It was 2006, and a brand new world was emerging. Broadband connection was booming, and dial-up services were almost completely phased out. The World Wide Web was starting to mature. The paradigm shift from mainly text-based webpage was starting to give way to a more colourful and visual experience web designs. Corporations, individuals, everybody who wanted to have their opinion aired for the world to know, was starting to jump into the cyber bandwagon. Yes, it was the time for mass migration… of the network kind.
And a newly registered company, a one-year-old fledgling small business, Solarex Imaging, was among them. After having shopped around for web designers (they were mainly programming-based back then) to design and maintain its very own slice of cake on the web, it was disappointed… WE were disappointed… Utterly disappointed…
You see, being in the visual communication business, we had great expectations that designs were supposed to be for human consumption, not something in ones and zeros, a square peg (existing web design) to fit into a square hole (the existing design format).
We wanted colourful layouts, with neatly placed images and texts… We wanted layered pages… We wanted transparent layouts… In short, we wanted to break the square hole so that our round peg could fit in.
No web designers worth their salt (they were mainly programmers back then) wanted to take up our job. They were utterly disappointed with us. And we were utterly disappointed with them for sticking to their “socially accepted norm”. After all, as the saying goes, “You’ve got to break some eggs if you want to make an omelet”.
As the stars and planets aligned on that fateful day, Apple’s updated iLife suite of creative software (iLife ’06) came with a new visual-based web design application. It was called iWeb. And the rest was history… For the next nine years at least.
Life was good during those times. We managed to incorporate our creativity and visual design into our very own website, Not to mention learn a little bit of the back-end stuff about the hosting and maintenance while we were decorating the front-end of the website for the world to see.
Apple Giveth, Apple Taketh Away
Then in 2011, as exciting as when it was first launched, Apple pulled the plug on iWeb. As some of the existing iWeb users grabbed their hair in disbelieve, dropped to their knees and went “Why?…”, the rest of us were indifferent, and thought “Well, it’s not like the existing app was removed from existence”.
Yes, it’s true that you can continue to use the existing app, and are still able to continue to maintain your existing website (or even starting a new one). But as with all products that had been End-Of-Life’d (EOL), things start to fall apart slowly… Veeerrry slowly!…
And while the rest of the former iWeb users went looking for alternatives to their beloved iWeb shortly after Apple pulled the plug, we were one of the last (maybe even THE last) ones to drop our dependence on iWeb.
The Only Thing Constant In Life Is Change Itself
It was’t until this year, when we finally decided to look for a more viable and current method of maintaining our website. Yes, we need to change to adapt to the changing times. Just as we do corporate consulting in Management Change, we must also practise Management Change ourselves. So we finally started looking for alternatives. And this time around, we decided to go for something a little more “open”, as in open source.
The learning curve was a little steep, that much we’d have to agree. But it wasn’t impossible to learn, and to excel in it. And while the “structures” were a little more rigid than iWeb’s free-floating style, it wasn’t impossible to incorporate our well known artistic touch to the front-end of the final product.
As we learnt how to use the newly familiar “structure”, we also found out that we can do a whole lot more with the more “rigid” platform than we could have ever dreamt with iWeb’s more freehand-style design.
So within a short transition of moving into a new home, a little renovation here and there, a lot of cleaning up, putting the furniture and other decorations in place, we launched the new and improved Solarex Imaging website :-
To those of you who have been with us since the early days, we would like to say a big thank you to all of you, for trusting us and riding along with us all these while. And for the new friends that we made since then, as well as those of you who have yet to introduce yourselves to us, we will still welcome you all with open arms to our family.