Have you ever heard of The Internet Archive Wayback Machine? (Yes – named after Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show). We have just discovered it, and it is seriously cool – it crawls through the Internet and grabs snapshots of websites and then archives them for future reference.
For example, if a website started in 2006, you might see a list of numerous “snapshots” of the site throughout 2006, 2007, 2008, and up until the present. Click on one of the links, and up pops the website as of the date listed. We looked up www.sewwhatinc.com, and the results brought back a lot of memories and reflections on the evolution of the website.
Prior to 2002, Megan had not even considered having a website. Most of her business had been built by word of mouth. However, one day she lost a bid on a large order, despite offering the lowest bid and highest quality. The potential client told her that, without a website, Sew What? did not have credibility in the marketplace. It was then that Megan bought a book on basic website design, went home, and over a single weekend built our first website. Take a look at an August 2002 version:
By September 2004, the website had grown and improved. Megan had taken a class in web design and had purchased more advanced web design software. The design was a little more polished, and we even had flash photos, fabric eSwatches, and a greater variety of content.
Despite the improvements to the website, it was still a “homegrown” product with a stock design template – and the design didn’t really capture the spirit of Sew What? Enter Chris Sandberg and his marvelously creative team at Star Marketing, who, after many meetings and discussions with Megan, developed a branding strategy for Sew What? that included, among many other things, a logo (the familiar yellow and black question mark) and a brand new website. Pretty snazzy, don’t ya think?
At first glance, our website today doesn’t look much different from the December 2005 version, but in reality, we have added quite a bit. In 2007, we added a video portfolio, giving viewers a chance to see our custom stage drapes “in action” without navigating to an outside website, and as you know, in 2009, we added this blog.
We are continually looking for ways to improve the way we reach people via the Internet. We utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to make it easier for our clients (and potential clients) to find us and the information they are looking for (thanks to Cindy McMahen at Search Marketing Pros for her continuing help with these efforts). We are continually adding new content to the site and removing any content that we find is no longer relevant to our clients. As with any good website, www.sewwhatinc.com is, and always will be, a work in progress – and it really is amazing to see how it has progressed in the last eight years!