Welcome To The New FCVPhotography Website!
Am I proud to welcome you to our new website, and what a process it has been! A complete overhaul, with a complete change in direction, by an entirely different company, in a completely different country. What an exciting ride!
I had a fantastic year in 2013, one of the best of my career thus far. Heading into 2014 I was determined to raise the bar further still. When reviewing my business's strengths and weaknesses, it was apparent that we had one major blemish – our website.
Designed around 2010, it had served my team and I reasonably well. With little to no background in web development myself, I had no idea of what was possible. With that said, I am the first to admit that I am very particular, a perfectionist. I know what I want and how I want it. Does this make me a nightmare client? Absolutely!
So, I called on a couple of techy guys that I know here in Cape Town, and we set about cobbling together the old FCVPhotography website. Cut a long story short, when it was all done and dusted it looked great. However as time went on its greatness diminished rapidly. All the plug-ins and ‘pseudo’ code meant that updating anything became nothing short of a nightmare. It simply wasn’t practical.
Fast forward a couple of years and it became an obvious hindrance. I figured, to rectify its problems, I needed a complete redesign by an agency this time. Out came Google and my phantom fingers got to work.
Over the course of two weeks I had a list of other websites that I liked. I had mocked up a mood board and had a written brief. I emailed this information to seven different web agencies here in Cape Town.
A few days passed and I heard nothing. I sent out follow up emails. Nothing. So out came the phone as a last ditch effort for some action. Did any of the seven follow-up? Not one!
I couldn’t believe it. Miffed by the whole ordeal, I decided that I would see if there was anyone in London who wanted my business. Sure enough, I received multiple responses that very same day. However, it was one agency in particular that stood out. The one who happened to be at the top of the Google ranking, and the one I went chose.
Michael Macneil, creative director for Internet Dreams Studio (IDS), and his team had trawled through every page of my old website and sent me a 41-page pdf outlining what they would change to align it with my brief! Michael then called me on my cell, London to South Africa, to talk me through it.
Before I immigrated to South Africa in 2003, I had come to expect pretty crappy customer service from the UK. But oh did IDS prove me wrong! Many businesses could learn a thing or two from them, including my own.
The best part is that the guys at IDS continued to go above and beyond throughout the entire process. Designing and redesigning endless wireframes and models - they did not let up. As I’ve said before, I don’t know what’s possible in the realm of web design, but no idea was too big or too small for Michael and his team. If something wasn't possible, they’d come up with an alternate solution. I regard myself as a pretty practical bloke, so this was something that I appreciated.
Was it an enjoyable experience? Am I happy with the results? Do I feel like I got good value for money? Would I ‘recommend to a friend’?
Absolutely! On all points! Without hesitation!
I hope that you will enjoy your visit and please offer your feedback through our social media platforms!
A HUGE thank you to Michael Macneil and his team; Mateusz Czarkowski, Tomasz Sigurski, Timo Baumann, Neil Kilgallon and George Sabev.