go-digital: funding for WordPress projects

7 Min.
go-digital promotion

A website with WordPress or WooCommerce can be funded with up to 16,500 euros - as part of the go-digital programme. Which projects receive funding? And what are the requirements? 10 questions for Nils Hocke from our agency partner AgenturWebfox.

Nils, who receives the funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)? And what exactly is the de minimis rule?

The websites can be supported with up to 16.500€, because we are accredited for module 2 "Digital market development" and module 3 "Digitalized business processes". These modules can be combined with each other.

Funding is available to commercial enterprises (SMEs), including craft enterprises, with technological potential. They must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Less than 100 employees (based on full-time equivalents)
  • In the year preceding the conclusion of the contract, an annual turnover or an annual balance sheet total of not more than EUR 20 million
  • Eligibility for funding under the de minimis Regulation, more on this in a moment.
  • Permanent establishment or branch in Germany

See also the FAQ on go-digital at sites of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The de minimis regulation basically states that a company may not exceed the amount of 200,000 euros in subsidies in three tax years.

go-digital: funding for WordPress  projects
The info portal of go-digital

Analysis of the requirement

The whole thing sounds quite complex in the application process... What are your experiences, what are the chances of getting funding? And how do you help with the application?

The application process is not as complex as you might think. Of course, you have to think about the objectives of the project and the innovation benefit for the customer in advance, but we do that anyway. Then you have to draw up a detailed project plan and sign a few documents, and that's it 🙂 We need a little help from the customer in terms of sales figures etc., but that's about it.

If we and the customer are not yet sure what we want to implement with the funding, you can also first do a potential analysis at the beginning of the project. This may take a maximum of 2 consultant days, but with it, for example, you can first do a requirements workshop at the beginning, so that it becomes clearer to everyone involved what you want to achieve at the end.

So far, all our applications have gone through. Here and there, of course, there have been queries, but really only very few. But we take care of the application completely, so the customer doesn't have to worry about it.

What exactly can be promoted with it, do you have some project examples from the WordPress world?

What exactly can theoretically be promoted within the modules is described here, such as the development of a company-specific online marketing strategy or the establishment of a professional Internet presence for marketing. But I'll summarize some of our previous projects:

Client 1 has been advising and supporting innovative companies and start-ups nationwide in the field of insurance for many years. In doing so, the team creates and designs a wide variety of insurance concepts and insurance products that are specifically tailored to the requirements of the event industry. For end customers, they have in the past developed their own online calculator for taking out temporary event insurance.

As a digitalization project, we were to introduce an online shop system and make our products available to customers via multiple channels in a targeted manner. The following goals were set:

  • Development of an online marketing strategy for the digital distribution of industry-specific insurance solutions
  • Establishment of the necessary structure for efficient implementation of the strategy including consideration of the current state of IT security
  • Creation of a new, contemporary corporate website with WordPress
  • Landing page building kit with WordPress
  • Integration of an online shop system for the sale of insurance policies via multiple channels
  • Introduction of tracking/monitoring for the evaluation and assessment of marketing objectives

Objectives and target groups

Client 2 is also from the insurance industry. He faces the challenge that it is becoming more and more difficult to find the necessary time for customers in order to serve them adequately. The reason is constantly increasing administrative and legal requirements. Therefore, the goal was to meet the ever-increasing demands of customers through a new brand identity and digitalized business processes. For example, in terms of faster and simpler communication channels. These goals were set here:

  • New web design
  • Creation of a new, contemporary corporate website with WordPress
  • SEO optimization
  • Introduction of tracking/monitoring for the evaluation and assessment of marketing objectives
  • Establishment of a "Service" area on the website, with the help of which customers can make claims processing, changes to master data or change notifications directly online
  • Establishment of a blog to provide customers with up-to-date information at all times

Client 3 comes from the event industry and needs a professional internet presence. Also a platform for the digitalization of educational projects for children and families, including the introduction of corresponding digital business processes. In the potential analysis, we will work out the exact requirements with the customer in a workshop in order to then start the implementation phase.

Within the implementation phase, we dedicate ourselves primarily to the conception - both in terms of content and technology - in order to develop the optimal solution for the customer. The visual as well as the technical interaction between the website and the product platform is particularly important, so that the visitors feel as little break as possible when using it. This should increase the trust in the platform, because the visitors should ultimately also buy products.

More demand due to Corona

What role does the current Corona situation play here? Do you sense an increased demand from small and medium-sized enterprises? And how do you deal with this?

The demand for funding among small and medium-sized enterprises for projects related to digitization has always been high, as for most this initially means an investment in something "new". The Corona situation has of course intensified this, as many business models and processes no longer function as they did before the pandemic. In addition, there are suddenly many different "funding offers" and it is easy to lose the overview.

We deal with this quite transparently and take our customers by the hand throughout the process. In addition, we have naturally developed an understanding of which customers and what kind of projects can be supported at all. We see this as a kind of advisory task for us. But we also have to be a bit flexible, especially when it comes to payment, because you have to wait a bit for the money from the federal government.

There are many industries that need to catch up when it comes to online presence. What exactly does consulting look like for you? How do you take the uncertainty away from the teams? And how do you determine what the actual need is so that you don't plan past it?

We do not find our way into the digital future, but a common one. This is exactly what we keep in mind for ourselves and our customers. We know that the topic of digitalization causes uncertainty, especially among our customers. That's why we try to take them with us all the way. In doing so, we usually start at the very beginning, because customers often find it difficult to communicate their requirements properly in the first place.

This means: We integrate the customers' employees into our processes. They become part of the team and take on an active role. That's why we start every project with a workshop or kickoff. In this workshop, we primarily look at the goals of our customers and their target groups, because there is usually already a different perception.

Ideally, we first try to offer a conception phase including requirements management in order to define the exact scope together. This way, we can subsequently work out much more precisely what will be implemented. Of course, this also makes planning much easier and more transparent for us and the customer.

The website as a basis

How do you argue when the argument comes: "Facebook & Co. are enough for our marketing"?

It always depends on what the customer's goal is. And especially which target groups he wants to address. If his target group is mainly on Facebook & Co. then maybe that's enough, but I doubt it. Basically, we always try to look at the user first. Based on that, we then make our recommendations for the right marketing mix. But we do think that having your own website is essential. It is the digital home that can be operated independently of a platform.

You have some clients in the healthcare industry. What's your advice when outdated websites meet a sharp increase in demand on a low budget?

You can take the first steps even with a small budget. The important thing is to define a target image together with the customer and then show the way to get there. This might be a bit more work in the beginning. But at the same time, it makes it easier to define a roadmap that you can then follow in small steps.

We always try to convey this MVP(Minimum Viable Product) idea, even if you have large budgets at your disposal. We want to take small steps as quickly as possible with as much added value as possible, build on them incrementally and always get feedback from users. That's the best way to make sure you don't miss the mark in the end, especially when the budget is limited....

The right WordPress hosting

You are BUSINESS partner of RAIDBOXES. What convinced you? And how has the cooperation been so far?

We think very highly of a strong partner network. And from our point of view, RAIDBOXES should not be missing, especially because we are so convinced of the product. In the end, the overall package of RAIDBOXES convinced us. But above all also the conversations with individual persons. We simply have the same idea of a strategic partnership - that was the deciding factor for us. The fact that we are also doing something good for the climate rounds off the overall package from our point of view.

What makes a good WordPress hosting for you?

Of course, first and foremost everything has to work technically, and it does. But what really convinced us is the simplicity and the offered services from A-Z. From creating a BOX, to activating an SSL certificate to support, it's just fun to work with RAIDBOXES . And you don't need a server administrator anymore 🙂

A few words you and agencyWebfox?

As part of the management team, I am responsible for NewBiz and our partner network. In addition, I take care of the funding program go digital. The agencyWebfox is a full service digital agency consisting of 25 specialists. We have been working and living on the web for more than 20 years.

We share our passion and knowledge with our customers. We are digital natives with an understanding of medium-sized businesses and versatile perspectives - from experience with large brands and small companies. Large enough to be able to handle complex medium-sized projects. And small enough to be there for our customers quickly and unbureaucratically.

Questions about go-digital

What questions do you have about go-digital funding? Feel free to use the comment function. You want more tips on WordPress and WooCommerce? Then follow us on Twitter, Facebook or via our newsletter.

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