Please describe the scope of their work.
We provided an outline of how we thought the website should flow. Lform refined that outline, and gave us a lot of guidance on what a better approach would be. Lform did a wireframe, and we gave them some feedback and input. After a couple iterations, we settled into the look of it. We were very excited about that; even if we ended there, we'd be way ahead. That was a very good accomplishment in and of itself.
We had a bit of a challenge to our site. We have two companies in one: We have our engineering project side, and we have our service group. We have a third entity that we were going to feature potentially, using a three-pronged approach. We decided to fold that into the service, just to make it a cleaner presentation. That was one challenge, how to communicate to everybody that we're two companies in one.
The second challenge was that we wanted to show visitors the range of our products as well as where we physically go. We're based in the New York City area. However, we'll go anywhere in the world. We mostly serve the continental United States, but we've done some projects in Europe, China, Canada, and one in South America. Outside of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, we’ve done projects in California, New Mexico, Ohio, all over. We wanted to communicate that, and we had an idea how to do that. It was a custom application, more than overlaying Google Maps onto whatever information we had. We wanted it to be tailored to our company and what we were doing.
Also, when a person visits the site and rolls across a certain push pin on a certain state, it features a project from that area. That was our idea, but they helped us refine it and execute it. I think they did a very good job. It's not GPS-based. You can select a 75-mile radius, the U.S., or the world. No matter what view you're in, you’ll see a lot of pushpins. Some have a project title, and others have a small picture and a description of the project. If you click on that, it goes to the section of our website that has even more detail. It's under Job Sites.
This is worth mentioning because we had a vision of how we wanted it to work. We didn’t want the standard look, and it was incumbent on them to understand that as well as take that ball and run with it. It took some custom programming, and they did a good job doing that.
What was your process for selecting Lform Design with which to work?
We definitely wanted somebody local. We researched companies in our area. Depending on how a company came up in our search, just by typing "New Jersey Web Design," that was a good start. They were practicing what they preached in terms of SEO. We used another company because one of our vendors used them, and they did a good job. We found a few others and interviewed them. In the end, it was more of an iterative process by speaking closely with them. We narrowed it down to them and one other firm. They both had very good design capabilities, not only about the Web, but graphically as well.
What tipped the scale for us was that Lform had a better in-house capability and understanding of SEO. The other company we were looking at that saw it as a whole other function and possibly a whole other company to hire. We needed the SEO to be organic with our site, and they needed to understand that to help us.
Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?
Internally, we spent about 30 to 50 man hours developing a plan, writing a plan, calling, interviewing, re-interviewing, discussing, and so on.
Lform's part of the work was about a $20,000 project. It was a small- to medium-sized project for most people. They have done much larger projects of more than $100,000. It seems that the majority of their projects are around $30,000 to $40,000. It could have been a lot more if we had them do more. We did all of our own pictures and so on. If we were to pay them to find pictures for us, size them properly, and put them on the site, it would have cost a lot more. The value of the site is probably closer to $30,000 to $40,000, where Lform's part of the project is in the $20,000 to $30,000 range.
When was the latest milestone completed for that work?
The work was completed in summer of 2012.