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 I was first introduced to the WWW in 1996. A fascination with the combination of technology, connectivity, mark-up language, code and graphic design led to the decision to learn web design, and so I embarked on a journey of discovery, constant learning, and never-ending upgrades.
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, and the best way to get help from professionals in the US. The time difference meant getting up at 2 or 3 in the morning to join chats dealing with web design fundamentals like HTML, ASP and CSS. I was fortunate to meet Molly Holzschlag online, 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 I could lay my hands on from a distance. Molly advised what to study, what books to buy (some authored by Molly) and answered the many questions relating to, what was then in South Africa, relatively new Internet technology.
I stepped out of the freelance field, registered the company and traded as CoZa Design. As our client base grew we found that there was a need to provide a range of related services like corporate identity, logo design, company profile presentations and more. 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 1990s and early 2000s - the days of Excite, LookSmart, Ask, Jeeves, Yahoo, AltaVista - keeping up with search engine algorithms, and maintaining good organic SEO was as complex then as it is today. With the advent of Google in 1998 the business started providing comprehensive SEO services. Then followed the dawn of the now indespensible Google Adwords in 2000/2001 bringing with it a new learning curve entirely. Today, 16 years on, we rely heavily on Google Adwords for position in search results, and for qualified, measurable lead generation.
In 2006 it was decided to concentrate on South African business, gear the product and service offering to encompass primarily website design, development and related services, as a 1 stop 'all things web' workshop... and so Web Workshop was born.