Guest contribution TemplateMonster

"Big WordPress Projects are Still Rare - Unfortunately"

Due to its size, WordPress has not only given rise to communities around the world, but also created a completely new market where web designers, freelancers, agencies and international companies cavort. We would like to take a closer look at this market and ask about the role that a single CMS can play in the everyday life of an international marketplace provider - Andreas from TemplateMonster in an interview.

TemplateMonster has been offering design and CMS resources since 2002, but does not limit itself to WordPress. Joomla, Facebook and Magento templates are also part of the Americans' range. The company mainly attracts attention with its bundle and discount promotions, but has recently also created a number of additional offers around WordPress, such as the TemplateMonster Startup Hub: an online course in which, according to its own information, practically everything is taught to build a successful WordPress startup. The Americans seem to be stepping on the gas in the direction of WordPress. In this interview, we find out exactly what's behind it.

Andreas, please introduce yourself briefly: What did you learn, what were your most important career stages and how did you end up at TemplateMonster?

My name is Andreas Steiner and I have only been working at TemplateMonster for half a year. I'm a content manager, so I'm mainly responsible for writing postsabout WordPress and keeping an eye on the important topics in the scene. I'm actually a teacher by profession, but almost a year ago I decided to try my hand in a completely new industry.

In this interview, we would like to take a look at the potential and characteristics of the German WordPress market. Now TemplateMonster doesn't only do WordPress. What exactly are your main business areas and what role does WordPress play in this?

There is no doubt that a group of talented designers and developers can change the online world. TemplateMonster also started under this credo and has been active in the web design market for over ten years. From the beginning, we were focused on creating websites quickly and easily using professional web templates. And so, to this day, we provide affordable templates that are optimised for search engines and for performance.

Our team has become a core team of experienced specialists during this time, and our products enable our customers to build their own website from scratch.

Our collection includes more than 30,000 templates and is replenished with 450-500 new designs every month. Our focus is on such areas as:

  •       Web design and development
  •       eCommerce
  •       Mobile/Responsive Development
  •       Facebook layouts
  •       Move content
  •       Experimental Design and Technologies

WordPress plays a special role in this. Because the CMS is an excellent solution for attractive and elegant websites. Moreover, WordPress themes offer unique designs, high functionality and easy installation, which fits perfectly into our focus area, blogging. And WordPress is of course relevant in the CMS market due to its sheer size: after all, just over 60% of all CMS-powered websites run onWordPress.

In our experience, more and more clients want to implement their websites with WordPress. Because a CMS takes a lot of work off your hands and allows even small WordPress projects to have a web presence.

The questions most frequently asked in this context are those about maintenance effort, backup solutions and search engine optimization.

Do you use WordPress yourself, and if so, where and how?

Yes, we are in line with the trend and use WordPress for us as well. Our blog, for example, is powered by WordPress. Here we cover many aspects of the national and international web design industry, such as current news, reviews of the latest development tools and stories from the scene. As an international company, the modular structure of WordPress and the flexibility that comes with it play a particularly important role for us. So when we want to improve our SEO performance, we find very easy-to-use and well-written plugins that offer us real added value.

When this figure was published, the response was huge: 25% of the entire internet is powered by WordPress. How is this figure reflected in your daily business?

As far as I know about global statistics, the 25% figure was mentioned a few years ago. In the meantime, the CMS has grown even more.

WordPress is one of our most popular products. For business reasons, I am not allowed to give more precise figures here. What I can say, however, is that WordPress plays an even greater role in our day-to-day business than the 25% figure would suggest.

The shop view of TemplateMonster offers similar functions as the official WordPress repository.
The shop view of TemplateMonster offers similar functions as the official WordPress repository.

And what about on a strategic level? Do you think the WordPress market will continue to grow? And how do you think the user field will change in the coming years?

Since 2005, WordPress has really become a worldwide trend. People are becoming more and more interested in this CMS and in our opinion the WordPress market will continue to grow. This also applies to Germany. The reasons for this popularity are no secret: WordPress is easily accessible, and it is effortless to install and control. You don't necessarily need any previous knowledge of web design to work with WordPress either.

As for our strategic plans, we intend to focus not only on theme production, but also to give impetus to plugin development.

There should be a whole range of our plug-ins coming onto the market soon. We can't reveal which products they will be at the moment, but we promise to keep you informed.

We will also put an emphasis on blogging and focus especially on WordPress themes with a GPL licence. In the near future, we will have a whole product range exclusively for bloggers.

With this in mind, where do you think the biggest potentials for businesses lie in the WordPress market?

I think the importance of mobile devices in particular is currently systematically underestimated. The way today's trends can be interpreted, it is probably conceivable that people will do without desktop computers in a few years - at least in certain areas.

Instead, users will probably surf the internet and shop with their mobile devices. Not all websites are ready for this today. But with a WordPresssite and a responsive theme , you can be a few steps ahead of your competitors. I therefore predict that in the course of this changeover, be it gradual or sudden, more and more companies in particular will push in the direction of WordPress.

TemplateMonster pushes towards WordPress: in the banner above, advertising for the company's "WordPress School".
TemplateMonster is pushing towards WordPress: the banner above features advertising for the company's "WordPress School".

What do you think is the biggest problem of the German WordPress market and how could it be solved?

One thing that worries me in this context is the implementation of large projects with WordPress. There are already examples of highly sophisticated and very large sites that have been successfully implemented with WordPress. But as far as I know, the litmus test for Germany is still pending.

What advice would you give to WordPress beginners and blogging newbies about WordPress?

All beginnings are difficult. When you start your first blog or other project with WordPress, you will inevitably encounter obstacles. These are usually typical beginner mistakes and you are not the first to face them. So my main tips are: ask questions, visit forums and listen to the experts and advanced users.

There are no stupid questions. In the beginning, it can be very difficult to get to grips with the material and to cope with the criticism of experienced WordPress users. But don't hide your light under a bushel and don't see the problem, but the solution. Always stay focused and positive. See it through and you won't have to wait long for a result.

And if the community can't help you - which is probably because you didn't look long enough - or you don't feel like doing the time-consuming research, there is also the option of using push resources or professional support. The former includes online and email courses on the topic - we also offer such a course and corresponding support.

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