You have questions we have answers

General

Where do you host your projects?

We’re happy hosting anywhere, including your own server(s).

We always prefer for you to own the server – rather than for us to own the server and charge you.  This keeps the cost down for you (since you’re not paying a middle-man).

Given the option, we prefer using certain hosts and hosting services.  This allows us to work with a vendor we trust, save time, and ultimately save you money.

  • App Hosting: We generally use cloud hosting for web apps as we get “root access” to the server.  Our preferred cloud host is Rackspace Managed Cloud – they have fantastic support.
  • Company Website Hosting: We like hosting these on shared hosts which allow for simple scripting and database support without the complexity of a full server.  We use use Bluehost, they’re reliable and provide good customer service.
  • Canadian Hosting: We’ve had a number of clients concerned about privacy issues in the United States, and we’re happy to host in Canada.  We have a number of preferred canadian hosts we can recommend.

Will I be able to make changes myself? What about Maintenance?

We try to automate everything we can, then empower our clients to manage their own sites.  It often takes our clients less time to manage their sites than it would take them to have us make changes, and that’s the way we like it.  Here’s how we do it:

  • User Guide: Regardless of the size of your project, we always include simple illustrated user guides with our sites, so you can manage as much as possible yourself.
  • Per Hour / Per Project: In some cases, that’s all you’ll need, if you need additional services we can either provide them hourly, or start a new “project” quoted separately.
  • Monthly Service Agreements: In other cases our clients like to have ongoing assistance, we provide a support retainer contract to ensure all needs are taken care of in a predictable affordable manner.

Check out our Pricing & Timeline page for a bit more info on this subject.

Can you handle large projects?

Our core team is composed of senior enterprise IT veterans.

Since starting Firestitch we’ve developed some incredible large scale projects, check out Our Work.

We’ve developed sites supporting over 100,000 visitors / hour.  In doing so we’ve developed custom scripts that talk to/manage multi-server environments (up to 18 cloud servers in a single cluster).

We do load balancers, web servers, redundant database servers, NAS servers… so, yes, we do that.

Price & Timeline

How much will it cost?

Short answer: Generally our projects cost between $3,000 – $50,000, and take between 1 month to 5 months.

Check out our Pricing Page To learn more about pricing, including a comparison between custom apps vs. company websites.

How long will it take?

A simple company website can take as little as 3 weeks from start to finish.

The average custom app takes around 3 months.

Check out our Pricing & Timelines page for more detail, and Our Process to understand the steps we take to make your project purr.

I’ve got a small budget, how can I keep costs down?

We serve very small, very large, and everything in between.  Regardless of client size we use and recommend a number of third-party that inexpensively solve problems including:

  • Google Docs (free): Great for collaboration on documents, spreadsheets, and even custom online forms!
  • Mailchimp (free/paid): Powerful email marketing software, free for small clients.
  • Google Analytics (free): Amazing website statistics, simple to setup, simple to use.
  • Facebook Pages (free): A good place for the smallest companies to get their brand on the internet.  Works well to compliment your other online ventures.

We’re always happy to discuss options with clients, and do everything we can to recommend the best technical fit for your business requirements regardless if whether it’s using our services or a third-party.

Contact Us to setup a quick call!

Ownership & Intellectual Property

Will Firestitch sign an NDA?

Sure.  We’ve signed quite a few from various clients, and also have our own we’d be happy to supply.

Our business is built around creating value from intellectual property (IP), so we take it pretty seriously.

If you supply us with an NDA, we’d be happy to review it.  The most common concerns we have include:

  1. Ownership: Yep, you need to own what we build for you.  Some of our “Work Product” will inevitably include IP that we already own, or 3rd-party IP (primarily existing ideas, open source software or licensed libraries/images).  We look to ensure an NDA protects you as the owner of the unique final product while not infringing on existing IP rights.
  2. Non-Compete: We already operate in a lot of markets – part of the value we bring to your project.  We’re happy to consider non-compete clauses so long as they don’t keep us from servicing our existing clients and don’t limit us too broadly (eg “Widget Making Process” might be fine, “Manufacturing Industry” might not) as we consider other clients going forward.

In any case we’re happy to discuss.  Just Contact Us.

Do I get to own my own site/app?

Definitely.

Any site is built on top of existing technology (eg: open source software) but we ensure that all the custom bits developed for you are set aside as your distinct property.  This includes all sorts of things like:

  • Custom code & data structures
  • Graphics & Textual Content, and
  • Data produced through your site.

Bring style to your processes

Above: mockup developed for an IPad-based enterprise resource management system.