In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their work?
It’s in beta mode now. We basically launched it as a testing ground. At the time, we only had data from 2010, and we’ve been working on data that will forecast what certain religious groups’ future numbers could look like, and we’re actually releasing those this April. We’ll lift the beta tag from it then. So, we do have some metrics, but I'm not sure how reflective they are just yet. We’re not marketing and pushing it that much, but early insights tell us that it is a fairly eclectic and wonky crowd. There are really only so many people out there that are interested in religious numbers of groups around the world and accessing that data in this way. So the traffic numbers are low, as we expected, but the retention and engagements rates are incredibly high. The average time on site is 11 minutes, and average pages per visit hovers around 14, which blows all of our other sites and projects out of the water. From a project management perspective, everything has been on the up and up, too. No issues with deliverables or timing or communication.
When working with Intridea, is there anything that you would consider unique or special about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?
I would say the reason we went with them is that they don’t have a lot of middlemen. With some agencies, the client doesn’t have any direct engagement with the designer or developer. You just interact with the project managers, and if there is any miscommunication, the designers or developers can’t get immediate feedback. We wanted a more agile and collaborative partnership. The reason why I like them so much is because they just have one project manager who is sometimes with our designer or developer. So, you feel like you’re not having to jump through hoops and talk to middlemen. You can talk directly with the people who are working on your project.
In retrospect, are there areas in which you think Intridea could improve as a service provider?
We didn’t really factor in the maintenance plan when we were starting out. Because we don’t have Ruby on Rails expertise in-house, we didn’t necessarily know what the long-term commitments would be. Now, we really are reliant on them. But, they don’t want to be a full-time maintenance shop, which is understandable since it is kind of boring. On the other hand, we don’t want to pay a ton of money to keep a site running. So, it’s sort of hard to find a middle ground where they can devote resources to us, usually in an emergency. We don’t want to pay them a retainer if we don’t need any help for a couple months. So, I think it’s just something that we didn’t really think about when we were starting out.
What advice, if any, would you give a future client of theirs?
Factor in the maintenance plan if you don’t have the necessary expertise in-house for the platform you’re developing on. That was definitely something we should have taken into consideration before deciding to build the site with Ruby on Rails, but it’s just a part of that learning process.