Testimonial From an E-commerce Company

Encore Editions is women-owned, artist-run, online fine art company providing custom prints, framed and unframed, of classic and historic artwork on canvas, paper, poster and even note cards.

We have struggled for several years to find the right team for building and maintaining our website. With the other companies we’ve tried we either ran into skyrocketing prices, inefficient functionalities that inevitably damaged our Google ranking, terrible, even sometimes outright rude customer service, sub-par development that we then had to pay for again to fix or improve, and sometimes it was a combination of many of these at once. Any development company can promise up and down that they understand and can fulfill your needs when they’re sales team has you on the phone, but what happens when you’ve signed on the dotted line and you begin to suspect that they didn’t actually understand and weren’t listening from the get-go? At that point it’s too late, especially when you’re a small business with limited resources on a deadline.

The team at Speed and Function is the complete polar opposite of the above situation. Not only did they ask tons of questions to make sure they understood what we were after with our website, but they brought more ideas to the table than we ever could have anticipated and they were patient with us and our limited knowledge of how website development really “works.” They know exactly what they’re doing, and they take the time and make the effort to truly learn about each specific industry that they’re building a website for. How can a website development company build an efficient product if they don’t understand your business? Bottom line is they can’t. The S&F team learned about our product, which is custom, fine art prints on canvas, paper, poster, etc, and they expertly applied and built our vision on our theme on the BigCommerce platform. We have been nothing but stunned with the quality, timeliness and effectiveness of their work and we are already seeing the fruits of that labor in the form of larger sales.

We highly recommend Speed & Function for any and all development needs. Our BigCommerce store is already light-years ahead of where would be if we had remained with the “other guys” and we couldn’t be happier. We are clients for life.

Sara Elliott

Co-Owner, e-commerce, art at Encore Editions

Meet Speed & Function at DrupalEurope!

Next week, Europe’s Drupal community will gather in Germany for the biggest event of the year — DrupalEurope. More than a conference, this event brings together over 1600 attendees to discuss the latest tech developments, solve complex challenges, and contribute to Drupal’s continual improvement.

Beyond attendance, the Speed & Function team looks forward to contributing our Drupal knowledge in our session, Fields, Bricks, Paragraphs, etc… What’s the next? Media Driven Content Architecture. We’re honored and excited to be presenting, as there’s no better way to ensure true understanding of a concept as teaching it.

If you’re attending DrupalEurope and interact with media in Drupal, we highly recommend attending our session on Thursday, Sep 13, 14:10, Room: 3.03 Germanium. In it, we’ll share insights to help reframe your approach to using Media in Drupal. Typically, Media is used for the following content types;

Drupal core Media types

However, did you know that we can expand the content types used and manage them all as Media Entities? For example, you can create text blocks and use them as Media item. Once you learn this approach, you’ll wonder why you ever used regular text blocks.

Building Sandcastles to Build a Stronger Team

As our US-based team celebrated Independence Day last week, our European team decided to get in on the fun with a team-wide beach party. Laughter was all around as the team and their families spent the day under the rays of summer sun. Complete with an adrenaline spiking banana boat ride, the friendly competition of a beach volleyball tournament, it was an unforgettable team building experience!

Being a predominantly remote team, culture-building activities are a major value-add; whether they’re casual happy hour in a Philadelphia beer garden or a full out European beach party. Collaborating across time zones isn’t always easy so, getting to know each other outside of the office is both a treat and absolutely fundamental to how we function.

Kyiv Drupal Camp 2018

The world of development is constantly in flux. There are always new tools, tricks, and frameworks to learn so staying on top of industry news and events are key in order to keep your skills sharp. Last month, our Drupal team attended Kyiv Drupal Camp 2018 to see how other developers are using the open source software, share how we work on the platform, and see what new skills we could glean for our own projects.

I highly recommend development meetups as they motivate you to increase your technical knowledge, tap into industry trends, and of course, are great opportunities to contribute to the development community.

Kyiv Drupal Camp was divided into 4 tracks Read More

Tweaking the Twig Tweak Module: A Simple Drupal Site Recipe

front page twig template

Many years ago I worked for a printing company. While I was there, we implemented a workflow that allowed us to produce business cards within 15 minutes of the client submitting their request. Through that experience I learned the competitive advantage of providing a simple service in a short timeframe.

At Speed & Function, we typically work on complex projects where completing the design, development, and QA phases can take months. However, a little known fact is that we can also tackle quick and simple tasks.

There is a common assumption that Drupal is only for large multi-user projects with complex business logic and high page counts. It is also believed that Drupal has significant restrictions on the design and templates that can be used within Drupal’s themes. Both of these assumptions are false.

In this post, I’ll demonstrate a quick and easy way to launch a simple, custom designed site on Drupal 8. Read More

Performance and Scalability — A Primer

Performance is how fast your application runs and it’s directly tied to scalability – the amount of users it can handle. The less resources your application uses, the higher number of users it can handle without additional investments (getting additional server, database, etc.).

The most common performance problem of web applications is the web page loading speed. Time is a hot commodity for web users and if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, they tend to skip it or are less likely to come back.

The performance issue that affects many successful startups is the application downtime and data loses. Usually, startups don’t invest in performance upfront, so as their users base grows, their application doesn’t have enough capacity, resulting in crashes and downtime. Even worse — all the data sent to the server during the downtime is usually lost. This leads to a decline in reputation among users, which is one of the reasons a startup can fail fail after a successful launch.

The good news is that a solutions exists. If you’ve already launched your product and are watching the number of users grow each day, now is the right time to think about performance and scalability.

Examples of regular performance issues:
Read More

Why Should I Care About Mobile App Development?

We’re living in the age of mobile technology. Everyone has a smartphone. Almost everyone uses tablets. Desktops and laptops are becoming less and less popular with these small, user-friendly devices. So what does that mean for software development?

Well, it’s simple: mobile app development is growing a lot faster than browser-based software.

But what is mobile app development? Well, let’s start by talking about what it’s not. It’s not the process of building an app for one kind of device. It’s bigger than that. People own all sorts of mobile devices and the app you build must be able to run on any kind of operating system on every kind of smart device. Not so simple, huh?

 

Then what’s so exciting about mobile app development?

Here’s the draw for businesses: an app can be built in a short amount of time.
Read More

Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

Are you running a growing IT company? Maybe you’re managing a growing tech team. All at the same time, you’re developing long-term plans, acting as a liaison between departments and partners, and putting out daily fires… all within the constraints of deadlines and budgets.

And on top of that, you have to manage your team. Ideally, your employees are busy with new projects, never being over- or under-worked.

But let’s be realistic: it’s impossible to sustain consistent workflow.

When you land a big new project with strict deadlines, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So how do you possibly find talented engineers with experience to tackle your complicated project and no need for full-time or permanent employment?

That’s how staff augmentation can be your answer.

Read More

How do I identify the right amount of money for my project in 2018?

Creating a business plan is a good first step towards answering the fundamental, and critical, question of how much money it will take to get the venture started.

When launching a new product, the main expenses to budget for are product development and marketing.

In this article, we will explore costs associated with product development. We’ll save marketing for a future post.

Read More