This is our origin story, how One Day Website started in Victoria, British Colombia. For those unfamiliar, we’re on the southern tip of Vancouver island, a 90 minute ferry ride from Vancouver. I’d lived in Victoria for many years, had built many websites for myself, but I never considered doing it professionally.
One night I got a call from my friend, on a Friday night, from a friend asking me if I could build her a website for an event related to Canadian documentaries she was working on. As I was telling her I didn’t really offer that, I was asking her what she needed and why, when she explained she already had a word document with the content for the website including page layout, pictures, and copy (text content).
I told her she could spin this up quite quickly with Wordpress, but she was unfamiliar. As she already had the content, which is the hard part, I told her I would help her out. I simply registered her chosen domain name for her, pointed to a shared web host I already used, installed and configured Wordpress, and then added her content. The next day I called her and told her to go the URL in her browser to check it out. She was amazed how I could have this all setup for her in a day, and asked how much I would charge her. I had no idea on pricing at the time, I was happy to help her out, so I quickly just said a number where I was more asking than telling, “$399? I’ll include hosting for the next year”. She gasped and I laugh that to this day I didn’t know at that moment if I was underpriced or overpriced.
She told me that the quote she got from the other website development businesses here in Victoria had quoted her $5000-8000 and told her it would take 3 months to build such a website. I couldn’t believe web development shops would charge someone so much, but she was impressed. “Can you provide me the same website but in French?” I replied, “For another $399? If you have the content, I’ll do it in one day!” and that’s how One Day Website was born. I registered the French version of her domain name and had her French website up the next day. Over the next month or two I had over 6 people call me, all referrals from her, “Are you the guy that can build a website in one day for $399?” “If you have the content, yup!”
From my condo here on Vancouver island, I was starting to get calls from all over Canada to the same effect. Always the entrepreneur, I registered OneDayWebsite.ca, and it’s been running since. I haven’t paid a dime in advertising, we operate solely off word of month. That will be 10 years ago this June, back in the spring of 2011!
We still offer websites in one day, we register the domain name for you, setup Wordpress, configure SSL/TLS so it’s secure, and offering one year of hosting all for a year, we’ve since dropped the price down to $299 in our little market niche. It’s cheaper to do it yourself, but we’re cheaper and faster than the other hosting providers or web development companies here on the island in terms of doing all of the tech stuff for you, so you can stay focused on the content and copy for your website. We’ve since expanded to Vancouver and have most of our clients here in British Colombia, we’ve got customers across Canada and around the world, but I’ll save the story of our expansion for another day.
Thanks for reading! It will be fun to read and reflect on our origin story in another decade from now!