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Webbed Feet UK, web developers in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Internet may be just a passing fad as millions give up on it

Okay, this article was published in the Daily Mail back in December 2000, but interestingly it was around this time that I was finishing my final year in University and decided to set up a web agency, rather than getting a job. That agency is now Webbed Feet, and is very much still alive.

Daily Mail: Internet may just be a passing fad...

I remember our first web address was a .com and my grandad, a retired farmer, told me that I was doing it wrong as 'dot coms' are "destined for failure".

We were established as a partnership back in summer 2001, now over 20 years ago and we took some risks setting up in this sector in its infancy. We were working from a bedroom or conservatory, on a dial-up connection that you could hear it whistling when connecting via our 56Kbps modem. We used to connect, upload or download our files, then have to disconnect so that the phone would work again.

 

THE Internet may only be a passing fad for many users according to a report.

Many teenagers are using the Internet less now than previously, they conclude, and the future of online shopping is limited.

 

When we started, Facebook and YouTube weren’t yet launched. Everyone used the Netscape browser and Altavista (rather than Google) was the main search engine.

I remember visiting businesses and having to explain what websites were and why companies would need one, rather than why we were the best fit for the job. That’s where the name 'Webbed Feet' came from - getting your feet for the web.

 

Many teenagers are using the Internet less now than previously, they conclude, and the future of online shopping is limited.

They were energised by what you can do on the Net but they have been through all that, and then realised there is more to life in the real world and gone back to it.

 

We got out first client Harry in July 2001, a lovely Scottish guy who put his trust in us and stayed with us until retirement in 2019, over 18 years! We also made our first online shop, for a local florist in 2001.

Oh, how the Internet has changed, and more importantly how we've changed with it. Who’d have thought that not only would the Internet be here, but how big it would be. In some places, Internet access is considered a human right [1], and that in the UK the average person spends over 3.5 hours a day online [2] ... at least it keeps us in work.

No Internet Meme

In the old days, I used to meet the clients, design the websites, discusser the user journeys (albeit briefly), build/code the website, get people to find them using search engines, and promote them (often offline) all by myself. These days it doesn’t really work that way, and we have a team, currently 8 of us, each with a specialist skill set who work together making and promoting websites better than ever, certainly far more complex than we ever could have imagined 20 years ago. Some of the team would still be at school!

The digital sector is expanding massively, and these days we all specialise in our small corner of the digital space. We’re lucky in that we faired well during the pandemic as we’re becoming increasingly an essential.

So, what’s the point of this post? Well, in all honesty, there isn’t one, and I’m not going to make a tenuous link.

I just found this article amusing, thought I’d share, and give a little history at the same time. Enjoy!

We are Webbed Feet, we’ve been established for over 20 years.

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Internet_access

[2] https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/220414/online-nation-2021-report.pdf

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