Web Site Of The Month

"If we told you that plumbing could capture your imagination, would you believe it?"

he two-month-old Web site of Dilger Plumbing & Heating of Armonk, N.Y., takes a different approach to presenting a PHC business to Internet-savvy consumers. By targeting his audience through originality, president Wally Sroka admits www.dilgerplumbing.com is a great tool that enhances his business.

"Homeowners want to see that a lot of work has gone into their project," Sroka says. And, as his Web page states, Dilger Plumbing is "the art of plumbing and the simplicity of perfection."

With its innovative homepage design, graphics and easy-to-follow linked pages, the site targets builders and engineers, not specifically homeowners. With the help of a digital camera, the site features a photo album of some of Dilger's prsojects, and it offers other contractors a chance to get to know the company at their own leisure.

"Most competitors are taken aback when I tell them I have a site," Sroka admits, whose Web address will appear on his business cards. Dilger doesn't advertise, so word of mouth about his site easily translates to word of mouth for his business. "Compared to mail outs or brochures, the site is very cost-effective."

Sroka bought the 30-year-old company 10 years ago, but it wasn't until earlier this year that he found a need to be online.

"Three or four years ago, when the Web was new, I saw no reason to create my own site. But people are becoming more informed now," says Sroka, whose company has about 26-30 employees, and specializes in high-end residential projects.

Because designing and maintaining a Web page is time consuming, Dilger Plumbing called upon the professional services of Jim Macdonald and his Web designing company Direct Connect Business Solutions. After extensive hours of conferencing between the two companies, Dilger's business philosophy was discovered and a Web page was in the works within two months.

The site is in its early stages, and Sroka's creative mind is still churning with ideas. It will be updated according to completed projects and with any needed changes in content. But Sroka doesn't expect a lot of new work for the company as a direct result of the site.

"It's more of a tool for information that's available to people interested in what Dilger is all about. Web sites should be personal and original. And any decent contractor would be foolish not to have one in this fast-paced world. They'd be left behind," Sroka explains.

And while a plumber with a Web site is still rare in this age of information, sites like Dilger's makes it easy to focus on the rare beauty of plumbing.