I am often asked what does ACTWD stand for? I guess people are asking me what the letters stand for, and well, truth be told it stands for A Creative Touch Web Design. I wish I didn’t want to be first in the phone book and went with something cool like Vertical something. And maybe the most telling part of that statement is we have been around since there were these things called phone books.
But really, I’m tempted to answer that question a little differently. What does ACTWD stand for? It stands for an honest opinion, even if it means you don’t pick my company. It stands for having a friend on the other end of the phone that actually cares if your business is successful. And it stands for a wealth of experience on how to run a website effectively.
I understand that this is a bit of an unconventional About Us page. I could write one, but really that’s not who we are. So if your looking for a more traditional About Us page, maybe someday I’ll write one and you can read that one as well. But for now, you’re going to get to look at my company though my eyes, in a very unplugged sort of way.
Kelly and I started this business in the summer of 1997 with the thought that building a website was easy. And maybe back then it was. We got our first customer through a friend and somehow ended up with Rubbermaid on our client rolls. Things evolved and we were learning how to run a business, and for every challenge we encountered, my motto was, ‘I should just do that myself.’ I learned computers that way, and well, after having one-too-many bad tech-support experiences with Yahoo, I decided to learn web hosting that way. At least if there was a problem with the server I knew I could fix it myself. I’ve became quite the server admin.
So in the Summer of 2000, Web Hosting for Idiots was born. I know some of you predated that, and I know that some of you are still here, which I am profoundly honored to have spent all these years with you. What we ended up creating is a top-level hosting company, all because Yahoo couldn’t do it right and irritated me. That’s just how I roll.
Our very first customer used to call me daily and ask why their site wasn’t ranked on Alta Vista. Although I wasn’t sure that as their web designer that was my job, I figured maybe I should find out. It ended up opening an entire line of business for us that we had not even envisioned. But what I came to find out was that your web host and your web design company has a profound affect on how your site ranks, no matter what someone else may say. And because we owned our own servers, (not rented, but owned) we are able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of search.
By 2008, I was teaching small business at the SBDC, in Houston. And, we started to become a leader in Search, IT Design, and something that was up-and-coming called social media. And because of our very diverse knowledge, it has more and more people coming to us to see about getting their website ranked on a search engine, which, as it turns out, is something we do better than 99% of all web design companies, although they may say they can do it.
Because of my teaching roles, I guess you could say I’ve turned into somewhat of a consumer advocate. I think our bar to handle customers is much higher because of my role in the community. And to that resolve, we were selected to handle all of the complaints that Tucows received globally. Our staff knows about domain names, ownership, and ownership issues better than most registrars do. We work tirelessly to undo problems caused by other hosting companies, and even other web designers. And for our web hosting folks, we tend to help back-fill the need for an IT department.
As I think about it, I don’t think there is any other web development company out there that has the depth of knowledge that we do. We understand the back-end and the front-end. We understand security and compliance issues and how to program so you don’t get hacked, but also so the site gets ranked.
We are the total package, and we hope you will contact us so we can help your company the same way we have helped so many others in the past.