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I consider anything Active Discovery Designs mine and have an agreement about that, but I am no more associated with ActiveDiscovery, Inc., so I am looking under which name I will continue my services.

Please note I am not associated in any way anymore with ActiveDiscovery, Inc. and vice versa, but (of course) I will continue serving existing and new clients, for now as a freelance (full stack) web developer.

Contact details are still the same, so you can just go the contact page if you want to contact me.

Guus Ellenkamp

 

The text on this page is in development and may not be finished and may not be the same in all languages.

Dutch Quality for management

Cost

So why would we start a page about 'Dutch Quality' or actually just 'quality' start with a paragraph cost. Well, of course, as many people associate a website with cost and associate high quality with high cost. So often one of the first questions people are asking us when inquiring about having a website made is 'how much does it cost?'.

Well, let me tell you a secret: the cost of a website over its life time has nothing to do with the original cost of making it and may be tenfold or hundredfold the original price. And as these maintenance cost in the end define the total cost of your website, it is very important for us to know what is your goal with your website and how are you planning to deal with it over time. So that is why we start asking questions like 'what type of website do you want' or starting to ask questions internally about 'what type of website do they need'.

And this is where our 'Dutch Quality' starts: asking questions first, as we want to help you find the best and most cost effective solution for your Internet presence.

Goal

And this is basically where we think a website should start: with a goal. So actually this should be the first paragraph, not the paragraph 'cost'.

In our experience many people forget to think about the goal of their website as, especially in Western countries, if you have a company, you 'should' have a website. Well, we recommend that before you have a website made or make it yourself with any of the tools available, you may want to think about what you want to achieve with your website. And if your only goal is that you just need a website because you have a company and companies need Internet presence, then indeed go for the cheapest website you can find.

However, even if you did not think of the purpose of your website and 'just have a company and need a website', probably you would still expect to get more customers through your website. So probably your implicit goal for your website is advertising your company or advertising your product. And this is where we want to go as we are quite sure that you are serious about your marketing.

Internet Marketing

If you are still reading we hope we convinced you that the total cost of a website (or web application) is not defined by the initial cost and that the goal of most websites is or should be part of your marketing. So maybe this would be also the time to talk to us about having your website made. If you are interested to do so, you can find our contact details on our contact page. If not, you may want to read on about our experience with our own website.

Case study

Introduction

As we are a web development company we can just make our own website 'on the fly' and continuously. We don't have to communicate with a supplier. So this would make this case study not fully representative for your experience, being a customer. However, especially with our new site, we probably encounter similar issues like you would or will encounter.

Our original website

Our original site was built around 2005 and yes, we did think about our goal and no, we did not think about the cost. Our cost was also mainly defined by developing new technology (our 'resizing' technology) with it and we were also still investing in knowledge about html, the language with which all websites are made, and website building. So for us the cost for that site was more about investing in knowledge, not marketing our company.

So what was our goal? You may be amazed, but it was certainly NOT internet presence. Why? We thought that 'being found', meaning 'doing sales' as a small web developer through the Internet in our business was very unlikely. Our goal was simply to show off with our technology and html knowledge to our customers, nothing more, nothing less.

Need for something new

Then, over time, our focus changed, and as we did not have the time (=cost) we still had no option but to invest in a new website as of course being a web development company we need a good sample of our services. Probably a very similar situation to many of our customers regarding cost and priority.

This time our goal was quite different or at least became quite different. Main goals were:

  1. Inform customers about our services.
  2. Make a very well structured and easy to use website, again to show off to our customers.
  3. Develop, or actually combine, our technologies: make a 'resizing' website based on our framework, which we have never done before.

    While developing our new website another goal was added:
  4. Be found by search engines or actually, try to figure out our strenghts by seeing how we are being indexed and found by search engines by just putting 'our content'.

    And later on our focus changed again:
  5. We might as well try to attract customers throught the Internet, which is also mainly the reason for the very page you are reading now.

Our experience

Our experience was basically the following:

  • Building the original site was quite fast. With our framework that, for websites, has pretty straightforward menu and page building and with our internal knowledge, rules about our framework and html use it was built in a matter of days.
  • Creating appropriate text appeared to take more time than expected and also took more time (=cost) than the actual conversion to html (=this website).
  • As we wanted the site to be multi-language, preferably all the languages we had before, we found out that having all previous languages was quite impossible. Technically we can add another language to our framework in five minutes. Translating text for a site with this amount of content is for a company of our size however appears to be virtually impossible.

  • Main issue with multi-language sites seems to be how to keep the content in the different languages the same, especially when changing content.
  • Technical development and maintenance cost are irrelevant compared to creating and maintaining the content.
  • While making the content we use many little 'tricks' which we also think is 'quality'. It is not sure what is the value of these little tricks. However, the cost may be irrelevant compared with the content creation cost, so why not do it.

Conclusion

Our main conclusion from (re)building this website is that building a company website that holds company information in a proper way is a major undertaking.

Secondary related conclusion is that the cost and time are related to getting or creating the content. If you are product focused company like we are, you are also confronted with what information to present in the website, meaning that your marketing strategy needs to be clear.

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