Erwin Hofman
in action

Growth hacking? I like to call it knowledge transfer. Having been a web developer for over 15 years, I am happy to share the knowledge I acquired during this journey of tens of thousands of hours!

How and why Get in touch

What (not) to expect

When hiring me for the job, to audit or boost your own team, do not expect plug & play recommendations. Instead of plugins, I will transfer the best practices and developed techniques into in-house knowledge within your company. I enable your team to boos your business and revenue.

  • Years of experience and a ton of hours converted into a crash course towards your development team;
  • Your team will be needing less code;
  • Your plugin dependancies as well as legacy code will be reduced;
  • Less impact on TTFB metric;
  • In-house knowledge increasement on your end.

Hiring me is a sustainable investment with direct impact on your business and a lasting knowledge on your company's end.

A bit of history

Growing up, my favourite classes in school were drawing and mechanical engineering. That’s why, after finishing High School, I started studying Architecture at the HBO (Higher professional education) in Groningen. This meant going to an new city and leaving all my friends.

Leaving home also meant I suddenly had quite a few free evenings. I developed a deep interest for analyzing web languages ​​and building scripts, and started to make websites for myself and others. I quickly learned that while I liked developing the technique behind websites, changing the content suited me less. Wordpress at this time was still in its infancy (version 0.2), so that’s why I soon started making my own CMS, so that friends and clients could manage their website themselves.

As it turned out, the creative side of Architecture suited me well, the algebraic side less. After a year I stopped with my study Architecture, and started programming more and more. I felt greatly driven to become a webdeveloper as a profession. Being only 20 years old, I decided to study Human & Computer Science at Stenden University in Emmen. Through my schooling, I ended up with internships at web-authorities such as Jeroen.com (search engine marketing) and the Accessibility Foundation (web accessibility). The knowledge and skills I acquired there, have always been retained and have since greatly grown.

While studying, I was still making websites for clients in my spare time. I mainly specialised in HTML, JavaScript, and PHP. As my skills from study and work grew, so did my clientele. I decided to become a freelance developer, and in 2006 I registered myself at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. At first my company was called Eey.nl (my school nickname), but within a year I changed it to Blue 2 Blond. Why this name? Blue = Technique, 2 = for, Blond = user who would like some help. So: Technique for Users.

Clients came to me through word of mouth, as well as online forums. I also started working through intermediary agencies; companies with their own clients, who needed a technical interpretation or entire website solution including a CMS.

A couple of years in, a couple of these agencies started to switch to Wordpress. I didn’t really mind this at first, as I was increasingly employed to develop complicated custom web-applications, which kept me quite busy. One of the best examples of my web-applications, is the CRM/ ERP system I started developing in 2011 for the official sales department of Nuon (now Vattenfall). Even now, after all these years, my company and system are still the main suppliers of their software.

Between 2013 and 2017 I was almost completely focused on making webapplications. However, I started noticing a shift in webdevelopment quality, especially in websites. So, when Nuon asked me about making them a new website, I started a self-study in the field of performance. When I started making websites in 2005, they were very light-weight. As it turned out, in 2017, this was no longer the standard in web-development, due to plugins and JavaScript use, both websites and web shops had become a lot heavier. This especially had (and has) an impact on mobile users.

I saw your name and remembered you as a good slicer who was far ahead of his time with "semantic code"

LinkedIn contact in a request to connect

Growth

Going back to websites wasn’t the only thing that changed in 2017. My company, Blue 2 Blond, also started to grow. Together with my team, we started making our custom CRM suitable for websites. At the core, it has a modular architecture, with privacy and security by design. The 'frontend' or front however, is built specifically for websites. As such, we included performance optimisations, but also settings for web accessibility and technical SEO. SEO specific content and settings can also be regulated from the CMS, as I still feel like a client should be able to do most content himself. We called it: Lightbolt CMS.

Honestly? Part of my passion for making high-performing website, is the fact that it is measurable. This also applies to security (based on OWASP guidelines) as well as accessibility. Websites can be subjected to various (online) tests in terms of speed and accessibility.

However, site speed and performance consists of a very wide subdivision of relevant metrics. Add to that generic recommendations and it can quickly start dizzying developers how to achieve an optimal user experience for your (mobile) visitors. This is where I can make the difference. Since going back to website development, I have read basically everything there is to know about pagespeed, and tested and executed it successfully. As proof of concept: our Lightbolt CMS always scores a 95+ score.

Social consciousness

  • Inclusivity via accessibility

    The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.

    accessibility
  • Online sustainability

    I help companies with sustainable ambitions, reducing the carbon emission of their online presence(s)

    sustainability

Awareness and Training

I like to share my knowledge and creating more awareness about Pagespeed and Web techniques. I do this by blogging about my research, as well as being a Speaker at Events. You can also hire me as an consultant, if you’d like my help to increase your pagespeed scores, in new or existing websites or webshops.

I sometimes might seem (to) critical, but in terms of performance, my knowledge will yield you better figures and (conversion) results.