When you hire a professional to build your website, you can't help but wonder a few things:
- How will they respond when I ask stupid questions?
- How will they react if I need something urgently?
- Will they take my wishes and needs seriously, or just wield their expertise as a way to steamroll me?
Fortunately, in the case of David Walsh and his team at Walsh Creative, the answers to those questions are exactly what you'd want to hear.
I first met David at the annual Local Independent Online News Publishers conference in Chicago. David had a very simple pitch that appealed to me: He had worked with many small online publishers and understood their needs. As I was just beginning the process of exploring what would later become The Elmhurst Titan (www.elmhurst-titan.com), this led me to approach him during a break between panels.
When I mentioned, somewhat apologetically, that I wasn't an established publisher yet, concerned that perhaps I was wasting his time, to my surprise he was elated.
"That's great!" he said. "That means you can do everything correctly right from the start."
That was music to my ears. After a couple more months of researching where I wanted to be based and what kind of site I wanted, I reached out to David. I bounced ideas off him, and he convinced me that a WordPress site, hosted by WPEngine was the way to go.
Despite my 20 years in the news business, a lot of these conversations were new terrain for me. It was nice that David took the time to explain concepts and give me the details behind his suggestions. When the time came to sign on the dotted line and hire him to build my site, I had confidence that I would get what I wanted.
A hasty launch
Not only did the final product meet my expectations, it wound up launching under some intense circumstances. A massive fire near downtown Elmhurst erupted in a dress shop in late January in the midafternoon. I grabbed a camera and notebook and ran to the scene, and I spent the better part of that day documenting what is already a contender for one of the top stories in Elmhurst in 2017.
Then, in the late afternoon, I ran back to my office and called David, probably out of breath and in a frantic rush.
"Can we launch today?" I asked. "Big fire in town, perfect chance to grab an audience."
The site wasn't supposed to launch until the middle of the next week, but David was calm and collected. "I think we can do that. Give me a few minutes."
Within half an hour the site was live, and shortly thereafter I had my story published, laying the groundwork for an audience that has continued to grow since that day.
I worked with a lot of great in-house web developers during my newspaper career, but inevitably there would come a day when you caught them in a crummy mood and got a less-than-pleasant response from a request. That never happens with David.
I've thrown a lot of ideas in his direction, both during the conception of the site and since its launch. Some were fairly well thought out, and some were little more than, "Is it possible to ... ?" David takes every proposal seriously, and he's been very complimentary about the things that I've brought to the table when they make sense.
Even though The Elmhurst Titan is fully launched and getting great responses, it'll never be really complete. I'll always be looking for ways to tweak it, improve it, help tell the stories of Elmhurst even better. And as long as David is there helping to implement these new ideas and making sure everything works on the technical side, I've got nothing to worry about there.
Contact Walsh Creative
Our approach is simple but powerful. With our driven team of experts, Walsh Creative works one-on-one with our clients to determine business goals and expectations. At Walsh Creative, your success is our success. Contact us today.