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Making Wibble Better

Paudie Fearon – Managing Director of Wibble Web Design belfast
By Paudie Fearon 1 March, 20236 MIN READ
Wibble Studio Belfast

Wibble will be ten years old this year. I had always planned to keep Wibble as a freelance business but as the popularity and demand grew, I made the decision around 6 years ago to bring on employees and everything that goes with it. Wibble grew from a lifestyle web design business for myself to a fully-fledged web design and development studio.

From the day I brought on my first Wibbler, I have always wanted this place to be a great place to work – I know every owner says this but it is something that I am insanely passionate about and something that I take very seriously. I want Wibble to be the best web design studio on the Island of Ireland and one part of that is making sure my staff are happy and looked after.

In the early days of the business, I simply didn’t have the time or resources to put a huge emphasis on the people and culture aspect of running a business and this was something that had been annoying me, for quite some time.

The benefit of studio growth

We are now a relatively large web design and development studio, we have dedicated web designers, web developers, project managers and support agents to look after our clients. And with this growth came the opportunity for Wibble to invest in them, in their well-being and invest in the web design studio itself.

One of our latest Wibblers to join the team was Aisling and she came with a raft of experience in managing teams and looking after the well-being of people. Aisling is a great digital designer but it would have been wrong of me not to take some of her studio management experience and apply it to Wibble. Over the last number of months, myself and Aisling have been making small but well-received improvements in the general set-up of the studio and the culture of Wibble. The name we have used for the initiative is “Making Wibble Better“.

The name Making Wibble Better makes it pretty clear what we are wanting to achieve, but below are some of the tangible changes we made to Wibble to improve the work lives of this amazing team.

Dedicated snack area and weekly fruit delivery

Wibble isn’t all about work, taking breaks and looking after yourself is vitally important. We have now introduced a dedicated snack and coffee area with biscuits, crisps, snacks, sweets, nibbles etc. To counteract the absolute badness of all the snacks, we also have a weekly fruit delivery from a local fruit shop. I’m not going to lie, the sweet section is more popular than the fruit section.

Wibble Snack Area

With some of our Wibblers being remote and based in England, a delivery of healthy snacks is sent to their home address, also. Working remotely should not exclude you from benefits given to staff sitting in a studio and this was something I was adamant about.

Wibble team snack area

Team breakfast

Remote working through 2020 and 2021 robbed us of interactivity. We are trying to bring some of that back despite being partially remote now, as a studio. We have now introduced a monthly team breakfast to bring everyone together for this important social event. As a big supporter of small businesses, we only use local cafes and not fast food chains to supply our breakfasts. This has been a small but delicious improvement in the business.

Wibble team breakfast
Wibble team coffee

Dedicated weekly learning time

The team of Wibblers are an amazingly skilled and talented bunch but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve. We now have a dedicated number of hours every week for self-improvement and learning. As well as the assigned time, we have subscribed to a number of online up-skilling websites and the team has been utilising these with great enthusiasm. The topics undertaken currently range from project management to QuickBooks to tailwind and everything in between. As well as online, members of the team have been attending the Cathedral Quarter BID’s Lunchtime Learnings – a series of events to support Cathedral Quarter businesses in improving their digital offerings.

Wibble weekly learning

In-house training by industry experts

This section was added in Aug 2023 to reflect the new element we added to “Making Wibble Better”. To show our continuing commitment to improving Wibble and bringing out the best in our team, we committed to providing in-house, dedicated training for our team. The first example of this was utilising Barry Adams of Polemic Digital – a world leader in SEO auditing, mentoring and advice. Barry provided on-site, technical SEO training for our entire team and it proved hugely beneficial to our web design and web development team. We wrote about it on our company’s LinkedIn page.

This section was updated again in Jan 2024 as we collaborated with Belfast Met to upskill and train our support and project management teams on PHP, JavaScript, environments, debugging etc. We are placing a huge effort into upskilling and this will continue across the next 12 months.

Wibble in-house training being provided by Mark Balmer in Jan 2024

New IT equipment

This is something that can be overlooked but usually is a relatively simple way of improving the work lives of your colleagues. We have invested a substantial amount in new machinery for our Wibblers – with all new MacBook Pros sourced. We have also bought testing devices including iPads to help with the overall process of launching and testing sites. Emulators are good but a physical device will always be a better solution.

Physical studio changes

This was a big one! We moved into our space in late 2019 and then closed it due to the Covid 19 pandemic in early 2020 – we were barely settled in the space when we left it. On return, it became clear that to help with the re-adjustment of working in a studio again, changes would have to be made. We built a custom breakout area for the Wibblers to take time away from their desks. We physically separated it and changed the lighting and colours, added a comfy couch and a number of other elements to make it a relaxing area to go. We have meetings and coffees there and is the go-to area for any social events that we arrange.

Wibble office space in Belfast


We are only getting started. I truly want to make Wibble the best web design studio in Ireland and I believe that we will get there. Part of this is, without question, making the staff members feel that Wibble is a great place to work. I am clearly biased, but I think Wibble currently is a great place to work but I will do absolutely everything in my power to improve it for the good of the Wibblers that have chosen to work with me. It is the right thing to do as an employer.

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Paudie Fearon – Managing Director of Wibble Web Design belfast

Paudie Fearon

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