We were testing out the new Website on different browsers and some smarty-mc-smarty decided to try it on Lynx:
It is not as bad as I thought it would be… Who remembers using Lynx?
It has been a long road but we have finally arrived. You can see it at www.PADTINC.com. Not only is the site new, but we have a new and expanded blog that covers the whole company and not just ANSYS related topics.
Jump right in and take a look, or hang here a bit as we share a little history of how we ended up with the site we have:
About three years ago we decided to redo our website. Several of us tried, but we were just too busy with other things. Or we found we lacked one or two critical skills to get it done. Plus our old site was still doing well with the search engines, bringing in business, and providing information to the community. No one was pushing us to get it done (OK, our sales team was getting pretty frustrated) and it was not easy, so it languished. Still no new website.
So about a year ago, we started looking for a website design company that would work with us the way we wanted to work. This was a more difficult task then we envisioned. We were not looking for someone to make us an online brochure. We were also not looking for someone to set up a content management system that we could upload short bits and pieces to. We also did not want someone that would create a site that we could not get into and mess with. We also ran into a problem with people really not understanding the kind of customer who comes to the PADT website and the type of content they expect. And we wanted it in Adobe Dreamweaver (I know, 2005 called and they want their web design tool back. At least we are not using ColdFusion.)
After looking for a while, we found Newhouse Studios, http://webstrategyaz.com/. They have worked with technical companies in the past, and actually still had people who could use Dreamweaver. They took us through a real design process where different designers (artists really) shot us different look and feel concepts:
We opted for the second one, and the real hard work began. After refining the colors and fonts, we started laying out the site. What a chore! PADT really can be represented on the web as 4 or 5 different companies, and the web needs of each area of the PADT is a bit different. But we did it, lots of multi-color post-it notes all over a big board with arrows going everywhere.
Then we slowed down because we had to write content. And lots of content. Over 90 pages of content. Some were short, some very long, some cut and paste. And each one had to be proofed, optimized for search engines and then formatted properly.
Somewhere in the middle of it all we found we needed some nice images, so we called on DM Photo to put on their commercial photography hat and shoot a bunch of stuff in and around the office. The results were better than we could have hoped for and upped the professional look of the site.
So we just kept on crunching out pages, adding images, and reorganizing as we went.
And in parallel, we launched a new blog hosting server using WordPress, and we expanded the topics for our blog from just ANSYS to all the area that PADT works in. It will also be where we post news, like this posting. So our blog now has: News, The Focus, Product Development, PADT Medical, The RP Resource, and Fun. It is our hope that The RP Resource will become as popular as The Focus. We also hope that the “Fun” page will be fun. That is yet to be proven.
And we worked, and we let other things get in the way, and we dropped a few balls. Nothing unusual for a new website. If you have tried to do this, you know what it is like. But we kept moving forward, and we eventually got there. We are done!
Thank you to everyone who helped out and all of our customers and vendors who put up with the old site. We are pleased with the results and hope you find it useful and entertaining.