Interview with TemplateMonster’s CEO David Braun

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(Last Updated On: January 10, 2017)

What’s a budget-friendly and time-effective solution to get a modern site? If you think about hiring a programmer, it will cost you a bundle, and the whole process may take surprisingly much more time than expected. Instead, you can use a ready-made website design known as a theme or template. All you have to do is to install it on your domain, fill with your content, and your site is ready to live. This is currently the easiest and most affordable way for non-tech savvies to get a site up and running fast and completely from scratch.

There is a range of companies that release website templates. Today, we’re going to talk to David Braun, the co-founder and CEO of one of those companies. This inventive tech geek, public activist, drummer, and father of 3 kids will make things clear on everything related to use of website templates and how his company, TemplateMonster, withstands competition.

 David Braun Interview

Hello, David. We are grateful for your consent to talk with us. Tell us about your company and how you came up with an idea to launch it.

TemplateMonster is the oldest developer of ready-made templates on the market. We founded it in 2002. People from different parts of the world used our products when the mankind knew nothing about Facebook or YouTube. We saw the evolution of the web ourselves and actually made a huge contribution to it. Among all the sites running today, hundreds of thousands were built with our templates.

I got an idea to found TemplateMonster, when I worked at a custom design studio. We literally turned ourselves inside out to make it, but lost a lot of potential customers, because they sought for something cheaper. One day, I saw one of our designers using a ready-made template. That’s how I got the idea that turned into a successful business eventually.

Did things always go smooth on your way? 14 years is a long period…

Of course, not. There were times when things went wrong with our products. Just take a look at negative yet sometimes true testimonials. Most of them referred to our outdated templates, that’s why we removed them from our marketplace. The good thing is that negative feedback helped us take the right turn, understand what our customers really needed, and give it to them.

Let’s take a closer look at the marketplace of TemplateMonster. What can we find there? Only templates or something else?

Our marketplace contains over 26,000 templates designed for different types of sites, business niches, and engines including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop, Shopify, and many others. We want to cover the needs of as many customers as possible. Besides ready-made templates, there are more cool things for website owners. Landing pages, plugins, email templates and many other products will equip you with all the essentials for your work.

 David Braun Interview

Who are your customers? Do they need to have any knowledge in development to use your templates?

Having analyzed our customer base, we found out that both entrepreneurs with little to no tech skills and professional developers bought our templates. Every group of customers get their own benefits from products.

What we provide for entrepreneurs is independence from designers, coders, and other guys who sometimes overvalue their work and miss deadlines. There’s no need to spend long hours in search of skilled and responsible freelancers who may eventually design something that doesn’t meet your needs. At TemplateMonster, you can see the final product you pay for. What’s on your part is to replace the default content with yours.

OK, but what if I am a total dummy and have no idea how to install the template, add my logo and other content, change colors? Most entrepreneurs think about the ways to generate more revenues and have no wish to bother with those things.

If you want to skip installation, customization or, say, integration with Google Analytics, go to our Service Center. Our pros will take care of everything to deliver a ready-to-use site for you within 24 hours. Some assignments take even less time, e.g. we install the template and plugins within 3 hours. There’s no job guys from our Service Center can’t handle.

Why do developers who know how to build sites themselves pay money for your products? Does it make any sense?

With the help of templates, developers speed up their workflow and get paid for much more projects. Among 26,000 templates, anyone can find the one meeting requirements of even the most demanding customers. What’s the point in creating something from scratch if it’s already in our marketplace? Simply customize some facets of the design, and the job is done.

Not long ago, we also launched a cool project to certify developers from all over the world. To receive a personal certificate, all they need to do is to complete a course and then pass a final test at our Certification Center. Having a certificate from a globally recognized web design company is a great way to back up your skills and gain customers’ trust.

I see. But let’s get back to entrepreneurs and pretend I am one of them with an already running site. When do you think it’s time for a redesign?

Well, it depends on the last time you upgraded your site. If you haven’t brought any updates to it, it’s time to fix this. Trends come and go, you’d better not miss the moment when your site starts looking archaic. You can’t desperately hope for a customer flow if your company looks as if it was founded by your ancestors. Really, who will take your seriously?

Also check how user-friendly your site is in terms of navigation, readability, and other aspects. What’s also vital is to test how it works on smartphones and tablets that we all use to browse the web on the go. Your site must be adjustable to mobile devices, otherwise you will lose a lot of prospects. If your site is not mobile-friendly, forget about higher SEO rankings. Google hates such sites.

What have you been up to lately? Any special projects?

In 2016, our team has released a lot of flagship templates. Compared to regular products, they provide much more versatility for users. Let me make things clear using a flagship for Joomla templates as an example. We called it Jumerix. It’s an ultimate tool to build an online magazine, business site, personal portfolio, web store, whatever. You can also create a complex portal combining several types of sites into one. Let’s say you need a site to present your company, but also want to share some curious info with clients and sell products at the same time. Using a single template, you can build a business site and add blog and store functionalities to it. Jumerix is like an all-in-one solution for all the needs you may have.

Jumerix is for Joomla. What other engines do you have flagships for?

At first we released a flagship theme only for WordPress due to its enormous popularity. But then we decided it would be fair if users of other engines could also use products of this type. So, we developed flagship templates for all the popular engines of today, e.g. Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop, etc.

There are also old school guys who don’t use any CMS, and we took care of them as well. Among HTML5 templates that aren’t powered by any CMS, you can find a few flagships. It’s one of our goals to meet the needs of everyone who comes to the marketplace of TemplateMonster.

How much do customers have to overpay for such flexibility?

Nothing at all! We don’t charge more for flagship products. You can get any of them for the price of a regular template. With the professional 24/7 support that we provide for a lifetime, our flagships are the best deals you can find on the market at present. That’s for sure.

Flagships are really cool, but what if I need a regular template? Why should I choose products of your company over your competitors? What are your benefits?

First of all, it’s the cost and value of our products. We don’t set prices higher than what our competitors charge. Frankly speaking, you can search in Google and will always find promo codes to cut down the price by 10%-40%. We also offer large discounts on Christmas, Independence Day, and other public holidays. So, if you want to save on your purchase, our store is the place to go.

Sometimes you may find that the price is higher, but, as I said before, it’s all about the value we provide. When you become our customer, you get more goodies besides the template itself. For example, all our products, except for GPL WordPress themes, come packed with HD images shown in the demo. It’s another cool opportunity to save, as there’s no need to buy stock photos. At TemplateMonster, you can also benefit from professional technical support for free.

 David Braun Interview

Wait a second. Doesn’t every company provide a free support?

In fact, TemplateMonster is currently the only developer of website templates providing this service for a lifetime without charging any extra payment. To compare, our competitors provide it for free only for a limited period, which is unreasonable and unfair to customers, in my humble opinion.

What if you don’t want to use the template at once? It’s your right to decide when to use the product you paid for, right? No one should take it away from you. But with a time limit on free support, you’ll have to pay extra to get consultation, say, in half a year or be on your own with your issues.

That’s why at TemplateMonster we are ready to help our customers at any time. And, what’s more important, our professional team works until every customer is satisfied 100%. These are not mere words. Due to our top-notch customer service, we entered the top three of web design companies at TrustPilot. This is a reliable resource with verified consumer reviews. So many people can’t be wrong, right?

Can users figure out everything themselves?

Yes, they can. Every template comes well-documented to guide users through the ins and outs of using it. There are also many detailed tutorials at our Help Center and Startup Hub for those of you who have just started out or want to, but don’t know how. Moreover, we run a blog to share a lot of educational content with our audience, particularly free ebooks, webinars, tips, tools to become more productive, and much more. At TemplateMonster, you won’t just learn how to build attractive and functional sites fast, you’ll enjoy it.

Thank you for sharing all this info with us, David. Customers of TemplateMonster are in safe hands. Our team wishes you inspiration and ingenuity to scale new heights. Good luck!)

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