Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Web Design Sun is the Software Development Company of the next generation. While creating an organizational model for the company and also for customer interaction, we tried to go a step ahead by creating an atmosphere that is both professional and friendly. Also, much attention is paid to personal space and the development of teammates’skills.
I am the founder and CEO of the company. But this is only the title; what I'm doing is creating and providing new processes to breathe a new life of our team. From managing and accounting to developing and testing, my duties make sure that everything is working smoothly, at every level. It is also worth noting that the company is part of the IIG Global group of companies that unites several subsidiaries.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
When I worked at previous places, I noticed one tendency with people and myself. At a time when it was necessary to work, people were very unproductive, just like me. I, too, never liked working strictly from 9 to 6 because me, like most people, have an inner schedule. In moments, when I am productive, I tend to do more, and it does not exhaust me, it does not make me tired. It is the same with other people, and I thought it was a great idea to work when you can and want to do it best. Also important that it helps to make a perfect work-life balance for every lifestyle, whether it’s a traveler, single parent, people with lots of hobbies or family man. For one person, freelance may be a solution, but it is still poorly suited for the team. Therefore, starting with freelance, I gathered like-minded people around myself and built a team, my team. And I developed the rules and processes that allow us to work when we are most productive and concentrated, while not turning this process into chaos. This method had an excellent additional effect due to the flexible work with clients because it helps us to create a perfect timetable for clients from any time zone and not spending nights in the office.
What is your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
All our employees are in-house. This is our rule. We have several basic rules in the team. Some of them include ask-anyone-anytime, mutual assistance, and so on. And there’s strict prohibition on outsourcing. Because it is morally unacceptable for us. Why run a company if you want to outsource? And the ban on outsourcing is because we are honest with customers and since we take all responsibility for the work, we must do it ourselves. Sometimes it happens that we collaborate with someone on the partner level, but then we limit ourselves to only offering suggestions. So the client gets to decide whether he wants to implement the suggestion or not.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Since we have a special model of internal organization, we achieve several things at a time. First, because employees work in their most productive time, they are motivated, collected, and attentive. Second, harmony within the team allows you to make friends with customers and be more collaborative with a client from the development side to deliver a better product. Third, because everyone works in a company’s chosen schedule, in fact, it works about 20 hours a day, and this allows us to be with the client in the same business time zone in his country. Our business model allows us to work with clients from more than 50 countries located in five continents.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive?
We are a cross-industry company, and our clients range from personal coaches and healthcare to ecommerce, real estate, b2b, among many others. We know that for clients, it is essential that the company has experience in the industry. Different industries cater to different audiences which mean different design queues, colour combinations, and functionality. That’s why, every time we have a new industry to discover, we always go through business analysis and marketing research. Such an approach not only attracts a lot of repetitive customers but also gives us a lot of new clients.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a web app.
It is very important how much the clients understand the final results of the project, but even more critical, how honest are clients about their expectations. Every detail matters, but it's essential to discuss them all in the beginning. We have cases when the client does not tell the whole picture and begins to express wishes in the middle of the project or at the end of it. This significantly delays the development time and also affects the final price. The second main factor is the complexity of the work performed. In our company, requirements are prepared by business analysts with the help of BDM, then a roadmap product is readied, and an assessment is carried out on it.
In some cases, the Software Requirements Specification is required. I’ll say that if you select separated parameters and types of work, it is always more time consuming to work with streaming audio, video and Live Chat. Particular attention should be paid to the expected load on the project, that is, how many people will use it per day and how. It is also essential to understand how animated and involved the front end will be. Working with SVG, for example, can increase front-end development at times.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a web app?
Here, as said earlier, it all depends on complexity. Usually, we work with applications from 3 to 24 months without taking into account support and additional work. From my experience, I will say that applications with a focus on the front end, such as online constructors, a large number of complex animations, online editors, etc. have a ratio of 70:30 - 70% front-end and 30% back-end. If these are projects with a high level of computing or API development, then it's vice versa. I’ll say that an average-hand application designed for 100-500k users a month, with zero complex functionality, takes about six months, taking into account testing.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a web application?
Here I would say that first of all, it is necessary to define where more processes will take place. If it’s going to be a lot of content uploads, especially if it’s a dynamic, one-page application, then you need to choose a useful front-end framework. In our team, we prefer React.js and Vue.js. If there is no need to handle a lot of dynamic requests and content updates, then we always recommend using the classic HTML, CSS, JS frontend stack. The situation is the same in the backend. For blocks and small sites, a CMS, PHP system such as WordPress is best suited. For a small online store, Shopify or Woocommerce. For more complex projects, such as social networks, corporate sites with additional functionality, we use PHP frameworks such as Laravel or Codeigniter. For enterprise projects we prefer take Python. Of course, you can say that you can always use the React Python stack. Still, I'm afraid I have to disagree here because it becomes economically inexpedient to impose on a client the purchase of a more labor-intensive stack, which, with its tasks, will not feel different than an economical solution. And then, some companies write their code and sell support to the client, but very often, customers are simply misguided and pay a lot of money for every small feature, which is the case with most of CMS. I support such an approach only in case if the client is aware that he wants a highly loaded development for his unique business process. In other cases, this is merely a marketing extortion of money. We immediately try to dissuade the client, if we see it as impractical, to save his money.
Which platform and technologies do you prefer to use in development of your web apps?
We have several stacks for development, depending on the complexity of the project. The main stacks are HTML, JS, Wordpress / Shopify, PHP7, MySQL for lightweight projects.React.js / Vue.js, Laravel / Codeigniter, PHP7, MySQL / Postgress for medium projects. And React.js / Vue.js, Django, Python3, Postgress / Mongoo / Reddis for Highly loaded projects. For mobile applications, depending on the task, we use React Native, Java, Android SDK, Qt.
Do you offer website design templates or customised website design, and do you have a responsive website design?
Yes, we have a graphic designers department in which we offer a full cycle from prototyping and mockups to graphic design and animation of web and mobile applications. We also develop responsive design and mobile sites.
Which Content Management System do you prefer to use (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal etc)?
Wordpress and its Woocommerce expansion partners have proven themselves best. As an alternative to Woocommerce, we use Shopify. We can work with Drupal, but it is not very popular with our customers.
Do you provide website maintenance services?
Yes. In our case, we begin projects with a guarantee that we will offer immediate support after development. Even if the site wasn’t developed by us, we agree to support or support and work according to the needs of the client.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a web application?
First of all, this is the complexity of the project. After creating a roadmap and conducting an assessment, we decide to continue writing SRS. The payment model also affects if it is a fixed price. The price will be slightly higher if it takes into account risks. If it is time and material, we give an optimistic and pessimistic forecast, and as a rule, the cost comes out cheaper than fixed.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
We have several payment models. The first is a fixed price; we take a small prepayment and then work on milestones i.e. the client pays after the completed part of the work. The second one is time and material - we tell optimistic and pessimistic forecasts and set payment from 1 time in 1-2 weeks. The client can stop development at any time if he considers it necessary, but in our practice, this is the fastest and cheapest way to work for the client. It’s because we don’t evaluate additional changes each time, but just takes them into development and don’t take risks. The third one is the rental team. Here the payment goes for the developer per month.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
Yes, we consider certain requirements for taking up the project. The first is the kind of work. We only take projects from scratch or if the existing code is of good quality to work with. Next, we look at how much the client is interested in his project and is ready to cooperate with us for the sake of the project success. Also, the Technology Stack is considered in which we are professionals. Well, the minimum project budget is 5k +. It is worth noting here that we are trying to help everyone and, if possible, make exceptions. This is especially true with old customers, where we undertake almost any job.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in2018?
Our average price range from 5k to 200k per project, depending on the complexity and volume of work.
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