Member Update – Summer 2018

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

 

 

Comments

18 responses to “Member Update – Summer 2018”

  1. I’m sure many, if not most, of your new members were long time Muse users. I always wanted to be a Muse user but couldn’t get around it’s limitations, opting to use WordPress instead. I’m thankful a powerful tool has come along that lets me design websites for my customers, let’s them maintain them, and reduces the overall cost for all of us. Fast page loads, quick widget development and excellent customer service are simply icing on the cake. Thank you to your team for developing this great tool that can even convert long time WordPress users such as myself.

  2. Yay to the WO Code and MuseThemes team – you continue to appear and provide at just the right moment, often giving us what we need before we know we need it. Your expertise, support and easy to use/follow tools make my work life so much easier. I’m particularly excited about your upcoming projects and Engineer — and thrilled about your longterm vision.
    Many thanks for keeping us in the loop, sharing your thoughts and for the amazing service and quick to market launch of Architect. And kudos for your continued Muse Themes support. While I can’t believe I thought I’d miss Muse, many of my new clients are not quite ready to move/spend on an updated site – so the ability to add bells and whistles will keep them in my court after Adobe’s announcement. I’m yours!

  3. Thanks Steve!

    I’ve never before built a website, but was recommended to you from a previous user of MuseThemes. I’m absolutely not a web pro, but have really enjoyed building and launching our website on wocode and found the setup so intuitive and easy to learn. I’m looking forward now to the new releases and expanding the site further with you!

    PS – hugely impressed as well with your pricing – I’ve been able to subscribe, build, launch and host our new website for less cost than what we were paying just to host our previous site.

    Thank you for a fantastic platform to do it on!

  4. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!
    Boy am I excited for you guys. You all work so very hard and I would like to thank everyone at Without Code for saving us in 2018 when Muse EOL was announced. I have been with you guys for quite sometime and will continue to support all the amazing work you do, for me and all the ex-Muzers our there.
    Thank you for opening up the dark tunnel. I can now see the light ahead and is seems very bright indeed!

    Best wishes,
    Michael L.

  5. Thanks for the update guys! I’m excited for the upcoming releases. Very interested in seeing difference between Shopify and Ecwid. Keep up the very good work and I applaud your transparency.
    Cheers!!

  6. Could you further explain the Engineer CMS? Is there a chance that some of the Muse ‘Connect’ widgets could be ported or added to W/O? I see that the Table Connect widget was been added, will the others soon follow?

  7. Hey Guys, Congrats on everything so far, keep the updates coming. Will be pressing to get on that Engineer CMS beta for Media Gallery, a must have for us video creatives. 😊

  8. I’ve been with Muse since nearly the beginning and I want to use W/O Code badly, I like everything I’ve seen about it. but there needs to be an option to upload to other hosting platforms. I have been trying, but so far all my new clients come to me with an existing hosting plan and they have no interest in switching. So as not to lose the business, I have to continue to use Muse. I’ve read the forum posts on this, and there seems to be a LOT of people asking/wanting/needing the same. Please put this on the list for upcoming improvements.

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