What Was

Since it launched, was a full-scale website coded with XHTML 1.0, CSS 2.1 and Javascript using industry best practices based in web standards. It also used a very capable web content management system called Big Medium. In that time, Brettro adopted the use of both CSS and Javascript frameworks to make delivering websites more efficient and affording its clients the ability to use multiple designers and developers should they need to.

What Is

What you see today is an interim Brettro website. Using WordPress 3.0 and a very basic custom WordPress theme, will be largely blog-based as it explores the best route to adopt new, important better, cutting edge and forward-thinking technologies.

Those technologies are:

  • HTML5 and CSS3
  • ExpressionEngine
  • WordPress

HTML5 and CSS3

The first–HTML5 and CSS3–are the evolution of the specifications and the languages that structure and present Web pages. Modern web browsers, such as Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome provide excellent support for these two specifications. Even Microsoft is making strong movement towards excellent support in its Internet Explorer 9 web browser.

With this level of adoption, it is time for Brettro to adapt these new specifications to its website codebase to use new tags and features. By doing so, clients benefit from web pages that load faster, display more quickly, and potentially earn better rankings in search results.

The Content Managers: ExpressionEngine and WordPress

Big Medium served me and many of my clients well, but after seeing a lack of continued development and commitment from its creator, Brettro began considering other solutions. Those two solutions are ExpressionEngine and WordPress. Both are solid, capable, best-in-class and (most importantly) easy to use content management systems.

And both have:

  • An incredibly engaged and committed core of developers
  • A dedicated community of designers and developers who use the products
  • A staunchly supportive community of developers who work to extend the capabilities of the products
  • A solid installed base of websites–small, medium, large, and gigantic–that work incredibly well

For these reasons, Brettro will begin using these products for his clients’ websites and for his own.

What’s Coming

The first website to see the use of these technologies will be Since the beginning of 2010, Brettro has been using WordPress to manage content on one of the business’s websites. And as he grinds through the iterative process of modernizing his codebase to use HTML5 and CSS3, he will consolidate all his Brettro websites under either the ExpressionEngine or WordPress system. Brettro would only deploy code and products to his clients that it would use itself.

Stay tuned. In the coming weeks I plan to keep you updated on both the process and the evolution.

Brettro Turns 5

A little over five years ago, I was wrapping up a part-time stint at an Apple retail store in Northern Virginia. I wanted to take advantage of my employee discount one final time, but didn’t want to take on such a substantial amount of debt without a way to pay for it.

Brettrospective Media was born.


In 2005, I had been building websites for seven years, creating print media for 17 years, and had just begun dabbling in video. It was an interesting time for all three media. Print media had settled into its digital revolution, the web was in a heated debate over web standards in browsers, and computers were just becoming powerful enough to handle standard definition video at the consumer level.

By launching Brettro, I created a revenue stream to pay for the souped-up PowerBook and professional-level software I’d just purchased. It also allowed me the freedom to exercise my creativity in ways that my full-time (and very similar) job would not.

I also discovered an incredible group of clients and deepened my passion for designing and creating creative material efficiently and solidly based in industry best practices.


Here in 2010, the only consistent in the creative landscape is change. Print media is facing serious revenue declines as the web is rapidly becoming the primary means by which people digest information. The browser wars are largely over as the Web Standards movement finally won. Even Microsoft is finally building a standards-compliant browser! HTML5 and CSS3 are poised to explode onto the Web. And video–both standard- and high-definition—has found a comfortable home in the digital realm.

The present is so exciting in the creative world. And I am thrilled to have Brettro to help me experience it.

What Next?

The next five years will bring incredible change in the print, web and video industries. And Brettro is poised to embrace and adapt to that change. Stay tuned in the days to come to learn more about how Brettro is already working to adopt these new technologies and how, by doing so, its clients will reap the benefits.