Spook & Puff

Get in touch

34 Murray Street, Tanunda, South Australia
0404 882 868

Spook and what? Spook and Puff is a website and application studio in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. We pride ourselves on the quality and attention to detail we put into all of our work.

If you've got a new website to build, an old one you need to improve, or a nice idea for an mobile or web application, you should give us a call.

Or, if you're planning a web project, you might find some tips and questions to ask handy, or like to read about what happens when you hire us.

  • Delicious

  • Useful

  • Fast

  • Beautiful

Website, online store, recipe library, memberships and subscriptions, and a custom-built administration system.

Maggie Beer’s new website is live. This was our biggest project so far, and a great opportunity to bring all of our ideas and experience to bear on a single, unified project.

The new site brings hundreds of delicious recipes, products and photographs to Maggie's avid audience, in detail and colour like they've never seen.

Visit the site…

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh what joy, the new site is absolutely fantastic.”

Beverley
Member of Maggie’s Food Club, and possibly our favourite visitor to the site yet.

What happens when we start a project?

Our process works a bit differently to a lot of companies. We'll outline it quickly so you know what to expect:

Discovery and planning

We talk about your goals for the site, and everything you want it to do. We use this information to create a plan of the website, called the specification. If we were architects, this would be the floor-plan. We can pass the specification back and forth until everyone's happy with it. We'll fix a price for this stage up front.

Estimating the project

We use the specification to estimate how long it will take (and how much it will cost) to create each component. Because we're quoting exactly what the specification says, we can be very accurate with our estimates. In the architecture analogy, we have a detailed blueprint and bill of materials at this point.

This is the big difference in our process: we don't guess our prices.

Too many studios will quote an amount, then try to work out what to build. When you think about it, how can that ever work?

Launch plan

We work out which features you need included when we launch the new site, and maybe schedule some others for the future.

Building it!

We start designing mockups, building working prototypes for you to test and play with, working towards a site that's complete and ready for final testing and approval...

Testing and approval

We put the site up on a pre-launch server, so you can test everything, get to know the administration functions, and do the final polish on the content before launch.

Launch

We open the doors to the public - cork popping noises are a distinct possiblity at this point.

Post launch

This varies for each project, but might include monitoring statistics, sending mail outs, further training for staff, etc.

Quick answers

Here're some common things we get asked.

I'm not in Australia. Can you work remotely?

Absolutely. We have customers in the US and the UK, as well as around Australia. We're good at working remotely.

How much will (xyz) cost?

That's a very good question! Websites can cost from hundreds to millions of dollars, and take hours or years to build. We don't really cater for either end of that spectrum. If you've got a very small budget, our advice is usually to save that budget! Instead, take advantage of free or cheap tools and services - tumblr.com, facebook, twitter, google places, etc, to make a start. Starting simply and cheaply will tell you what works - and what doesn't - for your business.

Be very wary of businesses offering very cheap websites. You'll often do just as well with a free option, and have money leftover to do other things with.

How do you work out cost?

The right way to find out how much time and money your project will cost is to work exactly what we need to build. That's our first step. All our work is charged at an hourly rate of AUD$120.

Why do I have to pay for a quote?

The right way to start a new project is to work out exactly what we need to build. We create a detailed list of every component of the site, and what it does. We're not concerned with how those functions will look or work at this stage, just that they're present. It's invaluable for everyone involved, because it forces us to think in detail about the job.

Without that list, we're just guessing. If we quoted without knowing what we have to build, you'll either pay too much, or find out part-way through that you've run out of budget. That's why we create our estimate from an agreed-upon list of requirements.

Of course, building this specification takes time, so we do charge a nominal fee for the work.

Another advantage to the specification is that you can use it to shop around! If you take it to other development studios to quote on, you'll know you're comparing apples to apples.

Are you planning a site or application? We can start right now.

It can be really hard to know where to start - websites can be really complicated things! We've put together some tips and questions to help you get started.

What are your goals?

If you've been thinking about your website for a while, there's a good chance you've come up with some ideas of how you want it to work, and what you want it to look like. The next question is, is that what your customers need? Is that the best way to connect with your users?

It's nearly always helpful to take a step back, and look at your project from a simpler level: Why do you want your website? What do you want it to do for you? The answers to some of these questions are obvious, but it's good to come up with a clear list, so we can make sure everything we do supports at least one of your goals.

Some ideas:

  • We want to make more direct sales online, because we get a much better margin.
  • We want to sell special release products to members.
  • We want to pick up new international distributors, in specific countries.
  • We want to help visitors find us.

Other useful things to know.

If you have even rough information for any of these, it's very helpful to planning the project.

Statistics

  • How many visitors do you get in a month? Are numbers consistent, or do you have very busy or quiet periods?
  • How frequent are online sales, and how much revenue does that generate?
  • What's the average value of a customer or user of your application?
  • How many subscribers/mailing list members do you have?

Budget

What we mean here is not so much 'How much money do you have to spend?', but really 'how big an investment does it make sense to make'. A website project should fulfil its goals in such a way that it pays for itself in a reasonable amount of time - say a year or two.

Of course, how much a website costs includes more than just the development cost - there's hosting, credit card facilities, and technical maintenance, plus the time your own staff spend updating it, processing orders, responding to enquiries, etc. A lot of that is pretty hard to quantify.

Even harder to quantify is how much revenue a site generates: If someone visits the site, then buys your product from a retailer, or visits your shop front, or tells a friend who then orders, how do you count that?

So, setting a budget is not an exact science - but it is a useful guide: "If we spend x, will we get it back in a year? In two years?" We should be able to plausibly answer 'yes' - or if not, we should have a very good idea of why.

What do you have now?

If you're planning to replace or upgrade an existing site or application, the more information you can give us, the better.

  • Do you have a site already? What's the address?
  • What language or framework is your current site based on?
  • Where is it hosted?
  • What devices does your application run on?

A little bit about us.

We're Luke Sutton and Ben Hull, and Spook & Puff is our fledgling web studio. We first worked together in 2003, and over the next few years made some (we think) really cool stuff, for some great clients.

While we were working separately in the intervening years, the thing we always came back to was the quality —more specifically, the lack of it— that we were able to produce as part of a bigger team. We knew we could do better.

Spook & Puff is our attempt to do just that.

We've re-joined forces, and are combining our collected knowledge to produce web-work of the finest quality: no shortcuts, no cheap tricks, and a crazy level of attention to detail. We're passionate about great user experiences and best practices across all facets of creating for the web.

We have long experience with HTML, advanced CSS and javascript, back-end development — e-commerce and content management systems, SQL databases — postgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, MS-SQL, IBMDB2. We have particularly strong skills in translating graphic concepts into solid HTML/CSS and integrating them into a variety of back-ends.

We've worked for clients such as Cato Purnell Partners, the University of Adelaide, Argos UK and numerous other clients spanning various industries — wineries, breweries, marketing, fashion, accommodation and more.

So, that's about it for now. Like what you see? Give us a call.