Today we're very excited to share some information on the internal custom backend we've been working on. It's code named Backbone Framework and in this announcement we're going to give you a taste of how powerful this is for our business process and the benefits it will provide for our customers.
Purpose of the Backbone Framework
Our goal is to streamline our support and development processes and to more easily share account activity with our customers. With this custom plugin installed on each of our client sites, it allows us faster access to individual site specifics and also to share detailed and relevant information to our clients via their WordPress Dashboard.
Why We Built It
We decided to build the backbone framework for two reasons.
- To gather and connect all of our internal business processes and services into one location.
- To give our customers a central location in which to view the status of their accounts and projects, and also to submit their support and service requests.
What It Allows Us To Do
We use various services to run our business. Services like Desk.com, Git, HipChat, and more. What this means is that our team (depending on their individual tasks and responsibilities) are most of the time logged into up to five different services on a daily basis, all for one client account. Whenever there is an ongoing development project or support request, we have found ourselves cross-checking several services in order to communicate with our team members and to ensure that tasks are known about, and completed.
It's a lot of overhead. As our business has grown, it's become clear that we needed one centralized tool to connect us with our individual client accounts, their individual websites, and each of our team members assigned to each request.
Our Backbone Framework allows us that capability.
Here's One Example:
When we are doing any kind of custom development for a client, that development gets tasked to the WPV developer who is most qualified for whatever that task calls for.
When a developer starts a project they need access to various things like Administrator user access to the site and hosting account server access for SFTP. We have to gather those credentials, share them with our developer, and then revoke that access once the job is complete. Overhead.
Additionally, we prefer our developers to perform their code changes on their local development servers in order to complete their tasks in a timely manner. Once approved, these changes then get pushed to the live site manually.
Some hosts, like our partner WP Engine, offer staging sites where our team can work on a copy of the live site. That's all well and good, but it's still not the most efficient way for our developers to work. After all, they're still dependent on Internet connectivity and server access.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could simply add a developer to an individual site as a WPV user and then allow them to pull a complete copy of that site into their own private GitHub repository in order to access that site via their local computer?
That's one of the internal features of our Backbone Framework. Faster access. Faster development. Lower costs.
The Core of Our Business
High end WordPress maintenance, development and support is our central mission. In other words, customer service is everything and we pride ourselves with fast and detailed work done right the first time.
Like any company, we have experienced some growing pains. Many of these pains came in the form of finding the right tools and services to help our business, only to find that once we invested time (and money), those tools didn't quite provide what we were looking to accomplish.
After much experimenting and planning, we moved forward with our own custom solution to act as "the hub" of the tools and services we depend on daily to service our customers.
I've mentioned several of the benefits for our customers above, but I'd like to reiterate a bit more clearly.
Our Backbone framework will become the core of our business and customer communication process. It's another tool our customers will be able to rely on with any of our WordPress maintenance and development plans.
You will be able to view and track your account activity as well as the activity of our team and a slew of additional features we'll be announcing in the coming months.
The Backbone Framework is now in active beta and we are listening closely to what our beta testers are telling us. We're happy to report that it's been very well received and development is moving forward at a fast pace!