Puffbox has developed into a web consultancy specialising primarily in government and political engagement work, built primarily on WordPress. The original plan was to do more talking and thinking; but it soon became apparent that what people really needed was some actual doing.
I formed Puffbox in early 2007, driven primarily by frustration at the agonisingly slow pace of web development inside government - and the soaring costs which were resulting. Lots of talk, lots of paperwork, little to show for it.
Having been there since the very beginning, I longed for the pioneering days of the mid-1990s when things took days, rather than months or years, to happen. And I recognised, in the increasingly mature 'open source' software market and the early days of 'social media', an opportunity to recapture that. It was time to trust my instincts, and go for it.
Our proposition is pretty simple. We know where you're coming from; because we've been there too. And we know what's happening out there on the web. The clever bit comes in recognising what tools and techniques can be used to improve the way you work, and drive it forward.
WordPress, the blogging tool which matured into a remarkably flexible content management system, is at the heart of what we do. In our experience, it can be used to build and manage almost any kind of small-scale website, and some larger ones too. It's 'open source', meaning it's free of charge; but more importantly, it means we - and a planet-full of like-minded users - can play around with its insides, and make it work exactly how we want.
Our focus is on building small-scale sites, quickly and cheaply: it's in our interests, just as much as yours, to deliver projects within a matter of weeks. A decade's experience has taught us that rapid, phased delivery isn't just the best way to get things done: it's the only way.
And as we move from one project to the next, there's no denying that we get better at it too. We always try to add an innovative twist to every project - and if it works well, it becomes part of our standard toolkit, for everyone's ultimate benefit.
What marks us out is our ability to communicate. Don't worry if you don't know the jargon. We speak geek; we speak design; but we prefer to speak English, and plain English at that. Make us a coffee, and tell us - as best you can, and in your own terms - what you're trying to achieve. We'll do our best to help you get there.