If you are considering hiring an external consultant then you probably have a business problem (or opportunity) that you could do with some help or advice on due to a lack of time, resources or skills internally.

In other words, you need commercially focused results.

When it comes to your business critical web application then things are no different. Even if you already have a development team what do you do if something comes up that they can’t handle? They may be too busy, or simply have skills in other areas that don’t really cover your current scenario.

As an expert and long established PHP consultancy we can offer not only highly professional development, support or maintenance services, but also a range of valuable complimentary services where a commercial focus is essential.

The following examples should give you a good idea of some of the ways that we can help your business, over and above providing web development services.

I need help now to get out of an emergency situation!

Are you in a dire situation and in need of immediate help?

Maybe your site has been hacked, or a server has gone down and it’s not coming back up.

Has your developer gone missing? So you’re unable to get urgent problems fixed, or worst-case, your project needs urgently rescuing so you can start to see a return on your development investment.

Fear not, we can help. Either working independently, or alongside your existing development team we can help you get out of your situation and get things back on track.

Need help urgently?

If you’re looking for emergency support you’re in the right place. Give us a call on 0845 680 9676, email help@siftware.com or press the button below. We always aim to get back to you same day.

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What will we do if our web application goes down?

(and how can we avoid it happening in the first place)

Disaster recovery planning (DRP) is an essential part of a web manager’s remit. To ensure that the lights stay on and that your business continues to function it’s sensible to consider possible disaster scenarios and put mitigation systems in place to reduce or remove their impact.

We can help you put a DRP plan in place. Whether that be by doing the due-diligence for you and auditing what you currently have, helping you come up with likely scenarios or taking the whole thing off your plate and delivering back to you a finished DRP.

Our web application is running too slowly and it’s causing us real problems

There are a multitude of factors that can conspire to slow any complex website down.

It could be inefficient code, poor (or indeed over-zealous) database optimisation or simply unanticipated spikes in traffic.

We can help you identify where these bottlenecks are and suggest solutions. If you don’t currently have a development team in place then we can also help you to remove the bottlenecks as well as get you set up with performance monitoring software which can then be used to flag up possible future problems or help you identify current ones.

We’re running a really old version of PHP. Is this a problem and can we upgrade?

If you’re running a business critical application on an old and unsupported version of PHP then in most cases upgrading to the newest version possible is essential.

In this context ‘unsupported’ means that PHP itself will no longer be getting security updates, meaning that even if your server is fully patched and up-to-date, the version of PHP on your server can be a major security risk and known (public) weaknesses in the version you’re running could be used to gain access to the server.

As well as filling security holes, there are a number of direct benefits to running the newest version of PHP such as providing major speed improvements as well as making it much easier to maintain in the long term.

Our hosting company is telling us that we need to move servers. Where do we start?

As with upgrading to the newest version of PHP, there are lots of reasons why you might want to consider having your application migrate to a new server, this is particularly true if it has been on that server for some years.

We strongly advocate ensuring that any PHP application is portable, by this we mean that it’s easy to get everything running – even if it spans multiple servers on any suitable infrastructure and that incoming developers can work on it for you with minimal fuss.

If you do need to move we can help you or your development team prepare for the move or we can do the whole thing for you, minimising downtime and ensuring that in the future the exercise will be straightforward.

Whenever we make changes to our website something breaks when we upload the changes

It sounds like you need a robust deployment and development platform.

Whilst this can be a complex subject, put simply you need a way to build your platform and automatically deploy any changes to it, even if your application spans multiple servers.

This is something we have lots of experience with and we can help you from simply giving your development team some pointers and/or training all the way through to building you a fully automatic deployment system that will ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum and – most importantly – should something go wrong you can roll back to the last stable known version.

Free consultation?

Get 30 value-packed minutes on the phone with our founder Darren Beale. Go through your requirements and get immediate advice.

Book now →

I have a great relationship with my web developers and designers, but they are the first to admit that they’re not great with servers or more complex web applications

We can consult on your server set-up, make improvements or help you design improved infrastructure leaving your trusted suppliers or internal team to focus on their core strengths. The same goes for web application development or maintenance, we can work on the behind-the-scenes stuff and leave your team to work on the rest.

We work well with our peers in the industry and understand that at times sensitivity is essential. This won’t be a witch hunt and we’re not threatening to take work away from them. Our core business is support and maintenance of complex PHP web applications. We don’t want any design work or to start working on front-end development or content managed websites; it’s not what we do.

I got a developer to do some work, but I’m not happy with the results

We’re happy to validate work already done by either your internal team or external developers.

Whether this means a full site-audit, fixing a few problems or giving you a quick second opinion, we can help.

We understand that in this situation sensitivity is key. You might not want to rock the relationship, especially if the developer holds the keys, so we can work quietly and carefully to give you an honest and unbiased assessment of the situation.

For these or other scenarios where external input may be required, even if there’s no clear software-based deliverable at the end, then we may be able to help; we done all of the above before. We could work with you on an ad-hoc or retained basis, for a quick sprint or longer-term part-time.

In the first instance drop us a line or call 0845 680 9676 and let’s take it from there.