Website Planet finds out from Woww Digital how they work towards being the gold Standard in South Africa when web design and WordPress web design
Please tell us the story behind Woww Digital?
In the early days, we saw that there was no real leader in South Africa when it came to web design and WordPress web design. So, we started with the goal to create a golden standard in South Africa. Over time, we identified that consistency was very important to achieving that goal.
Consistency requires structure, so as part of our continuous improvement process, we have created structure with a goal to tame the wild, wild web and grow into being that golden standard that people look up to.
So far our growth has always kept this in mind, and by investing in structure, and our team, we have been able to grow from 2 to our current team of 22 (and growing) over the last 6 years.
How do you assess whether you are reaching your goal of being the ‘golden standard’?
When we are referenced as an authority in our industry that follows and sets best practice, then we have achieved that goal.
This process is ongoing, an roughly monitored by measuring our ranking for the keywords that reflect our services. Importantly we also focus on client referrals and feedback, and continuously build our portfolio of top brands. We hope that over time this will speak for itself.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
We are very agnostic. We really try and understand the client’s needs. Asking the right questions to understand the end goal, and then keeping that purpose in mind, helps us achieve incredible results.
Secondly, our clients often say that we offer great service. A part of that is we really put a lot of effort into proactively communicating and putting extra effort into showing up. I think that is a notoriously bad thing in web development where clients who join us mention experiences where their previous agency didn’t communicate or care.
Please tell us about your core values and how your customers experience these?
Our clients often comment about their overall experience working with us. We believe that we are an ecosystem of different specialisations, and that by working together we can deliver amazing experiences and results. A lot of clients love how much we care and focus on long term relationships. We have a number of clients who have been with us for over 6 years, and who have grown with us over this time. When we reference our core values, our clients resonate with them, and because we live the values, we build trust.
Our 6 cour values below:
Be Thoughtfully Candid
We value constructive and honest conversations and welcome a difference of opinion to get to the right answer.
Speaking your mind requires purposeful consideration for both when and how it is communicated.
Being thoughtfully candid lets us collaborate more meaningfully and work together to solve not only our own challenges, but also to develop better solutions for our clients.
By being transparent and direct in our approach we make realistic plans and execute them more effectively to create the best possible outcomes.
Continuously strive for improvement
Small improvements implemented regularly add up exponentially over time.
Innovation and continuous improvement is the foundation from which we grow. Having a growth mindset, while taking on challenges and opportunities is all part of the journey.
Often this requires candidly identifying shortcomings, and taking action to improve upon those areas.
Our approach is antifragile in nature and often involves making changes to our systems to meet the needs of a fast paced and ever evolving market.
Committed to happiness
Happy people become successful, not the other way around.
We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can choose our attitude and our actions. When we are happy, it projects onto our work and our daily interactions. We aim to foster a sustainable environment that supports our team’s pursuit of happiness and a healthy life-work balance.
We thrive together
Our relationships are mutually beneficial.
Our decisions are made with win-win-win solutions (client, team, Woww) in mind. We build strong relationships with clients and internally with our team. We invest heavily in the growth of our team, both personally and career wise, in turn they’re able to offer the best version of themselves to our clients’ success. Over the long run, the success of our clients and team benefits all.
Ownership across the board
Take initiative, own your work and embrace responsibility.
We believe in self-management and giving our team agency to get things done. With this power comes the responsibility to be accountable to the projects we oversee, to ensure it gets done right. This includes being mindful of how we work in terms of productivity, self discipline and knowing when to ask for help. Empowering our team with this level of trust enables them to solve challenges faster and independently while maximising the quality of their work.
Creation with purpose
Start with why and succeed.
Asking the right questions to understand the end goal, and then keeping that purpose in mind, will result in success. Implemented across all Woww disciplines, from the management of the smallest tasks to engagements with clients and execution of all work, purposeful creation with intent will yield incredible results.
What do you use to build your website and why? What does this process look like?
When we started out, we used Salient and Divi. We would identify themes that are popular that have the support and offer the functionality that our clients needed. Our goal is not to just find short-term solutions, the goal is always to use a tool that allows us to build a sustainable website and that would benefit the client in the long run.
What we’ve been doing recently is using the Hello theme in conjunction with Elementor Pro. It is a very blank theme with a lot of the settings configured within Elementor Pro. That gives the client a lot more accessibility to do a lot of changes themselves. Elementor Pro is incredibly powerful for design, and they have a strong support base and following. That future-proofs the useability of the tool to an extent.
We also use Jet Crocoblock, there is a lot of built-in functionality that is aligned with Elementor Pro. This makes it a lot more streamlined and faster than using an excessive number of different plugins for all the different functionalities which can sit on a site.
How long does it take?
Four to seven weeks if the content is provided upfront. Very big projects will take a little bit longer, smaller projects we can do a little bit faster. It also depends on the client, obviously. We’ve got clients that are highly professional and who know what they want, they provide all the content and communicate clearly. We can work faster as a result.
What do we ideally need before we start?
A lot of our best projects have a clear brief with a clear understanding of project goals, the budget to deliver that brief, and the content and branding ready. If clients don’t have their content, they often write it themselves which can delay the process. We can also create content for our clients, or full branding corporate identities with our in-house team.
Please tell us a bit about your collaboration options.
Most regularly we are the WordPress specialists that agencies use. So often there are branding agencies or design agencies that have their mock ups designed and then need an agency to actually execute. That’s very popular and works well, because we’ve got very clear direction of exactly what they want and we can execute that flawlessly, which is very exciting.
Often, people are looking for ecommerce specialists. For example, there would often be web design agencies who are more used to brochure type websites, and they need an e-commerce specialist. We would then come in and build those e-commerce sites, that’s very popular as well. Similarly paid marketing agencies need specialists that can support their clients with web development.
Every now and then, the inverse also happens. We have in-house paid marketing, in-house graphic design, in-house SEO and often web design agencies don’t have the specialized skills to offer those complementary services. They will then come to us, and our team will be able to give them that specialist insight that they need to, to give that client the service that they deserve. So, it works both ways.
Is there anything else that you think we should know about?
Yes, recently our team became fully remote. That’s quite exciting and opens opportunities for recruitment. We’ve got a goal to diversify further internationally. At the moment, our revenue is around 35% international and 65% local, and our goal is to be much more ingrained into the international community. With the South African price points, we can offer a lot more to those international clients at the standards that they are used to.
Our team have really grown and matured, which also adds to the excitement of our goals. Covid has been tough for a lot of businesses. We went fully remote during COVID, but as a company I think we were actually quite blessed to have the team that we had, and we have been growing quite nicely over the last few years.