The web is fast-moving, complex and often faddish. It's easy to get lost in surface glitter and neglect the groundwork - reliability, performance, maintenance, ability to scale and adapt. We're groundwork people.
We have built and migrated websites containing from tens, to tens of thousands, of pages so we know a bit about surfacing your information in ways that are engaging and enabling for your audience.
There is little long-term value in a website that is complicated to update, requires technical expertise to make the smallest change and has a visual design that constrains your content rather than liberating it.
High-performance web application development
From concept to release, we've implemented some of New Zealand's most popular websites. If you can think it, we'll find a way to build it.
Website migration and upgrades
Stuck in a technology cul-de-sac with your site? Paying hefty licensing fees for an outdated platform? Wish you could escape the lock-in and breathe again? We can help.
Need to leverage existing eCommerce, social, mapping, email or other external services on your site? Need to aggregate content from your partners and affiliates? Need a blended web and mobile solution? We can integrate a myriad of services, platforms and data with your project.
BYO web designer!
Whether you have internal web designers, an existing design or are looking for a design and build solution, we can help. We have successfully worked with a range of web design providers, styles and approaches. Talk to us about the options.
Our passion is to empower you with the tools to build and maintain great online content and services. A key part of this is demystifying the options that are out there, stripping off some of the buzz words and hype common to the industry and finding a solution that usefully leverages available technology and our skills to implement it.
Technology does not exist in a vacuum - its real value is determined by the availability of people who can understand, use and extend it, the upfront and ongoing costs required to maintain it and the quality and quantity of existing 'add-ons' which can be leveraged to build with it.
HeadFirst was founded in 2006 by technologists with backgrounds in design, communications and publishing that pre-dates the web. Founding owners Matt Poff and Scott Whittaker have been developing and managing web and interactive projects since the mid-1990s, each working in the UK during the dot com boom of the late 1990s.
Since 2006 we've built web and interactive applications for clients in government, culture and heritage, training and education, tourism and hospitality and publishing. We've worked with a range of clients from small start-ups to large public sector organisations.
Our clients say we listen and engage, we're experienced, resourceful, creative, value focused and up-front.
We're in this to enable and innovate. If we're doing that and you're happy, we're happy.
We describe our work as similar to a structural engineer working alongside an architect. It's all good to conceive of a building with seemingly impossible cantilevers, floors that reach into the clouds and clad in materials that make it glisten like a salmon but someone has to make sure it can support it's own weight, keep the weather out, support the functions and purpose of its inhabitants and, before all that, that it can be built?
One thing you can do easily with a well-built web application but not a building is add-on and remodel (or develop 'iteratively' to use the industry jargon). As online services constantly evolve you're at an advantage if you can pivot, extend and adapt to take advantage of them. We favour tools and processes that allow us to build to this philosophy.
We favour select open technologies with active user communities over proprietary ones because they tend to evolve quicker - not just in terms of features but also robustness. The added plus for you is that there are no up-front or ongoing licence fees and the surety that there is a wide ecosystem of resources (add-ons, developers, training, designers) to support these tools.
We don't reinvent wheels. There are now over 600 million websites on the Internet, which means a lot of thinking has been done already. Through natural selection and iterations of behaviour and measured results, conventions are established, useful models evolve and those that don't die off. So when we go off the beaten track with your money we don't do it out of vanity, or hubris, or to win awards - we do it because the road has taken us as far as it can.