Web357 is a great solution for those who are looking for high-quality plugins and services for their website. Website Planet
had the opportunity to speak with Yiannis Christodoulou, the Founder & Lead Web Developer at Web357, who kindly agreed to share some interesting facts about the company and the services that are offered.
What is Web357?
Web357 is a company based in Cyprus consisting of 5 people. She started her journey in 2014 by building Joomla! extensions and WordPress plugins aimed at professionals and individuals around the world.
To date, we operate with a vision to make each platform more functional, making the repetitive tasks faced by every professional in the field simpler, safer, and faster.
Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
Thank you for this interesting question. I am glad to have the opportunity to answer it. So let’s put the events in their chronological order.
The trigger of the idea
In 2005 I started creating websites with HTML / CSS and PHP. Sometime in 2007, while I was still studying at the university, I came across a conference. That’s where I discovered Joomla! CMS, which at that time made its maiden appearance.
Since then, I started converting websites to Joomla!, replacing the custom way I used up to that point. In the process, I began to notice my clients’ websites gaining traffic and their businesses making money from this venture.
Gradually they began to want more sophisticated features and add-ons to their page to advance their development and profitability. Joomla! by itself could not meet these needs, so I started writing custom extensions to serve the needs and solve the problems faced by each customer.
Everything started in 2011 with an extension I made for a sports newspaper. The need was to be able to display the content of the page in months and years. A few years later, inspired by the client’s original idea, I adapted the extension so that it could cover other professionals with the same need.
So, in 2014, the “Monthly Archive Joomla!” the first official Joomla! extension of Web357was published! Nowadays, it is installed and used by hundreds of Joomla! websites, while listing about 1,130 subscribers.
Over the years
Subsequently, I posted some free extensions, including dateime, fixedhtmltoolbar, wwwredirect, countdown, and more. Each time, my goal was to solve a minor problem or help optimize the aesthetics of a website.
The customer was thrilled with the result on his page. “You have to use it too!”, He suggested and insisted that other people might use it.
This dialogue led to the publication of the Cookies Policy Notification Bar. He published it in the French Community of Joomla! and created a buzz. In just a few days, the plugin had hundreds of downloads. In addition, all of the users gave me a lot of ideas for optimization and new features, which I always made sure to implement.
What matters and helps you stand out in the market, regardless of industry, is to listen to the needs of consumers who will use your products. When you are a member of an active community, this is easy, as long as you take the time to listen to what helps and what makes it difficult for people who use or would like to use your products.
This way, any business can grow and stay in the market successfully.
At the end of 2017, another of our subscribers from Germany informed me that in May 2018, the GDPR law will come into force. At that time, we did not realize the extent of the issue, but today we all know what it means and how much it can affect a page.
I remember working very hard at the time to get a version of the Cookies Policy Notification Bar that was compatible with the new European Union regulations.
In May 2018, we were ready. Thus, the plugin gained substantial recognition and new subscribers. The plugin’s capabilities, mainly in the part of GDPR, helped a lot. Today the plugin has over 8,000 subscribers and is one of the top plugins that hold the pillars of Web357.
The knowledge I gained from this experience is that the next business idea is out there, waiting for you to discover it. Discussing and exchanging views with trusted people who share common interests is always a source of inspiration. From then on, it’s up to you whether you decide to seize the opportunity or let it pass, at the thought that it requires time and hassle.
Some of the most popular Joomla! backend extensions mainly for Admins created with similar stories are the following:
Login as User, Fix 404 Error Links, Limit Active Logins, JLogs, Failed and Successfully Login Attempts.
In July 2019, we also entered the WordPress market with the fully trained Login as User for WordPress, which counts 10,000 active installations.
Today, we are constantly looking for the next idea that will solve a problem and become the reason to create the next extension or plugin that will facilitate the daily tasks of every professional who uses the Joomla! and WordPress platforms.
Our goal is always to provide an easier and more functional management environment for the administrator. Then this will give a better experience to the end visitor of the page.
What services do you offer?
We offer a wide variety of solution-focused services for professionals dealing with Joomla! and WordPress platforms. These include:
- Extensions for Joomla!
- WordPress plugins
- Website development/maintenance/optimization and e-commerce services both for Joomla! and WordPress
- Website design and maintenance
- In addition to the above, we offer a variety of handy solutions such as Speed optimization, Website Security, Upgrade Service to the latest stable version, WCAG 2.1 and ADA Joomla! website accessibility, GDPR Compliance, Fix Hacked site, Backup service etc.
Who are your typical customers, and what do you think is the main challenge that your product solves for them?
Our customers are mainly Website Agencies and companies that build websites for their customers using Joomla! and WordPress. These two Content Management Systems are the most popular CMSs on the market in current years and are widely used by web design companies.
These companies usually consist of teams with 10-15 people but do not have the financial luxury to hire Advanced Full-stack Joomla!/WordPress developers with many years of experience. Thus, we become this trusted partner, offering personalized solutions to the customer – business to provide to their customers.
What is unique for Web357?
We are proud of our technical support, a key priority for us and an integral part of our corporate values.
We usually respond within 12 hours and provide solutions that serve the customer immediately and solve his problems. The love for what we do and the way we care about each challenge is clearly perceived. Thus, we are glad to read every time the evaluations we receive.
After all, high-quality support is one of the main factors we have recurring subscriptions annually.
How do you envision the future of your industry?
Our intention for the next ten years is to be here, helping our customers and subscribers achieve their goals and actively participate in solving their problems by creating all kinds of plugins.
The future is bright as more and more companies along with pages need new solutions to serve the needs of their customers, which are becoming more and more demanding. As our experience becomes enriched by the daily challenges of the people we work with and the solutions that arise each time, we can cope more efficiently, measuring both the successes and the lessons.