Welcome to the warm days of summer! June just got here, and we're already topping temperatures of 90 degrees! With the AC set to high and all of the fans on, hopefully we can cool down in North Carolina. On the more serious side, the month of May has been a busy month for us as well.
With the warm days of summer apparently on top of us, we have also been super-busy at the office (which explains the tardiness of this newsletter). In the upcoming weeks, thing should calm down and we should be back on our regular schedule.
New Clients: At this time, we are in negotiations with 4 new potential clients: A photo-sharing and selling business, a party invitation system, a travel/booking website, and a local entertainment group. More details as the negotiations proceed.
New Technology: We are delving into the SDK (Software Development Kit) for Android in hopes to learn more about Mobile Application development. Although we do not have a high demand for it right now, future customers could require custom mobile application development. Along with the increase in mobile devices (smartphones, iPad's, tablets, etc), getting into the mobile application development field may not be such a bad thing. Once we scrape the surface and release a very small “testing” app, we should be able to hire a freelance or part-time mobile app developer to work on those full time.
New Shirts! We received a new prototype shirt in the mail a few weeks ago, and these shirts have QR codes on the back for quick access to our site and services (if you are new to QR codes, visit shadowdev.com/qr to learn more). In a recent blog posting, we mentioned that satisfied customers can contact us and we will send shirts their way for free (to help get our message out). Although this shirt design is a prototype, we are happy with the design and are willing to proceed with it for our customers.
Jump Start At AB Tech's annual “Business Jump Start Day”, we visited the AB Tech Enka campus and talked to multiple new-business releated vendors. Although the event itself was more for a “Hey! I started a business. Now what?” type of owner, we did talk to the event organizer, Jill Sparks, and had our name registered for the 2012 Business Jump Start Day. Hoping that this will help with exposure to new clients in the area.
Client Work: Lu's Specialties Foods is almost complete. We have had numerous meetings with the owner, Janet Green, about the layout, products, page connections, and other resources for the site, and have had a lot of interest generated off-line for her site. With the last few modifications being put in place, Lu's Specialties Foods (http://lusspecialties.com) should be up and running in less than a week!
On the flip-side, we are also working on Innocent Footprints as much as possible. With a few pieces of artwork and notes gathered from previous meetings, the preliminary design for their site has been put up for private viewing. While we hammer out the details with the owner, Gwen Clifford, the Innocent Footprints website should be up by the end of June.
Goals and Progress
Status: Things have been pretty busy around here, so there hasn't been much time to work on SaaS applications.
Issues and Solutions
Server Downtime? Not Anymore With the usage of CloudFlare over the past month, we have been surpriusing happy with the CloudFlare uptime responses and server outage rates. With our old nameserver setup, our uptime rates were 60-70% per month (after the new transfer), and for the heavily dependent services we provide, this was not acceptable. Once we switched to CloudFlare, our uptime rates jumped to 99.9%. We did want to make sure this was not a one-time deal, so we tested the CloudFlare system for a month, and have been very happy we did. In just over a month's time, the CloudFlare uptime servers have reported that our uptime is 99.98% and we have had 15 outages totaling in about 10 minutes of downtime (compared to 10 hours previous). Our overall result: we are happy we switched and we will make the transition for future clients as well.
SSL Upgrade On May 10, the temporary SSL Certificate for a client was about to expire. Based on our previous actions, we contacted our hosting provider and purchased a Certified SSL Certificate for our client. Apparently, some communication was lost or mis-understood, and we had a 72-hour “Play-the-middle-man” game between our hosting provider, our domain manager, the SSL Certificate issuing company, and the company that we bought the certificate through. After almost giving up and demanding a refund, the SSL Certificate issuing company just emailed us the certificate (instead of figuring out where it was sent and why) and we installed it. What could have been a 5-minute job took 3 days to complete. Long story short: lesson learned.
Grad Shoutout! Last month, one of our graphic Designers, Keat Cahoon, graduated from Haywood Community College with an Associates in Entrepreneurship! Congrats Keat! She is transferring to Western Carolina University in the fall to continue her Entrepreneurship training along with obtaining a minor in Studio Art. Best of luck to Keat and her journey!
Ideas and Other Loose Ends: In case there is something that you think should be in this Newsletter, please let us know so we can include it in the public and/or private edition.
As always, in case there are any questions, concerns, issues, or if you just want to say “Hi”, give us a call at (800) 970-1058, (828) 283-0319, (919) 612-4151, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your time.
Kyle M. Perkins
President, Shadow Development