entry (on stage); appearance (on screen)
entrance; introduction (into a market)
Developing a TYPO3 website builder
by taking on the 'one fits most' approach
This is a manifesto for conquering undiscovered markets, questioning existing business models, and finding better solutions. With this in mind, this is why we are convinced of our website builder.
Today, countless web agencies in Germany, Europe, and worldwide are using the professional content management system TYPO3 to build successful, large scale, excellent and highly complex websites. The demand for elaborate web solutions is constantly increasing.
The number of professional corporate websites and high-end portals that were built using TYPO3 since the system was created in 1998 is remarkable. The growth of TYPO3 has been successful, because of the hard work and quality guaranteed by the core developers.
So business is going great, right?
Not entirely, no. The market is constantly growing, new technologies and ever-changing user behaviour keep business going. No doubt about that.
But – and this is the big 'but' here – our field still lacks a certain sense for small and medium businesses with solid website budgets. Too often, ‘solid’ is considered as too ‘small’. Sometimes rightly so, as agencies expect a fair wage for providing a well programmed web service.
The consequence: Small and medium enterprises (SME) are currently only being served by a variety of mediocre web designers and website builders that advertise the creation of a website in three minutes. That’s right! We’re not talking about a ‘five-minute-installation’ but a three-minute-website. Let’s just leave it at that.
Defining the needs of SME websites
Supporters of TYPO3 should be asking themselves: Is the market of web development really large enough to leave a big chunk of potential clients behind? Are their budgets really too small to leave their needs unfulfilled? Is there anything we can do to provide sustainable web development for this smaller player? How can we serve local players and hidden champions who need competent web development?
Let’s focus on the basic needs of these particular clients for a minute: They’re looking to launch professional websites quickly. They want a state-of-the-art website that will grow with their company, so that relaunches become a thing of the past. They need a service that is affordable and has a transparent cost model. The system also has to be user friendly for their editors, marketing and web design staff. It also needs to be responsive on every device and transferable if needed. Phew.. Is that all?
The art of compromise
It’s a bold concept: ‘One’ solution that serves ‘everybody’. Failure to meet everyone's expectations seems inescapable – whether it be on the agency’s or the customer's side. Years of experience and numerous projects of different budget sizes have taught us so. Inevitably, the solution for a successful website builder should comprise components that offers both parties an attractive compromise.
On the customer’s side, you want to give them the best possible opportunity to create an individual website that has a unique look and feel by mirroring their company's philosophy. Of course, it’s almost impossible to create a website that looks unique because most of today’s standard functions make most websites look and act the same. So how about teaching the client that content is king? That customisation is part of their editorial work and corporate design?
Augmenting the portfolio
On the technical and economic side of a TYPO3 website builder, you want developers to be able to handle daily customer service not just individually but globally as well. Updates, bug fixes, deployments – everything that you work on, every problem should be dealt with and repaired once and for all. To handle issues as merely individual issues would be counterproductive on the agency’s side.
The solution we strived for: A customised pre-configured package that fits most of the needs of small and medium businesses.
Why ‘most needs’? Because we know that there will always be exceptions. Any business that is being truthful will never state that their product can meet everyone’s needs. Still knowing this, there is a sense out there that website building is easy, can be done within minutes and requires no customisation. Is that what we want to promote?
Introduce & inspire
We believe that having an honest and affordable approach to TYPO3 could fill a major void. That’s what we want to achieve: A business model that caters to all kinds of clients that have never been valued due to monetary limitations. At DFAU, we call it 'toujou'. A made-to-measure website builder.
Already during the beta phase, ‘toujou’ has grown enormously with our first customer projects. The same goes for our business model: We want to promote TYPO3, and it is certainly not our goal to steal any clients from anybody, by all means! So, how about preparing a lot of clients for future TYPO3 projects together?
This is not a sales pitch!
TYPO3 Partners get the chance to distribute toujou themselves at a much lower cost to the customer. This way, we can offer a margin for the agency to market their own services with. Or, if they cannot serve the interested client themselves, agencies have the option to secure a solid commission by handing over the project directly to us.
That’s what the open source community is all about. And we look forward to more partners who, with their ideas, take ‘toujou’ to the next level. In the meantime, we should all continue providing good technological development.