All the sites we prefer to do look good on mobile, tablet, and computer displays.
Think of a web application as a website with a lot of “moving parts.”
Specializing in developing responsive websites and web applications. We prefer PHP and Symfony or a major PHP-based CMS, but we have experience in many other platforms. See our Tech Blog for a fuller idea of our interests and skills.
|Immediate||We are Slammed. We honestly can't do anything more right now.|
|One Month Out||See 'immediate'.|
|Two Months Out||See 'immediate'.|
We leverage the internet to give you the service and flexibility of a design/development firm with the overhead and costs of an individual contractor.
Nothing matters except the total solution. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can do small web projects by yourself.
But if you want a single place to call whatever your question or need, consider us. We pride ourselves in being able to do it all—and if we can't, we know someone who can, and we'll give you a single point of contact. No passing the buck here.
We are capable of managing significant projects, although we are careful not to bite off more than we can chew.
While we like to do entire solutions, we also find it exciting to work on teams with other people. If you need some help in our area of expertise, we'd be happy to take on a piece of your project, or assist as part of a team.
Take a look at our staff to see what our skills are. We are all located on LinkedIn, so you can view us as individuals. But, as Cloudy Hills, we attempt to be more than just a group of developers. We work hard at working together, we share ideas, and we also try to make it so that we can be interchangeable. This is a big advantage for people looking for team based solutions.
Open source software is available without licensing fees. It is not "free" because it still needs time to make it work for you.
These are sites where we've done all of the work, and the sites are relatively simple. In many cases, we were able to adapt open source software. We also did the design work on these sites.
The initial cost of these sites ranged from $1,000 to $3,000. We charge a modest monthly fee for keeping these sites up, in exchange for on-call service.
Advanced sites differ from basic sites in that they are bigger, have more moving parts, and often involve bringing in larger teams, such as an outside designer. We can customize anything, and often that is just what these clients need.
Initial cost of these sites ranged from $7,000 to $45,000. We are willing to do project management when multiple contractors are involved and are able to provide ongoing service for the sites we develop.
Sometimes, we take responsibility for a subsystem in a larger piece of web function.
Our skills have been useful to people doing their own projects.
We are a small web development firm located in the Austin, Texas area. We love technology and innovation, and we also love being generalists. Our approach wouldn't have even been possible a few years ago.
By leveraging technology, we aim to maintain a team that is a hybrid between individual contractors and employees:
Ed Giese is Cloudy Hills‘ founder. He is a seasoned veteran of software development. Before starting Cloudy Hills, Ed worked for Prelude Interactive, a firm that does similar work, but is now more focused on Salesforce applications. He has fully managed a number of Prelude projects to completion, and many of Prelude‘s clients followed him to Cloudy Hills when we started.
Ian Littman has a bachelor‘s degree in Computer Science and a Master‘s in Engineering Technology Management from Colorado School of Mines. He has broad experience and interests in technology as well as extensive experience working on the technologies that Cloudy Hills specializes in. He excels especially in solving difficult challenges involving technological limitations.
Alan Nguyen has degrees in Computer Engineering and Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. Alan has been working with Cloudy Hills and Prelude Interactive for over a year, and during that time has also done some fairly significant development on his own, including a LAMP-based website built on the Symfony2 Framework.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question not on this list, Contact us.
How Available are you to take on new work?
Contacting is a feast-or-famine business. We do our best to keep a steady work flow going, and with a team (rather than an individual) we can do a much better job.
Even with our best efforts, there are times when we are less available. If you have significant new work, you can take a quick look at our home page and see what our schedule outlook is. For a more detailed description, Contact Us.
What are your prices?
We generally work by the hour.
Our rates vary by client, and they depend a lot on the kind of work we are doing. In general, our lowest rates are for clients who want ongoing work (or a lot of it) with very little overhead requirements on our part.
Will you do a fixed price bid?
In some cases, we will make a fixed price bid, but for websites and most of our work, we work hourly.
It is hard to predict the future, and a fixed price bid for a larger project must necessarily have a “cushion” in it. Our strong preference in these cases is to gain a client's trust, then agree that we will do whatever it takes.
Aren‘t contracting rates higher than getting an employee?
It depends. There are plenty of circumstances where you ought to look for a full time employee.
A client will come out ahead with a firm if there is a variable amount of work (lots during development, much less otherwise) or needs are specialized.
Also, an employee “hour“ is quite different from one of our billing hours. We only bill for when we are actually working on your problems. It is unreasonable to expect an employee, working in an office, to put in eight hours equivalent to our eight billing hours. It isn't unusual for us to need to spend 12-14 hours working in order to bill 8. When we stop working on your solutions, the clock stops.
Why should I deal with a firm rather than just find some bright young contractor?
There are trade-offs between hiring a firm and a contractor. An individual contractor may well have a lower rate. In fact, we at Cloudy Hills pay ourselves less than we charge to our clients. The difference gets used to keep ourselves current on technology, develop business, and foster a team who will be able to respond much more consistently to clients than any individual can.
Individual contractors get sick, go on vacations, and find other interesting jobs. With a team working for you, it is far less likely that you will be adversely affected by any of these.
How Can I Trust You to do the things you Say?
It is our goal with Cloudy Hills to maintain a small team that is free of much of the posturing and politics of a “firm” that is relentlessly trying to grow. We chose this life for ourselves because we'd rather find people we enjoy working with and make an honest job of it.
One of the core strengths of the internet is transparency. We don't hide too much, except details of our clients' businesses. If we think you would wind up unhappy, we don't want to work for you.
Contact us. If you think you might like working with us, don't be shy!
7201 Lower Crabapple Road
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Unless we know you're calling, you'll probably need to leave a message
These wonderful folks made us feel appreciated when we worked on their site.
Previous attempts at a website had left them with a system that was hard to update and took a long time to load. The client didn't have much in the way of artwork or logos.
This was an easy website to do because Jeff Hallford's enthusiasm for his estimating and xeriscaping skills are so infectious. It really wanted to make his company look good!
A number of unfamiliar concepts needed to be communicated quickly on this site. Also, while they had a lot of images of past work, many of them were in poor shape: they needed to be scanned, and lighting on many pictures was poor.
The Good Samaritan Center is a nonprofit medical clinic serving the underinsured of Gillespie and surrounding counties.
The client wanted a site that looked significantly better than their previous site. The had several different audiences that they wanted to cater to: clients, volunteers, and donors.
The Golden Hub is a community nonprofit serving senior citizens in Fredericksburg, Texas.
This was the first site for this client. They wanted to reach out, often to children of senior citizens, looking for a better quality of life for their parents.
Another challenge that the Golden Hub faced was to have a flexible display of their ongoing activities. It was an area of communication that has been a continual challenge for them--especially menus for their popular lunches.
The Amish Market is a retail store in Fredericksburg, Texas selling Amish produced products. There are no Amish communities near Fredericksburg, but the Amish Market people make regular trips to the Amish Country to pick up the products they sell.
Amish furniture is a draw for many tourists to Fredericksburg. The Amish Market has a large showroom and wanted to highlight its contents by putting out the best pictures they could afford while keeping costs down.
The Clear River Pecan Company is a retail store in Fredericksburg, Texas selling candy, ice cream, sandwiches, soups, and salads.
The Clear River Pecan Company is one of those quirky places that is just fun to visit. The challenge was to capture this fun on the website while giving a quick picture of the broad range of foods that they offer.
The client also wanted to easily update menu prices and add and subtract food items, as well as take orders for catering.
The Advisor Placement Group is a consulting firm specializing in career and strategic services to Financial advisors.
Though they work with computer technology all of the time, financial advisors are not particularly savvy web users as a group. The presentation needs to be clean and simple, and to the point.
Trust is a key factor in this business. A clean, no-nonsense presentation of the company's mission and services was needed.
While the site does not need a lot of content, there is a need to keep partner information, etc., updated. Provide a back end where this can be done.
Cabin Masters is really a single small team of highly experienced builders who love building cabins. They have gotten incredibly good at doing this one task, at a fair price.
The client was unsure whether a website would even work. A friend convinced him to give it a try--so the solution had to be economical.
Quickly describe the unique business model of Cabin Masters and generate as many leads as possible.
Muscle Symmetry uses muscle activation techniques for pain control and athletic performance enhancement.
Answer questions that people have about these techniques and this technology, which is little known.
Build trust and generate interest and leads in the service.
Allow client to maintain a blog as part of the site content.
Greenlights is a service organization helping Texas nonprofits excel at their missions.
The Girl Scouts of Central Texas serves 45 counties in Central Texas.
The client had an existing website, but their growing list of customized requirements had stretched their old platform beyond its limits.
This is a project in progress.
The VA of North Texas provides services for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The VA has a successful program that they developed for helping veterans with criminal histories or histories of substance abuse problems find jobs. A key element of its success, though, is that it was local to their area. They want to expand this program to include web-based support for veterans too far away from the VA center to drive there regularly.
The JSTEPS program is an ongoing research project of George Mason university to help reduce recivitism in drug- and alcohol-based criminal offenders.
P*Poll is a nonprofit organization dedicated to citizen empowerment based on the ideas of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The TRA is a chapter of the National Restaurant Association based in Texas. They offer, among other services, web-based instruction for restaurant workers.
TRA asked to to help with a course presentation layer for their "TABC To Go" course, which is intended for seller-servers of alcohol in Texas. State requirements had rendered their previous courseware solution unworkable.
The only way to see the course is to sign up and take the TABC to go course at Texas Restaurant Association
Alliance Tech provides trade show exhibitors with badge scanning and visitor detection services.
Alliance Tech asked to to develop a configurable shopping cart for their online sales that they could quickly reconfigure for new events as they occurred.
While Alliance Tech has a public website, you can only see the shopping cart if you go to one of the sections for their specific shows.
iKey provides industrial hardened keyboards and other products to field-harden computer hardware.
iKey asked us to update their OpenCart-based site and to develop a micro-site for a new product that they were particularly excited.
Kimbia provides nonprofits with easy, secure, and flexible donation forms.
Kimbia asked us to develop a data connector that allows their clients who use salesforce to automatically move data from Kimbia's servers to their various salesforce installations.
No current public links to the salesforce package.
Coldshower is a successful web design firm with a wide variety of clients.
Coldshower loves to do great design work. They have some basic in-house programming ability, but when things get tricky involving CMS configuration or customization, they often call us.
It is a great partnership, because we are, in a way, a mirror image. We have some rudimentary design capability, but if you want something that involves heavy duty creative work, we will contact them.