eXcelisys Saves Stalled Website Development for Online Notary Directory
Freshly Launched, NotarizeIt! Offers Online Directory and Booking Services to Link Notaries with Clients in Need
Struggling to find a way to put her notary public stamp to wider use, Lakema Howard took the initiative and founded NotarizeIt! In May 2023, the NotarizeIt! website went live, thanks to a web development rescue from eXcelisys. NotarizeIt! hooks up trusted notaries with individuals and businesses in need of a notary.
Howard birthed the idea back in 2019 while working in hospital medical records and health informatics. The job required her to maintain a commission with the state of Georgia as a notary to provide backup for birth certificate documentation. But her seal was rarely needed.
“I was sitting around with this notary stamp thinking I could be doing something with this – but how do you go out and find customers?” Howard figured there must be some place to advertise her services to potential clients in her area but soon discovered that was not the case.
After 18 months of research, legal consultations, and meticulous strategic planning, Howard had a plan and hired a web designer to bring her vision to life. Howard planned to launch a website – searchable by ZIP code – that would allow people to find a notary and finalize a booking. To get listed in the directory, notary publics would sign up for a subscription to advertise their services and service area.
Several months and development dollars later, Howard discovered that the web firm she had hired did not fully grasp the depth of development know-how required to add the features and workflows she had so carefully laid out. Eager to get the site up and running, Howard decided to hire someone else to finish the project. She interviewed three web development firms and ultimately chose eXcelisys, trusting that a company with more than 22 years of eXperience would get the job done right. In January 2023, eXcelisys dug into the site. The design was there but the backend features did not function properly.
To get the site functional, eXcelisys:
- Built a custom plugin to hook and filter the broken functions of the ineffective plugins that had been built into the site. Essentially, eXcelisys’ custom plugin was a bandaid in the middle. Untangling this mess involved following code in five different plugins to see what was working and what was not, then writing custom code to fix the issues so the search and booking features would run smoothly.
- Created two payment gateways (using WooCommerce and Stripe), one for subscription transactions, the other to collect the booking fees from customers.
NotarizeIt! allows users to conveniently book a notary in advance, or for same-day services, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Howard is in the process of attracting notary publics to sign up for subscriptions to get listed in the NotarizeIt! directory. As such, it will take time to get every state covered, but Howard envisions having notary publics available in cities across the United States.
Notaries can meet customers at title offices for loan closings, an attorney’s office for a will, or perhaps at a coffee shop when dealing with an advanced directive or other official medical document. Mobile notaries might even travel to a client’s home or business to put their stamp on such things as vendor contracts or articles of incorporation. The site also includes a discrete review system for notaries and clients alike.
When the NotarizeIt! site finally went online in May 2023, Howard was happy to see her years of hard work and planning finally come to fruition. Working directly with eXcelisys web app developer Michael Suhrbier, she was able to get the site completed. “He gets it,” said Howard. “As soon as I explained what I needed, he got it, instantly.” eXcelisys project manager Kurt Knippel says this is not the first time eXcelisys has taken over a project from another developer. Knippel says it’s not uncommon for developers to overestimate their abilities and get into trouble.
While eXcelisys’s work has wrapped up, Howard is just beginning the next phase. To find out more about the Atlanta-based NotarizeIt! visit https://notarizeitbooking.com
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