me to setup the entire network and wiring for all the computers.  By the time I left I had replaced every machine and every wire in the office and have since had 0 IT problems.

The website was built in Zend and had a custom content management system implemented which pulled the information from their InDesign documents that they created for their print publication by exporting through XML and then importing the XML into the database through a custom PHP script.  This allows the website to be developed in any PHP language/framework and saves the production staff from having to do duplicate work.  It also combined NEREJ & NYREJ into one site but seperated the data based off the domain visted.  It is a great long term system which I now implement on all large websites allowing for easy future redesigns.  For instance this blog uses the database structure.  Rather than recode the pages in a new framework as I am familiar with Zend I just redesigned the webpage which did not require anywhere near as much coding but a lot of reverse engineering to understand what the previous developer did.  I often have debated if it would have just been easier starting in a new framework but I always like a challenge.  After that was completed I moved on to making a mobile duplicate which can be found at &  This uses the same framework and database just optimized for mobile devices.  Then I went ahead and created mobile applications for both Android and iPhone platforms which links to the mobile version of the website.  Now they have a redesigned website for web, mobile browser and mobile applications and can easily change the look of all them by just redesigning the websites.

The Real Estate Journal makes it’s money off of advertising.  When their banner tracking was not working I switched it over to Google Analytics Event Tracking which now gives them impression and click tracking with bar graphs and numbers which they can provide to their clients in a nice PDF.  They also run a daily newsletter which recaps some stories from the latest issue.  I created a custom content management system for them to manage their newsletter so one page controls the design so it can be easily redesigned at any time, and a newsletter can be created for everyday of the week for a month.  Last they have a flipbook version which is an exact copy of the print publication just on the web.  This way all the advertisers in the paper get a web presence and also the links in there ads are clickable and trackable.  I also introduced multiple advertising platforms like paid posts, full page ads (10 sec landing page), body advertising (fills background with clickable advertising) and different versions of paid subscriptions.

NEREJ Mobile:
NYREJ Mobile:
NEREJ Android App:
NYREJ Android App:
NEREJ iPhone App:
NYREJ iPhone App:

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Hi! My name is George Whitcher and I am a developer from the South Shore of MA.  When I am not busy being a dad I like to play video games, play/write music, snowboard, and skateboard.