Web Development
and Consulting

We build modern websites using Ruby on Rails. We host the websites on Heroku's scalable cloud platform, and we use a combination of Amazon's S3 cloud storage service and CloudFront global content delivery network to store and deliver the websites' assets. Performance and scalability are part and parcel.

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Our Process

1. Information Architecture

We will work with you to understand and define your problems and goals, all the while gathering and organizing the information appropriately. We use Google Docs (documents and spreadsheets) and Dropbox in this collaborative effort.

2. Interaction Design

We will generate website "wireframes" (unbranded page schematics or screen blueprints) with respect to your needs, the information architecture, usability, and user experience.

3. Branding & Graphic Design

We can work with existing branding, or create meaningful and expressive branding from scratch. Either way, our graphics artists, one, a Master of Fine Art, or two, a world-class design studio, will create graphics for the wireframes. The interaction designer and graphics artist collaborate to tune the results.

4. Programming

The programming begins once you have approved the wireframes, and is done in parallel with the development of the graphics. The interaction designer and programmers collaborate on front-end development.

5. Operations & Maintenance

No production website can be left alone. Operating a website requires a continued effort in terms of keeping tabs on its usage, as well as keeping its component parts up to date (primarily in terms of third party bug fixes and security updates).

6. Business Continuity

Naturally, in the process of building your site we will have to create numerous accounts on a variety of online services (Google, Heroku, Amazon, etc.). Some of these are monthly paid services, so we will need to enter your credit card information to pay for them. For the sake of the security of all your account credentials, passwords, credit card info, etc., we will use Strongbox, a service for storing and sharing this type of sensitive information. Having it securely stored and organized in one place will be critical to your business continuity - just in case we get hit by a falling star :) We will also provide you with schematics and documentation for the setup of your website and all its component parts, so that, for whatever reason, you can continue running your website without us. As well, your website's codebase (the source code) will be revision controlled with Git, and hosted on GitHub.

Our Tech Stack

Ruby on Rails

We use the Ruby programming language and the Rails web application framework to build your website. Really, your website will actually be a web application (aka "web app", or just "app").

Heroku

We host your website on Heroku's platform, the most advanced and powerful web application scaling platform. Heroku itself is hosted on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), so you can rest assured that your website is running on world-class infrastructure. Along with many other benefits, hosting on Heroku means that your web app can be easily scaled with the needs and size of your user base.

Amazon's S3 and CloudFront

We store and deliver your website's assets (images, stylesheets, javascript, etc.) using Amazon's S3 cloud storage service and their CloudFront global content delivery network.

Development, Staging, and Production

We develop and test on our personal laptops, but before ever deploying changes to production, we additionally first deploy to a staging environment to verify and test those changes. These environments are kept in parity to reduce potential for incompatibility errors, and to promote continuous deployment.

Deployment Details

We set up your app's logging via Logentries; availability monitoring via NewRelic; asynchronous tasks via Delayed Job; scheduled tasks via Heroku Scheduler; worker dynos via the Workless gem (so you pay only for what you use); and web dynos via the Unicorn app server (with two or three Unicorn workers per dyno -- so you get more bang for buck).