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Creo

Launched in 1999, CREO is a Cardiff-based creative agency that’s grown from the back bedroom of its founder to city centre offices and numerous awards. Fasthosts has been on hand throughout its journey.

What do Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, The Matrix, and the Millennium Bug all have in common? They were all new in 1999. Just like emerging business, CREO, which first opened its doors just before the turn of the century.

Founded by Richard Ward and his business partner Andrew Ashton, the company has grown from humble beginnings as a two-man company operating from a small bedroom in 1999, to now being one of Wales' most established agencies,

We started as two friends working from home building websites, says Richard. Now we’re a team of 12 people and have developed our offering to cover a lot more than just websites. Our offering now includes all aspects of creative design, development, and branding.

However, Richard is keen to point out that the agency has worked hard to maintain the same culture despite having grown significantly. We still have our first hire working for us, he says. Other agencies might be larger, but we certainly match them in terms of quality and ROI.

When a client asks us where sites are hosted, we tell them it’s Fasthosts. That’s always a good conversation to have because they trust the brand as we do

CREO, which counts Microsoft, BMW, Nagra, Welsh Government, NHS Wales and Snowdonia National Park among its rich client list, has seen continual growth over its twenty-two year history, with a large increase of that growth over the last several years under the leadership and guidance of the management team.

In doing so, CREO often delivers a mix of creative services and web development, much of which is bespoke. We primarily develop in PHP and use WordPress and Drupal, all our sites are designed and built from scratch to meet the complex needs of our clients, adds Richard. This includes a current project building a comprehensive jobs board for teachers and those working in education.

As the firm continues to consolidate its position, it has recently gone through a management buyout, allowing three senior employees to invest in the future of the agency and share in its success, they will join Richard as joint owners, overseeing a bustling client portfolio.

Bringing their unique strengths to the boardroom table, each area of the business is fully represented by the co-owners ranging from captivating digital products and engaging brands to robust data-driven, technical solutions and engaging marketing plans. This allows for a steady, driven growth strategy based on new ideas and a new-found confidence.

Key to the success of the firm and its future is the partnership it has with Fasthosts. The majority of the websites CREO creates for clients are hosted on its virtual private servers using CloudNX. This allows CREO to customise resources and configure virtual machines simply and easily.

We’ve had a long relationship with Fasthosts, says Richard. We now have over 200 websites hosted with them, many of which are very large, including a video on-demand service. Clients of this scale have their own dedicated space. Others can share environments.

The flexibility of CloudNX is vital for Richard and his team. We can get websites up and running in very little time, he explains. In the past, we would have dedicated servers and getting them going or migrating data from them would take time. With CloudNX it’s all done on the desktop. We can increase resources such as RAM or disc space quickly.

Technology will always change. We will adapt to meet new needs and client demands. It’s great to know Fasthosts will continue to develop at the same pace.

Another cornerstone of CREO’s relationship with Fasthosts is service. Whenever we need technical or infrastructure help, we can speak to someone. It could be a Saturday, but I know I can call and get an answer there and then.

Overall, Richard believes Fasthosts has helped CREO maintain its position as an agency. As we grow, we’ll continue to work with bigger and better clients who value what we can offer. A major part of this is the platform on which we host our sites, provided by Fasthosts.

But it’s not just about maintaining the status quo. Technology will always change. Code will develop and so will infrastructure. We will adapt to meet new needs and client demands. It’s great to know Fasthosts will continue to develop at the same pace.

Richard says customers are always asking for new products and services. In his view, they’re far savvier than they used to be in the emerging days of the internet. They know from experience that nearly anything is possible. We just need to work out how to achieve it for them. And if a client wants a large complex site with a huge database, you’re going to need the server space to support that.

What’s more, clients trust CREO when the team says it uses Fasthosts. When a client asks us where sites are hosted, we tell them it’s Fasthosts. That’s always a good conversation to have because they trust the brand as we do. It gives us credibility and assures quality for the client.

It truly is a pivotal and exciting time for CREO. With an already strong team in place, with more to join, the management buyout proves a commitment to not only its clients but the industry as a whole, helping to promote creativity within the UK and on an international stage – with more than a little help from Fasthosts.

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