Keith Curreri owns Buckle Up Studios, website design, branding, and strategy company. I’ve known him for about 7 or 8 years. We met at a local blogging event, and we’ve had lunch a couple of times locally. He definitely knows his stuff, as he helped me out with a bit of CSS that was beyond my expertise earlier in the year. I’d tell you more about his background, but I’m going to let him do it instead:

1. How old were you when you got your own computer? What about when you first started programming?

Keith Curreri
Keith Curreri

I was lucky to get my own computer when I was around 10 years old. My father was the director of technology at a public school district and realized the value of computers early on. I didn’t start learning web development until I got to college.

2. Did you know a lot about what you wanted to do already before you went to RIT?

Nope, I had no idea. I initially went to RIT for Imaging Science, which deals with optics, light waves and physics. After a couple of years I realized I wasn’t loving it and went to a career counselor at the school who suggested I try web design. As soon as I switched I knew I was going to love it.

3. You had a lot of short time jobs early on? Were those actual jobs or were you in the first stages of self employment?

My early short term jobs were mostly summer jobs or side gigs to make a little extra money. My only self employment experience is with Buckle Up Studios.

4. I asked the last question because you started your business in 2007 before you graduated. Would you say you were working in a gig economy style early on?

Yep, I started making websites for clients in my junior year of college. I sent hundreds of emails to local businesses to see if anybody needed website help. A few said yes, which got me my start in a gig economy.

5. How many different programming languages do you know? Do you have a favorite?

As for web development, I work with HTML/CSS, PHP, and Javascript. Recently I’ve been learning React which is becoming my favorite the more I learn.

6. I used to do web design but it was only function, not aesthetics. What did graphic and web design classes teach you that you didn’t already know?

Design classes taught me a lot, like the psychology of colors, how to organize a page to direct a visitor’s attention, the importance of whitespace, and focusing on user experience. The biggest thing that stuck with me is to always make sure that the aesthetics don’t get in the way of the message.

7. How long did it take you before you were self sustaining doing the work you do?

Business wasn’t so crucial when I was doing it as a side gig in college because I didn’t need to depend on it so much. Once I needed the income after college it got more important. It was probably about 2 years after college before my business was self sustaining.

8. How do you market your business? I’ve seen some of your articles, but I’ve never seen you promote them.

I don’t do much marketing, 90% of my business comes from referrals and word of mouth. The other 10% comes from search engines.

9. What do you see coming in the next 5 years as far as web design? Are you ready for it?

I see a lot of changes coming up in the next 5 years. I think website builders like Squarespace, WIX, Shopify etc are going to continue to grow, making it easier for people to build simple websites without needing technical knowledge. On the other side, new technologies are going to continue to come out to allow greater functionality for complex websites. I’m learning React for that reason – to prepare for the future. I’m just about there 🙂

10. Take this time to talk about your business and, as a favor to me, what’s your favorite dessert? 🙂

Buckle Up Studios specializes in making WordPress websites for small to medium sized businesses – focusing on research, psychological strategies and following proven web-conversion best practices to ensure website conversions. Each website comes with a 100% Money Back Guarantee – you don’t pay if you’re not happy with my service.

Chocolate chip cookies for sure!

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