TemplateMonster is one of the oldest and most famous template providers. Today TemplateMonster’s CEO and co-founder David Braun answers our questions and reveals the secrets of his own success and success of his company.
Kieran Maître (Interviewer): Hello, David! It is very nice of you to find time for this interview. Our readers will be extremely pleased to learn from such a business shark. Your example can be really encouraging for lots of young entrepreneurs who are just on the verge of starting their own business. This is also an opportunity for you to get people acquainted with TemplateMonster. Of course, most of our readers are already familiar with your company, but still they might be interested in learning some lesser-known details. Ok, let’s start. An easy question to begin with. Where do the roots of TemplateMonster lie? How was the company created?
David Braun: Believe it or not, but TemplateMonster started as a small local web studio with less than 10 people in the team. Officially TemplateMonster appeared as a company in 2002, but the actual history began a few years earlier when we started a web studio. We were doing all right at the beginning, but very soon it appeared that we were not able to manage all the orders. There were too many clients, and we couldn’t afford ourselves to increase personnel. That was where the idea of ready-made templates came to our mind. It was a brand-new revolutionary decision, which gave our clients an opportunity to have a high-quality design for a moderate price.
Kieran (Interviewer): Was it difficult from the very beginning or the clients were into this innovation at once?
David Braun: The clients took up the idea at once. And for the first couple of years the business flourished greatly, as we were almost monopolists on the template market. Now the competition is really tough and we have to stand our ground. Every day we need to introduce something new to attract the audience.
Interviewer: Ok, as you started to talk about the competition, what are your advantages over the other template providers?
David Braun: Well, this would be direct promotion! <i>/laughs/</i> Jokes aside we have very strong clients support. Far not everyone offers free lifetime 24/7 support. Then we have a really wide choice of the templates. The collection counts more than 26K. And all the themes are renewed constantly. I mean there are no outdated templates. All of them are up-to-date, run on modern CMS and are user-friendly. Even a complete beginner can manage any template without problems.
Kieran (Interviewer): Sounds really good! And what about web developers, web studios? Do you collaborate with them? Can they make advantage of your templates?
David Braun: Sure! Many web developers buy templates from us. When you create a website from scratch for you client, you spend a lot of time on design and thousands of details. Instead you can buy a ready-made template and customize it according to your client’s needs and purposes. It saves you lots of time and increases your income, as you will be able to complete more projects in the same period of time. Moreover we have a big collection of GPL 3.0 licensed templates, which is even handier for web developers.
Kieran (Interviewer): Ok, it seems that both ordinary users and web developers can benefit from TemplateMonster. Who else can take advantage of your themes?
David Braun: Actually there is a niche for everyone. If you are a blogger, video blogger or if you have any kind of website you can become our affiliate partner. TemplateMonster’s affiliate program offers the fairest terms and lots of people worldwide have already joined it. We have a clear and fair commission plan to stimulate our partners for the growth and development. Those who don’t have a website, but want to become a part of our family can consider an option of Social Stock project. It offers you an opportunity to win Tesla Model S and lots of other valuable prizes.
Kieran (Interviewer): Sounds great. I think I will join Social Stock myself:) David, can you name some milestones in the history of your company?
David Braun: That’s perhaps the hardest question to answer. We constantly invent something new; every day is a small break. Believe me, over these 14 years there were so many important events, that it is hard to remember even a tiny part of them. From the most recent ones it was launching of Monstroid in 2015. It was kind of point of no return for us. Every new template we created should fit with this high standard. Very soon we are going to bring it all to a whole new level with.
Kieran: Looking forward to it! And what is behind the curtain? What is TemplateMonster from the inside?
David Braun: For me it is not just a company. It is a family. A family that consists of all our team and of our clients. Thanks to them we developed into one of the world’s leading template providers. And our team… Over these 14 years we really stick together. We have our own corporate culture, events and traditions. If you ask about the inside of TemplateMonster, we are not limited to coding, designing and developing. We have an active social position. There are lots of events in our corporate life. We take part in marathons, charity programs, etc.
Kieran: Many people prefer not to pay for the theme and just to use a free one. As we all know, TemplateMonster offers a pretty big collection of free templates. What is peculiar about them? Are they in some way inferior to the premium ones? Generally, can one create a decent looking website with a free template?
David Braun: What about our free templates they are all of the same high quality as the premium ones. They just have a little bit less features, but still quite enough to launch a good website. And we don’t provide client’s support for the free themes. However all of them are well-documented and have all the information one may need. So, I won’t pass my word for the free templates from other sources, but you can use our free themes for serious projects without any doubts.
Kieran (Interviewer): Great! You have mentioned that there are more than 26K products in your collection. But I bet there are clients, who want custom design. Do you provide such services?
David Braun: There is no point in reinventing the wheel. All the themes are very flexible. There are powerful customization modules in-built. They provide customers with an opportunity to modify almost any visual element without ant technical skills. You just buy template and then customise and personalise it the way you like. At the end no one will be able to recognise in your website a ready-made template. Those who don’t want to edit the theme themselves can apply to our TM Service Center.
Kieran: This year is coming to an end. What are your plans for the next 2017 year?
David Braun: We really expect a lot from the upcoming year. This year was very fruitful for us. Recently we conducted our inner investigation of the technical support of our latest flagships. And we got a lot of positive feedbacks from our customers. And moreover, we reached top-three on Trustpilot! This is a real achievement I am proud of. It is clear that the products of high quality with lifetime support can’t be cheap. So we seriously consider the possibility of the price rise by 15-20% in 2017.
Kieran (Interviewer): One last question before we say goodbye. How can you encourage young entrepreneurs, who want to follow in your wake?
David Braun: The main secret of successful business is in being flexible. You can’t predict all the difficulties on your way, but you can act according to situation, minimising the possible harm. And don’t be afraid to fail. Everyone makes mistakes. You shouldn’t lose your heart. But you can draw the conclusions to avoid them in the future.