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TemplateMonster was founded to make web development more accessible for web studios. Started in 2002, they have grown to a collection of 26000 templates adding new templates every day. zipBoard team talked to David Braun, the founder & CEO to find out more about the journey and road ahead for TemplateMonster.
Hey David, Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about TemplateMonster and your role.
Thank you for taking interest in our company. In short, TemplateMonster is one of the oldest template providing companies with a wide range of products both for developers and end-users. I’m the CEO of this company, and I have been with it since its beginning.
Could you walk us through your entrepreneurial journey?
David: Sure. Before TemplateMonster, I used to work in offline business marketing, it was in the early 2000’s. Then I joined a web design agency which had been recently launched and we created custom websites for people. It was quite a successful business, I recall companies from Fortune 500, Forbes, among our customers. This was great, but there was no possibility to grow for the agency, not considering making more templates. We needed to create a product which we could offer in packs. At some point, I saw one of our best designers work with templates, which he had created in PhotoShop himself. He used to create web designs faster than others. At the moment I didn’t know it was called a “template”, but the idea seemed to be the answer to our new product search. So we switched to creating templates. As a template-providing company, we’ve faced a lot of troubles. We got Ddosed heavily, we faced frauds, but we made it. Since then, we’ve grown and now we offer thousands of different templates which would fit any type of project.
What’s your typical process at Template Monster for creating new templates? How do you guys create and collaborate on those?
The process of creating a new template is pretty simple. Our designers draw a design which meets the requirements of modern trends, after which the design is passed to the production department. We have a huge team doing that, and all of them are great professionals.
What are the key elements for a good template?
It needs to be technically perfect and have an intuitive design. I really like the phrase “A design is like a joke. If you need to explain it, it’s not that good”. Neat layout, powerful imagery, a possibility to place content clearly, so that it is noticed by a customer — all these features and a dozen more are important. Web trends change, but, luckily for business owners, not too often, so their websites look modern for quite a long time.
“A design is like a joke. If you need to explain it, it’s not that good”
What are your day-to-day challenges as a CEO?
Challenges change from day today. As a CEO, I constantly take part in producing and discussing the ideas of how we could improve and how we could develop our company. We open new offices in different countries, we launch brand new products and think about how we could make our customers happier. Last year, for example, we devoted ourselves to creating multipurpose templates for different platforms. So-called “screwdrivers”. For HTML we created Starbis, Jumerix template for Joomla.
If you were to change one thing in your journey of creating TemplateMonster, what would it be?
That’s a difficult question. I don’t think I would change anything if I even could. Of course, the company has been through some really rough times and sometimes we’d face some big business crisis, but we made decisions and they turned out to be right. Every mistake was a priceless experience.
Every mistake was a priceless experience.
What differentiates you from your competitors in the templates world?
First of all, it’s a high-quality 24/7 live chat support. Not only for the customers but for everyone on the website, even if he’s not registered. No other competitor of ours offers this at the moment.
What do you think of DIY website creators like Wix, Webydo which are driving away from the whole templates eco-system?
DIY websites are a great concept if you don’t dig deep. However, these websites are recognized immediately. A website is a much more challenging thing than just a logo and some text under it. There are plenty of details, both technical and visual. Besides, people who use DIY websites, are often not familiar with what a proper web design should look like, and it may play a bad trick on their business in the long run.
A website is a much more challenging thing than just a logo and some text under it. There are plenty of details, both technical and visual.
What is the future for TemplateMonster? Do you see expanding in other fields or offering more features or creating a marketplace?
Yes, this is exactly what we are working at right now, creating a marketplace. And, of course, we will continue producing high-quality templates and finding new ways of making web design for developers and end-users easier.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
First of all, I would like to recommend always going with gut. If some business move seems to be organic to you, and you feel this is the right decision, go for it. Once we’ve missed an opportunity to invest in MotoCMS at its very start and only joined it a couple of years later. I felt investing would have been the right decision, but I had some hesitations. From the point where we are now, I can tell that if we would have done that, we’d have been billionaires by now. Since then, I always go with my gut. Secondly, I would like to emphasize the importance of having a website for your business. And if you’ve already decided to create one, don’t be afraid to make it yourself. Actually, we even created an online school that teaches the very beginners how to create a website. Anyway, always look out for possibilities, and your business will thrive.
It’s never easy, but it pays off.
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