Targa was founded by me, Daron Harvey. I started designing websites way back in 1996, and have remained engaged with web technologies ever since, having acquired over 25 years experience in producing websites and a range of web related roles, including Web Design, User Experience (UX), Usability Testing, User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Search Engine Optimisation, eCommerce project management, Business Analysis, etc.
You can dig a little deeper into my career history on LinkedIn.
How it all started
Having been previously involved with the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards for computers and other gadgets, in 1996 I was looking for a new challenge.
Terms such as the
world wide web and the
information superhighway were circulating, and I became intrigued. So I downloaded a 30 day trial version of a piece software called
HotMetal and quickly figured out how to produce a couple of simple web pages, link between then, add some words and pictures (which happened to be about motor racing), and I was hooked!
Freelance Website Designer
I spent the following 4 years as a freelance web designer, producing websites for various sector of industry, sports and small businesses until September 2000 when I was approached by a multi-national car rental company who were putting together a team to build and maintain their international car rental website.
A move into eCommerce
I spent the next 20 years in various roles in eCommerce with Hertz Europe and Hertz International, building and managing websites in 28 languages on the core platform, as well as managing corporate partner websites for a number of airline partners which included Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Qatar Airways, etc.
A good number of air miles were clocked up travelling between the UK and offices in various parts of the States and Europe, and at their peak during my time with the company the websites were generating in excess of $3.5 billion US Dollars.
Along the way I also picked up a great deal of project management, business analysis, presentation and other skills, and have now packed that wealth of knowledge and experience into Targa Web Services.
Some things never change
Compared to today, computer and internet technology in the late 90s was fairly limited. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape were in their infancy, and connection to the internet was via painfully slow modems which took ages to download the pages and images.
It was clear back then that unless the web pages were built in such a way that they were laid out well, were readable and easy to follow, people were more likely to stay on that site than those who had arrived on a website which was slow and cluttered.
In many respects those fundamental principals have not changed...
The other challenge was getting people to find the website.
Back then we had a number of search engines such as AltaVista, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, Hotbot and Yahoo. Their methods and criteria for accepting and ranking websites were not fully aligned with each other, and success with these search engines was a slow process requiring plenty of patience, constant monitoring of results, tweaking code and content and then trying again.
The impact of updates could take a couple of weeks or even a couple of months to show up, and it was a long, laborious but essential task.
So even way back then, more than 25 years ago and long before the term Search Engine Optimisation was conceived, it was clear that a lot of effort needed to be spent in getting people to find a website, and then if that effort paid off and it attracted visitors, the website needed to be worth staying on.
Those fundamental principals have not changed, but expectations have. People aren't prepared to wait between 10 and 20 seconds for a web page to load... they want it fast and they want it in under 2 seconds!
The importance of speed
Technology has moved on, internet speeds are many times faster than back then, and the range of uses websites are now put to would seem like science fiction to anyone using the web back in those early days.
But even if your website does well in search results but is slow, clunky, and poorly laid out, people are not going to have the patience to stick around. They will leave, and when that happens, all of the cost, time and effort will have gone to waste. And if your business depends on attracting and converting customers via the web, you have a pretty big problem to fix!
So why use Targa?
Our depth of experience, knowledge and range of skills helps Targa stand out.
In recent years many freelance website designers and web design agencies have started because of the availability of DIY
drag and drop website builders such as Wix and WordPress, which made it easy to get into the industry despite lacking sufficient technical knowledge to offer a professional web design service with ongoing support, including search engine optimisation, website health checks, user experience testing and Google Analytics services.
At Targa we have the skills and knowledge to be able to build you a WordPress or a traditionally coded website, all with full ongoing support to suit your needs, budget and preference.