Sit Happens

  • Web Development

The Problem

Sit Happens Dog Training tells its clients to expect “nothing less than an outstanding dog”. Sit Happens’ website, with its popular Puppy of the Month videos that feature well-trained dogs, does a great job of selling obedience classes to pet owners. Smartt built the website in 2011 and has been hosting and supporting it since.

“The website is absolutely essential because we’re a mobile business,” says Jeff Lolacher, Director of Sit Happens. “We get referral business from clients, veterinarians, and breeders, but for those people and dog owners in general, the website has to answer all their questions because we’re out at parks all day with clients and their dogs.”

That was why Jeff contacted Smartt right away when he noticed a problem with the “Parks Map” feature of the site. The map displays all Sit Happens training locations and generates travel directions for the user. Some of the locations were generating travel directions to a park in Seattle, Washington.  Jeff suspected a hacking attack.

At the same time, spammers had gotten increasingly aggressive since the website went live a few years ago. The website’s friendly Contact Form, which did not use any verification mechanisms, was a target for junk email that clogged up their Inbox, which meant it took more time for Sit Happens to sort through to read messages from real customers. These were annoying problems for a busy small business.

Our Solution

Sit Happens has a full schedule every day, and Jeff would rather work with dogs than developers. The Smartt team minimized the amount of time he needed to spend with the project by assigning an account manager who made sure of requirements and stayed on top of deliverables.

Smartt was able to repair the “Parks Map” data file and make some other small enhancement requests very quickly. For the Contact Form, Smartt recommended replacing the existing webform module with a more current plug-in version that supported CAPTCHA verification. This was a more cost-effective solution than trying to modify code for the existing webform. Furthermore, it gave Sit Happens the flexibility to edit form fields by themselves.

The Result

This was a short website enhancement project, which Smartt completed quickly, and with minimal disruption to Jeff. A Smartt project manager handled all developer interactions, kept Jeff informed of progress, and provided a test site where Jeff could review the work and request final tweaks before going live.

What matters more is that Sit Happens’ experience is an example of the kind of customer support that Jeff has come to expect since Smartt built and hosted his website in 2011.

“For the enhancements to our website, they provided an accurate estimate of time and cost,” Jeff says, “and they did everything on schedule. I got to preview the changes on a test site, and we agreed on a time for taking the live site down to apply the changes. Smartt takes good care of us. Whenever I log a problem, someone gets back to me right away. They’re always helpful and professional. It’s why I stay with Smartt. I’ve got lots of confidence in them and I’m happy with their service.”