Robby started The Nine in 2007 with a vision of becoming a leader in the digital landscape in The South. His background in Architecture (bachelor Architecture, Auburn University 2003) has helped him with designing the user interface for Caboose (The Nine's custom Content Editing Framework) and overseeing the direction and future of The Nine. As Chief Architect, he works closely with the lead designers and front end developers to help share his passion for great design. It has always been his goal to provide a work environment that motivates and keeps his employees pushing to be the best in everything that is produced from The Nine. He is active in the community and his church, The Highlands. His heart for the homeless is the driving force behind everything that he works to accomplish with Canvas a newly founded 501(c)(3) that is in the works.
Billy Swift: Front-end Wizard/Barista Partner
Billy graduated from the Computer Science program at The University of Alabama, where he fine-tuned his programming skills. His background in graphic design enables him to code websites that are both visually appealing and easy to use, while maintaining a high level of functionality. Billy has in-depth knowledge of HTML5, CSS, jQuery, and Ruby - and dabbles in other languages. When he's not coding, Billy enjoys bonfires, quoting The Office, reading books, and traveling to Colorado. He is also the proud owner of a Dalmatian that has become our office mascot. He grew up in Dallas and Birmingham, and now resides in Tuscaloosa after graduating from university.
James Bates: Creative Director
James graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a strong pursuance in creative design. He is highly involved with his local Tuscaloosa church and enjoys serving the community in any way he can. Shortly after beginning work with the creative department of a New York Times affiliate, he was persuaded by The University of Alabama to return to school and teach undergraduate design courses as well as pursue a Master of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the institution. After working with high profile, major outdoor retailers and professional athletes to develop creative branding material, James Bates has gained a foundation on which he continues to perfect his craft. His work can be found in many outdoor lifestyle websites and magazines, as well as Southern lifestyle magazines such as Elle Decor and House Beautiful. James brings years of creative development along with years of professional photography with him to his many projects and extends his knowledge and expertise to client work.
Lance Holloway: Digital Director
Lance graduated from The University of Alabama in 2003 with a degree in Telecommunications and Film. After graduation Lance started his own wedding videography company, Holloway Productions, which has become one of the top wedding video companies in the Southeast with such notable clients as Nick Saban, Jason Dufner, André Smith, Jeremy Pruitt, Mitch Moreland, Heidi Elnora and many others. Lance also spent ten years as the video editor for the television show Discovering Alabama, where he won three Emmy’s during that time. Lance’s work has been featured on Fox Sports, Golf Digest, TLC, The Food Network, and in 2010 Lance was recognized by Panache Publications as one of the south’s best videographers. Lance’s expertise ranges from portrait, landscape and architectural photography to corporate/commercial videography and he excels in post production of both stills and video. Lance’s best asset is making clients feel at ease in front of the camera and being able to bring our client’s ideas to life just the way they envisioned it. Lance plays a vital role with The Nine in creating amazing imagery and videography to go along with everything digital that we produce.
Jon Harris: Lead App Developer
Jon was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from The University of Alabama. He has worked on major software development for nationally-used software and continues to develop his app developing skill across multiple platforms. He specializes in iOS app development and device management, but is also proficient in back-end development on the Rails platform. When Jon is not spending time crafting software, he enjoys the great outdoors, traveling, and experimenting with new technology.
McKenna hails from Midland, Texas and is currently a student at The University of Alabama. She regularly uses Caboose and is skilled at taking raw content (text and images) and creating web pages that are easy to use and navigate. McKenna also manages our office and is responsible for keeping the team on track and working efficiently.
Emily is a senior studying Computer Science on the STEM Path to the MBA at The University of Alabama. She is also pursuing minors in Mathematics and Advertising. She first started learning HTML and Photoshop in middle school and has loved both ever since. Career-wise, Emily is an aspiring software engineer. When she's not studying or working, she enjoys photography, crafting, traveling, and music.
We work a sustainable work pace. We work four days for clients on projects and one day on “investment time.” Our typical work week will be Monday through Thursday on client work and Friday on investment. Our investment time is time for investment in ourselves, The Nine and our community. We learn, we prototype, we build and we give back. We work on open source software, we contribute to the Think Tank project, we write blog posts and we continue to work on making Caboose the CMS choice for every developer using Rails as their programming language. We also work on Canvas and Cotton Spark, which is currently in the planning stages (more to come soon).
This time allows for us to put in the work to be the best at what we do, which in turn provides you with the best solutions and technologies avaiable.
We love dogs. Our dogs are an integral part of our daily successes and failures. Take solace in the fact that your beautiful site was designed and built with a puppy in our lap. We also love our Moms.
Cooper is a three-year-old dalmatian. He is completely deaf, but that doesn't slow him down! He loves to run, chase squirrels, and knows sign language. He enjoys wrestling with his best friend Coast and getting into trouble.
Bentley is a miniature goldendoodle. He likes to play rowdy and get all the attention.
Coast is a full-size goldendoodle and loves the water. He is going to be a big boy one day.
Photo & Video
convey your story.
Shot in the South
The Nine is excited to bring on board two of the most talented photographers from right here in the South. Lance Holloway has been working for the past ten years for the University of Alabama on Discovering Alabama, a show that has won three emmy’s over the course of his time there and has allowed him to develop his craft along the way. James Bates has been shooting for major outdoor conservation groups and for major outdoor lifestyle retailers for the last 5 years and has developed his craft on a very broad spectrum under Lance. The Nine knows the value of great photography in everything we do. From print to interactive design, images are the foundation on which we build.
We direct, shoot, and edit for just about anything our clients need. From beautiful aerial stills to fluid, follow shots on a chest-mounted steady cam, our digital experieces set the bar.
Check out our demo reel. We think it speaks for itself.
What We Do
COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING PEOPLE PORTRAITS ARCHITECTURE AERIAL PRODUCTS CORPORATE HOTEL RESORTS FASHION
"Don't shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like." -David Alan Harvey
It's the Core of Who We Are
beautiful design that is functional.
At The Nine, we don't believe in templates, themes, outsourcing, or plugins. Everything we build is designed and developed in-house by our talented team. We've been developing websites for over a decade and keep up-to-date on modern design trends, development tools, and functionality.
Every site we build is fully responsive to work on every screen type - whether it's an iPhone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. We make it easy to integrate with your existing social media accounts to pull your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts directly to your website automatically. E-commerce? No problem. We build fully-functioning online stores with credit card processing, tax and shipping calculation, and inventory management.
We know the hassle of having to wait days or weeks for a developer to make minor changes on a website for you. Using our custom-built content management system, Caboose, site administrators (YOU) can quickly edit content, upload files and images, add pages, or setup user accounts. And if there's something you can't figure out, we are only a phone call or email away.
Some websites are more complicated than text and images. We specialize in building custom web applications for our clients - whether it's a unique map search, a client portal, or online ordering system.
Here are some recent web applications we have launched:
The Colonnade Group The Nine built a custom online ordering for skybox and suite owners, used by over a dozen college campuses across the nation. The system allows users to login, make food selections for upcoming games, and pay via credit card for additional food items. All of the suites, menus, and users can be managed by a campus administrator.
Grant Dickey Features an MLS search engine for local residential, land, and commercial properties for sale. Users can search on a map, contact their local real estate agent, and view property photos and details.
Repconnex Manages vendor credentialing to grant or deny access to a hospital based on the vendor's privileges. Vendors can upload health and training documents which must be approved before they can schedule appointments or access the hospital.
All websites are hosted on a secure cloud server - not an old PC in our basement. We utilize several cloud software platforms, such as Amazon S3 and Heroku, to ensure the highest possible uptime and greatest reliability.
We design sites using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and develop using modern standards such as HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery. Sites are built using the web framework Ruby on Rails and our content management system, Caboose.
High quality tools result in high quality products. Our team uses a variety of tools, both hardware and software, to build the best products possible. Check out below some tools we use often:
Apple MacBook Pro Wacom Drawing Tablet iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Apple Cinema HD Display Samsung Galaxy S8+ iPhone X
Adobe Creative Suite Ruby on Rails Sublime Postgres Heroku Slack
Building a Better Way
we ride the rails like no one else.
After several years of working in frameworks like Wordpress, Expression Engine and the likes, The Nine decided it was time to build our own Content Management System to handle all of our digital sites. Ruby on Rails was the platform of choice as we desired a language that allowed us to write clean code and build quickly.
The Nine has built our own Content Management System called Caboose. With our love for Rails, we felt it only right to name our backend system with such a name. Caboose is a robust and powerful CMS that allows you to edit and add to your site in ways never experienced before. The beauty of Caboose is you won’t need any experience or development background to handle editing your content. We provide training to your team to help understand how to use Caboose and will also give you access to how to videos on using the system.
Be Seen and On Target.
build your following.
Eyesight puts your ads in front of the audiences that matter to you. To learn more about Eyesight digital marketing packages, head on over to eyesightmarketing.com.
The Nine can help your brand increase its social media presence by providing consulting and marketing material, or we can completely run your social media accounts.
Seeing is Believing
visually engage your customers.
We are passionate about beautiful logos. Your logo is the main representation of your brand - and of you. An outdated logo can turn customers away and damage the image of your organization. Our designers will take what you already have going for you - color schemes, shapes, brand recognition - and improve on it to create something new and amazing. Something your brand can be proud of.
Whether it's business cards, brochures, boxes, or billboards, The Nine can help you ensure that customers are seeing the best visual represenation of your brand.
Please use the form below to contact us, and we will be in touch with you shortly.