Can you talk a little bit about the scope of the project?
The first thing we did with doejo was to start completely from scratch. They did a deep dive content and metric analysis on our old sites and helped to make us understand what our sites were good at and what they weren’t good at. Then, we sat down in design and sketched out what our sites would be like. They took them into OmniGraffle and built them as wireframes, took them from that into Photoshop, iterated on that again for a little bit, built them in the browser, and then released them as a product. That was part one of the project.
Part two was then to take the same thing and do it to our iPhone and Android apps, which was 20 iPhone and 20 Android apps at that time. Look at them, see what people want out of them, do a new design on them, rebuild them, put them together, and release them. We did that with them as well. They provided on retainer ongoing support for both desktop theme and mobile stuff for quite a while now. The training part of it we kind of handled ourselves. WordPress is so easy to use. We don’t really need an outside trainer to come in. They didn’t necessarily train us on how to use the sites, but they do provide a significant amount of ongoing support for us on the development of them.
How long did these projects take?
Part 1 was 2011. It started in April, and it went through the end of the year. That was probably a seven- or eight-month project to get everything built and launched and done. It was probably a six-month project in earnest to do that, and then the apps were another six-month project on top of that.
What was it that made you select doejo to work with?
I knew I wanted the host on WordPress VIP. doejo wasn’t a WordPress VIP developer yet but was interested in becoming one. We were able to take a small upcoming Web shop doejo in 2011, bring a big project to them, and help them develop into ultimately the shop that we want to work with in the big picture. What I liked about them in particular was they were small, agile, and really hungry for business at the time, and had some very smart people who were really good designers. We knew that the pattern working with them that whatever they designed on paper, and they were actually able to build us as a product. Whereas other companies, they’d sketch something out, but the end product wasn’t really that close to what the original drawing looked like. We’ve always noticed with doejo that they’re able to build what they set out to build in a nice, elegant way. They were very competitive on price, and they were very competitive on timelines. Between price and timelines and really liking their design skills, it worked out well.
Was there anything else unique about them that you found compared to other companies that you’ve worked with in the past?
I think they are a really solid design shop. They do very good work. They have good technical skills in the backend. They’re very good people. They’re responsive. Like I said, they know how to design and build things in a really nice, elegant way. I take my high design project to them. I take my easy stuff to a smaller team.
Can you give us a sense of the size of the initiative either in dollar terms or in personnel work hours?
I’d say it’s more than a $500,000 project.
When was the project completed?
We do 100 to 200 hours a month of ongoing development every month now from 2011 until here we are in 2014. The base project took six months for desktop and six months for apps. Ever since then we’ve just building on top of it. The project hasn’t even ended yet. It’s continually ongoing.