Security, Insights, and Results for Your Website.

We make websites that make your organization run better.

Not just brochure sites. People come to us because they want to communicate with their customers, sell a variety of kinds of things (subscriptions, event registrations, products, points, content), manage interactions with potential customers, securely distribute information in groups, clean up hacked sites, or fix challenging interface problems.

Our platform of choice is Drupal, which started as a Content Management System (CMS) but is fast becoming an EMS -- an "Everything Management System." We enhance Drupal by building rich interactive browser experiences using the Dojo Toolkit.

 
Undisclosed
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2002
Show all +
Seattle, WA
headquarters
  • 100 W Harrison St, Ste N460
    Seattle, WA 98119
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

University of Washington International Training & Education Center for Health

Bellingham School District

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Reviews

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Web Dev for Nonprofit Human Rights Org

“…the team proactively communicates, offering key advice on technical challenges and security measures.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Dec. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After consolidating a collection of WordPress sites into a single host server, Freelock ensured that the network was up to date and secure. They’re now working to comply with data protection regulations.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Brooklyn, New York
Matisse Bustos-Hawkes
Associate Director, Communications, WITNESS
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new server is secure, streamlined, and easier to manage. In addition to being technically adept, Freelock is able to translate complex processes in an accessible way. They boast a well-structured ticketing process to track all tasks, and the team makes a point to respond personally.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the associate director of communications at a nonprofit human rights organization called WITNESS. We’re dedicated to making it possible for people to use technology to promote and defend human rights.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

We primarily work with communities and activists around the globe, providing resources and critical information through our network of WordPress websites. However, these individuals are often based in places with strict data tracking to stifle dissent. Their every move is followed, and it can be dangerous to speak out for human rights.

As such, it’s paramount to maintain a secure network while also keeping our sites accessible, streamlined, and easy to load to protect activists. Freelock helps us achieve this by aggregating our collection of sites into a single host server, updating our data security, and providing consistent web maintenance.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

One of the biggest projects involved migrating our WordPress sites to a consolidated host server. Before, we had a number of microsites and spin-offs within our networks, which cluttered the system. The information was all over the place, and we had a hard time managing it.

Freelock set up a new, secure host server and merged our networks with it to make sure that our content was in one place. This allowed us to better control our core set of networks with their assistance, and it was relatively easy to navigate from both an admin and frontend perspective.

The team then updated our WordPress network, making sure that we were running on the latest operating system and keeping our necessary plug-ins up to date. Currently, they’re implementing new features and are getting us up to speed with general data protection regulations (GDPR). They’re also in the process of creating non-intrusive but clearly accessible notations so that GDPR-complying users know how to opt out of our network if they prefer.

What is the team composition?

We primarily work with an account manager and a tech lead, but there’s also a third team member who comes and goes.

How did you come to work with Freelock?

One of the principles at Freelock reached out to us initially, and my IT manager looked into them. At the time, we were working with another provider who couldn’t meet our needs, so we were ready to find a new partner. After a few conversations with the team, it was clear that Freelock was the right choice for us.

How much have you invested with them?

We’re on a retainer plan with a $250 monthly baseline fee but will also add a contingency budget for anything that pops up. To date, we’ve spent about $7,500–$10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work began in December 2017 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Not only are they reliable and responsive, but the team proactively communicates, offering key advice on technical challenges and security measures. On top of that, they go above and beyond to explain concepts clearly. They convey technical information to the layperson without dumbing it down, which allows me to translate their instructions to the rest of my team. It’s one thing to be confident that they’re doing what they need to do on the backend; it’s another to trust them because I fully understand what they’re saying and can relay that information verbatim when talking to others.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

They track our tasks through a ticketing system called Taiga but also interface through email, which is our preferred method. I appreciate that they’re flexible enough to update our tickets internally while still accommodating our communication preferences. Whenever we meet a milestone or need to check the status, they have automated emails to keep us in the loop. We also have phone calls to go over more complex projects.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’ve set themselves up for success by ensuring that there’s always a human element to their account management. Beyond being personable people, they take the time to respond to us and let us know if a particular individual is currently plugging away on a project. That transparency allows us to better understand our progress, and it’s a nice customer-service update.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, there’s nothing that I can speak to for improvement.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal 8 Dev for Parenting Media Brand

"Freelock’s friendliness and willingness to help stands out in every aspect of the project."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2017–Ongoing
Project summary: 

Freelock provides ongoing support for a Drupal 8 server. They make monthly updates and ensure the system runs smoothly by improving backend processes and solving bugs.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Lindsey Carter
Digital Marketing Manager, ParentMap
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The server maintenance helped resolve several issues and created a more efficient platform. The Freelock team has shown determination to be a helpful partner in all areas, providing technical support outside of their expertise. Their positive approach has fostered a strong engagement.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the digital marketing manager for ParentMap. We’re a parenting media brand.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock LLC?

We had recently migrated to a Drupal 8 website and were experiencing bugs and technical problems. We wanted a team of developers to fix our issues on the site and perform monthly maintenance.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Freelock team took over our server management and have been ensuring our site is clean and secure. They’ve made modifications to our backend to improve overall processes and are making other technical changes to enhance the site. Whenever there’s an update needed or an additional development we desire, they work on it for us.

What is the team composition?

We have an assigned project manager and 2–3 developers.

How did you come to work with Freelock LLC?

A previous developer we worked with recommended Freelock because of their Drupal 8 expertise.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $100,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in June 2017 and the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Before Freelock came on board, we were experiencing a high number of bugs with our server, and they alleviated those issues. Their team solved our problems and now ensure the site runs smoothly for us. They’ve also reduced our spending on other web development needs because they’re effective and cost-conscience.

How did Freelock LLC perform from a project management standpoint?

Our project manager oversees all the projects and keeps us informed. Typically, we create a task and a developer from Freelock is assigned to it. Their team uses Taiga as the project management tool, and we can access their progress and status updates at all times.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re willing to assist with any of our needs, even when it’s outside of their realm of expertise. For example, we were having ad placement complications and they solved a major issue for us although it wasn’t part of their job. Freelock’s friendliness and willingness to help stands out in every area of the project.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Freelock’s team is small and they have quite a few clients, which means a project can sometimes take longer than usual. However, the value they offer makes it a tradeoff we’re willing to have.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Dev for Energy Efficiency Nonprofit

“They excelled in the backend piece. They really knew what they were doing.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2016 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

Freelock created a new Drupal site for an energy efficiency nonprofit. They migrated content, updated backend structure, and upgraded the look of the frontend. They also made the site mobile-ready.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
State Policy Manager, Energy Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Visitors like the new website and its intuitive navigation. Freelock was organized and responsive and came up with quick solutions to technical problems.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a nonprofit that advocates for appliance efficiency standards to reduce energy usage, consumer utility bills, and CO2 emissions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

Our site was running on an outdated version of Drupal. We were about to lose support for it and needed to switch to the new version.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They saved us in an emergency. Our site crashed and they came in to help. Within 24 hours, they helped us find a solution and start migrating to something supportable. They helped us update the backend structure of our website and upgrade our frontend look. They also set us up with a mobile-ready version. We worked together on wireframes and mockups and they were helpful throughout the process.

What is the team composition?

We worked closely with two of their team members, but the team occasionally grew to three or four.

How did you come to work with Freelock?

I reached out to other organizations and people we work with and asked them for recommendations. We considered three or four firms and decided to engage Freelock.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around April or May 2016. Their involvement changed, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact end date. We worked on the site for about a year and are currently on a maintenance plan.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

People like the new website and its organization. The redesign makes navigation to reports, blog posts, and other important pages easy.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

They worked well together and were organized and responsive. We communicated mostly through phone, email, and videoconferencing. They offered a project management system, but we only used it occasionally.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They excelled in the backend piece. They really knew what they were doing.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Complete graphic design and artistry are not their greatest strengths. We supplemented their work with a graphic design firm. If they expanded their graphic capabilities, they’d attract more customers as a one-stop-shop for website redesign.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Know what you want in terms of graphic design and ask what they are able to provide.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Dev for Policy Think Tank

"They understood our priorities and had in-depth experience with Drupal."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2016 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

Freelock leveraged their Drupal expertise to implement the most recent update—along with additional features—for a website. Their development work enabled video integration and profile creation.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Consultant, Think Tank
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Freelock’s Drupal knowledge helped to revitalize the website, which has received positive feedback for its ease of use and intuitive functionality. While communication could benefit from being less technical, everything was discussed through regular check-ins and reviews.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a consultant for a nonprofit organization that educates Americans on U.S. national interests in the Middle East.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

We needed to upgrade our Drupal-powered website to the more recent version of the Content Management System (CMS) to increase functionality, update features, and promote the organization’s content.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We valued their knowledge as Drupal specialists, so their broadest responsibility was defining what we needed to do technically in order to keep our website relevant and implement the most recent version of the CMS. After defining the needs and outlining the project, they went through the steps of updating the website.

The majority of their work was development but 10–20% was design work regarding user experience and visuals. They added new features to the website, like the ability to integrate videos, and implementing profile pages for authors.

What is the team composition?

There were three people on our team: a project manager, a developer, and a senior business administrator that oversaw the project but wasn’t involved in the day-to-day interactions.

How did you come to work with Freelock?

I don’t remember how we initially found them, but we decided to work with them because of their experience with Drupal. Our website had gotten to the point where it was in danger of becoming obsolete and needed updates for functionality purposes.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $20,000–$30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them on this project November 2016–April 2017. Currently, we have a separate ongoing maintenance relationship with them, where they dive into the specifics for our website a little more. For example, they're working on automating our email forms to be sent to a common email address and to our constant contact email provider.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The main feedback I’ve received is from our board of directors, which is made of three people who are a little less experienced in web usage. They commented on the ease of navigation and how intuitive the website is with the update.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

They relied on online project management tools that I was not familiar with, which made it tough to follow exactly what was going on. On the other hand, one of the difficulties in development projects is that the client may not understand some of the more technical behind the scenes work. There were periods when we didn’t have a lot of communication, but I’m not sure it would have been necessary.

They used a few communication tools but I preferred to interact with them primarily through phone and email, and they were accommodating to that preference. I felt like our check-ins and reviews went smoothly and we discussed everything we needed to.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were a good fit for us, especially for our size and the type of website we have. They understood our priorities and had in-depth experience with Drupal. Because of that, they were able to answer questions quickly and outline the project easily. I found them to be pretty nimble.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could be a bit clearer and more simplistic in their communication. There were times that I felt the answers I was getting were overly complex in terms of code and different languages. I think they could simplify that for their non-technical audience.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Redesign for Nonprofit Animal Welfare Organization

"We had several wish-list items that we were unsure would fit with our budget, but Freelock managed to implement many of our ideas."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Taking over for an unsatisfactory vendor, Freelock redesigned a website to better organize online content. Working from a wireframe mockup, they prioritized mobile friendliness and overall responsiveness.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Bellevue, Washington
Brianna Baylis
Graphic Designer, Seattle Humane
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Freelock took over a scattered project and delivered a user-friendly and visually impressive website. All feedback has praised the organization and cleanliness of the platform. Freelock worked well within budgetary guidelines, and they managed to implement many functionality requests.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the graphic and web designer for Seattle Humane.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

We were unhappy with the vendor originally selected to arrange the rebrand of our website. They couldn’t deliver what we were looking for, so we looked elsewhere and found Freelock.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Freelock worked from what the previous contractor had started, but the backend was pretty messy. It was an extensive revamp. They had to rebuild the structure even though the groundwork was there. We held several meetings with Freelock to discuss what we were looking for and what our audience expected. We have a lot of content, and organizing it all became a priority for the new site. I provided a basic wireframe of our responsive design, and they worked well to recreate it as best they could.

What is the team composition?

We worked with two primary managers and two developers.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent less than $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our website launched in fall 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our content is now much easier to access, and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback in that regard. Our site is much more organized, and the mobile experience is far superior. They truly made our site more usable.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

They were quick to communicate and address our concerns. We used email and a project management tool to share information. They offered reasonable timelines for certain milestones. We held several test runs and rounds of edits. With our first developer, it was a struggle to accomplish anything. With Freelock, it was refreshing to make progress and complete the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We had several wish-list items that we were unsure would fit with our budget, but Freelock managed to implement many of our ideas. They also researched similarly information-heavy organizational websites and were creative in finding solutions for our site. They never built walls and told us we couldn’t have something. They found new ways to do it.

Any advice for potential customers?

It’s important to invest the time to get them the information they need because the return in what Freelock delivers is well worth it.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Database Maintenance for Research Firm

"Ever since they've taken over, we've had much better success with our site."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Freelock maintains a Drupal database for a large research firm on a monthly basis while also developing site improvements as issues arise annually.

The Reviewer
 
1,001 - 5,000 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Project Manager, Research Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Freelock developers solve problems, but they also help firms learn to help themselves, saving thousands of dollars in long-term engagements. They're capable communicators who deliver work of the highest caliber well ahead of project deadlines.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a project manager for a large research organization, working in a very specific area.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

We needed help maintaining a Drupal database, and we had difficulties with a few other developers. We then found Freelock and started working with them to hopefully not run into the same issues we were having with previous vendors. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I manage different working groups, including one focused on the information in the Drupal database. For any changes we wish to see, I go to Freelock. I’ve had them create new pages for the database, but it's mostly monthly Drupal maintenance.

It’s an ongoing process; each year we come up with issues to fix on the site, and, they go into the code to deal with them.

What is the team dynamic?

I've been in contact with four people, but I mainly send requests to an administrator and a developer.

How did you come to work with Freelock?

We had an IT guy working directly with our group on Drupal issues, but about two years ago he left our company. I was also having issues with our vendor at the time. He knew someone who worked at Freelock, and that's how we built the relationship.

How much have you invested with them?

About $8,000-$10,000 per year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around December 2015, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Ever since they've taken over, we've had much better success with the site. In the past few years, they've fixed a lot of the problems we've come across.

On top of that, they've taught me how to make changes in the database myself, so I don't have to use them for everything. That's saved us about $10,000-$15,000 per year.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

They've been easy to communicate with, and that's important. They’re located close enough that we could meet in person if we had to, but we usually talk via phone or e-mail. They respond in a timely manner and let me know exactly how many hours it will take to make the changes we want.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're an excellent company. They communicate well, they're on top of things, and I've been extremely pleased with their service. Freelock is one of the best external vendors we've ever worked with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I haven’t had any issues whatsoever with them.

5.0
Overall Score They've met all my expectations, and they blow me away based on my experience with other companies.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Each year there is a database project with a solicitation deadline, and this year they were ready several weeks in advance. They're excellent.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve given very reasonable quotes, and they’re cheaper than the company we previously used.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve been able to do everything I've asked of them in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re the only company I would recommend for Drupal expertise.

Drupal CMS Improvements for Non-Profit

"They provide the customer service needed to make people happy, and make sure to understand your needs.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Freelock demonstrated competence in Drupal and made technical upgrades to restructure an old CMS. They now provide continued support and maintenance. The system is easy to use and functions well.

The Reviewer
 
Seattle, Washington
Communications Director, Non-Profit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Great communication and active listening make for a positive relationship. Freelock always clearly states the planned work and expresses multiple options when necessary. They took the time to understand the database and excel with fantastic customer service.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the communications director at a non-profit. My company works on policy issues that affect children and families. We are committed to helping every child grow up to be the people they dream of becoming.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

We had an outdated website that required a technical upgrade and needed to look fresh and new. Our old site had also been subject to some security risks. It was at this point that we decided to engage Freelock.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Although Freelock was not involved in the original development, they possess a lot of technical competence in Drupal, our content management system (CMS). They had an expert way of showing us where we could make improvements to our functionality that were beyond our capabilities.

They provided a clear and fair minded explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of sticking with the current CMS, versus going with something else. There was real patience as they waited for us to decide what CMS we would use, in addition to understanding as our nontechnical staff, which includes me, got up to speed on what basis we would make this technical decision about how to best build our website. That was really nice. I think their patience and understanding was very helpful as we navigated those decisions.

They took the time to look at our database and understand how it had been set up. This allowed Freelock to provide us with concrete suggestions for how to restructure the database so it matched how we were actually using it. They weren’t just focusing on how it was designed to be used. That real world perspective on how we specifically were using it was really helpful.

Freelock gave us a range of options that were easy to adopt, design wise, and understood how to keep what we wanted from the old system without a whole lot of bells and whistles.

What is the team dynamic?

I know that John [Founder, Freelock], Don [Project Manager, Freelock] and Rafael [Web Developer, Freelock] worked specifically on our project.

How did you come to work with Freelock?

I talked to enough colleagues, web designers and developers, and realized that we were doing a development, not a design. We needed somebody who understood our database really well. I conveyed that information to my coworkers and we decided what we hoped to accomplish with the project, given the time and money we had.

I had sent an email to a highly credible colleague explaining what we wanted to do, and he responded with advice on what he had learned in the process of doing websites for a similar organization and suggested Freelock. Part of my choice to go with them was also because they had done projects that looked similar to ours and matched our niche well.

How much have you invested with them?

More than $10,000. Our Website update was around $7,000 and the ongoing business contract is at least $3,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began work around May 2015 and are an ongoing client. We currently have a maintenance contract with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I love Drupal 8. It's something that has a very easy front door for me. I feel like the design elements are good and I have had no problem with this system.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

They've been really great, clear communicators to me and my staff. They've been very helpful in how they've talked about what we what we can, and can't accomplish. When I've had questions about transition or limitations it's always explained. I think Freelock really values its customers' positive experiences.

When we communicate it is typically done over email. When I've had questions I’ve certainly been able to have phone conversations and we've had great in-person meetings as well over the course of the planning and design process. We had a number of meetings at which they listened carefully to what our needs, limitations, and desires were. Rather than presenting cookie cutter ideas that they had worked on elsewhere, they got really specific about what our needs were and I really appreciated that. Don and John made sure to listen to what we needed and express what we could do in very concrete ways. They gave us a menu of options and in the end, we got something that works well and suits our organization.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to clearly state our design and development status, and hear our concerns and desires was superior to other vendors.

In a world of web designers, and people who might be really interested in the aesthetics of Internet communications and marketing, Freelock was very sensitive to the data and usability of the site. They didn't want to put a bunch of bells and whistles on our site. They demonstrated their skill with Drupal and our CMS and I understood that the updates to the database work, which were daunting, were not so much of a problem. They provide the customer service needed to make people happy and make sure to understand your needs.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything that I would say they could have done differently. I was really pleased with what they did.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their work was always on time, their prices were very reasonable and they were highly attuned to our needs.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Maintenance for Community College

"They’re there as a backup system, and their project management skills and responsiveness have been excellent."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Freelock provides patch and server management for a Drupal website. They helped move the site to AWS, troubleshoot various issues, and act as the development team in implementing a site redesign.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Port Angeles, Washington
Web Services Manager, Community College
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Freelock is a proactive and reliable team. They thwarted various virus outbreaks, kept the system running 24/7, and they generously offer expertise on different projects. Working through a constantly changing project scope, they are incredibly responsive, transparent and patient.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the web manager at a community college in Washington State. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Freelock?

We use a Drupal for our own web services but didn't have a versed developer on staff. Without the funding to hire someone in-house, we decided to search for a qualified vendor. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first thing was server upkeep because we wanted to migrate our services from a localized environment to AWS [Amazon Web Services]. Freelock helped move our site to the cloud, relaunched and secure it. Patch and server management were also involved.

They also do some development with me. I’ve been in the system for a couple years, so I do some of the work myself. But, if we get into any trouble or have questions or virus outbreaks or the server goes down or we need a backup restored, those guys have my back. I manage the Drupal system, but Freelock does my monthly server and Drupal side updates and patch testing. They do that monthly for me still.

We just embarked on a redesign of our website. Freelock did a little bit of our development on that. We designed it, but then they helped implement the design.

What is the team dynamic?

I usually communicate with their project manager, John [Locke, Founder, Freelock], the owner, and then they had a designer and a developer. I’ve interacted with about four people there.

How did you come to work with Freelock?

We looked around and found Freelock. We are approximately two hours away from them. In working with other vendors in the past, especially with our state systems, I find it nice to have somebody close by in case we need to do a face-to-face.

How much have you invested with them?

We have a limit of $10,000 a year with one single vendor without going out to bid. Their maintenance portion comes in a little bit under $5,000 for the year. Then we have the retainer, which we sometimes use and sometimes don’t. It’s been under $10,000 each year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2015 and the work is ongoing, based on an annual retainer agreement. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

It’s an outward-facing site and most people don’t know that we’re on a Drupal platform because my department runs that for them. When we first started looking at CMS systems in the educational arena, they were really expensive. We couldn’t be in a small community college and afford the price tag that came with some of them five years ago. So we looked at Drupal and it’s been a great platform. It’s highly customizable, which is great, because as we change in and out of different state systems, we can port them in pretty easily and have control over the design.

They’ve been super helpful in giving me great advice to keep our systems alive and running. They’ve actually thwarted a couple different scenarios where we’ve had some really big virus outbreaks in the Drupal and Linux world, and they were on top of it. They’re aware of when that outbreak is launching out in the wild, and they’ve done really proactive patching.

We have not gone down—I’ve been up 24/7 since they have helped me move to AWS. We went down a couple times before, but it wasn’t because of them. It was because of our own network. We were kind of in a remote location and a fiber line got severed, which took out our whole connectivity. That’s why we opted for the cloud services and we haven’t gone down since.

On the redesign, they took me to a mobile-ready platform. We went from a Drupal template into a mobile platform. It wasn’t easy and not everything came across, but it wasn’t their fault. We were the ones managing it and they were just our backup for that. We learned a lot and they really helped to explain and advise me on what template to use for Drupal. It’s working out great so far.

How did Freelock perform from a project management standpoint?

The challenge was in the development of something that we don’t normally develop on a daily basis. That’s where they fit: they’re there for me as a consultant. They’re there as a backup system, and their project management skills and responsiveness have been excellent. They are one of the best vendors out of the many that I work with.

Their project manager is stellar. He keeps you informed; he’s always on it. I never have to remind them. They usually have to remind me when we need something. I can’t really come up with a complaint.

It takes a little bit to get in the right groove when you’re working remotely with people. They have remote people, but they just changed to a new project management software that has really improved that interaction. I’m probably the one that they have to follow after, instead of me following after them. Since I work with multiple vendors, I find that to be a very unique character trait, as well as the fact that they’re so responsive.

John, the owner, has not only been responsive, but if I’m curious as to what the fix was or if I want an explanation as to what they did, they freely share all of their information with me so I fully knew what went on. I usually learned from every experience where I requested that. We communicate through email, conference calls, and use the project management software.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are immediately responsive. I always think, “You don’t have to respond that fast.” Even on weekends and nights, if I have a question, they usually answer me. If they can’t answer me, they let me know why and they’ll tell me when they get a hold of me the next morning. I have never been left hanging by Freelock in all the years I’ve worked with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

From my end, identifying and scoping out the project really well. When you work with any vendor, they’re only as good as your scope and your communication. If there was anything that skipped a beat, it was because I didn’t have that experience. It was a learning curve in the beginning. That’s where those guys really were patient and kind. I never felt they were short. They helped guide me through that. I’ve learned how to better manage a web project by working with these guys.

5.0
Overall Score Definitely. They are one of the best vendors that I’ve had the opportunity to work with.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They manage multiple projects. We have to fit into a schedule.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not the least expensive and they’re not the most expensive. They’re definitely worth what they charge.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their customer service is stellar. Their responsiveness is super quick. That is what mattered to us in a vendor.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely refer them to anybody that was using a Drupal platform. I can’t speak to large organizations and their work in that environment because we’re a smaller organization of three people. For our size, they fit very well.