Multi Keys / Web Works / Are U Hosted - Shop 3/18-22 High Street, Eaglehawk, Victoria. 03 5446 3371
Multi Keys specialises in covering the online needs of all small to medium-sized businesses performing tasks such as building, maintaining, hosting and promoting their web sites. We also publish and run Central Victoria's largest industry-specific online network.

That's not how we began.

Multi Keys, the history

It all began as a hobby, with our first web site Bendigo Live, started by Pete in 1997 and built up with the help of his sisters Kathleen and Chris. Bendigo Live was a business directory that was loaded with all types of information that quickly became popular with Internet users. Before the days of giant search engines Bendigo Live was the only real way of finding the Bendigo businesses with a web site. We started selling advertising space on Bendigo Live.

Within a couple of years our brother Michael came on board to become the sales manager selling advertising and web links to local businesses. Within the next year or two, with all four of us working hard in the garage at home, Bendigo Live had become a viable business. By this time we had already produced thousands of web pages and were very good at it.

Michael, being the guy who was dealing with clients, said many of the people he saw were asking him about web sites and we should start building web sites for others as well as ourselves. With the Internet still in its infancy there were hundreds if not thousands of businesses that would need one in the near future he said. Indeed, he was right! Things were getting serious and it was time to register a business.

And so began Multi Keys as we know it today.

The business name Multi Keys came about because we wanted a name to signify that we were a family business. The name Multi Keys is a contraction of "Multiple Killackeys". At the time we thought it was a great name because it also reflected a keyboard, an obviously significant tool that gave us the ability to do our job. Over time though, we learned the ins and outs of business marketing, and we found the biggest problem we had with our business name was that it did not reflect what we actually do. You'll learn how we fixed that shortly.

Today, with the addition of Peter's son Gavin in 2007, Multi Keys is still a family owned and operated business.

Gavin took over Peter's job of building web sites for clients leaving Peter free to work on our network. With Bendigo Live bursting at the seams we decided to break it down into sections and so began the new Multi Keys network. Our one web site soon grew into three web sites then six web sites then ten.

2009 was a bad year for us. Christine had a stroke which left her brain-muddled, almost blind and needing a lot of our attention. We struggled to cope for a while as it left us all at a loss. Kathleen decided to stand back from the business and turned her attention to caring for Chris full time. As a close family we've all made the best of a bad situation and got Chris through the worst of it. I'm pleased to say today, both Chris and Kath are still on the scene and still helping us out where they can.

Having got through the worst of times, by 2013 we had successfully converted Bendigo Live into fifteen separate sites, each dedicated to its own specific industry. This was an important step for us when it came to marketing our clients. When people were searching Bendigo Live we had no idea what prompted visitors to visit. Now, for instance, we would know when a visitor visited Bendigo Auto they were specifically looking for auto-related products and services. When somebody visited Bendigo Tradies they were specifically searching for a tradie and the same with all of our new sites.

This meant that instead of offering only general marketing for business we could now target our marketing towards finding specific readers for our clients. Instead of having 5,000 viewers who were not necessarily interested in a particular product now we could now provide 1,000 viewers who are searching for their exact product or service. This is a very important part of successful online marketing.

Now the network was complete it was time to move Multi Keys up to the next level. In 2014 we took on two new members of staff, Pam & Nikki, who help us run the office and have fitted in nicely as part of the family!

In May 2015 we purchased Are U Hosted, a similar business to our own, providing web sites and hosting to a wider region. We now look after the online needs of business' in Bendigo, Ballarat, Colac, Hamilton, Kyabram, Echuca, St. Arnaud, Swan Hill and more.

Having almost doubled our client base overnight the home garage was at its limit. We decided it was time to move on to somewhere with room enough to grow. We now also faced the problem that half of our clients knew us as Multi Keys and the other half knew us as Are U Hosted. You can bet this became tricky when answering the phone!

Late June 2015 we found a suitable office space in Eaglehawk. The new office was large enough to see us through the next stage of development and beyond. Having plenty of space afforded us the room to invite clients here for a cuppa and a chat about their business and to discuss where they're heading from here. Along with the new premises came a new phone number too, this had become a major move.

Knowing the marketing problems we faced using the Multi Keys business name we registered a new business name in 2013, Web Works, in anticipation of a name change some time in the future. We had just incorporated a whole new business, we had just moved to a whole new premises and we now had a new phone number! If ever there was a time to fix up our business name, now was that time.

And that's why, from here forward you can call us Web Works

NB: The Multi Keys network is popular throughout the web and there is no reason to change that. The online network of web sites will remain as the Multi Keys network.

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