Have you already seen the all new Jimdo? Their user dashboard area has been totally revamped – it now offers a more intuitive workflow, is faster and more visually appealing. Besides, a whole batch of new Jimdo templates has been released. Actually, there’s always something cooking in their developers’ oven :). Today, we’re very excited to discuss the new features among other topics of interest with Brent Gummow, who has been at Jimdo since July 2011.
SWB: Hello Brent, our readers will certainly want to know what your position (stated as Multi-talento on the official website) means. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your duties.
Brent: I’ve been building websites, both personally and professionally, for about 18 years. My clients ranged from small artists and non-profits to science museums and large corporations.
My current position at Jimdo is indeed the Multi-talento at our San Francisco office, and my daily tasks are all over the board. Right now I’m primarily focused on writing for our blog to help our users be more successful with their websites. I’m covering lots of interesting topics like the latest web design trends and how to prepare to build your website.
SWB: The market of site builders is highly saturated today, many startups come and go. Luckily, Jimdo has a long, stable history. What do you think has helped the product maintain its popularity?
Brent: I know that other website builders are more well-known, but I think Jimdo’s track record is better than anyone else’s in the industry. Our web product has been around since 2007, and we currently have 12 million websites from nearly every country on the planet. It helps a lot that we offer native-speaking support and user interfaces for 11 different languages.
Last year we became the mobile leader among our competitors when our iOS app was named one of Apple’s “Best of 2013” apps. The app lets you create a new website from scratch, or edit your existing website, all on a mobile device.
When we release our Android app soon, we’ll be fully cross-platform and you’ll be able to start building a website on your iPad, continue editing it on your computer at the office, and add a new page of your site right from your Android phone during your commute home. Update! Jimdo for Android is here.
SWB: What do you consider the biggest achievement of the company? The biggest failure?
Brent: I think Jimdo’s biggest achievement so far isn’t a “what”, but a “how.” I’m amazed at what an amazing culture the company has and how that makes its way into the product itself. Unlike a lot of our competitors, we’re a self-funded, profitable company that crossed the 10-million-website barrier without needing giant infusions of venture capital. We all truly care about what we build and the people who use our platform. Nothing makes me happier than speaking with customers who are using Jimdo to truly find success. Just yesterday I was speaking with a user who is in his 70s. He’s operating a very successful web business and has the pride and satisfaction that he was able to build his website and online store entirely on his own.
In terms of what we could improve, I think it’s been really important for us to release some new designs and templates. We’d been operating with the same ones for years and it was time for a change. So in addition to overhauling our user interface, making it faster, cleaner, and, dare I say, more fun to build a website than ever before, we have also completely revamped our styling engine and template catalog. The new templates are gorgeous and really make it easy for anyone to quickly create a beautiful website and modify it to be exactly what they want.
SWB: Please comment on the new enhancements. What was the most complicated thing to implement?
Brent: Our founders and core team of developers care very much about making the process of building a website as painless and intuitive as possible. This was always at the heart of Jimdo, but with the new version, this philosophy goes so much deeper. Some of the small touches might go unnoticed, but little things like having the browser window stay centered on the content you are actually working on while you move elements, or allowing users to click and edit text right in the line of a paragraph are important. These things allow you to focus completely on the creative nature of what you are building. That’s where your attention should be focused.
I’m not one of our product developers, so I can’t speak about the technical side of things. But I do think one of the great challenges when you overhaul a product with such a large loyal community already using it, is to make the new version appealing to both the new and existing users. I think our team has done this very well and also introduced lots of great improvements.
SWB: What do you feel is the most underappreciated feature of Jimdo?
Brent: There are a lot of things I could go with here, but I think I’d choose our shop feature. I’ve built a handful of big and small ecommerce sites in the past and if Jimdo had been around then, it would have made my life so much easier.
Jimdo is fantastic for anyone selling between 1-100 store items. I’ve seen people go from sign-up to selling in far less than an hour before, and if you are more serious about selling online, the added ecommerce features in our JimdoBusiness package allow you to do things like make discount codes or have complex, weight-based shipping options.
SWB: What do you think is the most common misconception about website builders? Please debunk it using Jimdo.
Brent: When I first meet people and tell them that I work for a do-it-yourself website builder, they all seem to be very surprised at the idea that anyone can create a website on their own. They assume it must be difficult or require specific skills that they don’t have. I love seeing their reactions when I demo the product – they are blown away at just how easy it can be.
Sure, if you have more advanced skills you can do a bit more customization, but with our new templates, anyone can select a template before signing up and quickly modify it to meet all their needs.
SWB: Do you have a personal Jimdo-powered site? What are your favorite Jimdo sites?
Brent: I’ve moved about 8 of my personal clients over to Jimdo, but I’ve been phasing out from freelancing and haven’t put up a new site yet. I do have one that I’ve been using for testing, demoing and writing some blogposts at http://make-believecoffee.jimdo.com. It’s been a great tool to try out the different templates, design features, and effects.
Some of my teammates have made amazing websites though. Here are a few of my favorites:
And here are some websites that customers have been creating on their own with the new templates:
SWB: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, Brent.