Christie Roberts

Under the Sun Graphics, Durango, CO, USA

Full transcript

LocomotiveCMS: Hello Christie, can you please introduce yourself and your company?

Christie Roberts: Hi, I'm Christie Roberts from Under the Sun Graphic and Web Design.

LocomotiveCMS:  What were your greatest challenges when creating websites for yourself or your clients before using LocomotiveCMS?

Christie Roberts: I've used a few different Content Management Systems and never really found anything that I thought works very well as a whole for the client. Maybe it worked in some aspects but not others.

Before Locomotive, it was also a matter of determining the capabilities of my clients - their own computer and technical skills - so that when I left them with the end product would they be able to continue making their edits and other changes for their website like they requested. I found with some of the content management systems that I had been using in the past, I was getting a lot of phone calls from my clients to make the changes for them, which negates the purpose. It defeats the entire purpose of having a content management system for my clients. I don't feel like i had a lot of successful solutions and results from those. 

Now, I'm finding that when I don't get the phone calls, that to me is a measurement of success when, after my initial training, I don't hear from them for months unless they have a minor question or they just want me to add a feature to their content management system.

LocomotiveCMS: What has been your experience using LocomotiveCMS so far?

Christie Roberts: I've had a really good experience because coming from the designer's standpoint, I really was looking to move more into the develop standpoint rather than always having to work with the development team. Sometimes my deadlines aren't the same as my developers' deadlines, and I really needed to be able to do that myself. With Locomotive, I had the confidence to be able to start the development end on my own and be able to create and complete entire websites without the help of the developer.

What I really like about Locomotive from a designer standpoint is I'm able to start from a clean slate and design from the ground up and only add the features and coding that I want in there. I'm also able to be free of a template kind of system where I may not be able to create the type of branding strategy for my client or do a seamless continuation of their branding.

I have found that with Locomotive is fully customizable because you can start from a clean slate and not have extraneous files that you need to work with and customize. That goes two fold because in the back office, the only features that are there are what you put there for your client. It makes it a lot easier and user-friendly to work back there and not to mention that the interface is well organized and easy to find, what you need to find.

Locomotive offers me the ability to just completely serve my clients and their needs effectively without having to wrestle with any other extraneous codes, extraneous templates, extraneous files. 
I find that to be my biggest success and then just the user friendliness of the back office and the different ways that I can tweak and do testing on my own has made it very successful for me as a designer.

LocomotiveCMS: Since starting to use Locomotive CMS, what has changed about your work?

Christie Roberts: One of the things that's changed about my work is that I'm more confident in recommending features for my clients and understanding how the end result is going to play out for them and knowing that I can develop and design a certain feature that they're asking for. With other content management systems, there's not that confidence and ability that what is available on the templates, if it's a template type of system, is really going to work with the requests that I have from the clients.

LocomotiveCMS: What was your "aha" moment, the moment that you knew you loved Locomotive CMS?

Christie Roberts: My very first aha moment was when I created a simple YAML file and was able to  create an entire model that worked right from the get-go with some very simple code. That's one of the options. The other option is to work directly in the back office, which I have done as well with great success. My second aha moment was when my clients didn't require extra training after I turned the website over to them. It was just a very simple training, about 10 to 15 minutes or so, and they were off and running. When I didn't receive phone call after phone call, I really experienced my second aha moment that yes, this is indeed is a very good solution for most of my clients.

LocomotiveCMS:  Why did you choose to use First Class?*

Christie Roberts: Using First Class for my LocomotiveCMS sites was, to me, a very valid solution because they take care of all the issues. Literally, from the development standpoint to production, it was completely seamless. It was a click of a few buttons and my site was ready to go.

LocomotiveCMS: Thanks Christie, would you like to add anything else?

Christie Roberts: I would definitely recommend LocomotiveCMS to other designers, especially designers that have been hesitant in the past to move into the development arena and also other developers that are looking to find something that's versatile and very usable for their clients.

*First Class is the former name of our hosting solution.