Meet the CEO of TemplateMonster
For those who keep an eye on the news of the web design niche there is no secret that this year TemplateMonster got to the Top-3 template providers on TrustPilot. Today we are talking with TemplateMonster CEO and co-founder David Braun. He is a successful entrepreneur who has been involved in web design business for many years. In this interview he is going to uncover the secret of success of his company and share his opinion on urgent web development question.
Interviewer: Hello David! It' s really great that you have found time for our interview. TemplateMonster for sure has the upper hand in the web design market. And our readers would be extremely pleased to learn the information from such an experienced businessman and successful entrepreneur. If you are ready let's begin. Can you briefly describe TemplateMonster?
David Braun: Well, it all started back in 1998. Several of my friends and I, all fervent enthusiasts of everything connected to Internet and web technologies, started a small local web studio. We had a small office on the outskirts with hardly 10 people of the permanent staff. Still, these were very good times. We were doing what we liked and were quite happy with that. However, very soon we found out that there was a high demand for our products. Having a small team it became difficult to manage all the orders. So we started thinking about the ways to raise our efficiency. Somewhere at this point, the idea of ready-made templates was born. This is basically, how TemplateMonster started. Now we are among world's leading template providers, selling thousands of templates every year.
Interviewer: Where is your company located and how many employees do you have?
David Braun: The headquarters is in Florida, United States. Currently, we are having around 800 people in the team.
Interviewer: What is the vision of TemplateMonster?
David Braun: First of all, we are customer-oriented. The only chance to succeed in a business is to care about your client. You need to take every opportunity to get to know your customer. Who is he? What are his interests? What is he thinking about? What he likes and dislikes? What problems he has? The more you know, the more you can offer him. We not just sell products, we build relationships with our customers.
Interviewer: What kinds of products do you sell? And how many items do you have in your marketplace?
David Braun: We produce templates of all types and categories. There are popular WordPress, Joomla, Magento themes, and less popular platforms, such as Drupal, Shopify, Jigoshop, etc. I can proudly say that currently, we have one of the biggest template collections on the web - 26K items. And all of them are up-to-date fully functional themes.
Interviewer: What do you think are the merits of using TemplateMonster?
David Braun: The main advantage I am really proud of is our customer support. I believe that no one else in the market provides free lifetime support 24/7. No extra payments. If you have bought a template, you can apply for support anytime you want. Then, the wide range of products we offer. At that rate, anyone can find a perfect fit for his project. And, of course, we are in charge of the high quality of our themes. This goes without saying. For those who want to become our partners, I should mention our affiliate program and TM Web Studio Catalog.
Interviewer: How many WordPress themes do you sell in your marketplace? And what is the best-selling WordPress theme?
David Braun: I think there are about 1500 WordPress themes in our collection. Until recently an undisputed leader among WordPress themes was Monstroid. But a few months ago we launched an improved better version of this template Monstroid 2. And judging from what we have now it is going to be a new bestseller. Monstroid 2 is really a new level of multipurpose WordPress themes. It is pre-packed with absolutely everything you might need. 10 niche websites, fully customizable layout, lots of premium modules, GPL license... It is hard to describe all its merits in few words.
Interviewer: WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. What do you think makes WordPress so popular?
David Braun:Yes, truly, WordPress holds the number one position for many years. Being created in 2003 as a CMS for bloggers it has overpassed these limits very quickly. Over these years its functionality was enhanced to such an extent that now lots of corporate websites, news portals, blogs, portfolios and even online stores run on WordPress. This is hardly surprising. WordPress is the most intuitive and user-friendly platform so far. Without leaving the familiar environment you have a possibility to create complex multilevel projects. And you can enrich the functionality of your website to whatever degree due to thousands of plugins available.
Interviewer: What will be the future of WordPress?
David Braun: As for me, I really think that it will continue holding leading positions in the market. It will continue developing in functionality. Multipurpose themes have become extremely popular lately. Perhaps, WordPress would be moving in this direction. Anyway, it will never lose its popularity, as it is the most user-friendly option for the beginners.
Interviewer: As you might know, I run a blog which provides Korean readers with WordPress related information. Do you have something to say to Korean audience?
David Braun: We would be glad to see the Korean audience among our customers. People, who are involved in web design niche are a separate world. No matter from what country we come from, all of us speaks the common language of web design trends and tendencies. And we would like more people to join this team.
Interviewer: A challenge, I'd imagine, with templates is that after a while they start looking very similar. How do you all handle developing complex and creative designs and functionality without sacrificing that ease-of-use factor? Is continually coming up with easy-to-use but proficient solutions a challenge for your team?
David Braun: Well, you are right. It is really important not to tumble into producing run-of-the-mill similar items without any zest. Still, that is where the professionalism of the team displays itself in its entirety. I am really lucky to have such guys in the team. These are people who constantly come up with bright new ideas. They are always full of energy and enthusiasm. We keep an eye on all modern tendencies, follow the latest web development trends. What also helps is a constant intake of the new blood. Many young creative people are constantly joining our team. They are from different backgrounds with different professional experience. And joining all together they can generate such ideas, that you can't help admiring them.
Interviewer: We've seen lots of trends and buzzwords in web building over the years—from the days of Flash to responsive vs. mobile-specific design, parallax layout, CSS3, and HTML5—what's the 2017 focus for the Template Monster team from a dev standpoint?
David Braun: Yes, trends appear and die out. And it is very important to keep an eye on this turnover. In 2016 we were focused on multipurpose designs. We have launched lots of really good themes, like Startbis, Eveprest, Jumerix and many others. I think this year we are going to continue with this tendency. People love the multipurpose design. It allows you to adjust the theme to any project without any additional efforts. You have everything you need at hand.
Interviewer: Templates are, obviously, popular for first-time, non-technically savvy site owners, but we often bring up what a great headstart they provide for seasoned developers doing work for multiple clients at a time. Is there a particular series of templates you recommend to the devs in our audience?
David Braun: For sure, web studios and web developers can benefit from our templates as well. Just imagine how much time they can save using ready-made themes for their projects! Creating a custom design for the client you spend a lot of time and efforts on design and the most basic functionality. Instead, you can use a ready-made theme as a core and then adjust it to the client's project. As a result, you will be more efficient and will be able to complete more orders at the same time. We have a lovely collection of GPL licensed templates that would be ideal for web developers. You can use them for any number of projects you like and edit the source code without any restrictions.
Interviewer: Thank you David! This was really informative and I think our readers enjoyed reading this interview.
David Braun: My pleasure. I enjoyed it as well. I like talking about the things I am really into. I hope that your readers would share my enthusiasm.