The following examples should give you a good idea of ways that we can help you, 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 even worse, 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.
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 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. Or maybe by helping you come up with likely scenarios. Alternatively, we can take 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 it could simply be down to 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. In addition we can get you set up with performance monitoring software. This 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 should we upgrade?
If you’re running a business critical application on an old and unsupported version of PHP, 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. In effect, this means 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. Furthermore, 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 and 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. It then means 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. Alternatively we can do the whole thing for you. This will minimise downtime and ensure 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. We can help you in a variety of ways. From simply giving your development team some pointers and/or training. Or maybe we build you a fully automatic deployment system that will ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum. In addition, most importantly, should something go wrong you can roll back to the last stable known version.
I have a great relationship with my web developers and designers. However 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. This will leave 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 hired 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 critical. You might not want to rock the relationship, especially if the developer holds the keys. 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 have 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.