Web Experts in Drupal, WordPress, Gatsby & More

Hook 42 is a full-service, distributed web agency based in San Francisco, California, with team members across North America. We were founded with a mission to build a congenial, dynamic, and talented team to work on interesting digital problems. We are recognized leaders in the open source space and give keynotes, sessions, and trainings at notable events across the world.

 

We have experience in all facets of web solutions including Agile project management, content strategy, design, user experience, software development, SEO, social media, integrations, and more. Some technologies we focus on include CMS platforms (e.g. Backdrop, Drupal 7, Drupal 8, WordPress), static site generators (e.g. Gatsby, Next), search frameworks (e.g. Elasticsearch, Solr), JavaScript and decoupled frameworks (e.g. Angular, React, Vue), and programming languages and frameworks (e.g. NodeJS, PHP, Python, Symfony).

While leading the way with web development best practices, our talented team can dive deep to solve challenging problems in many important areas including accessibility, security, architecture, performance, analytics, and devops. Whether you need a multilingual site, marketing automation and A/B testing capabilities, or a complex migration from different content and data sources, we've got you covered.

If you have your own dev team, we can help with speciality consulting, peer reviews, audits, and staff augmentation. We can provide ongoing support, maintenance, and improvements for existing sites built by other teams. We handle "rescue projects" that are incomplete and need to get over the finish line. We do emergency site recoveries for hacked websites. We can help move your site to a new hosting platform (e.g. Acquia, Amazee.io, Netlify, Pantheon, Platform.sh) or migrate to a new CMS platform. We also design and build beautiful new websites from scratch.

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2012
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • San Francisco, CA
    United States
other locations
  • Asheville
    United States
  • Portland
    United States
  • Miami
    United States
  • Manchester
    United States
  • Richmond
    United States
  • Phoenix
    United States
  • Fairbanks
    United States
  • Montreal
    Canada
  • London
    United Kingdom
  • Dublin
    Ireland
  • Santa Cruz
    United States
  • Detroit, MI
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We have experience with many types of organizations including Enterprise, small/medium businesses (SMBs), startups, higher education, and non-profits. Some clients we've been fortunate to work with include Advance America, Amphenol, Autodesk, Cantor Arts Center, Gap, Go Overseas, Lingotek, Matterport, National Nurses United, Raytheon, Stanford, SunPower, UCSC, UCSF, USC, and Zicasso.

Reviews

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Web Development Services for Poverty Legal Center

"We were able to trust them to make the right decisions."

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

Hook 42 provided web development services for a poverty law center. The team audited the client's website and cleaned up the Drupal 7 backend, integrated Git.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Caroline Robinson
Codirector, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website is now faster, saving the company valuable time. Hook 42 provides a high level of customer service and support to ensure the client's requirements are being met. The team is knowledgeable, hard-working, and personable.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute is Massachusetts poverty law center provides statewide advocacy and leadership in advancing laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities.

A significant number of low income people in Massachusetts are unable to access a lawyer; approximately two-thirds of low income residents are turned away each year due to lack of civil aid resources. In addition, many low income people fall through the cracks because they are above-income for legal aid programs (e.g., above 125% of federal poverty level) but too poor to afford a lawyer.

As a result of this justice gap, vulnerable people are left without access to legal advice and, as a result, navigate legal situations without knowing their rights or options. Massachusetts has embraced the goal of providing “100 percent access to justice” through a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services. The use of technology is critical in closing the justice gap.

Launched in 2005, the Massachusetts Legal Aid Websites Project is a special statewide initiative funded by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. The Websites Project is developed and maintained by MLRI and provides online legal information and other resources to the general public and to Massachusetts advocacy community. The Project includes two statewide legal information websites: MassLegalHelp.org: a legal information site written in “plain English” and targeted to low income Massachusetts residents and non-lawyer advocates MassLegalServices.org: a website targeted to poverty law attorneys and advocates, this site includes issue specific legal resources, case libraries, listservs, and other advocacy resources. I am the codirector of the Websites Project and editor of MassLegalHelp.org

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Hook 42?

After an inexperienced developer migrated our website to Drupal 7, he managed to produce a site that appeared to work, but had so many hacks and special code that was not duplicable for a content manager that when we tried to use it in real life, it began to break constantly.

We were left with what another developer called “a bowl of spaghetti.” It was a mess and the multilingual aspect of the site did not work at all. We cannot afford to hire high-cost well known Drupal developers. However our website was in such a terrible state we began to search for Drupal multilingual website developers, no matter what they cost, to help us out.

After speaking with 10 different companies that were unable to unbundle their services for us, someone finally directed us to Hook42. In a word, we needed rescuing.

What were your goals for this project?

Our biggest issue was the inoperable multilingual features of the website as well as the site's agonizingly slow speed. Our goals were to get the theoretically powerful Translation Management to live up to it's potential. It was not doing anything before Hook42 got involved. And we needed the site to run much faster.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I phoned more than 10 Drupal developers, listed on Drupal.org, that describe themselves as multilingual experts. None of them could help, after listening carefully to the problems we were having one of these developers recommended Hook42.

I picked Hook42 because they wrote the book about translations in Drupal 7, and later Drupal 8.From the first contact we had with Kristen Pol at Hook42, we realized we were saved. We put our site into her incredibly compassionate, practical, capable, competent, experienced, professional hands and began the road to a healthy working multilingual website.

We did not have the money to pay Hook42 to completely redo our website or migrate it to Drupal 8. Kristen recognized our dire situation and dove right in. She did not bemoan the terrible state of the website, which was refreshing. She was realistic and transparent about what it would cost and what we should do step by step to address the specific issues we needed help with, in order of priority.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

She began with a multilingual specific audit. The Audit she produced is a work of art. It is clear, organized, easy to use and we continue to rely on it today. Furthermore, we have used the design of the audit to produce other unrelated reports of our own! We used the audit as a workplan starting with the most dire issues, and working our way through. Kristen showed us the things we could do and took on the tasks that required her expertise.

Always cognizant of our tight budget, she taught us how to solve some of the issues that are within our reach and gave us specific, clear, easy-to-follow instructions for tasks we need to repeat. For example, she introduced to Git in a completely painless way. Our site is much faster now and the Translation Management Module works even better than it was built to work. So not only have we benefited from Hook42's work, so has the Drupal 7 community who need to use the Translation Management Module.

What was the team composition?

Team was composed of myself, my part-time volunteer computer C++ programmer who is applying her knowledge and discipline to web stuff now and Kristen from Hook42. Kristen managed the project step by step as we could afford, taught us how to do things and accomplished in what seemed like seconds things we could not.

She has continued to step in since the big issues were resolved any time we discover a hiccup in the way our funky site tried to resolve a multilingual issue. These days we rarely have any contact with her because our multilingual functions run so smoothly.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

Our site is a gazillion times faster - it went from impossibly slow to acceptable. Because of the initial migration the website has intrinsic faults that can only be remedied by complete rebuild, but it now as satisfactorily fast - even according to Google's standards.

Key though is that the Translation Management Module saves us weeks and weeks of time, rather than requiring us to train people, usually work-study students, to copy and paste languages they do not understand into another language they do not know, HTML, from a Word document, then train another student the next semester, this module, now that it works allows me to share a video of how to use the translation management module with a student, then spend an hour or less reviewing.

Then my students are flying on their own exporting webpages to be translated and importing files once the translators have returned them to us. The tool now that it is working has saved us immeasurable hours and is one less barrier to allowing us to become a truly multilingual website. The other barrier is simply limited funds to pay for translations.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

Kristen organized us and it the whole project could not have been more effective. She is speedy accurate and a clear communicator. After she completed the first few big chunks of work, always in record time and always well within if not under budget, she would often in the course of a meeting, solve whatever problem we had righ then and there. If she could not resolve the issue, it seemed she got back to us with it solved within a day or 2. We meet on Zoom, and we use GitHub, we also share files on Google Drive.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Kristen is a fantastic communicator. She always meets us at our level, linguistically. She does not overwhelm us with “techy talk” we can only vaguely comprehend. She responds to all our emails within a realistic time frame. We are always in different time zones – sometimes 8 hours apart. When we encounter problems that are totally beyond us, Kristen cheerfully just goes off on her own for a day or so and then comes back to us with a solution.

She is always prepared to explain it to us in terms we can understand and takes the time to make sure we do. The woman is amazing. Finally she is very supportive of our efforts. She is a top-notch developer with expertise in certain specific areas and worth every penny. However, she recognizes that some of the work we need help with does not require her expertise.

She is supportive and understands when we use another developer to do more mundane tasks or who has server expertise which is not her specific area. In other words, she does not jealously guard us and put down other developers, she is in fact even glad for us when we can find developers to do work for us that are not as costly as Hook42.

I think you form an intimate relationship with your developers. They are like your websites health care team, because you have to be able to trust them totally. We were able to trust them to make the right decisions. You have to be flexible so that they do the work you feel is a priority once the crisis is over.

We put our website’s life in Kristen’s hands and she saved it. Now we call on her to work on specific features we would like to develop, or items we would like to address now that the crisis is over. It is an absolute joy to work with Kristen, she is cheerful and reassuring and has always quickly fixes everything we ask her to.

The business end of Hook42 The administrative aspects of Hook42 are also completely painless. They have an excellent system of producing a written scope of work before they begin. We continue to do business with them in this way, even after working with them for 3 years. The contract is transparent and in clear language.

They bill us in a timely fashion each month with an attached spreadsheet recording all the work performed in each invoice. And they have a system such that we can ask them at any point where we are with hours or billing and they can tell us. So there are no surprises at the end of the month. This is an invaluable characteristic when our budget is as tight as it is.

Are there any areas for improvement?

Not one thing - I cannot imagine how they could improve on perfect!

5.0
Overall Score The best!
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Easy peasy
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are not cheap, but in the end worth more than every penny.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Flawless
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Can't sing their praises enough. Have already told all my website colleagues not to make any website multilingual decisions without speaking to Hook42

Drupal Web Development for Luxury Travel Service

"The team is really committed to the success of your business."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Hook 42 developed a complex website using Drupal that can generate thousands of pages and has many backend features.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Brian Tan
Founder & CEO, Zicasso
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hook 42 has maintained and added more complex features to the website over the years. They have great communication skills and use Slack and Jira to keep the client updated with all progress. Whenever any extra help is needed, the team goes above and beyond staying after hours to assist.

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 founder and CEO of Zicasso.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hook 42?

We needed someone to develop a website that could hold thousands of pages and have complex software features.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Hook 42 developed our website using Drupal. The backend of the site has many features and it can generate thousands of pages efficiently.

What is the team composition?

We worked with Kristen (CTO & Architect, Hook 42) and about four other people.

How did you come to work with Hook 42?

I came across Kristen in 2013 in a Google search for Drupal web developers. We did extensive interviews, probably interviewing five different Drupal agencies.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend around $50,000 a month.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in 2013 and our engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site has become more complex every year and we are able to continue to grow with minimal bugs. We have been able to run it with more features and it’s highly functional and reliable. The site rarely goes down and the rare occasion when it did was no more than a couple hours.

How did Hook 42 perform from a project management standpoint?

They are excellent. We had a few changes in product managers, some are more technical than others, but this has been even more helpful. We typically use Slack and have weekly calls involving various teams. To track new product development features and bugs we use Jira.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The team is really committed to the success of our business. Wherever extra help is needed, they jump right in. The quality of their work, building a large and complex site that is essentially bug-free, is impressive. We couldn’t have had a better partner. The stability of their company is really appreciated. They’ve had very few turnovers over the course of seven years. Having the same people has made it easy to work efficiently.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can’t think of any.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a good product management process in place that defines the features you want. Be clear, so the Hook 42 team can work efficiently. If you are looking to build a complex website, spend the extra money to go with a company that has more capabilities, like Hook 42.

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 Dev for Medical Device Company

"They’re smart and we’ve worked well as a team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2017 - Oct. 2019
Project summary: 

Hook 42 helped develop a Drupal translation solution for a medical device company's website. Their team configured a method to allow for staggered website translation through a ghost language protocol.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
Bothell, Washington
Charles Jackson
Senior Web Manager, FUJIFILM SonoSite
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hook 42 provided a smart and talented team of developers. They are the experts in Drupal translation and that manifested itself over the length of the project. Their team was communicative and pleasant to work with. The project management was solid. 

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 senior web manager at FUJIFILM SonoSite. We’re in the ultrasound division of FUJIFILM.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hook 42?

We needed third-party Drupal development for our website due to some challenges we were facing with website translation. Our business requires translation for multiple foreign languages. The website sells medical devices internationally, and we’re not allowed to talk about the device until it’s approved by regulatory bodies.

Because we are based in Seattle, our website content is in English. However, because devices are approved in Germany, France, and other European countries months before the United States, we need a French, German, Italian, Russian, or Dutch translation to appear on the site before the English language version. Unfortunately, we couldn’t run these translations because the parent language was in English. All the other translations would get turned off. We needed to solve this problem.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We knew that Hook 42 were experts in the field of Drupal translation. What we needed to do was basically duplicate the original American version of the website and use that as our source language. Thus, that source language would be hidden from the public and only changeable by an administrator. The website is very large and complicated.

We worked with them to build a new way of fixing the translation problem. With this new system, we create our content and then feed it into a separate translator that treats English as a separate language like German or French. It’s essentially a ghost language project. They are eventually going to be working with us to move the site from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

What is the team composition?

Aimee (CEO, Hook 42) and Kristen (CTO, Hook 42) and their team worked with us.

How did you come to work with Hook 42?

We contracted them because they were experts with Drupal website translations. We met Aimee and Kristen two years ago at various Drupal conferences and gradually formalized a strong working relationship. They’re truly the experts; they’ve written two books on Drupal translation and are very respected in the Drupal community. After trading ideas, we came across a similar idea at the same time and decided to work on the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

The engagement began in April 2017. The translation went live at the end of October 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have a very comfortable working relationship. They’re smart and we’ve worked well as a team. Any time there’s an issue, we can contact Aimee; how many times are people on a first-name basis with the CEO of another company? She’s been a delightful person to work with. They work through things very quickly.

How did Hook 42 perform from a project management standpoint?

When we started, we made it clear that we wanted to work with them directly and be transparent about the process. If they had a glitch or a question, we wanted to know exactly what was going on. We’re on a Slack channel with their developers and they talk to us any time something comes up. They respond quickly. We also have meetings and receive summaries from the project manager after the fact.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They had complementary skill sets to our team, and together we do some interesting and amazing things. I’m very glad we’re working with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Some of the developers are a bit hesitant to contact us. That may be a function of how they work with other clients, but for us, we’d be happy to answer a note from them any time they need help.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t be afraid to chat with them. They’re very friendly, bright people, and you can take advantage of their brainpower. Don’t throw a project and detach. Engage with them and work with them because they are delightful to work with. We’ve learned a lot from them.

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 Development for Overseas Programs Reviews Platform

“They really defined what a great agency could do, and we hold all our other vendors to their service standards.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Hook 42 augments development efforts for a study abroad platform. They supported two major projects, including a site migration to Drupal 8 and dev work for a multi-faceted search feature in Elasticsearch.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berkeley, California
COO, Go Overseas
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The partnership with Hook 42 is strong, and the quality of their work is high. They are communicative, empathetic, and respectful collaborators, and their suggestions help meet ambitious goals.

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 ratings and review website that connects study abroad programs. We have nine silos on the site dedicated to overseas study programs and providers. The information we host helps users make more informed decisions. We also help providers talk about their businesses and programs to attract new customers. We have a million monthly visitors on the user side and 10,000 providers. I'm one of the cofounders and the COO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hook 42?

They’ve been our go-to development resource for over three years. We have a talented development team, but whenever we have a big project, we go to them. We also work with them for smaller projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They acted as an extension of our tech team, and they got to know us and our site very well. We worked on two gigantic projects together. In 2017, we migrated the entire site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8. That was an enormous project that we couldn't handle internally. For the second large project, we turned to them to help us navigate through the 20,000 programs we had listed on the site.

We wanted a multi-faceted, responsive search feature that was fun to use. That was a huge data and UX challenge, and I believe we used Elasticsearch to connect all the programs to that product. The second project wasn't as broad as the migration, but the UX was much more complex. We utilized their frontend and UX knowledge, and they were phenomenally helpful.

What is the team composition?

At peak, we worked with five or six full-time people from their team. We had one main point person for the second large project.

How did you come to work with Hook 42?

Their founders are both based near our headquarters. I believe our CTO met them at a local Drupal event and felt good about them. We met them in person, and we liked what we saw.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent between $100,000-$250,000, possibly more.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around August 2016. Their collaboration with the company is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They're great across the board, and they really helped educate us throughout our partnership. We’ve learned a lot from them, and we're so pleased to have such useful resources at the forefront of Drupal expertise. Their output and the quality of their product are always excellent.

How did Hook 42 perform from a project management standpoint?

Our calls with them are usually through Zoom, and they were willing to use Asana for our projects. Their invoicing and time tracking are always very detailed. Their communication is always very good, and we couldn't have done these large projects without them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're empathetic, and they help us meet ambitious goals. They rise to every challenge, and their patience is infinite. They always come back with a solution or an alternative idea, even for emergencies outside of the original scope. We have a healthy, respectful relationship, and we talk through everything in a compassionate, transparent way.

They really defined what a great agency could do, and we hold all our other vendors to their service standards. No other company has matched what Hook has given us from a communication or collaboration standpoint. Their partnership means a lot to us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Sometimes, they let us be overly optimistic with estimates. We talked with them about it, and that optimism became more realistic over time. They could push back harder and help manage expectations from the start.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They're great to work with, and our project manager is a great communicator. Make sure that you have an advocate on their side, and I would highly recommend getting face time with our project manager, Adam (VP of Engineering, Hook 42).

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