SitePoint Team, Oct 25

How to Eliminate Your Top 5 Web Design Pains

Designing a new website is not all that easy. The real question is how can web designers eliminate the pain that is associated with building a website?
SitePoint Team, Oct 23

How We Helped This FinTech Startup Become a Niche Leader

This article was created by our content partner, BAW Media. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

Here at TMS, we see promising companies with amazing ideas and huge potential on a daily basis. Unfortunately, they often get stuck on technicalities and SOS emails just keep flowing in our direction.

However, that is actually a good thing. If we can help them reach their full potential and get to their goal, it is a win-win situation.

Some of the startups we have seen truly have ideas that could change our world for the better. So rather than seeing them struggle, we are here to help them in any way we can.

And that brings us to the common problem that numerous startups get stuck on; the technical implementation of their SaaS or other web applications. So let's talk a bit more about the TMS solution.

Here Comes the Challenge

It is one thing to talk about it in theory, but things often work out quite differently in practice. To best describe how exactly we help startups deal with their app development, let's take a look at a case study.

Four years ago, we were contacted by a British FinTech company who came to us with a great idea that included a very complex web app development.

From custom design to multiple user roles and complex user flows, we knew this would be a complicated project.

In addition to that, they needed constant maintenance and support since they already had some disappointing experiences in the past. They had to give up several unfinished apps that simply weren't up to their standard and they ended up losing a lot of money.

The TMS Solution

To get things off to a good start, we had to understand what went wrong with their project before they decided to reach us.

We listened carefully to what they had to say to identify the problems that were the root cause of the issues they faced in the past. It appeared that the previous contractors skipped through a lot of basic steps and went straight to development without the proper planning, wireframing, and estimating processes.

It sounded like a good offer; a low hourly rate and less working hours. Unfortunately, it turned out to cost the FinTech startup a lot more down the road.

We explained that we would take an entirely different approach; a systemized, step-by-step process with every developer focusing on their part while having a good grasp on the whole picture, instead of working on multiple components of the project at the same time and feeling no ownership on the delivery.

Since we had a lot of experience with app building, especially with the apps we created for our own company (mostly SaaS), we felt pretty confident about our capabilities to deliver the best product possible.

For us, this project felt like an exciting challenge but was still right up our alley.

Dealing with the Challenges

We have done this numerous times before but the bottom line is that every app is different.

With this one, we were new to the business domain of capital raising, we weren't familiar at all with the FCA classifications and legal regulations etc.

An additional challenge on top of that was trying to untangle the work of the previous development team. We were warned about the confusing UX and the bugs that would appear at the worst moments, especially on demos.

So our first step was to build a proper team led by a Tech Lead and a Product Owner. This would allow us to create the ideal team structure, a good project architecture, and a suitable project delivery strategy.

Forming a reliable team initially takes more time than just engaging a group of random developers – but it always pays off! Not only are the productivity and quality better, but it also results in lower costs over a 12-18 months range.

With every project, the team is formed differently according to the specific project needs and requirements. It sometimes requires just a project manager, a QA engineer, and 2 intermediate full-stack developers. Sometimes, we need additional UI/UX designers, security engineers, front-end engineers etc.

Unique Solution: Introducing our Full-App-Lifecycle Approach

Once the team was formed, we were ready to get started with our own customized approach - the Full-App-Lifecycle approach.

It is based on a simple fact:

Errors are much easier to avoid if the team of developers understands the big picture of the application instead of just focusing on small tasks. From the initial pitch to the final round of feedback, it is important to start every project with a core assessment and a proper analysis.

We always talk with the business' marketing and development team and get answers to the basic questions first: What problem are we solving with this product? Who are the target customers? Who are the competitors? What risks are we facing? What are the budget and the timeline?

All of these questions and more have to be covered in a good analysis, along with Impact Mapping and Story Mapping sessions. At that point, we are able to suggest the best development strategy and product rollout plan.

We need to stay flexible throughout the process to be able to adapt to changes, but we always start with the clear vision on the team structure, software architecture, project phases, features priority, and other little details that we keep in mind.

"TMS worked well with our team, and acted on behalf of our business in various situations. This helped us create a world-class team and grow internationally together."

The FinTech App Development

The best way to start a cooperation is by establishing each other's trust. With the FinTech startup, we knew that it would take some time to earn their trust after their previous experiences.

They agreed to our approach and we decided to start with just 2 developers working on their project in cooperation with the project manager provided by the FinTech startup. Once we were off to a good start, we added other key members to get the prototype done on a tight deadline.

We had a demo ready for them to show to their clients in less than 3 months. At that point, we were ready to start building a fully featured application.

We gradually added more team members including the QA and QA Automation engineers, front-end developers, full-stack developers of different seniority, and more. Then we divided the team into smaller sub-teams, each with their own project manager.

The app was growing together with our team and we knew we were on the right track. All the way, we participated in the overall product development and our clients know that they can count on our full support even today.

Here are some of the most important results that we brought for our client:

  • After months of working with us, they fully freed up their time to work on scaling their business and only joining us for Agile sprint reviews.
  • Geography of usage expanded from the UK to the rest of Europe, while other markets are "on the waiting list".
  • Client range grew from small startups looking for small investments to large companies that need serious investment deals.
  • The mature product managed to attract several millions of dollars of investments.

On our side, the product development team dedicated to this project grew from 2 to 25 people and keeps growing.

Why Our Approach Worked

Our Full-App-Lifecycle approach has proven itself quite successful and the main reasons for that are careful planning and management. These were implemented in our every move throughout the process.

When a team is tailored according to a specific product and when every team member works on their specific task, all of them eventually see the product as their own. Not only it helps improving productivity and quality, but it also switches the employees' focus from the fee to the product itself.

In addition to that, the integration with the client's team and industry, the ongoing analysis, and in-depth planning also help increase the quality as well as the delivery pace.

It is important to add that our team is always encouraged to try all the new technologies and follow the latest development trends, to participate in conferences, and to keep up with the industry's highest standards.

The success we achieved with the FinTech project isn't a one-time success story but an example that shows exactly how our approach works.

We are looking for long-term partnerships rather than quick on and off projects and we are happy to join in later phases as well. The point for us is to build teams dedicated to the product and evolve together with it over time.


If you have recognized any of the mentioned problems as your own including the struggle to find a reliable development company, feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to help you find the right solution.

We have a lot of experience in the field which can be easily proven by the projects that we have successfully completed so far, the 20.000+ paying customers of our own developed products, several millions of end users, and an average annual growth rate of 50% since 2014.

Anthony Burchell, Oct 19

Preparing Your Content for the Extended Reality (XR) Future

Anthony Burchell shows how WordPress users can prepare their site content for the extended reality future. The ways we consume content are ever-changing, but with a platform like WordPress, we’re able to adapt and create many new and engaging digital experiences.
Maxime Beugnet, Oct 18

How to Enrich Data with MongoDB Stitch

We show you how to build a function will call the OMDB API with a movie title, fetch data about the movie, and enrich our MongoDB document with it.
Tonino Jankov, Oct 17

How to Deploy to Alibaba Cloud ECS with Mina

Mina is a deployment and server automation tool, with advanced features and powerful extensibility. Learn how Mina can make your deployment process better.
Tonino Jankov, Oct 15

Announcing the Alibaba Cloud Competition Winners

Find out who the winners of the Alibaba Cloud competition are.
Dev Bhatt, Oct 10

Should You Invest in Progressive Web Apps for Your Startup?

Here are 6 advantages of Progressive Web Apps for your startup.
Nick Schäferhoff, Oct 09

Lazy Loading for WordPress: How to Add It to Your Website

Lazy load is another tool in your toolbox to improve page loading speed. The technique decreases page weight and HTTP requests, allowing visitors to see their desired page more quickly. Nick Schäferhoff explains how lazy loading works, lists tools you can use to set it up, and explains what you can use it for.
Josh Pollock, Oct 05

Advanced OOP for WordPress: Customizing REST API Endpoints

Josh Pollock digs into advanced OOP for WordPress, showing how to use filters to modify the WordPress REST API using an object-oriented approach. He walks through how to create a WordPress plugin to modify the capabilities of WordPress REST API endpoints so they can be better optimized for search.
Jesse Krasnostein, Oct 03

How Blinkist Powers Millions of Users on MongoDB Atlas

Not unlike other startups, Blinkist grew its roots in a college dorm. Only, its creators didn’t know it at the time. It took years before the founders decided to build a business on their college study tricks.
Gilad Maayan, Oct 02

AWS, Azure & Google Cloud Backup Solutions Compared

In this article, we're going to dig deep into various characteristics of the major cloud services for backup purposes. We'll primarily focus on the top three cloud platforms - Google, Azure and AWS.
Tonino Jankov, Sep 28

How to Automate App Deployment to Alibaba ECS with Mina

In this article we will go through setting up Mina for the deployment of a basic Django app – an unorthodox toolset for the Django world, which tends to use Docker or Fabric more. Given Mina’s simplicity and flexibility, we feel it is worth exploring its use in the deployment of Python web apps.
Lucero del Alba, Sep 26

How to Set Up a Reverse NGINX Proxy on Alibaba Cloud

Need to serve many websites from a single Linux box, optimizing resources, and automating the site launch process? Let’s get serious and set up a production-ready environment using Ubuntu, NGINX, and Docker — all of it on Alibaba Cloud.
Rakhee Ghelani, Sep 25

Seven Steps for Growth Hacking Your Business with Data

No data? No problem. Rakhee Ghelani explains how you can growth hack your way to business success in seven steps.
Joe Drumgoole, Sep 24

Setting up Your PyMongo Environment

We introduce developers to programming MongoDB using the Python programming language. PyMongo is the name of the client library (in MongoDB speak we refer to it as a "driver") we use to interact with the MongoDB Server.
Eleanor Scott, Sep 19

Growing a Business Is About the Customer, Not the Product

The first thing most people think about when launching a new enterprise is what they’ll be selling, but what they should really be focusing on is who they’ll be selling to. Although your product is important, no matter how good it is, if people aren't interest in buying it, then your business is likely going to struggle.
John Fairhurst, Sep 12

How to Grow Your Business from $0 to $20M

John Fairhurst introduces Steve McLeod, founder and chairman of Fire and Safety Australia, Australia’s leading safety training company, exploring his secrets on how he grew his business from the ground up.
Michael Lynn, Sep 06

Integrating MongoDB and Amazon Kinesis for Intelligent, Durable Streams

You can build your online, operational workloads atop MongoDB and still respond to events in real time by kicking off Amazon Kinesis stream processing actions, using MongoDB Stitch Triggers.
SitePoint Team, Sep 05

How to Set up a Secure Relational Database on Alibaba Cloud

Gain an introduction to ApsaraDB for RDS, a cloud-based relational database product provided by Alibaba Cloud.
SitePoint Team, Sep 04

How to Create Websites with Slides, a Developer-Friendly Tool

Slides lets you customize your design as you're creating it. When you have the design you want, you can customize it even further if you wish.
SitePoint Team, Sep 03

Power Your Business Applications with Elastic Compute Service

This webinar provide a clear introduction to the Alibaba Cloud ECS, which will help you to gain a better understanding of the ECS product portfolio and the benefits of using this product to power your own web applications from 18 global deployment regions.
Simon Julian, Aug 30

Adsense and AdWords - why use them?

There are a lot of different ways that savvy people monetise the web, of which AdSense is only one. This article explores the good and bad of using Adsense and the Adwords platform and gives you an overview out of how to get the best out of them in the early days.
SitePoint Team, Aug 30

Quickly Deploy WordPress & phpMyAdmin on Alibaba Cloud with ROS

This document shows how to deploy a WordPress site and phpMyAdmin application using the ROS template with a single click.
SitePoint Team, Aug 29

WordPress Management Made Easy with the Plesk WordPress Toolkit

In this session, we will show you the Plesk WordPress Toolkit – a tool that is simplifying the lives of web professionals on Alibaba Cloud.