Short Hills design is a closely-knit team of six located in the USA, UK, Canada and Finland that helps healthcare and other professional small business service providers get 10-20 new patients/clients per month without spending a fortune on paid advertising.
Short Hills design has been in business since 2008, and we are proud to have clients across the United States and Canada. We build conversion-oriented, SEO-optimized WordPress websites, and offer a la carte marketing services including Local SEO, traditional SEO, and performance-based PPC management.
As we build and maintain a large number of WordPress websites, we naturally needed a way to be able to check to make sure that our sites look great at all responsive breakpoints. It’s an especially important need for our non-page builder sites such as our Genesis sites and our sites based on our custom, codex-based baseline theme.
In the past we used products such as Browserstack where we could fire up an emulator to see our sites in real-time. This approach proved to be very costly and time consuming.
How Polypane helped
After looking for online services to solve the problem, we discovered that there were apps we could use and test our sites directly from our desktops and began to explore that approach.
We tested a few alternatives and ultimately decided to go with Polypane. The deciding factor was the interface – it wasn’t cluttered and we could use the built-in device panels to quickly test our sites. We have two licenses and will likely need more in the future as we grow.
We put out a blog post about our Google Analytics migration services when I realized that the page was fully justified on mobile. So I ran a check to see if it was just one breakpoint – or all of them:
Seeing that it was all of them, I was able to quickly patch the CSS of the
.single class in order to fix the problem.
So within a few minutes, I was already confident that the temporary fix worked and that our post would display properly. I could then take a breath and without frantically rushing, carefully dig deeper to figure out why the page was rendering incorrectly in the first place, and to add a definitive fix.
ROI and future plans
Conservatively, we save approximately 2-4 testing hours per build by being able to perform responsive testing directly on the desktop. Considering that our average development phase of a website build takes us around 28 hours, saving 2-4 hours is a 7-14% reduction in build time.
It’s made our workflow more efficient by saving us time with responsive testing. Polypane is also fantastic for when we have to make updates on older sites (non-page builders) since responsive testing on these types of sites often requires multiple iterations of HTML and CSS. It’s 1000x easier to hit ⌘ r than it is to run a new set of screenshots or fire up an emulator every time we need to check a tweak.
We were initially looking to have a more efficient way to perform responsive testing so I figured that Polypane would save us time, but I didn’t anticipate that it would save money as well.
At $108 per license per year, the cost is well worth it for the functionality we need. And while not every responsive testing suite runs as a desktop application in a dedicated browser like Polypane does, the product we had used previously would have cost us a little over $900 per year for the same two licenses. Thus our switch to Polypane saves us $700 per year. The fact that Polypane saves us money in software costs and in development costs (increasing net profit) is a welcome bonus.
Short Hills Design is a closely-knit team of six located in the USA, UK, Canada and Finland that helps healthcare clients and professional service companies get more new patients/clients online in an efficient, affordable, and stress-free manner. Our clients see us as their trusted advisors, and in turn we encourage our clients to take the reins on their own websites, and bring us in to help as much as they’d like, or as little as they like.
You can find us at shorthillsdesign.com and on Twitter at @shorthillsd. Be sure to check out our growing ShortHillsDesign YouTube channel where we release videos to help our clients make informed marketing decisions, and share tips for other agencies who can hopefully benefit from our experience.