SpdLoad revamped the coding and the design of the company’s old website from scratch, with the inclusion of SEO, to match the demands of the client and its end users.
The site has been live in the testing environment with minor glitches, but they have quickly removed the bugs. SpdLoad delivered a quality output, is responsive to the issues reported by the users and are quick to provide solutions.
"Responsiveness was better with SpdLoad than with other similar firms that I've dealt with."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
We are a law firm based in Ukraine. We have been in the market for 4 years in our current shape and form. We used to be partnered with one of the largest law firms in Vienna. By Ukrainian standards, we are a mid-sized law firm working within a wide area, including regulatory issues, taxes, etc.
I am one of the founding partners.
What challenge were you trying to address with SpdLoad?
We had been in the process of revamping our web page. Our existing one was slightly outdated, being more than 4 years old. Our firm had gone through many changes as well since 2012, so we decided to reshape our website, using updated elements like sliders, banners, and so on. We started looking around for people that could do that.
What was the scope of their involvement?
SpdLoad rebuilt our site from scratch. We purchased a template to use as a basis for the work, but at the end of the day, we ended up reshaping it by more than 40%.
We didn't use a WordPress template. We had some discussions with SpdLoad as well as our current service provider on this subject, and we ultimately decided that WordPress did not fulfill our needs. Our web page won't be changed frequently. We only plan to add news and descriptions for the practice, including lawyer CVs. WordPress would have given us many options, but we wouldn't have used most of them. One of the jobs of our current service provider was to make an administration panel for the website in order for it to be as user-friendly as possible, allowing non-technical people to make changes with it.
We have worked on online marketing at a very basic level, but we haven't yet used off-site specialists to run this for us yet. SpdLoad has worked on on-site SEO [search engine optimization] as part of our deal, and they optimized our site for mobile devices. This was a big part of SpdLoad's work and I'm generally happy about the results.
We are based in a different city from SpdLoad. I had doubts about how convenient our collaboration would be. Having had a previous bad experience with a remote project, I was skeptical, but working with SpdLoad was okay, even over the phone. They understood my needs, even though I'm not an IT person and don't possess a large vocabulary in this sense.
How did you come to work with SpdLoad?
We considered a number of companies that could do this kind of work, as well as freelancers. At the end of the day, we arrived at SpdLoad through a referral from a friend who had worked with them. We received 3-4 recommendations in total and sent our request for proposal to each one. We talked to the candidates and made our choice based on SpdLoad's past work and cost. Prices were more or less in the same range, so communication and how SpdLoad presented its portfolio were the deciding factors. We didn't have many compulsory procuring requirements, so we were able to choose freely.
Many IT services providers involve too many business people in the negotiation, instead of technical ones. One of the reasons for not choosing another provider was that when we talked to their marketing person, we got the constant feeling of being sold more than what we wanted to buy. As a client, we got a very bad feeling. The clear difference with SpdLoad was that they didn't attempt to do this. There was a target for our project and an understanding of how to get there. SpdLoad simply gave us options for getting from point A to point B, with no suggestions of a point C. As a client, I appreciated this, and it was a pleasant difference from larger IT firms, which worked as commercial entities.
How much have you invested with SpdLoad?
SpdLoad's cost was reasonable within the market. Our project was altogether around $1,000, which included creative designs for banners. SpdLoad always suggested the simplest approaches for our result, taking cost into consideration.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started the communication process with SpdLoad 2 months ago, putting together the technical assignments. The work itself started one month ago. We are at the edge of launching our new website, with only final touches left.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
I stopped using larger firms after noticing an over-commercialized approach from them. SpdLoad is a rather new firm on the market. There were certain risks in dealing with them, but in general terms, I'm satisfied with the results of the work. Our site has been live on the testing environment. There were some glitches with it, which is inevitable. At the end of the day, I'm satisfied with the quality of SpdLoad's work, compared to our previous provider. Any bugs were removed quickly and there was never a case in which I wanted to change something and SpdLoad refused it. They did their best to produce a site in line with our expectations, offering us alternative approaches.
How did SpdLoad perform from a project management standpoint?
There were no significant delays on SpdLoad's end. They are trying hard to be accessible.
What did you find most impressive about SpdLoad?
Responsiveness was better with SpdLoad than with other similar firms that I've dealt with. SpdLoad also worked 30-40% faster than other vendors. I don't have a large experience with IT firms, but I have worked with 2-3 of them over the last 10 years. SpdLoad is a young firm with good potential. They definitely have a friendly approach, and with some effort, SpdLoad could develop into a larger company.
Is there anything SpdLoad could have improved or done differently?
The only improvement on SpdLoad's quality of service would be in terms of internal communication and double-checking if everything was addressed. SpdLoad sometimes skipped or missed comments from us. Once they were directed to those issues, they fixed them. There is also some room for improvement in terms of internal quoted estimates, on SpdLoad's side.