Web Development & Execution

If you’ve ended up on this page, you’re likely contemplating a web project or need a reliable development group to maintain or extend your technology. Selecting the right firm to partner with can be a daunting task. That’s because just about anyone who’s ever created a website calls themselves a web developer. Get to know your development shop well because you’ll likely be connected to them for a long while.

We’ll share what we do, why we’re different, and why you should hire us as your digital partner. First a short list of our skills:

  • We help to create a total marketing strategy (both online and offline). Starting with a viable plan and a total understanding of the online marketplace is the most important step.
  • We understand narrow casting and branding. The Internet has changed everything! Brands set expectations! When faced with uncertainty consumers tend to pick the safer option. It doesn’t matter if you’re building a personal blog or a million-dollar website, branding matters. Branding will help set you apart from your competitors.
  • Custom web programming—we employ full-time in-house developers (eight programmers - not skinners - real developers).
  • Exceptional design—we employ full-time in-house designers.
  • Dedicated and virtual web hosting—we own and manage our own hosting facility. From scalable web application to high-traffic websites, we’ve got you covered.
  • We do content management systems (CMS): We prefer to develop websites using our own open-source adaptive/responsive CMS system which is part of what we call DirigoEdge. The newest version, DirigoEdge v2.x is found on GitHub. At the end of 2014 we have about 5,500 worldwide DirigoEdge users. DirigoEdge is an open source platform freely available on the web. Our CMS was developed from the ground up in 2012-15 with all the newest technology. We also support ADXStudio, Umbraco, Ektron's CMS 400, DotNetNuke or DNN, Ingeniux, ASPDotNetStorefront (ASPDNSF), Telerik's Sitefinity, WordPress, ExpressionEngine, django, MODx, Drupal, and Joomla! We develop mobile microsites using a CMS platform that we created and own, called Donorfull. We build automotive industry websites through our partnership with CBC Advertising on a proprietary CMS platform that we engineered and built called the Overdrive Automotive Solutions Platform. The platform is tightly integrated with ADP, HomeNet Automotive, Votenza, Reynold & Reynolds, etc.
  • Customer-centric architectures. We flesh out customer personas with names, desires, attitudes, prejudices and goals... to help build optimal user interfaces.
  • E-commerce systems – ASPDNSF, Magento Commerce and more than a dozen Dirigo custom platforms.
  • We write copy. Many websites don't convert because the copy is targeting the wrong audience or fails to connect with the prospect. Who are they, really? What is their most pressing problem? What keeps them up at night? All, important questions.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and search marketing integration — really, web best practices.
  • Mobile and responsive web development (RWD).
  • We set-up and manage social.
  • We employ dedicated search engine marketing (SEM) resources – we set-up and manage pay-per-click campaigns and web analytics. We've manged more than $15 million in SEM. We know how to get results.
  • Plan and execute e-mail marketing campaigns — we own and operate our own sending platforms capable of delivering millions of email an hour
  • Design and build Adobe Flash & Flex applications.
  • Design and build native mobile apps in iOS, JAVA and hybrid apps too.
  • We’re adaptive, nimble, and accessible. Our clients have direct access to the staff without interference from account executives.

Why Dirigo?

We embrace technology. Our staff eats, sleeps, and dreams zeros and ones. Yea, you can call us propellerheads and we don’t mind. Many organizations deliver packaged technology solutions (because it’s what they know and what they can sell). You know it—it’s the take-it-or-leave-it approach. While we can certainly deliver packaged work when client requirements dictate, we find that what our clients need is tailored solutions, personal attention, and timely results.

We live by the gospel of 5x+. Most firms would be satisfied to improve results by 10%. While this strategy will not fail spectacularly, it is guaranteed not to succeed wildly either. We're passionate about making moon shots. We’re aiming for a 5-times the results or better. Nothing short will do. This is the Dirigo culture.

From the desk of David Addison, our managing partner, about web development:

Interestingly, great web developers (or interactive developers) are almost never great web designers. I say that at the risk of offending the web developers on staff and being bombarded with conference swag. So a few years ago I decided to in-source graphical design. Our designs spend their time creating awesome designs and keeping up with industry changes. That’s all they do. Same goes for our copywriters, search engine marketers, e-mail gurus...

We hear this all the time. Some freelancer says: “I build SEO friendly e-commerce websites and specialize in user experience, graphical design and SEM.” How large is your team? “Just me, I'm a freelancer.” My cousin's son builds websites in his college dorm room. But can he really build a fully functioning website that achieves client goals?

I routinely interview developers and I can tell you that eight out of ten developers are phonies—that is, they puff-up their abilities. Did you know that 59% of all web developers have been coding for less than four years. Mind you, it takes 5-7 years to get good at this stuff.

Ten years ago someone building or running a website had to do it all. Now, web jobs are highly specialized. Portland, Maine — a metro area with a population of more than 350,000 — has a number of mid-sized digital agencies that couldn’t program their way out of a paper bag. If you push them, they'll tell you that programming is not important. After all, they can skin WordPress and “strategy is what counts.” They’re right, strategy and branding are critical. But, so is execution and programming acumen. Lack of programming skill is a limiting factor. Lack of any skill set is a problem. Sure, an agency can outsource... but this adds extra cost and oftentimes comes with delays.

We handle everything from competitive intelligence and user experience to website build-out and hosting in-house. To do web development successfully, it takes a team—one hell of a talented and experienced team! That's my point. We're a team of specalists. It takes a team.

We mostly work with established businesses that rely on the Internet to sell or recruit business. It used to be enough to have a website. Not anymore. The Internet is fiercely competitive and only the best succeed. The bulk of our clients are in the $2-50MM annual revenue range. We’ve participated in many start-ups; our most successful has sold more than $70MM online to-date.

I'll say it again, it takes a team! Dirigo recruits gifted web developers, programmers, database administrators, web designers, and editors. We pay them well and give them a fun, creative work environment. We're a think tank. We bring our expertise, research, and analyses to decision making. We enjoy working with entrepreneurs who have ideas, passion, and the desire to bring new and existing products or services to market.

If you need to win, find a team that can get you across the finish line. At Dirigo our team is about getting results. Di•ri•go is Latin. It means to guide, to direct or to lead.

Our Preferred Technology

  • Microsoft's ASP.NET development platform
  • C# or VBScript
  • Modal view controller (MVC)
  • Microsoft SQL 2012 using Code-First or Database First and the Entity Framework. We actively support DB2, MySQL, FileMaker, and Pick UniVerse (RocketU2)
  • Windows or Linux/Apache Servers
  • Adobe Media Server for Flash and HTML5 streaming
  • Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio 2012
  • Responsive grid platforms (e.g. Zurb Foundation, Twitter Bootstap, 960 Grid, etc.)
  • Hybrid web development platforms (e.g. phonegap.com and sencha.com)
  • Native iOS Objective-C and the Android SDK/Java

While our preferred platform is Microsoft, the Dirigo team is at home with non-Microsoft technology such as Java, EJB 3.0, Struts, Tomcat, PHP, ColdFusion, Zend, Perl, RoR, Dojo, MooTools, JQuery UI, KendoUI, Telerik, Component Art, etc. We do plenty of non-Microsoft development.

Our Deep Wells

  • Automotive
  • Healthcare
  • Nutraceuticals & Cosmeceuticals
  • Banking & Finance
  • Children's Products
  • Home & Garden
  • Resort, Leisure & Ski

Give us a call, and let's talk about how we can put Dirigo to work for you.

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