Today we welcome our newest partner in the US: Dynamic—a full service digital agency that helps businesses create an online presence to meet an ever-changing global marketplace. The team at Dynamic designs on-brand experiences from concept to deployment through research, planning, design, development and hosting.
So we fired off some questions to Dynamic’s founder, Jason Irish...
How did you discover SilverStripe?
We had spent a couple of years building our own CMS platform in PHP, and soon realized maintaining the code base was taking too much time away from our billable projects. About 8 years ago, we started testing a number of other platforms, including CakePHP, WordPress and Drupal, but found SilverStripe to be the closest to our vision for a homegrown CMS.
A major key for us was the ability to build custom functionality within a CMS that covered all the basics—basic pages, security, files and permissions. We also loved that SilverStripe was a newer, OOP based framework that got us up to speed using modern PHP best practice.
How does your agency currently use SilverStripe?
We use SilverStripe for almost all of our digital projects. Within each project, SilverStripe is introduced when wireframes are completed, at which point we build the CMS interface and models to collect all the content.
After design concepts are approved, we then use SilverStripe to prototype the designs for additional page layouts. This tends to be much faster and more efficient than creating PSDs for each layout design.
While content is being populated in the CMS, we build all the getters for the templates and finish the front end. After launch, we refine the CMS interface and train the client.
We also host our SilverStripe websites with a variety of providers, including SilverStripe Platform, Rackspace, Digital Ocean and AWS.
What services do you find work best with SilverStripe?
In our workflow, we use the following services:
- Travis CI
We chose these tools based on how well they integrated with SilverStripe, and because they are the industry leaders in their categories. In addition, we use multiple testing environments — local, dev, review, prod — in our workflow and these services help us create quality code that has been tested for our clients’ projects.
Why do you recommend clients use SilverStripe over other options?
Reasons we recommend SilverStripe:
- Our favorite CMS interface, by far. Through field layout and organization, and permission groups, we’re able to create a clean, fast, simple interface for our clients to manage their website content.
- Our developers can quickly create custom code to spec. Instead of finding a plugin that does 90% of what we need it to do, we can build a module to accomplish the project requirements.
- Shared code across projects. Between the open source community and the library of code we’ve built over the years, we’re able to repurpose a lot of code. So even if we’re building something completely custom, we’re never really starting from scratch. This makes SilverStripe a cost-effective tool for us.
- The front end is extremely flexible. We’re able to use any technique or framework we like to build our templates and themes. It allows us to use SilverStripe on virtually any project.
Biggest agency milestone in the past year?
Probably the launch of the Wisconsin Union website. It was our largest, most complex SilverStripe build to-date. We were able to create a lot of best-in-class functionality and cultivated new techniques that we are currently using for other projects.
Why did you want to join the SilverStripe Partner programme? How has this helped your agency so far?
For a number of reasons. SilverStripe is a large part of our business, and having a strong relationship with the creators of the software puts us in a better position to be successful. Plus, having access to the SilverStripe team while we’re trying to solve a complex problem is a huge asset.
Also, as SilverStripe isn’t as widely known in the US, we do have to “sell” it on occasion to prospective clients. Being a professional partner definitely helps our credibility in those cases. We also hope to work with SilverStripe to aid our sales team when selling our services and raising awareness for SilverStripe in our area.
What goals do you hope to achieve with Dynamic and SilverStripe in the next year?
We hope to achieve the following:
- Help our sales team understand the benefits SilverStripe to better sell our services
- Improve our SilverStripe skill set through participation in the SilverStripe partner meetings
- Contribute to the core SilverStripe framework as we continue to better understand the platform
- Release more of our SilverStripe modules publicly
- Upgrade our open source modules to the Commercially Supported level
- Increase awareness of SilverStripe in the US/Midwest
What would be your dream client to work with?
Consider us lucky, we are currently working with some great clients like Kohler, Vollrath, and Curt Joa to name a few and they have allowed us to build innovative digital properties that have produced results. But if I had to pick a dream client for our firm to partner with, it would be the Green Bay Packers. Almost everyone at Dynamic are fans of the Packers, so to create something for them would be incredible.
To check out their Dynamic’s awesome work and contact them, please visit their website!