We offer Website and Data Services as follows:
The clients for our website and data services are typically non-profits or publishers with a lot of complex content. In addition we have made and maintained numerous highly customised sites for small business. We have extensive experience of working remotely with clients from Silicon Valley to Cambridge UK, and some experience of working in the German-speaking world. Most of our work uses the Drupal or WordPress Content Mangagmenet Systems (CMSs).
Support for Drupal, WordPress & CiviCRM
Much of our work is ongoing support, billed at an hourly rate. Support covers the full stack from sysadmin and server issues to website backend work including updates, dealing with hacks, improving security, keeping on top of updates. We can also handle frontend work, with changes to layout and appearance, and accurately implementing a design specification. Whilst not primarily a visual design specialist, we can handle basic work on graphics and design improvements where the budget does not permit the use of a dedicated design team.
Data Management and Analytics
The future belongs to businesses who understand the power of data. In some context the need for high quality data analytics is obvious, for example in a biotech company running a clinical trial. In others it is easily overlooked. Data work need not be integrated with the public-facing website or app, though it often is, because these digital channels provide one source for collecting data, because they can use data to personalize the offering to users or customers, and because where an organization wishes to share data the website or app can be a portal for displaying and sharing data.
Our clients can expect the following benefits:
Clear Communication and Transparent Billing
The number of website projects which go wrong is horrifying, and poor communication is the leading cause of problems. Sometimes website providers are greedy or dishonest or stupid: more often, they--including highly skilled ones--simply fail to listen to the client, or to communicate the client's messages internally between account manager or project manager and developers. We listen. We also explain technical matters English which is lucid, accurate, and (subject to the odd typo) literate. All bills for hourly support work are itemised, and estimates are normally accurate and kept to, although estimating can always be affected by unexpected factors.
Experience with Large & Complex Sites
There is no substitute for experience when it comes to recognizing what will work for a particular client's use case business case. Several of our client sites have thousands of pieces of content, and highly specific functionality. We specialise in working with clients for whom publishing content is central to what they do, rather than playing a supporting role to other core activities. Nevertheless we are happy to work in any field where we are likely to be a good fit for the task in hand!
Requests for support will normally be dealt with within hours if not minutes. Deadlines will normally be kept, although we do point out that very tight deadlines can lead to rushing which puts quality at risk. Sometimes clients feel they need to set a tight deadline in order to stay near the top of the provider's priorities. All our clients get priority treatment, so with us a tight deadline brings no benefit to balance the downside. Nevertheless when there is a compelling reason why the risks associated with a tight deadline must be accepted, we will meet that deadline.
We also work quickly where possible. There are contractors offering Drupal support for a fraction of our prices, and in our experience they are estimating multiples of the number of hours we estimate. We do not hire low-cost offshore help because in our experience, when their time estimates are reduced to a level which we feel we can honestly offer to the client, their net cost is no lower, so there is no profit in it. Experience and skill allows us to complete many tasks in far less time than some ostensibly low-cost contractors claim they have needed.
Our Websites are designed to be:
Sites are not built up from a re-usable template, unless the client requests a low-budget site and is being charged accordingly. The degree of customisation and attention to detail are key ingredients in the time required and hence the cost of a web app. Economies of scale are not improper provided they do not dilute the individual expressiveness or usefulness of a site: often they do.
International standards in Europe and the USA, particularly for federally funded sites under section 508, are converging on an expectation that they should meet WCAG AA level. We work to ensure our sites meet this and other international standards for websites which are usable by people with permanent or temporary disabilities or difficulties with vision, hearing, motor skills or comprehension. Content creators have a significant role in ensuring that a site is accessible too. Generally an AA level is achievable within a realistic budget. Where a site is accessible to people with specific difficulties, it is likely to offer a better user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) to everyone.
Modern websites should display well and load fast across a range of devices. This is one of the signals Google use to rate websites highly in their search results. For most use cases the presentation layer of a site is designed for mobile first, with enhancements added for larger devices, because most websites are accessed as often or more often on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops.
The content behind your website can be made to drive both website, mobile app, and other digital channels. Drupal 8, which is the latest version of Drupal, has been designed to be well-suited for managing content which will be delivered via multiple outputs. We can advise on how to structure the content management in order to avoid duplication of content for different outlets, and hence reduce costs.