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.
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!
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.
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!