FooTwasher Media, Inc. on ApogeeINVENT

Case Study on a Website Transition

Footwasher Media is a small communication strategy company in the Silicon
Valley, working with start-up technology companies all over the world. We do a variety
of traditional marketing communications and public relations services for these
companies, but our primary focus is helping these small companies make sense of
social media and communication practices.

We've been around for quite a while and have been involved in website
development for a number of clients, but the outcome has always been a little
disappointing. The kind of sites that could be developed within a client's budget usually
looked like everyone else's, and those that had some panache and utility were
outrageously expensive.

One long-term client had contracted with a firm, without our input, that ended up
costing over $250,000 over the course of 7 years, not including development costs. It
was a very active and robust site, but over the years, became bloated and slow with
multiple broken links. Times were good, though, for the client, which was willing to keep
sinking $25,000 a year into maintenance. Then came 2008. The client lost about 50
percent of it's revenue and started cutting back costs. We took a severe hit,
commensurate with the loss in revenue...but not the web design company. The cost
was still $25,000 a year for maintenance and tech support.

The client came to us and said they needed real help in cutting costs, in any way
possible. They offered us the opportunity to increase our fees, as long as we could cut
the overall budget by 66 percent. We decided to go for it, but we needed a good web
design partner to pull it off. Frankly, we didn't know where to look because it was either
cheap and unimaginative or too expensive.

Then I got a call from Jared at Apogeeinvent. He asked me to look at their site
and their examples. We saw the fresh approach to modern web design, using a
dynamic platform. Many companies have adopted the methods and design philosophy
that Apogeeinvent uses, but my clientele was still stuck in 1999 web design. HTML was
still king and social media scared the hell out of them, especially when they saw what
some people were charging to get them into the new medium. What we saw in
Apogeeinvent, were the concepts we wanted to bring to our industries. Then Jared told
me the price.

They were not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it was well within the
budgetary constraints of every client I have, especially the one looking for the help.
They accomplished this by creating plug-and-play blocks that could be inserted as
necessary, reducing design time and cost. The concept was exactly what I was looking
for and the enthusiasm for the project was palpable even over phone conversations.
We hit a snag midway through the project, however. The initial review of the
client site was well within the parameters of Apogeeinvent's capabilities, but once the
project was underway, the developers started to find nooks and crannies in the site that
were extremely important to the client and had to be recreated -- and Apogeeinvent had
no IP in their inventory that would suffice. The project started to grow exponentially.
In most cases, this would have been a major issue, but the Apogeeinvent team
worked with us in keeping the project within the budget parameters while, at the same
time, creating an entirely new set of modules that could be used for similar
organizations.

The original estimate for completion of the new site was 6 weeks. We began,
June 1, 2009 and the site was operational on July 4. While it still required tweaking, the
maintenance of the site is extremely easy and can be done with little training. In fact, the
administration control panel is highly intuitive. The end result was a site that had gone
from almost 5 Gbytes in size to less than 2, with virtually no change in functionality.
Customers and client users of the site have not noticed any significant change. But
download time have been cut in half, bounce rates are falling and traffic is up almost 25
percent.

What has grown out of this project is a partnership for us with some very
talented, imaginative and service-minded people. They have become the first, and
generally only, web design company we recommend to any client.

Joseph Frazier | Create Your Badge

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