In the summer of 1999, while touring the rugged island of Vinalhaven off the coast of Maine, we decided to start-up a “primary document digitization service” for local / regional historical organizations. A turn-key operation, our plan was to create digital-archives of primary sources and push that history online; our goal: the preservation and presentation of history as a public trust. Kerri suggested a spot-on name that would stick “in heritage.” On August 14, 1999, we purchased our first URL, giving InHeritage a spiritual birthplace and actual birthdate … We also had created a product years ahead of its time (back when hosting plans were still measured in MBs) and out-of-reach for the limited budgets of most small organizations.
Luckily, our initial marketing drive had uncovered an even greater need: general web development services. The call for these services was at a fever-pitch in the late ’90s, a fact no less true within the non-profit community. We came in with a unique advantage: we placed the presentation of content at the core of our productions. We found organizations, societies and documentarians that wanted solutions geared towards depth, not surface-thin “brochure-ware.” In addition, the mentioned budgetary limitations had these operations searching for solid solutions without an agency price-tag. We put aside our scanners and copy-stands, and trained our focus on “web design & development for the historical community.”
From the beginning, our clients have come in all sizes … In step, our initial offerings were a range of custom-development plans tied to budget-ranges: the entry-level Shaker, the mid-road Craftsman and Mission—and our enterprise plan: Empire. (Yes, we are architecture fans!) These were flexible a la carte plans that could match any budget to our custom-development commitment. Key to our budget-matching ability was a talented pool of professionals and strategic partners—each “network associate” hand-picked for a specific developmental role—eager to supplement our internal skill-sets. This approach has allowed us to mix-and-match teams across the arc of funding possibilities ever since.
We have seen technologies come-and-go. HTML 2, 3 and 4 leading to our first attempts at proprietary content-managed systems and a big bear-hug embrace of presentation applications: Flash, Web 2.0 and the dynamic use of XML, generally. But the advent of open-source custom-developed CMS was more than an incremental step. It redefined our entire approach, pushing us beyond project-range plans and transforming our relationships with our clients. Add to this an emphasis placed on the implementation of IT / operational & client services support (from host-design to SEO optimization and e-marketing) and we had made the jump to “online operations for historical organizations.”
The dynamism of open-source CMS, responsive-mobile user-interface design and a broad focus on the online marketing and service needs of small- to mid-sized non-profit / commercial ventures brings us to our present iteration and our primary aim: “design, build and maintain.” And though technology and standards are in continual motion and our approach continues to evolve, our central inspiration—custom development designed to showcase the presentation of content—has remained the hook on which we have proudly hung our hats since August 14, 1999.
let us › design › build › maintain › your next great site!
drop us a line below — or call: 404.374.9395