Torre Capistran is the owner and creative lead at Hooked On Code, a website design agency that specializes in building websites for B2B companies that are adaptable and easy to manage, utilizing the most user-friendly modern tools available. They work to tight deadlines and have developed a systematic website design & development process that transforms their clients into adoring fans and real-life friends.
The team at Hooked On Code enjoys collaborating with companies who see the benefits of updating their web presence to match current expectations and needs, improve their message, better reflect their culture and service offerings, and grow their business. Services include website design, development, creation; website redesign; backend website rebuilds; website consulting; and technology consulting.
Highlights of our interview with Torre Capistran:
Tell us about your journey and what you did before you founded Hooked On Code.
Before I founded Hooked On Code, I worked in digital marketing in a corporate setting and managed updates for several dozen websites for the company. In addition to that, I was on the client-side team that coordinated a very large-scale website redesign process with a major vendor. I was already very passionate about web design and development and had been building websites outside of work since 2011. The experience of being on the client-side for that large project was unbelievably frustrating and gave me a long list of things I would change if I ever was on the agency-side of the process.
I knew I wanted to start my own business, and it seemed like a no-brainer to start a web design firm where I could accomplish things in a more rational, efficient manner that would make my clients really happy.
What services and solutions distinguish Hooked On Code from the competition?
The majority of the web development space offers services and solutions that are pitched as custom. The services and solutions that we offer really focus on the use and integration of existing technology so that the resulting websites don’t have to be maintained exclusively by us, and are much more self-sustaining. We specifically build websites using existing platforms, primarily WordPress, which are easier for clients to understand. We also use a very specific and incredible hosting company (WP Engine) that serves as a foundational part of our offering. WP Engine has a very client-friendly dashboard and technology (as well as amazing support) that makes our jobs and our clients’ lives a lot easier.
The final critical piece of our tech stack here is a user-friendly, feature-rich builder. There are several that deserve recognition, however, the one we use primarily is the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. This tool, in conjunction with WP Engine hosting and WordPress, allows us to deliver very flexible and easy-to-edit websites that are limitless in terms of design and capability.
What has been the best recognition that you’ve received as a professional?
If you’d asked me that a few months ago, I would have said the gold Stevie that I was awarded last year for Entrepreneur of the Year in technology services. Now, I feel like what I’m most proud of is actually the Silver Stevie that Hooked On Code won this year, in the category of Achievement in Customer Satisfaction. Because it’s an award our entire team won, it’s very meaningful for what we do here and I’m really proud of it. I have to tell you, that the application process for this award was really hard. We had to provide a lot of objective measurable data and evidence to support why we think that we deserve this award. I’m very proud that we won that award, and we actually just got back from New York where we accepted the award at the annual Stevie Awards ceremony.
Our customer retention rate is high for Care Plans, our monthly recurring retainer services, and has grown exponentially during a time when we were slow with projects (during COVID) because we are so focused on client satisfaction. To circle back, the award I’m most proud of is this Silver Stevie Award in Achievement for Customer Satisfaction, because it speaks for us as an agency delivering on our promises.
Where do you see yourself and your company in upcoming years?
I see myself leading the company and making sure that we’re being true to our core values, that we’re delivering on cutting the BS out of web design, and that we stay true to that mission. I also see growth as we have without a doubt figured out what our client base wants, and we do a great job at delivering it.
More and more people who work for large enterprises and large corporations have been dragged through the mud a couple of times and are trying to find a better way for their next website project. We are finding that there’s more and more awareness, and more demand for the particular way that we approach website projects, which is to not custom build everything, but rather work smarter and use flexible, well-supported technology to deliver a website that will serve them better, and farther into the future. On the back end, they want something that is very, very user-friendly and does not require a back-end developer to maintain or make changes. The demand is growing for this particular flavor of website design & development service that we offer.
Our customer satisfaction rates are just so high. There’s no way but up for the company. So I see us growing. I see us adding probably two to three team members a year for the next few years, and that’s very exciting for us too. Because we really like growing our team and we like finding other wonderful people to work with and creating an incredible work environment for them as well. Just like we think web design could be achieved with less BS, we think work shouldn’t have so much BS in it either – so that’s our secondary mission 😉
“The website is now more cohesive while also maintaining distinct sections. The company praises Hooked On Code’s project management. Their main point of contact is excellent and reliable, and their resources are highly responsive. They resolve issues quickly and communicate closely with the firm.“
“The revamped site was well received by patients, saying that the new modern look accurately portrayed the company’s purpose. Hooked On Code was accessible throughout, keeping in touch via email, Zoom, and SMS. They also worked diligently and promptly, going the extra mile to meet the client’s needs.“
“What I know about working with Hooked On Code is this: they create amazing sites in very little time, with minimal effort required from the client. Their process is much more seamless than any other I’ve experienced.”– Chris Phelps | Founder, We Train Hearts and Tackybox