Mark Burgess

Seattle-area Web consultant, specializing in Drupal.

Contact markabur
E-mail: mark at


Here are some of the websites I’ve built. On all of these I was either the sole or lead developer. I have a design background myself but often work with other designers for the graphic aspects of a project; these partnerships are indicated where appropriate.

CSER: Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research

Drupal • jQuery • I developed the CSER Consortium site in conjunction with Gail Jarvik's group at the University of Washington. Behind the login it has lots of members-only content such as working groups, meetings, events, and categorized file uploads. The publications and presentations listed on the public side are managed using a customized batch-upload process. Visit site »

International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Drupal • jQuery • Mobile • This annual festival in New Haven, Connecticut features hundreds of events spread over a two-week period. Responsive design techniques make the site mobile friendly. 2012 IMA Award. Partnership with Flyleaf Creative. Visit site »

Cucina Fresca

Drupal • jQuery • Drupal makes it easy for chef Bradley to add new recipes and associate them with Cucina Fresca ingredients. Partnership with Lookatlao Studio. Visit site »


Drupal • The old site was hindered by an old ColdFusion-based CMS, and migrating it to Drupal allowed for the addition of a blog and other new features. Refinements to the layout and typography bring the previous design to the modern day. Visit site »

Leschi Lakecenter and Marina

Drupal • jQuery • Mobile • Drupal powers this one-page, mobile friendly site for a commercial/retail property in Seattle. On a large screen, the site responds by showing some special enhancements. Visit site »

The Bravern

Drupal • jQuery • Website for a high-end retail mall in Bellevue. The store directory integrates with the event/promotion calendar and the interactive map. Agency: PBDH. Visit site »

The Northwest School

Drupal • Migration from a static HTML site. Custom integration with Trumba calendar service. Slideshows that used to be tedious to prepare and publish are now fast and easy, thanks to server-side image manipulation and a customized zip-upload process. Agency: PBDH. Visit site »

Seattle University School of Law

Ingeniux CMS • Migration from a complicated proprietary XML-based workflow to an XML/XSLT content management system. Large site with lots of stakeholders. Agency: PBDH. Visit site »

Margaret Thatcher Foundation

Classic ASP • T-SQL (Microsoft SQL Server) • FileMaker Pro • At its core, this is an 11,000-item database of the former Prime Minister’s utterances and documents. The site was originally programmed by a PBDH subcontractor, but I maintained it from 2002 onwards. During that time I deeply refactored the ASP code and stored procedures for performance, stability, and maintainability. I also created a FileMaker-based “bulkloader” tool for offline record creation and batch upload. Agency: PBDH. Visit site »


I can go as abstract and theoretical as necessary, but I generally gravitate toward the useful and people-centered side of tech. I like making websites because I like being at that intersection between human and computer, facilitating. I also like making computers do work, so I enjoy automating processes, scripting, etc.


I've been using it professionally since 2008. I am helpful in the Drupal community but not heavily involved with it.

Theming • For most projects I find it easiest to create a new custom theme from scratch.

Views • My all-time favorite contributed module, used on every site I create.

Context • It has a clunky UI but this is a terrific module anyway. Having a systematic approach to defining contexts can keep them from getting too confusing.

Features • My client sites don't have enough in common to employ Features in a reusable way, so I just use it for maintaining exportables. But these days I usually just use Ctools Bulk Export instead.

Panels • Update: I take back all the bad things I said about Panels. Well, not all of them -- but most of them! Panels is complicated and clunky but it is often a good way to build Drupal sites.

Display Suite • This is a cool module and can eliminate the need for tpl files, but that doesn't necessarily make the site simpler or easier to maintain.


I know them inside out. My style is on the conservative side—instead of using unusual features that need to be carefully tested all over the place, I’d rather write reliable code that has a high chance of working cross-browser the first time.


jQuery is fun. Using it to manipulate the screen and respond to the user sometimes reminds me of my old Lingo/Director days. Check out The Bravern’s interactive map for an example.

Revision control

I use Git for all projects. I like Unfuddle for hosting Git repositories.


I’m no DBA but I have created, managed, and used databases for a long time. I have done basic performance tuning on MySQL, dug into SQL Server for the Thatcher site, and, back in the day, knew all sorts of tricky FileMaker techniques.


I can set up a Linux Web server using command-line only, WHM/cPanel, Plesk, whatever. I have managed a Windows development server.

Computer languages

Over the years I have worked with (or at least dabbled in): BASIC (in HP, TRS-80, and AppleSoft flavors), 6502 Assembler, UCSD Pascal, AppleScript, UserTalk, Lingo, Java, HTML, CSS, ColdFusion, VBScript, SQL, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, Bash shell, XML, XSLT.