Team

2020 Year In Review

by Viktor Solovey

Many people can’t wait till the year 2020 is in the rearview mirror, and rightfully so. It began with COVID and is ending with an epic hack of our most sensitive computer networks, but despite these grave threats, we here at Reliable PSD soldiered on by helping our clients and our community in numerous ways. What follows is our humble look back at what we accomplished in 2020.

New Languages

The times, sang Bob Dylan, they’re a’changing, and so we’ve changed, too. In the past, we offered state-of-the-art web development in HTML/CSS/JS and WordPress/PHP, and we’re happy to have added server-side programming in Vue.js, React.js, and Node.js to our services. With Google investing heavily in Chrome V8 as an open-source, high-performance engine, this move keeps us at the forefront of innovation.

Home (Not) Alone

Since the arrival of COVID, we did what many other companies were forced to do: change the ecosystem of our operations. We went from 60% to 100% remote while not skipping a beat. In the future, we plan to stay remote and explore coworking space memberships for our team members located across the globe. With the use of tools like HelpScout and Teamwork, we remain committed to customer service despite working remotely.

We Are Hiring

In 2020, we were thrilled to grow our team to over forty members. We added project managers, front-end and back-end developers, and quality-assurance specialists, but we’re not done yet. We currently have open positions and will be posting more in the next few weeks on our Careers page.

These new hires will on-board with our new automated training process that is as robust as anything we did in-person, yet another workaround imposed by COVID.

A Helping Hand

Remote learning has exposed many inequalities across the globe. The digital divide has never been wider, but we pitched in where we could. In the small Ukrainian city of Marinka, we made a donation that allowed computers to be installed in K12 classrooms. This gift came through the auspices of a local Orthodox church. Maybe it’s a drop in the bucket, but a thousand-mile journey begins with a first step. We were glad to help.

We also coded the website for the Lehigh Valley Women’s Summit, another pro-bono act that helped establish an ethos of community-building that we hope to amplify in the future.

Protecting Our Clients

Network security has never mattered more than it does now, and in 2020 we saw a significant uptick in malicious scripts and bots, along with other security issues. In response, we expanded hosting plans to include more security and value. We added more server space and bandwidth, and employed web application firewalls (WAF) for state-of-the-art site security. To ease client concerns, we added one-hour of website assistance every month, coupled with monthly automatic backups. Additionally, we granted clients access to WPMU’s suite of premium plugins.

Further, we stopped sending out passwords via email or text message and instead began using a secure password sharing and managing system. One more layer of safety on top of several other measures we’ve invested in.

New Toys!

Nothing is as exciting as getting a new gizmo as a gift, and this year we put out two really cool items to make life easier for our clients. The first is a ballpark estimator that allows clients to get a rough estimate of what a job will cost. We get asked the question all the time and figured that this tool would let everyone play around with various parameters under different scenarios, and the time it would take to complete a proposed project.

For our second trick, we improved our custom-built proposal system and quoting process. We’d already designed and coded our own proposal system into WordPress, but this year we implemented a calculator that breaks down each phase of the project.

In-Housekeeping

We know that speed is the gold standard when it comes to the loading of websites, and this year we took our own advice. We boosted our desktop performance grade from 80 to 99 (19% increase), and our mobile from 50 to 73 (23% improvement).

Finally, we built out a better, more resourceful FAQ page because we know that getting information in an efficient manner means everything in a world where knowledge is literally a matter of life or death. But we also fervently hope that when we recap the year 2021, we won’t have to mourn a trying year but celebrate what promises to be the new chapter of a better tomorrow.

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