When WordPress Websites retire

We develop websites for companies. Normally, this means that the website’s content is updated and WordPress is being maintained on a regular basis. But what if the website has only been created for an event? This way the website has a kind of “expiration date”.

The event is over, everything is quieting down. What now? Usually the website remains on the server space for some time. But no one maintains it any longer, there certainly is no new content nor does anyone take care of the WordPress install. Eventually, someone comes along and deletes it. If you are in luck you might still find the website via the WayBack Machine.

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SEO and marketing

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is one of the magic words almost all clients have on their wish list. Unfortunately, SEO is far from being the magic wand some try to make you believe. But let me explain.

Building websites for clients, you always need to be marketing adviser as well as web developer and IT support specialist. I love this diversity about my job and I embrace most of the things I need to deal with. Continue reading “SEO and marketing”

From Schelperdesign to Start-The-Loop

After many good years with our former label schelperdesign.net we felt we needed to move on. We discussed where we came from and where we wanted to go, took a closer look at our every-day-work and future goals. At the end of the process stood a lot of insights, some goals and, last but not least, a new name: Start-the-Loop.

We began to work under the label Schelperdesign.net in 2006. Back then, our main focus was on graphic design. We built websites using HTML and CSS and also build some websites using the CMS TYPO3. The web was still pretty new and things changed rapidly. TYPO3 has never been a CMS we managed to embrace fully. Too bulky, too tough on clients, maintainance was dreadful.
When we first stumbled upon WordPress it was version 2.9. And we got the feeling this might lead somewhere. When version 3.0 came along with the brandnew standard theme TwentyTen things started to get moving.

WordPress changed a lot.

The more we actually worked with WordPress, the more we changed our focus. But it probably wasn’t just us working more and more with WordPress but the whole approach to websites changed. With the iPhone and growing numbers of smart phones coming along the need for responsive design arouse.

While the design still is an important part of a website, it needs to be a lot more flexible now. Today, we consequently use a “content first” approach. More than 10 years ago, websites were more of a “nice to have” piece of decoration. Nowadays websites need to provide actual usefulness and take an active part in a company’s media strategy. Therefore, usability and actual functional elements of a website grew more and more important.

With WordPress, we had found a tool that has been allowing us to really concentrate on building this kind of websites.

The Start-the-Loop team

Over the years, we also grew as a team. With our new approach we have been able to work together more closely. We certainly still have a different focus: Kirsten, with her background of communication design, is our theme developer and CSS wizard. My background in engineering science allows me to be a lot more comfortable with server configurations, code in general or the command line. (And please don’t ever ask me to develop a design.) Additionally, I have been dabbling into marketing over the past years (e.g. Seth Godin’s Marketing Seminar).

At the same time, we also have common interests: Both of us love conceptual work, we share our interest in usability and accessibility. This is where we complement each other, work extremely well together and would like to put more focus on in the future.
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