Member Update – November 2018

Major New Feature – Inner Rows

White Label Tutorial Videos

New Widget – SuperHero Slider

Enhanced Shadow Controls

Member Update – Summer 2018

New Widget – Table Connect

New Templates – Landing Pages

Dynamic Copyright Update – Version 1.1

Enabled Blog Commenting

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to sit down and look at what’s been added to your Without Code membership in the last few months and share our priorities for the year ahead.

We’re very excited about what’s coming, and we have big plans to develop new resources (and even all new businesses) designed to help you be even more successful as a designer or business owner. Hang on for a long post, we’ve got plenty to share.

Please note that plans and priorities are subject to change.

 

Opening Thoughts:

2018 was a pivotal year for designers in the Muse space and digital resource companies like MuseThemes. The sudden and unexpected Muse end of life announcement forced us all to reinvent ourselves, and while very stressful at times, I suspect we’ll all look back on it as the start of something amazing. When you’re forced to rebuild your business from scratch, it gives you the opportunity to improve on all of your weak areas and narrow your focus on the exact product and market that you love.

Without Code is an exciting and refreshing business – the platform is incredibly powerful and stable, we can offer faster and higher quality support to our users, and the overall feedback from our market has been extremely positive. I’m proud to see amazing sites published daily, and not only do those sites look great, but they perform at a very high level. Users are consistently reporting increased traffic, better search rankings and happy clients after moving to the platform.

With that said, we need your help in sharing these results with the industry. The website builder market is highly competitive, and we’re up against some big players. We would be forever grateful if you shared your positive experience in your daily browsing – Facebook reviews and community groups, online forums or anywhere that you designers hang out!

Thanks once again for your support so far, and we look forward to a long partnership with you in the future.

 

2019 Core Site Reorganization

Since our initial site launch in April 2018, all of our focus has been on developing new platform features and widgets, and as a result our core site feels neglected. To improve our speed and ability to roll out updates to the site, we’re going to split up our core site and account dashboard (aka. “the app”) into two separate systems. This change will improve the speed of the Without Code site itself and give us more flexibility to enhance the interface design of our account and site dashboard.

While no change in core functionality is planned, you may notice that links to the account dashboard are directed to a subdomain (e.g. app.wocode.com). We’re planning a full dashboard redesign early next year, and the core site will be rebuilt from the ground up using Architect! Nothing beats the SEO, site optimization and rapid design capabilities of our own builder!

 

Enterprise Plan

In our early planning for Without Code, we mapped out an “Enterprise” feature list, which offered additional tools and white label resources to designers and agencies building multiple sites for clients. Pricing for enterprise plans has not been finalized, however it is currently proposed at $30 / month or $299 / year.

We’re close to rolling out our initial Enterprise offering, and I’m excited to share some of the highlights:

  • Enterprise includes all current VIP features – CMS users, premium themes, etc.
  • Receive discounted per site hosting fees – we’re proposing $75 per year, or $7.50 per month, allowing you to make more money on the sites you build.
  • One free personal or agency hosted site. This is our thank you for adopting the platform and moving your client sites on board.
  • White labeled theme gallery – host a gallery of our templates for your clients to review and choose from.
  • White label sales materials – unbranded and pre-designed fact sheets, sales resources and case studies we develop to help you land new customers.
  • Live chat support offering and private enterprise member channel. Get faster help when you need it, and share information with designers building lots of Without Code sites.
  • Several new products and features that are currently under development.

Our main objective with the Enterprise offering is to upgrade support and personalization for users who build high volumes of client sites. We are aiming to roll out this new offering in January 2019.

We welcome your feedback – feel free to comment below or send feedback and requests to info@wocode.com.

 

DNS Changes – New A-Records

We recently implemented a major DNS change that allows you to use A-Records (IP Addresses) to hook up your domains to Without Code. This new method will simplify the domain connection process across a wide variety of domain registrars. It also ensures your site works on naked (non-www) domains, with and without SSL certificates installed. Lastly, there may be a small SEO bump by utilizing the new method due to an update we’ve made to canonical tags.

In order to take advantage of this new domain linking process, you’ll need to remove your existing 301 redirects and add two new A-Records to your DNS settings. Check out our full setup guide for more details. This change is not urgent, and the old method for linking up domains will still continue to work going forward.

 

 

Ecommerce 100 Product Plan – Price Increase

Due to a price change through an outside vendor, the pricing on our 100 product tier ecommerce plan is increasing effective immediately. Ecommerce sites with up to 100 products will now be priced at $190 per year, or $18 when paid monthly. This change will only impact new ecommerce subscriptions – existing subscriptions will continue at their original sign up price.

Ecommerce 2500 products plans will stay at their current price of $360 per year (or $32 monthly). We plan to explore a variety of alternative ecommerce providers in order to broaden your options for selling online.

 

Google PageSpeed Updates

On Monday November 12, Google released a major update to its PageSpeed testing tool, which measures the optimization and efficiency of your website. The tool now uses a new analysis engine called Lighthouse, which focuses more heavily on the real-world performance of a site (time measurements) instead of technical implementations and code tweaks.

This is part of Google’s commitment to always improving the web, and they have raised their standards significantly for sites to achieve a high PageSpeed score. After this release, Without Code users reported their mobile site PageSpeed scores dropped by 20-30 points (desktop sites are mainly unaffected). It’s important to note that your sites will not see a drop in Search Engine Rankings because of this change, they just won’t score as high when reviewed by Google’s testing tool.

Now that we can review and assess the factors that are impacting this score, changes are being implemented into the builder immediately to boost scores back up, and better align with the new testing criteria. You can expect to see performance improvements implemented over the coming weeks and months that will bump those testing scores back up to where we like to see them. This is a top priority for the team.

Read the full Google announcement here:
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/11/pagespeed-insights-now-powered-by.html

 

Engineer CMS

Our Widget Creation system “Engineer” is a project we started almost two years ago for Adobe Muse. While still a live project on our development list, we quickly realized that the Without Code platform is so much more capable than Muse and the need for Engineer was significantly diminished.

After discussion internally and with customers, we decided the project should take a back seat to other more pressing development work, such as responding to customer requested functionality and the implementation of new features on the site building platform. Changes to the web design landscape surrounding GDPR also made us revisit some of the core data storage features of Engineer, and we decided to hold it back until we had better clarity on how it fit within the Without Code brand.

We built a great tool and intend to one day capitalize on that work, but not at the expense of our core business and other more pressing opportunities. We’re currently exploring ways to reduce the complexity of the tool and make it available as a value-added service within your Without Code membership as soon as possible. Stay tuned for more information.

 

Upcoming Projects and Releases:

  • New Widgets – our usual variety of beautiful widgets that add powerful features. Coming soon are Infiniscroll, Full Height Rows, Text / Image Combo Slider, Animated Page Transitions, Disable Right Click and a MembershipWorks integration.
  • Freelancer Theme – a general purpose theme designed for agency or portfolio sites.
  • Individual “Persona” Theme – a theme designed to showcase an individual or online resume.
  • Customer Survey – another MuseThemes tradition, keep an eye out for our year end customer survey arriving in your email within a few weeks. As usual since it’s the holiday season, we are making a donation to a children’s charity focused on giving gifts to kids in need, and we will donate an additional $1 for every completed survey.
  • Core Platform Improvements – a variety of core platform improvements are currently under development, such as a complete blog redesign, dynamic page creation system, client commenting and more connected data features.

 

July / Aug / Sept / Oct Recap

A breakdown of new products and benefits added to your WOC membership in the last four months:

New Widgets:

  • Before and After Slider
  • Facebook Feed
  • Countdown Clock
  • Animations
  • Carousel
  • SuperHero Slider
  • Vimeo Video Gallery
  • Tockify Calendar
  • Tabbed Panel
  • YouTube Video Gallery
  • AddThis Social Tools
  • Facebook Photo Albums

New Themes:

  • OMNI
  • WireFrame – Blanche
  • Winery landing page
  • Musician
  • Church
  • Electrician

Site and Builder Updates:

  • Template Chooser
  • Gradient Picker
  • Sections: new FAQs category
  • Sell on Instagram
  • 21 new fonts
  • Enhanced shadow controls
  • Inner Rows
  • Connected Data
  • Navigation Content editor

 

Thanks again for being a member and supporter of Without Code!

Cheers,
Steve Harris

 

 

The Architect website builder uses a very common grid structure to lay out sites, creating rows and columns to split up content. This system made it extremely easy to create simple layouts, however, users often needed the ability to split rows / columns up into smaller groups to create more complex arrangements.

We’ve just released a powerful and exciting new feature in the Architect website builder called Inner Rows.

The Inner Rows feature allows you to create “rows inside rows,” which opens the door to creating highly complex layouts with a wide variety of design opportunities. Creating additional rows inside of columns also opens the door to layouts with more than four columns, which was our previous limitation.

This feature is one of the biggest structural changes to the Architect builder to date, and we’re very excited to see what kind of interesting and unique layouts our users create.

 

 

How to Use Inner Rows

Inner rows can be added to any existing row by right clicking on a row element, and selecting “add inner row.” Two options may be presented when you add an inner row:

  • If you’re adding the Inner Row to a row with only one column, it will place the new inner row at the bottom of the existing row and include two columns within. You can then add more columns to that row as needed.
  • If you’re adding the Inner Row to a row with multiple columns, you’ll need to specify which column you would like to add it to by selecting the appropriate column from the context menu.
  • You can divide an Inner Row into (up to) four columns, and include any widget or element item you want in the new row.

While it sounds complex in writing, the Inner Row feature is very simple to use with a little bit of exploration in the site builder. The option is now live in your Without Code account, so have fun experimenting with this exciting new level of design freedom.

 

Inner Row Layout Examples

To get you excited about the design possibilities and simplify the process of learning this new feature, we’ve created five beautiful new custom sections that use inner rows. These sections are now available under the “Sections” area within Architect and within the categories listed below:

View a live preview of all sections

 

Section 1 – Hero example using side by side buttons. Available in the “Intro” sections category.


Section 2
– About example using overlapping spacing. Available in the “About” sections category.


Section 3
– Hero example using an irregular box layout for additional navigation. Available in the “Intro” sections category.


Section 4
– Testimonials section using small photos beside a grid layout. Available in the “Testimonials” sections category.

 

Section 5 – Contact us block with map and social icons. Available in the “Contact Us” sections category.

The first 5 videos in our unbranded editor training series are now available for VIP members. These videos can be downloaded and provided to your clients to streamline your on-boarding and ensure clients are comfortable using the Without Code CMS.

View Tutorials

This highly-requested widget displays a unique slideshow that loads fullscreen on any device. Page content below the full screen slideshow is accessible once you scroll. Features include custom titles, subtitles, and image positioning.

Preview Widget

Customize your element shadows with new shadow controls and style enhancements. Edit your shadow color, opacity, direction and type (inner / outer) and add depth to your design!

We’re excited to carry on a MuseThemes tradition here at Without Code: Member Updates!

As a customer and supporter of Without Code, it’s important to us that you are kept in the loop on our upcoming priorities and given an opportunity to provide feedback. Your success is our success, and our goal will always be to provide the products and tools you need to achieve your business or web design goals. Our product development plan is based on your feedback and requests.

Now that our site and platform is live and we have started our weekly product release cycle, it’s time to sit down and look at what’s been added to your membership in the last few months, and what we’re focused on for the future.

If there is something specific that you would like us to address in these posts, please let us know in the comments below.

 

Opening Thoughts

Phew, what a crazy year 2018 has been! From the painful news that Muse was no longer being developed to the excitement of launching our new site and platform, it’s certainly been a rollercoaster for our team and users. We’ve been working on Architect and Engineer for a long time, however the Muse end of life significantly accelerated our plans and lit a fire under us to get our users working with the new platform as quickly as possible.

Delivering Architect so quickly meant we had to make some tough decisions when it came to priorities. Our goal with the V1 release was to give you the essentials you needed to build a great website. Now that we’ve done that, it’s time for us to start refining the product and adding powerful new features, themes, and sections.

I’d also like to take a moment to express our sincere appreciation for your continued support and business. Choosing a new web design platform is a difficult decision, and we appreciate that so many of our MuseThemes users have put their faith in us and joined us on this new journey. We don’t take this lightly, and the whole team is honored, motivated, and excited that we can continue to work together.

 

Long Term Vision / Goal

We have a grand vision for Without Code, and it extends much further than just our initial launch of Architect. Our goal is to become a resource and community for web designers working on many different platforms, and offer a variety of tools, training, and assets that add value to web designers and agencies of any size.

Architect was a clear first step for us, giving Muse users an alternative and fresh platform for their immediate design needs. Following Architect, our focus is to deliver our content management tool / widget builder called “Engineer,” which will allow designers working on any platform to embed a simple widget and manage that content through a cloud-based interface. Looking beyond Engineer, we intend to open the door to other more specialized platforms, such as Shopify. Our entire MuseThemes site was built around the Shopify platform, and we’ve always been impressed with its power and flexibility.

Our expansion into other products and services will be slow and strategic. As a small team, we need to be careful to allocate our internal resources appropriately. As our business grows and revenue stabilizes, we can begin investing heavily in new focus areas while continuing to maintain a high level of service on our existing products. Exciting times ahead!

 

Notable Stats

The response to Without Code and Architect has been extremely positive. Here’s a few notable stats and interesting observations:

  • Since our launch in late May, new Without Code members have built almost 4,000 websites (with up to 50 new sites built per day).
  • Many of these users published a finished site the same day that they joined, which tells us that the Architect product is intuitive to use and much faster than working in Adobe Muse.
  • There are a significant number of large sites built on the platform – 50+ pages – all of which are running extremely fast and maintaining high PageSpeed rankings. This is very different from Muse, where large sites often resulted in performance issues.
  • One of the most powerful features of Architect is the ability to create multi-language websites, and as a result we’re seeing a large volume of international users.
  • Without Code now ranks #1 for many Google searches related to “Building Websites Without Code.” We attribute this quick success to having a good volume of traffic, several links back from MuseThemes (which has a high page authority), and our domain / business name containing those keywords.

Considering we launched less than three months ago, we’re very encouraged by these stats and see a bright future ahead.

 

MuseThemes Releases

Understandably, we receive notes almost daily asking why we continue to release new products for Adobe Muse even though Adobe is no longer developing new features. I wanted to shed some light on this, and clarify exactly why we’re still supporting MT:

  • Muse Longevity – while many users have transitioned to new platforms, there are still thousands of designers who intend to continue using Muse for several more years. Considering websites our team built using Muse in 2011 still work fine, there’s a good possibility that a site built in 2018 will still function perfectly for 5-10 more years. Muse may not be the right tool for your business going forward, but it still hits the mark for many designers around the world and we’re still seeing new MuseThemes membership signups every day.
  • Costs / Cash Flow – Without Code is a startup, which means lumpy revenue and inconsistent cash flow. Continuing to run MuseThemes helps us finance Without Code development, until we build a larger member base and revenue stabilizes.
  • Products Under Development – we had many themes and widgets currently in development when the Muse EOL announcement happened, and there is no reason to hold back releasing these great products to our members.

With that said, we certainly won’t build new Muse products forever. There will come a point where the Muse market has officially moved on to other platforms, and we’re not seeing a return on the investment spent building for Muse. I suspect it will become very obvious when it’s time to reallocate our resources away from MuseThemes, however, this could still be many years away.

 

April / May / June Recap

A breakdown of new products and benefits added to your WOC membership in the last three months:

  • Complete WOCode.com site build.
  • Architect Version 1 release.
  • 10 New Widgets – Custom Typography, Audio Player, FAQ Accordion, Back to Top Button, SEO Pack, Instagram Feed, Dynamic Copyright, Table Connect, Ecwid, and Text Animations.
  • 13 New Themes, including five of our most popular MuseThemes templates.
  • A variety of core platform improvements, such as sub-user permissions, custom sub-user invite emails, ecommerce plan improvements and many more.
  • Many behind the scenes performance improvements and upgrades.

 

Upcoming Projects and Priorities

Please note that upcoming priorities are subject to change.

  • Widget Releases – we have an extensive list of weekly widget releases planned, including animations, social sharing, navigation menus, video players, and image sliders / galleries.
  • Theme Chooser / Filtering – a new theme selection system that allows you to sort, filter, and preview our large selection themes by various categories. The new theme picker makes it easier for you to select an appropriate theme to start your site, as well as shows off our extensive design library to potential customers.
  • Customer Site Showcase – a gallery of real world websites created by our members that help to demonstrate the capabilities of the Architect website builder. We also want to inspire our members by sharing stories and tips from other successful designers through interviews and blog posts.
  • White Label Training / Documentation – a series of unbranded training videos and written documentation that you can pass along to your clients in order to simplify the onboarding process. Training topics include how to login to the CMS system, making / publishing site updates, and sales material outlining the technical benefits of our platform and hosting.
  • Engineer CMS – we’re in the final stages of expanding our Engineer CMS system to work with a variety of platforms (it was originally built for use in Muse) and hope to start a closed beta in August 2018. The first widget built for Engineer will be a filterable media gallery.

Thanks again for being a member and supporter of Without Code!

Cheers,
Steve Harris

 

 

Our Table Connect widget displays data tables on your site with ease. As part of our Connect series of widgets, your table content is managed conveniently using Google Sheets, or with a .CSV file.

Preview Widget

3 free new landing page templates are now in your editor, ready to be customized so your clients can collect sign-ups, increase reservations, attract shoppers and more.

Released new version v1.1: Fixed bug with Owner Copyright Text color not changing after owner link is activated.

The Without Code blog now accepts comments. Please note that all comments are moderated prior to being published, and they may not appear on the site until approved.

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