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17 Years of Solid Digital

The 17th anniversary of Solid Digital is here. And over those years, much has changed—in the world, and in the realm of digital marketing. Every year as a web design agency, we take a look back to celebrate wins, learn from challenges, and keep our momentum going.
Solid Digital early logos

Early Days


Before it was “digital” it was “interactive.” The past 17 years have overseen major changes in the way companies engage with users, from one-way communication on a website, to an online presence and multi-pronged digital marketing strategy—on social media, through search engines and pay-per-click ads, email marketing, and far more.

In 2006, HTML skills were required for all digital experts, but now everything in digital can be accomplished at break-neck speed. A CRM switch requires a day or two, when previously a brand’s website required a custom build with expensive software that took weeks, even months on end.

Life was simpler then, in some ways. Today, digital marketing is focused on the user and how best to communicate with them—and our agency has shifted right along with it.


We built a web design agency in Chicago and in Portland. In the early days of Solid Digital, Jesse McCabe, our founder and CEO, asked former ad agency colleague Travis McHattie (now our COO) to come join him in Chicago, and invited him to visit the Windy City…in March. The weather may or may not have played a part in the decision, but during a West Coast road trip, Travis chose Portland, Oregon as the place he’d rather set up shop. Today, both cities have a Solid Digital presence, and there continue to be quirky connections between the two locales.


Solid Digital began by offering technical support for other agencies, implementing their items behind the scenes, rather than digital marketing. Eventually, our company morphed into the strategic and creative company that more closely resembles its present state. Around 2013, Solid Digital refocused its vision—setting its sights on websites and design. And with the acquisition of a creative agency in Chicago around that time, we merged tech capabilities and creative talents, and worked hard at creating a culture of exploration and client growth, which has been a part of our DNA ever since.

Of the changes over time, CEO Jesse McCabe says, “I’m proud of the fact that we didn’t put all our eggs in any one basket. We kept an open mind to changing with what was popular—and were equally inclined to try out other things if we didn’t see the value in the latest trend.”

With immense flexibility, our company has been able to explore alternatives and stay evolved with the technological advancements, rather than be pigeonholed into offering one kind of service, and use one kind of software. Today, Solid Digital provides multiple services: web design and development; digital marketing; website support and maintenance; and app development and design.

Latter Days: 2023-2024 Highlights

In recent months, we’ve expanded our programs, adding to our flagship consulting product, Digital Growth Marketing. This primary consulting product is made for marketing teams—but with the knowledge that no two clients are alike, we expanded the programs we offered.


In September 2023, we launched our Digital Growth Web program, in alignment with one of our values: honest guidance. The consulting program helps Solid Digital work with clients beyond website launches, to proactively keep websites compliant and high-performing, while thoughtfully keeping clients abreast of industry changes, and making recommendations around creative, tech, and marketing updates.

Under the Digital Growth Marketing program, we grew our digital marketing services to include:

  • SEO;
  • PPC;
  • Social;
  • Content;
  • Reputation management; and
  • Email marketing


Two significant projects over the last 12 months included a website redesign for Victorious, an SEO agency, and Hometown America, a property management company. 

For Victorious, Solid Digital had the inside track, with SEO expertise. Our team understood Victorious’ business, and both sides learned from each other during the partnership. And, while the project was underway, the marketing team grew, which our Solid team cheered on, of course.

For Hometown America, the project was complex. Working with a small team at Hometown, executing the project was rewarding, and reaffirmed the value of digital marketing for all of us: it allows teams to do a lot with fewer resources.

Of course, our own website needed an update, too. We put important SEO links into our footer and modernized the site design, moving away from large illustrations and keeping things streamlined. (We do practice what we preach!)

Presence (and Future)

Our CEO is still passionate about digital marketing. (And so are the rest of us.) Good and bad days come and go, but ultimately we’re in it for our clients. The best part of our work is seeing our clients’ marketing teams and leaders get recognized for the work they’re doing. When we can help them hit the mark, it’s even sweeter.

Jesse shared words of advice from one of his mentors: “You’re either the king or you’re a servant,” meaning that you’re in service or you’re being served and getting the glory. He added, “It’s gratifying to help others fulfill their role.”


With every passing year, our company more closely defines the approach to all the different capabilities we have. Piecing those capabilities together into a package or offering that’s bespoke to the client and their needs is next up on the list. As in the past, so in the future, Solid Digital has to stay agile, and our goal is to become more modular, with a focus on product offerings rather than service offerings.

Web design and development will continue to be our bread and butter—but added iterations with maintained value will be the next step.

Of Solid Digital’s success so far, Jesse ended with this: “If you evolve, you’ll stay alive. It’s an essential part of being in this industry—and that’s why we’re still around. Far more than luck, it’s the ability to shift focus, work together, stay creative, and always maintain the client’s success as the priority.”

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