Doing things that align to our client’s vision

At Meshworks, we strive to be able to understand our clients’ business goals and we hope to align those goals with our own. Sometimes, there is misalignment and that might mean that the clients and ourselves are not suited for one another. Other times, those goals align and we work together with great synergy to achieve those goals.

For example, our client Eco-Service Canada (@ecoServiceCA) is a waterless car wash company that has firm goal to save 100L of Clean drinking water per car wash and is a supporter for Charity:Water (@charitywater). We looked for ways to be able to have joint goals. It just so happens that our great domain registrar Namecheap.com (@namecheap), is also a huge supporter of Charity:Water as well!

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Hosting multiple websites: All your websites in one instance

eggs-in-one-carton

Web hosting has been getting better and cheaper over the years. More CPU, RAM, disk space, and bandwidth at more or less the same prices. Those who don’t use their hosting instances to full capacity can add additional domains to host. Control panels like cPanel remove the burden of learning command line configuration, allowing users to quickly deploy additional domains as they see fit. This is a sound strategy for personal projects, test environments and even low-traffic static websites. But for our clients whom we host and manage, it is a strategy that puts too much emphasis on cost savings. We’ve learnt that putting all our sites in one box is a poor choice. Here’s why:

Shared platform

We typically develop websites that run on the same stack like LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) or LEMP (nginx instead of Apache). This simplification encourages hosting multiple sites. However, we’ve seen and considered how configuration needs change over time for individual websites. One site may require a config change, a new library or even a change to the solution stack. Minor changes may be trivial, but major changes could require additional planning and testing.

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Case Study: Eco-Service Canada client login

waterless-car-wash-in-progress

This is the case study of how we created the tools that Eco-Service Canada needed to grow their business.

Client: Eco-Service Canada

Operating since 2010, EcoService is the leader for eco-friendly car washes in BC, washing thousands of vehicles every year where they are parked. Saving our customers time, money, meanwhile, making a positive contribution to the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and saving thousands of litres of fresh drinking water.  The company has evolved tremendously and since 2013, EcoService has now opened multiple retail car wash locations and ventured into post-construction cleaning.

Business Problem

Eco-Service originally provided their services directly to organizations with fleets of vehicles to clean. However, as they expanded, it became apparent that they needed to serve individual members and personal fleets instead. The paper-based system they used would not have scaled with this approach. So the team reached out to us to develop a system that allowed organization members to sign-up, subscribe and manage their waterless car wash subscriptions.

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Introducing our new short link: msh.io!

We lucked out and was able to secure a three-letter domain via Namecheap (Affiliate link: http://www.namecheap.com/?aff=66262). We don’t have much use for it right now, but its nice to keep it around for when we do need it. In the meantime, its forwarded to our homepage. One thing that we know we’ll use it for is for posting links via Twitter. If you’re considering setting up a custom short link, we recommend bit.ly as they offer great tools to track your custom links!

Introducing meshworks.ca v3!

As time marches on, so does technology, and we thought it was due time for us to update our website. This is the 2nd time that we’ve updated to a new shiny website. Our previous revision was a major one; we had updated our branding and logo at the time and a new website was an absolute mandatory thing to do.  This time around, while there was nothing wrong with the previous iteration of our website, we just thought it could do with some sprucing up. At the same time we were updating the look and feel of our website, we thought it would be a sound idea to update the backend WordPress installation to the newest release, version 3.9, killing the proverbial 2 birds with one stone. (we don’t actually like killing birds or any animals with stones for the record).

Have any thoughts or feedback? Connect with us on Twitter or email!

Services and Web Apps we Use

Being a bootstrapped startup, we always look for services that can help us be more productive. Over the years and months we have tried, kept and replaced a number of services. Here’s a rundown of the core apps and services that are crucial to our operations:

Email/Calendar:

Google Apps for Business. The decision to use Google Apps was a bit of a no-brainer; we both use Google Apps for our own personal domains so the choice was simple. Syncing integration with iOS, Android and BlackBerry was a crucial requirement for us. The ability to update to Enterprise options and wirelessly deleting data was a nice-to-have list. Our decision to upgrade to the Business version was based on our past experience with the extra services such as Postini and Groups for Business. For only $50USD a year for each user, its definitely a good value for what you get.

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Why we Choose to Bootstrap

Our first blog post!

Meshworks Inc is our 2nd venture together; our previous venture was a terrible disaster with waaaay too many partners including one particularly tyrannical partner (but that story is for another day). We tried out services as SalesForce but it quickly turned out to be a very expensive mistake. It was under-utilized (SalesForce’s main draw is its ability to manage sales–duh–but it requires data input from all team members with every interaction with every potential or current client; that never happened with us) so it just ended up being a waste of money for us. Lesson learned.

In all businesses, be it a tech start up or a brick-and-mortar store, there are a lot of apps and programs that are available that are free and effective ways.

Welcome to the Meshworks Blog!

As part of our new year’s resolution, we’ve decided to start a blog here at Meshworks Inc. The purpose of this space will be share info about our company, the industry and things that interest our team. The Meshworks blog will be authored primarily by Norman (www.meshworks.ca/about/) with the hope of being able to post new updates at every couple of months.

Stay tuned!