Development FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Development are listed below. Have a question that’s not answered here? Get in touch with us today!

Sales stage

What development languages and technologies do you work with?

We work with a variety of different languages and technologies such as:

  • Vanilla PHP and PHP frameworks, such as Code Igniter, Laravel, Symfony
  • HTML5, CSS3
  • Javascript
  • MySQL
  • AngularJS
  • VueJS
  • Ionic and Cordova
  • WordPress

 

What types of projects do you build?

We develop the following types of projects: web applications, websites, eCommerce shops, intranet systems, dashboard and reporting tools, business automation platforms and mobile apps.

What size projects can you handle?

We handle projects varying from small projects to very large (enterprise projects). Our sweet spot is projects that are medium to large in size, that are custom built according to our client’s unique requirements.

What if I am based in another city or country, can you still develop my project?

Definitely! With the use of the Internet and various communication platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc. this makes communication easy regardless of location. We make use of Monday.com as our project management tool which allows us to collaborate and share project information and progress with the client.

We’ve developed and still provide support on many projects for clients from various countries such as USA and England without having ever met them.

How do you gather project related info and requirements?

This depends on the project’s size and complexity. Certain clients have very clear briefs and specifications which help us to define the scope of work.

Clients that have a vague idea of what they want but need lots of assistance in completing the scope, we will assist through a discovery and scoping process. This process involves workshops with the client to go into detail about the project and define the various features, processes, exceptions and users, etc.

It is important to note that simpler projects are easier to define the scope of work, than bigger projects.

Do you follow an agile approach or waterfall approach when developing new projects?

This depends on the project. If the project is fairly straightforward then the waterfall approach is adopted. If the project is quite complex and the scope is not very clear and there are many possible new features and integrations with other platforms / systems, agile would be the better approach.

Is it a problem that we are in a different industry?

This is not a problem, as we will work closely with you to understand the requirements in detail and provide solutions that will be specific to your unique requirements. Although many industries are quite different, often the tech / development solutions can be similar and apply to many industries.

How do you determine the project’s cost?

Where we adopt waterfall as the project management methodology, we will provide the client with a quotation that will cover the entire cost of the project. The cost will be broken down into line items consisting of design (if applicable), development, quality assurance (QA) and project management.

Where we adopt an agile approach, we will break the projects down into sprints (typically two week intervals) and work according to these sprints where we bill for the time that is spent on the project.

How do you determine the project’s timelines?

For the waterfall methodology, we will provide the client with high level timelines for the start and completion of development (depending on the size of the project, we will provide timelines for various milestones), for testing and quality assurance (QA) and finally a date for live launch. We determine the timelines based on the time required for the completion of each task and then we plan that accordingly.

Do you take on a project that’s already in progress?

This depends on the technology that the current project is developed in. If we are able to work with the project and we’re confident we can take the project from its current state to completion then we will take this on. We treat this on a case by case basis.

Can I provide my own designs and you work with these?

Yes, this is no problem at all. We will just need to ensure that the designs are correct and that they are not missing anything or that nothing is incorrect or not compliant with the development of the project.

If we feel that something can be done in a better way, based on our experience, we will also provide this input so that the designs can be amended, ultimately making the project into a better end product.

We do work with many design, branding and advertising agencies, who are experts in design and they rely on us to develop, launch and support their platform.

Do you code everything from scratch?

No, we generally use a development framework as a base to most projects. Frameworks come with loads of built in features and functionality, such as database integration, validation, security, user permissions, etc. Therefore we don’t reinvent the wheel and we only develop the custom requirements that are needed. This ultimately means that we are saving time on the project and also reducing the cost for the client while producing a more secure and well structured web project.

Can the projects you develop scale in the future?

As mentioned above we build our projects on frameworks which are considered industry best practice. Frameworks are also great for scalability, meaning that as more people use your platform it is capable of handling this load. We can also add more features, functionality and automation to your project in future as your business evolves and your requirements grow.

What if I have a new and innovative project I want to build, how do I protect this idea?

We value your potential idea and are happy to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with you to ensure that you are able to communicate your requirements with us in a confidential manner. Our project development agreement also has a non-disclosure clause in it, which further covers you and your project.

Are you able to host my project?

Yes, we have dedicated servers where we are able to register domains and host your website.

During the project

Who will be my point of contact throughout the project?

We have a dedicated project manager who will be assigned to your project and responsible for the management and communication of the project throughout the entire lifecycle.

How do you manage development projects and what tools do you use for project management?

We use Monday.com for our project management. Monday.com is a powerful and visual online tool that allows us to easily plan, manage and communicate with the client. The project manager will be responsible for the management of the project and will use Monday.com as well as email, calls and physical meetings to discuss and update you on various aspects of the development project.

How many developers will work on my project?

This depends entirely on the type of project and the size of the project. Typically this will be between 1 – 3 developers, however bigger projects will require bigger teams.

Can I adjust the features and scope of the project while it’s in progress?

Yes you can, we will need to assess each request for change (RFC) on a case by case basis and then determine what impact this change may have and how we deal with this. Certain changes can impact on the scope of work and therefore incur further costs and also affect the timeline. We may also decide and agree with you to perform certain changes or requests once the first phase of the project is launched and treat these new requests as a phase two version of the project.

How will I be involved during the project and provide feedback?

We do provide you with access to a staging environment where you are able to view the latest version of your project and review the progress to date. Through our project management tool Monday.com, we allow you to view progress and to provide feedback and questions in a structured manner.

What is QA and how does it work?

QA which stands for Quality Assurance, is the process whereby we test the project to ensure that all aspects meet the specifications and requirements. In this process we document items that are not working 100% and also visual parts of the project that need to be improved upon.

Will my project work on mobile phones and tablets?

Yes, we develop responsive websites and web applications. We put a high emphasis on making sure the website experience on all devices is smooth and user friendly.

Will my project work on all web browsers?

We cater for the following browsers: Firefox, Edge, Safari & Google Chrome.

Post project

Do you offer support and maintenance post-launch?

Yes, we provide support and maintenance services for the projects that we launch. This is to ensure that the project is supported and also that minor enhancements and small requests can be catered for within this agreement.

How are bugs handled once the project has been launched?

We provide bug fixes for up to one month after the project has been completed and signed off.

Do you assist with digital marketing campaigns to drive traffic to my website?

Absolutely! We have a digital marketing division that does exactly that. We look at each business and project where we determine and propose the best digital marketing solutions and channels that will provide the most traction and ROI (Return On Investment). The service offering includes: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Google Ads for search and display as well as paid social campaigns.

How often should I update WordPress Plugins?

We recommend that WordPress plugins are upgraded on a monthly basis. While most plugins are well maintained and their developers keep on top of their updates and maintenance, it has been known where recent plugin releases can break the website. This can happen from time to time and we always recommend having a maintenance agreement in place so that we can resolve these problems for you.

What if I need to make changes and add more features and functionality after the website has been launched?

This is quite common and we would treat these new requests as separate projects with their own scope, timelines and costs.

Are you able to assist me with suggesting features and functionality to improve my product?

Most certainly! We have loads of experience with architecting and developing all kinds of projects and this invaluable knowledge can be useful to your project. We can essentially act as a product owner where we are creating new features and testing their impact.

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About
Having been established in 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa, Elemental is primarily focused on providing web development services and digital marketing campaigns.