A 17% annual revenue increase and a 45% annual growth in new clients - who’s the team behind these neat numbers? Meet Aardvark Tech, a web development agency whose quest to find a CMS that would fit their clients’ needs and budget led them to Umbraco - and to the ranks of our Registered Partners.
Here’s how Aardvark uses Umbraco for projects of all sizes, how being a Registered Partner keeps them up-to-date, and what they value about Umbraco HQ, the company behind the Friendly CMS!
Who is Aardvark?
Aardvark Technologies is an Ohio-based web development company specializing in CMS, eCommerce, and customization work. They have been using Umbraco for about five years and joined the Registered Partner program in August 2020.
How did Aardvark work before they joined Umbraco?
The agency originally started with their own home-brewed CMS, but eventually switched to other solutions. The licensing costs, however, grew to the extent that they were no longer a good option for all clients. As a result, Aardvark sought to diversify their tech stack.
Stacey Schlenker, the owner of Aardvark Technologies, embarked on a mission to find a new .NET-run CMS. He was already marginally familiar with Umbraco. Following some online research, Schlenker requested a demo and began playing around in the system in a sandbox environment in order to get to know it better. He appreciates the ease of access and free nature Umbraco provides.
The ability to showcase on our website that we are a Registered Partner helps us show clients that we are familiar with the platform, and display credibility, expertise, and competence.
“For a developer trying to pitch a system to clients, being able to talk about what the interface and user experience are going to be like is important. I like to try out the CMS at my own pace without being on a guided tour or an initial sales pitch when I am first evaluating the system.”
Schlenker appreciates the friendly interface of Umbraco. “It also helps clients conceptualize things when they lay out a page. That’s what sold Umbraco to us: the ease of access to setting it up and the ability to train users on it.”
The diverse nature of Umbraco fits all project types Aardvark creates for their clients. For the simplest websites they produce, the CMS gives them a tool that they can implement out of the box. “But with a lot of our clients, there is always something to extend or customize for their needs. That’s why we like being able to create custom document types and have rich content,” Schlenker explains.
Furthermore, for the majority of Aardvark’s clients, the cost of a project is key. If the agency added high CMS licensing fees to their web development costs, it would push Aardvark’s prices beyond the budget of small and medium-sized clients, which form the majority of the agency’s client base. Umbraco’s non-existent licensing fee is therefore a perfect fit for Aardvark’s business model.
Outside of the product itself - with its ease of use and extensibility - Aardvark also appreciates the company behind the CMS. “We found the most value in the transparency and amount of communication that comes from Umbraco through their official website and the community forums,” Schlenker says.
We gained a 17% increase in annual revenue. We achieved a 45% increase in the number of clients we would otherwise probably not have obtained before switching to Umbraco.
How did Aardvark grow with Umbraco?
Since they started building solutions on Umbraco, Aardvark has gained a 17% increase in annual revenue. “We achieved a 45% increase in the number of clients we would otherwise probably not have obtained before switching to Umbraco,” Schlenker says about Aardvark’s yearly growth.
Other clients were previously based on static websites and Aardvark was looking to evangelize them on a CMS. “We were able to migrate and keep our clients as well as keep them happy with a product that met their needs and was within their budget.” Umbraco provides a platform in which Aardvark is able to produce sites of varying complexity.
Apart from scalability, the agency appreciates Umbraco’s ability to integrate with other platforms and the effortless editing experience it provides their clients. These features have been key to many successful client Umbraco projects.
Aardvark is also happy with how Umbraco caters to developers. “When we work on simple changes, it is very quick to make them, push the code up to our staging environment, and test it out.” But even installing Umbraco as it is and using one of the default templates works for Aardvark as it allows them to prototype the CMS for clients. “It’s nice to be able to quickly get it up and running and start showing the features of Umbraco: here’s your content and page editing experience, here’s how the media library works,” Schlenker says about the accessibility of Umbraco.
What does Aardvark value about the Umbraco Partnership?
Aardvark has been working with Umbraco for several years when the realization came: Why are we not a partner? Schlenker initially researched the different partnership options to see which of the tiers would fit the agency the best. “I’d love to be able to grow into a higher partnership tier at some point but I appreciate having a level that starts slow and we can see how things go.”
Their status as an Umbraco Registered Partner gives Aardvark an advantage when a potential client evaluates their services. “The ability to showcase on our website that we are a Registered Partner helps us show clients that we are familiar with the platform, and display credibility, expertise, and competence.” Schlenker also appreciates receiving notifications and emails from Umbraco about new features and changes to the CMS.
Schlenker hopes that the agency's new business intake will continue to increase. In the future, he would like to look into Umbraco’s Cloud offerings and self-hosted solutions. “They would allow us to speed our development and release schedule. Having a more automated process would definitely be more enticing for us,” Schlenker concludes.
Outside of the actual product itself - with its ease of use and extensibility - we found the most value in the transparency and amount of communication that comes from Umbraco through their official website and the community forums.
Key takeaways: What did taking Umbraco to market mean for Aardvark?
- Switching to Umbraco gave Aardvark a CMS that meets both the needs and the budget of their small- and medium-sized clients.
- This helped them achieve a 17% annual revenue increase and a 45% increase in the number of clients they would not have landed otherwise each year.
- The ease of access and setup of Umbraco allows Aardvark to show off the features of the CMS to their clients so they get familiar with the system.
- Umbraco provides Aardvark’s clients with an easy editing experience and a friendly interface, and gives the agency’s developers great extensibility and integration possibilities.
- Being an Umbraco Registered Partner helps Aardvark increase credibility and show competence and expertise to their clients. The partnership status also keeps them in the loop about new features added to the CMS.
- Umbraco also provides Aardvark with possibilities to migrate to Cloud- and self-hosted solutions.