Web Workshop - a brief history
Web Workshop is the culmination of years of smart work and relationship building. Our growth spans almost 2 decades of constant research, trial and error, learning curves and bloody-minded determination to succeed. The enduring optimism and off-the-wall sense of humour that prevails is directly attributed to fantastic clients, loyal colleagues and an enormous amount of chocolate and good red wine.
It all began when Jenny was first introduced to the WWW in 1996. A fascination with the combination of technology, mark-up language, code and graphic design lead to the decision to start learning web design and designing websites in 1997. She started out on the web under the name WebThing (yes she did LOL!) designing part-time while learning as much as possible about the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Those were the days of hand coding HTML 4.0 and CSS, and that was also when Microsoft Chat Rooms were legitimate places to chat about business, the best way to get help from pros in the US. The time difference meant getting up at 2 or 3 in the morning to join chats dealing with web design fundamentals HTML, ASP and CSS. Jenny was fortunate to meet Molly Holzschlag one of the most influential women in the world on all things Web. Molly was an active participant and moderator of some very technical chat rooms at the time and provided the most valuable information, references and tutorials Jenny could lay her hands on from a distance. Molly advised what to study, what books to buy (some she even authored) and answered the many questions relating to what was then in South Africa relatively new Internet technology.
Having left the corporate world in 1999 to pursue the entrepreneurial route, Jenny decided that WebThing was probably not the most professional name for a business intending to go places. She found that there was a need to provide a range of related services like corporate identity, logo design, company profile presentations and more and so registered a company with the name CoZa Design. CoZa Design built a solid reputation of quality work and services, and subsequently had to sub-contract developers and designers to fill the demand.
A relationship forged with a marketing company in London saw the business branch out to the United Kingdom providing web design services to a number of businesses in the UK.
In the 90s and early 2000s the search engines favoured were Excite, LookSmart, Ask, Jeeves, Yahoo, AltaVista, Dmoz and more. Best was to manually submit websites to all directories and search engines but that was no guarantee of a listing. Keeping up with search engine algorithms and good organic SEO was as complex then as it is today! With the advent of Google in 1998 the business started providing serious SEO services. And then followed Google Adwords in 2000/2001 bringing with it a new learning curve entirely.
In 2006 it was decided to concentrate on South African business, gear the product and service offering to encompass primarily web related services as a 1 stop 'all things web' workshop... and so Web Workshop was born.