Designmodo offers timesaving tools, beautifully-designed websites and email builders for developers and non-tech users with a full knowledgebase of design tips and advice to maintain a business online. Andrian Valeanu, Founder and Editor-in-Chief shares their story, where they started and how they have evolved to become a pioneer in the industry.
Please share the story behind Designmodo: Where did it start and how has it evolved so far?
Designmodo started 11 years ago in the Republic of Moldova as a blog about web design and development. In that period, I was publishing three articles per day (it was a crazy time!) and built an extensive library of website content in a short period of time. I was doing it all in my free time from my full-time job, in the evenings and on weekends.
Revenue from AdSense and BuySellAds was growing fast. So, in January 2011, I decided to leave my day job. I dedicated all my time to my project, and to creating my own freedom by working for myself. I began to invest around 80% of revenue in new authors to write better articles – there’s always someone better than you. I was aware that the blog needed to grow further, and I started to invest more in authors than in my daily needs. Today, still, I only buy enough in my daily life for my basic needs. This notion is known as minimalism.
In 2012, I decided to search for a designer to create and market digital products for designers. We soon saw a boom in international demand and the user base grew rapidly. After a few failures and pivots, the team grew, and we focused our efforts on our three core web apps: Slides, Startup and Postcards. In 2016 I moved to Barcelona, Spain, and we continue working fully remotely.
Can you give us an overview of the products and services you offer?
At the moment, Designmodo has several web apps. On Designmodo.com we offer two low-code website builders, Slides and Startup, and a no-code email builder called Postcards.
Slides is a website builder based on our own framework and is used to create beautiful online presentations. It has a clean and minimalist style and is very easy to use.
Startup is a website builder based on the latest version of the Bootstrap framework. Basically, it’s used to create landing pages for startups, businesses, presentations and more…
Postcards is a no-code email builder. It’s very intuitive to use and you can collaborate with the entire team here. The drag and drop builder allows you to create and customize email marketing templates.
Designmodo has some new projects in the pipeline too.
Firstly, Siter.io, an online design tool for UI/UX designers. Designers can create their design (as they do in Figma, Sketch or Adobe XD), and publish online, without code; you just need to press the publish button.
The second project is Pulsetic.com. Pulsetic is an uptime monitoring service where you can monitor your website or API. It helps you keep your project online by sending you alerts if it goes down; You can be alerted by SMS, Slack, Telegram, Email and more. It also allows you to create a beautiful status page for your website.
Another product we’re working on is Static.app –static website hosting. A Designmodo client asked us for this service many years ago. Many people want simple, no-frills hosting and don’t need advanced functionality. We didn’t want users to overpay for the unused functionality that most hosting providers offer, so we created a way to publish an HTML website in just a few clicks and preview it online without a domain name.
And the last one is the Mailpost.io, an email marketing platform with more functionality more suited to intermediate level users, and better priced than alternative platforms. On Mailpost.io, you can send emails to your subscribers and collect subscriber data using built-in email forms. An important aspect of this service is that we host your email templates, so you don’t have to worry about images. After sending your email campaign, you will see a report about the campaign with lots of useful data on your campaign’s performance.
What is the process of creating a website on your platform?
On Designmodo the process of creating a website is very fast. You just need to select from pre-designed modules, combine them and customize for your needs (you can change the text, images, videos, design elements and more). Then you can choose where to host your website; we don’t limit you and can download the entire website from our website builder.
To avoid expensive and complicated hosting platforms, you can publish the website online with just one click using our solution Static.app.
Do you have any top tips for teams that are building their first website?
The main tip is to take care of any website’s design, UX, and speed. There are more recommendations depending on website types because one size doesn’t fit all; a portfolio website, for example, will look very different to an eCommerce site. For example, a presentation website should be focused on design and the “wow effect”, instead an eCommerce website should be focused on speed, clear information and UX.
How has email marketing evolved since you started Designmodo?
Email marketing has been part of Designmodo since the start of the project. Firstly I used RSS subscriptions + newsletter and later started using newsletter + automation. Ten years ago, email marketing was very simple and not so expensive. Now it’s expensive and time-consuming. It’s important now to make a beautiful email template optimized for all kinds of email clients and browsers.
As always, it’s really important to take care of your email list, don’t spam, don’t buy email lists, don’t bombard people with emails, and keep your list clean and tidy.
Which trends and technologies do you expect to see more of in the coming years?
No-code is here – and here to stay – so more and more people will soon be able to create digital products without needing coding skills or a professional developer (using Webflow or Siter.io you can draw your design and publish it live in seconds).
Blockchain (web3) technology will also be part of our web development process very soon. Yes, this technology is not yet perfect, but I think it’s a good start to making something good for humans and our planet.