Website Company Has Roots Firmly Planted in Printing
Press release from the issuing company
Fargo, N.D., February 26, 2007 - How can a small commercial printer, with limited time and resources, develop and maintain an effective website, without bankrupting the company or compromising its image? That was the question facing Mike Stevens in late 2000. His print shop, Express Press Graphics, in Fargo, North Dakota, needed a website that would help it compete with the big guys. That need eventually led to the creation of a new company, WebsitesForPrinters.com. The five-year-old website development firm still maintains a singular vision for helping other printers succeed online, and will be among the exhibitors at Graphics of the Americas in Miami Beach, Florida, March 2-4, 2007.
Starting his own Internet company was not part of Stevens’ plan when he embarked on his website search. He first looked at several turnkey packages already on the market. Some offered little more than an online brochure. Others were technically rich. But all lacked the marketing content he knew he would need to attract people and sell more printing. “There were a lot of good web programmers out there,” Stevens recalls, “but none of them understood the printing industry like a printer would, and none could blend the technical aspects of website design with the aesthetic requirements of an industry where graphic appeal is essential.”
Stevens realized that if he wasn’t satisfied with his options, many other printers probably felt the same way. So he decided to put his money where his mouth was and build his “dream” website on his own. He would then try to sell the idea to other printers to help fund the cost.
"In many ways, our customers are like investors,” explains Dave Hultin, Stevens’ managing partner in the website business. “They’re paying for a service, but they’re also investing their confidence in us to develop tools that will help them sell more printing. We take that trust to heart and do our best to reinvest our revenue wisely, in areas we think will most benefit our printers and their customers.”
Jaws PDF Courier is a example of the power of this cost-sharing philosophy. Jaws is a PDF conversion tool a printer’s customers can download and use to “print” their files directly to the printer’s website, from any software application. WebsitesForPrinters.com licenses Jaws from its creator, Global Graphics. By sharing the licensing and integration costs among the printers who opt to use this feature, everyone saves significantly over the cost of trying to do it themselves. Recently, the company added Enfocus PitStop preflighting to their Jaws offering, at no additional cost to its printer-customers, to further enhance those capabilities.
“Licensing Jaws or a similar product individually would be far too cost-prohibitive for most printers,” Hultin explains. “It would be comparable to buying a new Lexus each year – and that’s just for one feature on the site. Our customers are thousands of dollars ahead in just a few years with the money they save partnering with us versus trying to do it all themselves.”
To date, printers in more than 300 cities across the U.S. and Canada have made that investment in a website from WebsitesForPrinters.com. The company also has resellers in Australia and the U.K. But even as it grows, the company not lost sight of its printing roots.
“Printing has always been my passion,” Stevens says. “I love talking with other printers and helping them win their battles with the printing Goliaths out there. Over the years, I’ve spoken with tens of thousands of printers, from small, mom-and-pop shops, to larger firms, looking for ways to stay competitive. Those conversations, and the friendships they’ve helped to kindle, keep me grounded, focused, and motivated to keep doing what I love.”
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