Designing Epic Websites

Starting a web project can feel like an insurmountable task, but the right guides can help ensure success by leveraging experience, advanced knowledge of the industry, and a commitment to their client's success. At Aktiv, we're up to the task of guiding our clients through any web challenge.

One of the core principles at Aktiv is that we believe successful projects don't just magically happen. They take hard work. But after solving hundreds of website challenges for businesses of all sizes, our team members have honed detailed systems of checks and balances that guarantee your project starts on a solid foundation, and stays on track.

Decades of experience, along with our commitment to transparency, open communication and a clear understanding of client goals, helps ensure our projects create conversions for our clients, not stress.

We’re so confident in our team, work, and process that we put our money where our mouth is, and connect our project invoice milestones to your approval of core deliverables, and not how long the project has been underway, so you never submit a payment until you are 100% satisfied with the work that’s been done.

 
Undisclosed
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2013
Show all +
Atlanta, GA
headquarters
  • Aktiv Web Solutions
    3101 Cobb Parkway, Suite 124
    Atlanta, GA 30339
    United States
    404.490.1057

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Continental Tire,  MeadWestvaco, Kelly-Moore Paints, State Bank and Trust, Ingevity, Friendship Force International, Meybohm Realtors, Simmons Mattress, SouthCrest Bank, Speed Society, Vandis, Calhoun Country Economic Development Countil, American Dairy Goat Assosication, Altera Payment Solutions, NAUI, CompTIA, Brightlink IP, Counrty Rebel, Speed Society

 

 

Reviews

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Web Redesign & Payroll Employee Benefit Dev

"If you’re looking for somebody who’s responsive, then they’re the ones to go to."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2015 - May 2016
Project summary: 

Aktiv Web Solutions helped to rebrand a company’s employee intranet portal. The team worked to improve site functionality, including stock information, social media integration and user comments.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
United States
Web Communications Manager, Chemical Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site is well-liked among employees and has seen an increase in staff engagement. Aktiv diligently solved all issues quickly and remained in regular contact with updates on the project. The team was consistent and cared about the project’s goals. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am Web Communications Manager for my company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We were rebranding our company and wanted a new intranet to fit our new brand; our look and feel. The intranet was mainly a portal for employees to come in and get news information for the company, but also where they could get pertinent information that they needed for everyday use for the company.

There were several key features that we were looking for in the redesign. We wanted our stock information and social media accounts to feed into the site. In addition, we wanted a news feature where we could schedule and post news articles and employees could have the ability to comment on the stories that we post on there. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

First, we did a discovery period where we decided on the site map for the site. From there, we worked on the design of the site. We built out the site map, but then they built out a skeleton of the site design for us. 

The key features that they helped us with included a user functionality feature where we can create new users. We have the whole “forgot your password” feature with notification emails. We have a library that they built out for us, it’s a database kind of function. Once we finished with that, we started doing content creation and then we went into the development of the site where they plugged everything in for us. Then we did a test of the site and we launched.

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

I wasn’t a part of the selection group. I came in after they were selected. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

All development was about $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them September 2015 until sometime in May 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We’ve had a lot of positive responses from our employees. They enjoy going on the site and reading the stories and being able to navigate easily to the information that they need to find. We have a lot of employees interacting and commenting on stories, which didn’t happen before.

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

They did a good job. If I ever had any issues, I brought it up with Chris [Aktiv Web Solutions] and he worked with his team to get it resolved. We mainly corresponded through phone and email, but they also had a Collab site that we worked with. That’s where we would upload documents and things, we needed to share with them so that it was all in one place.

We mainly worked with three people, but then we had a couple of other people that came in and supported us. We talked with Chris and the Project Manager, they mainly headed up the projects. If there was a developer that was working onsite, we would correspond with them as well. The team stayed consistent. When we were developing, I spoke with them on a daily basis to a few times a week. We definitely spoke with them every single week.

What distinguishes Aktiv Web Solutions from other providers?

Their response rate is impressive. They get back to you pretty fast when you need something.

Do you have any recommendations for others considering working with Aktiv Web Solutions?

They’re a good group to work with. They care about your site and getting it done right. If you’re looking for somebody who’s responsive, then they’re the ones to go to.

4.0
Overall Score We have a good working relationship with them.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They almost always met deadlines.
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They developed our site using a custom CMS and for the cost of the custom CMS, we could have gotten more from something that was out of the box. We could get more features.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I really enjoyed working with them. It’s been a good relationship.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them.

SalesForce Integration & Web Redevelopment for Large Company

"They make the techy details easier for us to understand.... They work well with all of our teams."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Aktiv became the go-to resource for a retail site after helping with various projects, including backend development, navigation simplification, server migration, Salesforce automation, and consulting.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 employees
 
Bay Area, California
Digital Marketing Specialist, Large Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Aktiv’s work in security and server migration helped keep the site from crashing, and they’ve helped bring visibility to the mobile site. They excel in communication, and they can tackle issues quickly. They’re collaborative, personable, and have valuable suggestions for nearly every project.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a Digital Marketing Specialist for a company in the Bay Area, California.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We were originally only looking for help on the backside of our website—development only. But Aktiv had also been there for us on tech and marketing projects. They became our “go-to” for any questions having to do with search, Google Analytics, server, CMS, etc.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Aktiv helped us with a number of things. When we first hired on Aktiv, our website did not render correctly on mobile and we needed to update to HTML5. Aktiv updated our website so that it rendered correctly on mobile.

We had an outdated main navigation and wanted viewers to be able to find links more easily. Aktiv suggested optimizing our main menu with images. They supplied images and created a beautifully tailored mega menu. In addition, our servers were running out of space, and the website was in danger of going down. Aktiv was our consultant. They brought up questions for us to consider before migrating to new servers, while also coming up with creative ideas and recommendations.

Also, we were manually downloading form responses and uploading them to Salesforce, which was very time consuming. Aktiv set up automated Salesforce forms (web-to-lead) so that data from forms streamed directly into Salesforce without us having to touch them.

Lastly, we had a few emergencies, and pulled Aktiv in as a consultant, trouble shooter, or to implement quickly. They are always on their toes—very responsive.

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We have had other suppliers in the past, and we looked at 16 other possibilities, but we’ve been working with Aktiv for the last 4 years now—they have been a very helpful partner and they work well with all of our departments. The process for selecting was based on their past clients, previous experience, personality fit, and reasonable cost.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in April 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

65% of our traffic is mobile. We wouldn’t have that visibility if Aktiv did not migrate us to responsive and HTML5. And, the forms on our website are web-to-lead. If Aktiv did not develop these forms for us, we would be at risk of losing the data, would’ve spent hours manipulating forms to filter for email addresses for campaigns, and waiting on other departments to upload the lists to Salesforce for us.

The mega menu was positively received. Other projects they worked on behind the scenes, like helping IT to implement SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and migrate to new servers, unfortunately go unnoticed, but without them, our website could have crashed.

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

Their online project manager helps to keep all of our tasks organized, and they are very responsive. We mostly communicate by email and through the online project manager, but we do have calls. We’re in touch about 2-3 times a week or more, if there’s something urgent. Gary and Chris [partners] are my main points of contact with Aktiv.

What did you find most impressive about Aktiv Web Solutions?

Their communication on calls. Gary and Chris are very personable, but also know their stuff. They make the techy details easier for us to understand and seem to always have a recommendation on whatever project or question we bring to them—whether it’s marketing, tech, reporting, search engines, etc. They work well with all of our teams.

Are there any areas Aktiv Web Solutions could improve?

They’re pretty helpful. I’m not sure.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Aktiv Web Solutions?

They’re excellent with any responsive design, custom development, CMS integration, or digital marketing project you might have. All you need to do is tell them your business goals and what you are trying to accomplish on the web, along with any restrictions, and they’ll work hard to find the most efficient long-term solution for you. They won’t cut corners, but that’s not what you want in the long run anyways.

5.0
Overall Score I feel like I could run to them with any question. They’re honest if it’s something that’s new to them and then they help us find the answers. I have complete confidence in them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They flow with us, even when we aren’t on schedule. We’re in different time zones and most projects have multiple people in involved. They’re flexible.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re honest and make sure that we’re charged appropriately. The value is always there.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They find a way to answer our questions or come up with recommendations, even when they aren’t familiar with something. They don’t fake anything—they let us know when they’re in unfamiliar territory.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d recommend them to all 5 of my colleagues because they’re easy to work with and they get things done.

Project Rescue for Real Estate Company

"You don't get lost in the shuffle when some other larger companies come along."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2014 - Aug. 2016
Project summary: 

Aktiv helped salvage a code base for a website started by another vendor. They cleaned up existing code for the website, fixed bugs, redesigned the frontend, and optimized the database and its search function.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Augusta, Georgia
IT Director, Real Estate Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Aktiv is a small, dedicated team. They are careful not to overpromise, and efficiently delivered what was expected. Their work brought no negative feedback from a critical stakeholder user base. They are easy to engage with, require little management, and kept the project moving forward.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the IT director of a realtor company in Augusta, Georgia. We are kind of the market leader in our area, and we serve the markets of Augusta, Aiken, Columbia County, and Richmond County. At any given time, we maintain 30% or more of the market share in sales and leasings.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We hired Aktiv to salvage an incomplete project website. We had hired another group, and the project had dragged on well past all the deadlines that they originally gave us. Aktiv came in and knocked the project out of the park for us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We were coming out of a tailspin when we hired Aktiv, because we had been working with another group on a web development project that didn't quite go as planned. We were looking for somebody to take what we had been working on and make a much better end product than I think we could have come up with otherwise. Aktiv was able to maintain most of the code the other company built. The core of the site remained, but Aktiv gave us a nice new frontend for it and cleaned up some things that hadn’t worked well on the backend. Our agent directory was one of the things they cleaned up for us, and that turned out really well. Of course, the search is the core of our site. The display for it was pretty awful before, but we’re really happy with the way that turned out. They also worked on optimizing the database of agents and properties, which provides the search results.

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

I vetted quite a few companies, and when I spoke to Chris at Aktiv, he seemed to understand exactly what we were going through and he had the right answers to my questions. Their team was small, which was kind of a strong point for me. The company we had worked with before was large, and we got handed a lot around their internal teams. With Aktiv, I liked that I was able to talk directly to the people who were going to be working on the project. Only 3 people worked on it, but I was impressed with the amount of work they were able to crank out. I think they recognized what they were able to take on and what they couldn't, but they took on our project and probably turned away some others in the meantime.

How much have you invested with Aktiv Web Solutions?

I don't remember exactly how much we spent off the top of my head. I think we came in a little bit over $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

It took about 6 months to go through everything with Aktiv — get the project scoped out, get a statement of work, and then kick it off once it was approved. They saw it through and stayed on track the whole time. I don't think we had any issues with timeliness. They hit all the checkpoints. The project has concluded, for the most part. We occasionally engage them for some basic maintenance and upkeep, and they’re still responsive and I continue to have great contact with them anytime we need it. The site launched a couple of years ago. I don't remember the exact launch date, but I think it was in late summer.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our agents are particular about how their web presence is and how their properties are represented. Leading up to this project, we had a lot of issues with our website and a lot of negative feedback from everybody in our group. After we launched the site, I had absolutely no complaints from anyone. That speaks volumes, I think. I’ve had some gratuitous feedback from the general public too. When I talk to them, they say we have a great website, which is always nice to hear. I think all around, folks have been happy with it, and I was pleased with the result myself.

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

The difference was night and day in terms of ease of supervision between Aktiv and the previous company we had hired. After a while, I found that I had a hard time engaging the same people at the old company because they were always handing us off internally. We had lost our project manager early on, and the remaining team members didn't stay on track. As a result, I had to stay on top of the developers a lot more just to keep the project moving along at the pace that it did. That wasn’t the case with Aktiv at all. They were a small team, so I was still talking directly to the developers but I didn't feel like I had to push them along at all. They set the timeline and they stuck with it.

We mostly communicated via email and phone. Later on, they launched their project site, which kind of gave us a 10,000-foot view of everything that was going on and what was queued up to work on, which was nice. To this day, we still use that project site to submit work requests. They have all the tools in place to manage their projects efficiently.

What did you find most impressive about Aktiv Web Solutions?

For me, the biggest thing is having the personal contact that is always available with a smaller team like Aktiv’s. I think that goes a long way. You don't get lost in the shuffle when some other larger companies come along, which I think is what had happened with the previous group we had worked with—because they had a few clients with household names that they had built sites for. Aktiv did too, but that’s kind of beside the point.

Are there any areas Aktiv Web Solutions could improve?

I don't think so. Because they were a smaller team, when someone got sick or went on vacation, that brought things to a little bit of a halt for a short period of time, but I suppose that just comes with the territory.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There’s a little bit of room for improvement.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web App Revamping for IT Service Company

“This was a project …. delivered in the ideal way we were looking for.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - July 2016
Project summary: 

Aging website needed transformation to become visually compelling and more interesting to read. Aktiv transferred a list of names into an application with a digital museum appearance for use online and offline.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
United States
Senior Director Web Content Services, IT Service Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Aktiv provided designs and ideas that were immediately accepted and found as a viable solution for what they were trying to achieve. Aktiv’s personnel listened and understood requirements and were effective, efficient and independent, smoothly delivering the product as required.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a membership organization for IT professional organizations, mainly solution providers. We’re also one of the leading providers of IT certifications for people who would like to start or grow their career in IT. I’m senior director of web content services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We had an area of our website that was aging. We didn’t know exactly what to do with it, and we needed to transform the focus from a very static presentation, a directory of names, to something that was much more pleasing to the eye and more interesting to read. We wanted it to be like the form of a magazine or a book, where someone can get information about the content within that area very quickly and easily.

 

For this specific project, we had a listing of names. The project wasa collection of 20 years of individuals who were inducted into the hall of fame, which included everyone from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to some people we have today. It was just a collection of names, and we wanted to transfer this into a museum-type application that would be more interesting to look at.

 

One of the main goals was to make this something that could live online as well as offline. The project was really divided in those two aspects. We’re hosting this website right now online, as well as on a huge touchscreen monitor within our office which greets visitors. It’s a visually compelling element within the entry area of the company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

There were a few very specific requirements. One that I should mention is that we asked them to do a website that is easily maintainable. We didn’t want to incur any more costs down the road for updating the website once a year. I also did not want to spend a whole lot of time on project management. We were also asking them to make the website look more pleasing, so there was a design element in there. Additionally, there was a user journey element in there as well, and there was also a project management element in there. The time I could spend on the solution was very limited, so we tasked them to cover all of these elements.

 

It was simply a web application that we wanted to transfer from something boring to something livelier. The conversation I had with them was more around bringing something to life. We were looking for a timeline and an experience that a user would have when visiting a museum. When you see a timeline of a certain technology or development that you see in a museum, and you walk down that line, you would learn as you go. This is very much what we were going after.

 

There are certain animation features that Aktiv came up with. We provided them an open book of opportunity, as we didn’t want to restrict their creativity. We told them that we wanted to transfer the list of names into a digital museum appearance. That was pretty much all we gave them.

 

I don’t know how many people were assigned to this project, but I worked with just two people. The business development manager, Chris Kosiba, was my first contact. I had a lead designer contact, and I think he also took a project manager role on this. My contact was limited to these two guys, as we preferred. We didn’t want to have a whole lot of contacts. This was a fairly expensive project, given the scope of it. We really only wanted to have one person to whom we could send questions and get answers. We didn’t want to interface with 5–7 people.

 

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

It is not easy to find an agency that delivers on all the needs we had. We found that the typical agency has one particular strength, a lot of mediocre abilities, and a few strong weaknesses. For every project, we typically look at our main goal. Is it a project management issue, a programming issue, or a design issue? If an agency fails on any of these items, which ones can we most easily live with? So, we have not found a lot of agencies that can deliver on all those fronts.

 

When we looked for this project, we looked for someone who had a credible client portfolio and a strength in design that we could rely on. We felt that design and user journey development were critical in this one. We didn’t feel that the programming was that critical because a lot of the programming was available in templates. So, the most critical part was coming up with an idea for the design. We looked at 10–15 agencies and the work they had done. We typically pick 2–3, where we prioritize one and the others would serve as backup.

 

In this case, Aktiv was one of the frontrunners that we wanted to have because of their strong client list. We looked at solutions they had developed for Intel and for Microsoft. These are the reasons we contacted them and picked them.

 

How much have you invested with Aktiv Web Solutions?

I think it was somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Aktiv sometime in 2016, probably the first half of the year. I think it was a 12-week project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

There were no KPIs attached to the project. We didn’t have any goals for page views or anything. This was a project that was very dear to the hearts of our executive leadership and our membership. It delivered in the ideal way we were looking for. If you’re working with an executive, you want a service provider to deliver a product that executives are happy with, and that was the case here. They provided designs and ideas that our executives immediately accepted and found as a viable solution for what they were trying to achieve. From my perspective, it went as smoothly as it could go.

 

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

They performed as I expected. They were very independent as far as the development goes. They listened to our needs and demands, what we were looking for, and they understood those requirements. They took on the project management in an efficient way. I sometimes work with agencies that either do not have enough project management experience, and your project starts failing in a lot of areas, or you have agencies that are over-focused on project management, and suddenly you are getting a bill where 40% of the cost is for project management. We were asking them not to do something like this, but to simply do a process of milestone reporting and follow through the project as quickly as possible, and they did that. We’ve mainly focused on milestone reporting and key milestone approvals, and they did that very well. To be honest, I have not found another agency so far in the 4–5 years I’ve been working here that was as effective as Aktiv in project management.

 

What did you find most impressive about Aktiv Web Solutions?

It’s their independence in taking on a business requirements request, going with it, and delivering a product at the end as required: fully tested, fully functional, and without any major errors.

 

Are there any areas Aktiv Web Solutions could improve?

No. We were very happy with them. We would like to work with them in the future on projects that are far more complex than this one. There are other projects we would have liked them to work on, but they declined because they were very honest about their capabilities. They told us it was not an area they’re familiar with, and they weren’t comfortable with it. We were grateful for their honesty in this area. I couldn’t tell you anything negative. They worked as we expected them to, and it was a very good business relationship. We still have a very good relationship with them.

 

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Aktiv Web Solutions?

The better you understand what you’re trying to achieve and what your goals are and the better you can explain your business requirements, the better your outcome will be.

5.0
Overall Score They delivered exactly what we asked, so there’s nothing I could criticize. You can always look for more cutting-edge type of things, but they delivered what we wanted.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were extremely disciplined about the dates that were set, both the dates we needed to meet and the dates they needed to meet. They were very focused on delivering the project on time.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They definitely cater to a higher-end clientele. It’s not something that is a super-small business solution when you’re on a budget. In those terms, they are not cheap, but if you have the money to spend on them, you’ll probably get a very good solution.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There’s no reason to give them anything lower because they delivered exactly what we wanted.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I think they’re just very reliable, dependable, and very nice people to work with.

Wordpress Website Redesign for Nonprofit

"It’s good to go back and forth with them. They have good ideas. We have a good work relationship."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
3.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Aktiv Web Solutions redesigned an outdated website to retain existing traffic and draw a younger crowd. Key priorities were a membership area and a visually appealing, clean interface.

 

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Atlanta, Georgia
Regional Support Manager, International Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website is easy to navigate and beautiful to look at. The new functionalities have increased user engagement significantly. Aktiv successfully retained the older demographic while attracting new, younger users. The team maintained accountability through a project management tool.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re an international non-profit that does cultural awareness programs. We have clubs all over the world. I’m the regional support manager for Latin America and program manager for the implementation of the website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

Our biggest issue was a very outdated website. It was very cluttered. it was hard to see the message of our organization when you first went into our website. One of the main things that we wanted to do was to update our website to a more modern look, but also have a more visual website where people could understand what we do without a lot of writing. We wanted the site to be accessible to our existing older demographic but also attract younger members as well. One of our other goals was to recruit people and not make it look like we’ve been around for 40 years.

We had worked with someone local that had their own business, but we were not very satisfied with him.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We gave them the idea that we wanted something that you would know our mission right away. We wanted to make sure it was very visual, user-friendly, and not cluttered. Our old website had a lot of outdated documents. The idea was that phase one was just going to be the structure of it and then we were going to build onto that because we were also working another company building our Salesforce. We are also wanting to do communities with them. The idea is that the website is a marketing tool and then we have a member login.

We’re making changes as we get feedback from our members. We have a member page now that will be taken away once our Salesforce is running and we start communities. We have about 400 clubs around the world. One of the features that we launched with was that you would be able to see the club nearest you. One of the feedbacks that we received from our members was that once you clicked on the map, it got your location and it wouldn’t really let you see where other clubs were. It was just searching clubs near you. People were getting really frustrated with that, so we turned that feature off. The intent was that this is a marketing website, not specifically for members because the member information was coming later. We put it in the footer and because we do have an older demographics they did not see it. They complained about that, so we moved it up. We have a news section and, based on the feedback that we got, a lot of people said it looked a little too much like a blog and not news. We are going to upgrade that page. We have other changes like changing the way a page looks because of the feedback we’ve received. We were on WordPress, so there are some things that we have access to change. Most of the big changes, Aktiv has to do.

I was working with three people, Chris [Kosiba, Client Relations], Gary [Steffins, Creative Director], and Daryl. Chris is the program manager. Daryl did the detailed work, and Gary helped the big picture of what the pages should look like. We went back and forth on what looked good. I was in contact with them every day.

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

I wasn’t part of the hiring process. They submitted an RFP and there were a couple of companies that made a presentation. Aktiv Web Solutions submitted what the home page might look like and our company liked them better than the other companies.

How much have you invested with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We have spent between $60,000 and $80,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

They made a presentation to the board in November 2016, and we started to work with them in January 2016. We’re still actively working with them. Phase one of the website launched in February or March, but we are now working on phase two.  I started working with them in July of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

From our membership, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback that it looks a lot more modern. It is a beautiful website. It’s very visual with a lot of colors. As soon as you go in you are able to see what our mission is. It is easy to navigate. It doesn’t look cluttered and old. We now look like we are up with the times. We are going to be implementing Google Analytics to see what is successful and what is not successful. The ultimate goal of the website is to recruit new members and to attract them to our organization and find out what we are and who we are. That goal has definitely been achieved. We have Journeys as one of our programs every year, and those are on our website. Those have changed dramatically. I think a lot of people really enjoy the detail that we have put on there, the pictures and the cleanness of it. We have an itinerary that on the website that tells you what you’re going to be doing day by day. It is definitely an upgrade from what we had as well. Another goal of ours was to increase participation or have more people inquire about our programs. We have seen an increase in that.

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

It’s hard sometimes when you have something in your mind and you can’t see it in person. It’s good to go back and forth with them. They have good ideas. We have a good work relationship. We have a project site where we communicate. You could see the progress and you could see what’s pending. That really helped with accountability. We did have constant communication, whether it was on the phone, email, or on the project site. They are very understanding if I needed a change. If there was something they needed from me, they kept me on task.

What did you find most impressive about Aktiv Web Solutions?

They really understood our business. It’s hard to bring in a company that can work with the older people in mind knowing that the main goal of the website was to also attract new and younger people. It was really cool that they really understood what we do and were able to captivate it on the website. They were very accommodating in knowing that our company is different and what works for another company doesn’t necessarily work for us.

Are there any areas Aktiv Web Solutions could improve?

With every small business, I think that they have their challenges. There are some things we wish we could’ve changed but we don’t have access to because it was coded a different way. Because I came in late, a conversation about that would have been good since I don’t know anything about web development or WordPress.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Aktiv Web Solutions?

With any project, it’s good to know what you want. One of our biggest challenges was that the organization didn’t know what they wanted. Aktiv is easy to work with as long as you know specifically what your vision is. If you don’t, there is going to be a lot of back and forth.

4.0
Overall Score They are very nice to work with. If you ever need them on the phone, they make the time to call you. They really do listen, and I think overall the main three guys are really nice. They produce good work as long as you know exactly what you’re looking for
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We were scheduled to be on time, but then our database crashed. They were very flexible with that.
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The hourly rate I think is great, but because we didn’t know what we wanted specifically, then it took a lot more time and hours to get to the final product, which became kind of pricey at the end.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It wasn’t a perfect project, but they did a really good job with the website. We both had issues to deal with.
  • 3.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If the company knows what they want, then I think they are really good. 

Web Redesign for Economic Counsil

“I'm pleased with their work, but it's their can-do attitude that’s most impressive.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2014 - Jun 2017
Project summary: 

Aktiv’s developers optimized an existing WordPress website, converting it into a parallax design and making it responsive. Recently, they added security updates and an external database.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Anniston, Alabama
Research Analyst, Calhoun County Economic Development Council
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team’s confidence and proactive attitude were apparent. They were able to launch a well-designed website within the timeline. While Aktiv’s rates are on the high end of the scale, they provide good value.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a research analyst for the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, but I have a few other roles as well. The organization oversees economic development here in Calhoun County. We help different cities and communities do things to help attract or retain businesses.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We wanted to improve our web presence. Before we worked with Aktiv, our website was out of date.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our requirements were pretty simple to begin with. When Aktiv first designed the website, they focused on fluidity and made sure the site worked well on all devices. They incorporated features like parallax design. Aktiv made our website look more modern.  

Recently, we entered into another contract with Aktiv. We asked them to update and optimize the site, as well as install some security measures. Unfortunately, we had received a bunch of malicious attempts to gain bots. With this new security update, they put in some new technology. One of them was called Akismet, a security engine that actively monitors anyone attempting to gain access to the site through false login credentials. They tightened that up for us and made sure that we're more secure. One of the things we do is we list properties that are available for industrial purposes. There's a statewide database for that, and Aktiv was able to integrate that into our website. Our website is on WordPress, and it mostly has information that's presented to you or that you can download.

We worked with 3 people from Aktiv on both projects: Gary, Daryl, and Chris. They did most of the heavy lifting on this. Those three guys have always been in contact with us. I don't know if they've had someone else in their office do some of the work, but as far as I'm aware, those three guys had a hand in everything. They came down and visited us once when we first launched the website.

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

My board tasked me with finding a world-class web developer. I did my research and tried to find who big companies were using as a web developer. I saw that they had worked with some big names like IBM and Coca-Cola. I gave them a call to get quotes, along with a couple of other companies. The guys from Aktiv were confident in their ability and eager to work on the website. They had a decent price point compared to the others, but a lot of it came down to their attitude. That's why we chose to go with them.

How much have you invested with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We spent $850 on his latest project with them. I have to go back and check to see what we paid for the initial website, but the amount was over $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The first project started in 2014. We just did the security update last week. They just sent me the final draft over for review. If everything is as it should be, which I expect it will, we'll go live either later today or tomorrow.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I wish I could. The truth is, we didn't have any metrics before, so I don’t have a benchmark. Right now, we’re able to monitor who's looking at us and where they're from.

The website gives prospective businesses clear and concise information on our community. However, when we get around to posting news articles, local citizens would comment online and look for more information. Before, we had a problem with the comments section. That's part of the reason why we had to implement the security measures. It was good to be able to put information out there. We could link to local newspapers and other entities if we put out a story, which also encouraged interaction from our constituents.

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

The project was managed admirably. They were waiting on us more than we were waiting on them. I can't recall a time when we were waiting on them for anything. We mostly communicated through phone calls and emails. We also met in person. We used Constant Contact for a while, but it didn't work out for us.  

What did you find most impressive about Aktiv Web Solutions?

Their product is great. I'm pleased with their work, but it's their can-do attitude that’s most impressive. They're also confident and friendly.

Are there any areas Aktiv Web Solutions could improve?

I'm not sure what I could tell them to do better. If they could do the work for free for us, that would be great.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Aktiv Web Solutions?

Make sure you're ready. That was a problem for us. We had stuff trickling in, and they were ready for it all. It's good if you have all that you need right in front of you when you make the call to them because they're going to get things done really fast.

5.0
Overall Score I don’t have a single complaint.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We never waited on them. They were always waiting on us.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    When you’re looking for A+ services, you’ve got to be ready to pay an A+ price. For us, it’s a bit costly, but the value they deliver is worthwhile.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did what they said they were going to do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I absolutely would.

Web Redesign for Big Bank

"At the end of the day, we felt like Aktiv understood who we were."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Aktiv Web Solutions designed and developed a 50-page website that scales to all devices. Recognizing the site’s functionalities and audience, they kept the design simple and straightforward.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
Derick Hill
Director of Operations & Marketing, SouthCrest Bank
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Aktiv sagely built for all the demographics in a diverse customer base, and their care paid off in terms of click-through rates. Three years after its launch, the site still feels fresh and new. The team was assertive in their project management style but flexible with changing requirements.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

South Crest Bank is a $560 million community bank based in Atlanta, Georgia. We have been in existence for over 100 years and have branches in Alabama and Georgia. I’m the director of operations and marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We had a very outdated website done by a local company in one of our rural markets. It was great for the time, but we were in need of a completely new website and a new marketing position.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

It’s a dynamic site and scales between devices. We were trying to keep it relatively simple. They were very good consultants and guided us through the process very effectively. They understood our customer base and weren’t pushing as hard creatively because they understood the position would be too great for our customer base. The site was fresh but it wasn’t so over-the-top technologically that our constituents would be lost or confused in it. I thought that was one of the greatest things that they did was although we talked about doing some crazy creative things on it, they understood that would be confusing to our customers. We did some dynamic carousels where pictures enlarge as you roll over them to provide emphasis to it. We did some geotagging within the site based on locations of our branches. I can’t over-inflate the value of their knowledge of banking and our customers to be able to craft a website that really was something that would be usable and understandable for our customers.

We worked with primarily three people from Aktiv. There was a project manager, a creative director and then the third person was more of an operational gentleman. On my team, it was me and my marketing director at the time. She was in charge of the day to day functions of the website we’re doing.

How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We went on a search of websites that we liked inside and outside of the banking industry. There was a bank called State Bank in Georgia that had just completed a project and they had some really creative things on their website. It was a little edgier than who we were at the time, but we really liked the process. Through researching, we found out that Aktiv had been a part of that project so we contacted them. We also contacted several other firms in the Atlanta area, got proposals from all of them, and met with all of them. At the end of the day, we felt like Aktiv understood who we were. We felt like they were the ones that were really talking about who our customers were and we knew that they could get as creative as we wanted them to get.

We knew that this was a transitional site for us in taking our customer out of a very simplistic website to something that was highly functional. Aktiv understood all of that. We met with some really great website companies and firms here in town, but Aktiv really got the vision of who our customers were.

How much have you invested with Aktiv Web Solutions?

We’ve spent between $50,000 and $200,000. They were not the least expensive, and they weren’t the most expensive. For the hours they spent on the project that had 50 pages, I felt the value for what we spent was excellent.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in January 2014. The initial project took a total of four months. We had to put the project on hold for a couple of months while we were making some marketing changes. They still do maintenance for our site. We are discussing where we want to go next.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We’ve gotten immediate feedback on our website. Our biggest challenge on our website was the fact that we are a bank that’s spread out all two states, and we have a greatly different client base. We have a lot of branches in rural Georgia and we have a lot of branches in metro Georgia and both of those customer groups look very different. In our community banks, it’s very much a traditional type environment whereas, in our metro banks in metro Atlanta, it is more of a commercial environment. We were having to do a website that served both sides of it, and we learned very quickly when we developed the project and went live with the website that we had done that because we got compliments from both sides. Our metro constituents were very excited to have the website. They felt like it was a really good representation of the company and the bank, but also in our more rural banks, we received the same feedback through our call center and through our branch. If we were only a metro bank, we may have taken a very edgy approach to our website. Same if we were on a community bank, we may have taken a much more traditional approach to our website. What Aktiv found was a great mix of that and that was proven by the compliments that we got on the website.

When we went live, we tracked our statistics on it and we saw that we were getting good click throughs. We tracked where those were coming from and it was all across our customer base so we felt like that was really an asset to us. It’s been a good relationship all the way through. We still consider them a partner. When we have issues with ADA compliance, I am able to get information from Aktiv. The fact that the website is dynamic and that it will scale to all devices is great. We’ve had a lot of compliments on that. The website went live in July of 2014 and it has relatively remained unchanged over the last three years. It still feels fresh, and we still get compliments on it.

How did Aktiv Web Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?

The project was on time and on budget. They were very clear at the beginning about what the expectations were of us as a client. They laid out a schedule for us to follow for when they needed copy and images and what they were going to be doing in the background. We had weekly or bi-weekly scheduled calls to discuss where we were at. We track the project in their tracking system which they still use today. Even today when we do tickets for any maintenance issue, we still use a project website where every ticket is logged and tracked and we can go back and see the activity that’s been done on that ticket which has been extremely helpful.

We found them to really guide us through the process. We told them from the beginning that we needed a partner that understood that we didn’t know anything about websites. They didn’t talk down to us. I feel like Chris, Gary, and their whole team did a really good job of helping us through the process and holding us accountable to the schedule.

We changed our marketing director midstream of the project and they were very flexible. We met with them and talked it through with them. They were understanding and helped us make the change and move forward. I thought they managed the project really well. They were very communicative and we could look in the project tool at any time to see what was happening.

What did you find most impressive about Aktiv Web Solutions?

Their communication is very good, and their understanding of who our customer is is very good. They took the time to learn who our customer is. We didn’t spend a lot of time looking at what our competition’s websites were because it wasn’t about what bank had a cool website. It was more about, what is a good website that is appropriate for us and who we are and who our customers are? I think they understood that better than anyone. They really wanted to get who our customer was and build a site that was respective of that.

Are there any areas Aktiv Web Solutions could improve?

I think what they do now is great. As they grow, it’s very hard to keep that personal touch. I think they’ve done an amazing job of being able to keep that personal touch even though they’ve grown. I don’t think there’s really anything I would say we would have changed about our relationship with them. We’re still with them today because we’ve enjoyed that relationship and we find them great to work with.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Aktiv Web Solutions?

They want to know who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. The advice I would give anyone that’s interested in knowing or looking to use them is to make sure you understand your business so that they can be effective for you.  They’re going to want to dive deep into who you are and your customers are so that they can build something that’s appropriate to who you are and guide you through the process. Make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re up front with them and you’ve got good information on who you are, I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed in what they can do for you.

5.0
Overall Score We still have a continued partnership with them, and we will continue to partner with them as long as I’m here.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If there was a change in a schedule or a date, they would always let us know. We were on schedule on the project. They were very good at communicating.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Based on the other people that we had looked at, I think the number of hours that they spent on the project and the end results were a very good value for the money we spent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They met all the deliverables as promised, and they exceeded our expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred them to everyone that will listen to me.