Posted on June 17, 2019 by Mia Burns
On June the 17th, 1999 Web-Feet stopped being just an idea and it became a Limited Company. 20 years later, to mark the occasion (we have eaten lots of cake and generally felt rather proud to be part of something that has not only lasted but thrived over the last two decades) we thought it would be nice to write a blog that looks back on our biggest milestones. A whistle-stop tour of the last 20 years or so.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of it. We are very lucky that we get to do what we love and through our services we help you communicate your messages to your customers and continue doing what you love every day. So it goes without saying that we hope to continue working together for many years to come.
After the birth of her second child, Gillian left her fast-paced sales role to relax and spend time with her growing family. Unbeknown to Gillian, this was not to be the end of her working life nor time to enjoy the fruits of being a stay at home mum, but instead the beginning of running her own business and being busier than ever.
Just a few months after the inception of Google, Gillian very quickly realised the power that the internet would have to connect businesses to consumers and even the most niche of them. Stewart must have decided that Gillian wasn’t busy enough with two very young children so he suggested that she start her own business creating websites. Back then, the internet was commonly known as ‘the web’ and you need feet to walk – so along came Web-Feet.
Just a few months later, with absolutely no idea how to build a website, Gillian had sold one to a company called Sandwiches Unlimited (thank you very much). Gillian then had to hire a little help to actually build the website. For the first few years, the business was completely run from a bedroom in the house.
Web-Feet’s first CMS site was built – an updated Sandwiches Unlimited site so that they could change their menu (as any good sandwich company should).
Our first e-commerce site was for a company called Naughty Hampers (no longer around we’re afraid, so you’ll have to use your imagination). As the company grew, the spare bedroom was no longer cutting it (there were so many people that someone had to leave the room to let someone else in) so they moved into their first office in Chandler’s Ford.
After initially outsourcing all of our SEO work, we decided to bring it in-house. We wanted to have full visibility of the process and be able to incorporate it into the journey of each website’s development.
After ten years of business, we decided to reward ourselves with an even bigger office, still in Chandler’s Ford but with enough room (and then some) for the growing team.
When you spend lots of time building sites, you often realise what’s missing and what could be made easier. So, to fill this space, we developed our own CMS called Coaster. It was built with the customer in mind – we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to make changes, and who are we to keep it a secret from the world? So, in 2016 we released it as an open source platform. Coaster is now used by design agencies all over the world and we have built many of our own client’s websites with it, along with Magento and WordPress.
We rebranded and built ourselves a new website to go with it, although we’re already thinking about the next one. That’s the one thing about being web developers, you will never be satisfied with your own site.
20 years later, Gillian is still at the helm of Web-Feet with Stewart as master of SEO, technology, and accounts. We now have a very busy team who cover the whole mix of digital marketing.