What was the scope of their involvement?
We initially engaged CueBlocks to finish our Magento migration. They accomplished that mission and were able to grow the relationship with us into other areas of our business.
CueBlocks helped us with technical requirements and mockups of both the frontend and backend of our site. They assisted with building not just the product databases but also the frontend development. We had selected a Magento theme but needed a lot of customization of the frontend to improve our user experience and to address a couple of unique requirements based on our product lines. In addition, they also helped on the development of the backend to connect our existing order and warehouse management system to Magento. They developed the custom coding and worked with a variety of 3rd party extensions, customizing those per the requirements we had for the backend functionality.
We're currently in the midst of migrating to Magento 2. The platform is quite different than Magento 1, so we are effectively rebuilding everything we've done in Magento to date. They also handle our Magento maintenance, like patches and security measures, and develop any new functionality we want, like improving the checkout process or building new types of pages on the site.
Once the site was live and operational, the relationship evolved into SEO work. Through the migration process, we took a significant hit to our organic rankings, which is a natural side effect of any large site migration but it was greater than we had anticipated. Almost immediately after go-live, they began working on site markups and Webmaster Tools, getting all of our 301s published, clean and over to Google and Bing. They developed frontend content for all of our category pages, writing content and building out additional pages on the site. As we saw a return to our original rankings, we continue to use them for more technical SEO work.
What is the team composition?
On a weekly basis, we worked with 3-5 developers.
How did you come to work with CueBlocks?
Our CTO at the time took a lead on shortlisting potential partners. When the list of providers had been narrowed down, I took over conversations and vetting. We looked at three other providers in addition to CueBlocks at that time.
We were reviewing based on what we believed to be competency level as best we could determine based on time, cost and vision. We felt like CueBlocks was really the best of all worlds at that point. For the money that we pay to CueBlocks, they’re a far better partner than any U.S. firm that we've looked at, especially if you consider responsiveness and competency.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent between $80,000-100,000 in the first year and about half that in the second year. We’ll have spent another $40,000-50,000 with them by the time we finish the second migration next year.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in March 2013 and it is ongoing.