What was the scope of their involvement?
Whittington Consulting started off with a kickoff meeting at our Charlottesville, Virginia headquarters. I tried to have the entire leadership team available for that. The meeting was fairly in-depth and went for about two hours. They came prepared with a series of questions that really tried to drill down into the details of our business and to understand what our expectations were for the project, what challenges or problems we had with our current site, and what were some prioritized requests for the new website. They spent a fair amount of time understanding our business and project requirements to the point where, after the meeting, our vice president commented about how impressed he was with their level of knowledge and detail. He expected them to come in and just be web designers and only want to know more about what it should look like rather than trying to understand our business and customer personas and how that would affect the design.
The services that they provided started with the kickoff meeting, and then they drafted a website map so we could get an idea of what the overall page and navigational structure would look like. We went through several iterations to refine the site map before we started to develop content. We initially developed some new page content, while Whittington imported content from our existing website. Some of the new content was based on a series of interviews Whittington conducted with different members of our technical and leadership staff. We asked Whittington Consulting to target specific pages where they would draft the initial content and supply it to us for final editing before it went on the website. The overall web content was a collaborative effort; we did 70% of it, and they drafted 30% of it with final editing by our team.
Then, they helped with the selection of the platform. We ended up choosing HubSpot, which we are very pleased with. Initially, we were considering using WordPress but decided afterward that some of the amenities, analytics, and the ease of use of the HubSpot platform made it a better choice.
How did you come to work with Whittington Consulting?
After I had drafted the RFP [request for proposal] to do this project, I found them through a Google search. I wasn't necessarily restricting it to local firms, but that was a plus. They're based in Richmond, and we are based in Charlottesville. They were one of three or four companies that I ultimately submitted the RFP to ranging from New York to California. Working with a firm that could be onsite, face-to-face, for some of these meetings was more productive than a teleconference.
I liked their overall value based on what they were planning to offer and their pricing for that service. After talking with Rick, the owner, to get a better feel for their proposal and to review their reference websites, I concluded that their offer provided the greatest value and ultimately awarded them the project.
How much have you invested with Whittington Consulting?
There was a one-time development charge of between $20,000 and $50,000. There are no ongoing maintenance or service fees; it was a flat project cost to do the website development and launch.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in February of 2016. Our collaboration is ongoing. I’ve had them do several updates or feature enhancements to the website since we launched based on things that have changed or new capabilities that I wanted. They've been very responsive in providing services to do those in a timely fashion.