David Braun: the Recipe of Success

This interview with co-founder and CEO of one of the oldest and the most successful web design companies will be interesting to mature and novice developers and entrepreneurs.
Today, when the competition on the market is tough, some companies manage to stay afloat. TemplateMonster is one of those companies.
We hope that David Braun will reveal all their secrets to our readers.

It is difficult to imagine today’s business without a decent online presentation. However, not all business owners are ready to pay for a custom design or hire a skillful developer to bring the project to life. It’s rather expensive, by the way.
Most of the people prefer to save and don’t start everything from scratch. They just browse a trustworthy web developer site, choose the design that meets their business niche needs and fill it with their unique content.
Using a pre-designed template is the fastest, easiest, and the most cost-efficient way to launch your own resource at the moment.
But let’s come back to our interview, we are sure it is going to be really interesting as David Braun is a conversationalist (inventive tech geek, public activist, drummer, and father of 3 kids).

Hi, David, we know that you are very busy. Thanks for finding time for us in your tight schedule. So, we won’t waste it and pass to the questions straight away. Please tell us briefly about your company and the idea to found it.

Not sure if you know, but TemplateMonster is the oldest web developer in the field. The project was founded in 2002. The company sold its products to people from all over the globe when nobody knew neither about Facebook nor YouTube. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that we saw the evolution of the web with our own eyes and made its feasible contribution to it. You can see hundreds of thousands sites running today that were built with the help of our templates.
The idea to found TemplateMonster came when I worked at a custom design studio. We tried very hard, but lost a lot of potential customers, because they considered our services expensive. Some day, I saw one of our designers using a ready-made template. Actually, that’s how I got the idea that gradually turned into a profitable business.

Did you have any pitfalls on your way to the peak or everything went smoothly all the time?

Nothing of the kind. There were hard times when it seemed that things go wrong with all our products. You probably saw negative, yet sometimes true customers’ testimonials. They drove us up the wall. Nevertheless, most of those testimonials referred to the outdated templates and we mercilessly got rid of them. The good thing is that even negative feedback can be helpful. We understood what our customers really need, and give it to them.

You sell not only templates on the marketplace of TemplateMonster, don’t you?

There are nearly 26,000 templates designed for different types of sites, business niches, and engines including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop, Shopify, and many others on our marketplace. Our higher goal is to cater to the needs of as many customers as possible. Apart from the ready-made templates, you’ll find heaps of cool things for website owners. Landing pages, plugins, email templates and many other products are available at TemplateMonster inventory.

Can you tell us who are your customers? Do they need to have any web development knowledge to use your templates?

It’s natural that we regularly analyze our customers base. This analysis showed that both entrepreneurs with little to no tech skills and professional developers buy our templates. Each group of customers get their own benefits from our products.
Entrepreneurs get independence from designers, coders, and other tech guys who sometimes overvalue their work and don’t care much about deadlines. What is the sense to spend hours in search of skilled and responsible freelancers who may eventually design something that doesn’t meet your requirements. At TemplateMonster, you can see the final product you are going to acquire without paying any money in advance. All you need to do is to replace the default content with your own.

OK, but what about the dummies who have no idea how to install the template, add their logo and other content, change colors, about those entrepreneurs who think only about the ways to generate more revenues and don’t want to be puzzled by things like these?

No problem, they can skip installation, customization or, say, integration with Google Analytics, using TemplateMonster’s Service Center. Its team of professionals will take care of every big deal and trifle to deliver you a ready-to-use website within 24 hours. Some tasks take even less time. Let us say, we install the template and plugins within 3 hours only. We would like you to know that there’s no job guys from our Service Center can’t cope with.

What is the sense for developers who know how to build sites themselves pay money for your products?

The answer is short – money. With the help of templates developers speed up their workflow, they are able to process more orders and get paid for them. It’s easy to find the theme that meets all customer’s requirements among 26,000 templates available on site. There is no point in inventing the wheel (creating design from scratch) when it is already accessible on our marketplace. You’d better simplify your life: customize and polish the design, finish the project and get your money.
I can’t help mentioning that not so long ago, we have launched an awesome project. Now we can certify developers from all over the world. Would you like to receive a personal certificate? Then, you need to complete a course and then pass a final test at our Certification Center. If you are a web development guru, forget about the classes and pass the quiz straight away. You know, having a certificate from a worldwide recognized web design company will definitely improve your online image.

David, please answer the question a lot of entrepreneurs would like to ask you. How to understand that it’s time to redesign your operating website?

Well, everything depends on when you upgraded your site for the last time. Your site didn’t undergo any updates at all? This means only one thing: it’s time to amend this. Web design trends change each other, so you’d better not miss that moment when your site starts looking outdated. You can’t optimistically hope for steady customers flow if your company website looks as if it was founded ages ago. Nobody will take you seriously.
Make sure that your site is user-friendly in terms of navigation, readability, and other aspects. It’s also vital to test how it works on smartphones and tablets that all of us use to browse the web on the go. Your site must adjust to mobile devices, otherwise you will lose a lot of prospective customers. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it will never get high SEO rankings. Google doesn’t like such sites.

What special projects did you accomplish lately?

In 2016, our team concentrated on creating flagship templates. Compared to regular products, they provide much more functionality for the users. Let’s take a flagship for Joomla templates as an example to make the things clearer. It is called Jumerix. The template is an ultimate tool for building an online magazine, business site, personal portfolio, web store, and so on. You can even create a complex portal combining several types of sites. E.c.: you need a website to present your company, but also want to share news & info with clients and sell products – all at the same time. Using this single template, you can build a business site, add a blog, and a store functionalities to it. Jumerix is the all-in-one solution for all web design needs you might have.

OK, I see, Jumerix is for Joomla, but what other engines do you have flagships for?

The first flagship we released was for WordPress CMS because of its popularity. But then we thought that other engines fans would also like to use products of this type. So, we developed flagships for all the popular engines: Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop, the list goes on.
We developed a few flagships for those guys who don’t use any CMS. We mean HTML5 markup language. It’s one of company goals to meet the needs of everyone who comes to TemplateMonster marketplace.

Do the customers have to overpay for such flexibility?

No! We don’t charge more for flagships. You can get any of them for the price of a regular template. With the professional 24/7 support that is provided for a lifetime, our flagships are the best deals you can find on the net for the time being.
Your flagships are incredible, but what about regular templates? Why should customers buy them from you?
First of all, because of the cost and value of our products. Our prices are not higher than the ones of our competitors. Besides, you can search the Internet and find promo codes to reduce the price by 10%-40%. We always offer big discounts on Christmas, Independence Day, and other public holidays. So, if you want to save on your purchase, you always have such possibility.
Sometimes it may seem to you that our prices are a bit higher, but, as I said above, remember the value we provide. As soon as you become our customer, you get loads of goodies apart from the template itself. For example, HD images shown in the demo, come within the template’s package (except for GPL WordPress themes). This is your opportunity to save, as you don’t need to buy stock photos. You can also benefit from free professional technical support at TemplateMonster.

It’s unbelievable, doesn’t every company provide a free support?

Not at all. Currently, TemplateMonster is the only web development company that provides this service for a lifetime without charging any extra payment. Our competitors provide it for free only for a limited period, which I consider unfair to customers.
I will explain my opinion. Some people don’t use the template at once. It’s their right to decide when to use the product they paid for. Though, as time goes by, the limit on free support expires and you have to pay extra money to get a consultation, otherwise, you’ll stay on your own with your issues.
That’s why, we, at TemplateMonster, are ready to help our customers any time they need our help. What’s more important, our high-end support works until every customer is completely satisfied. Do you want proof? TemplateMonster entered the top three of web design companies at TrustPilot thanks to our top-notch customer service. This is a dependable resource with verified customers reviews. So many people can’t be wrong.

Can users figure out everything themselves without professional help?

Jolly well. Every template is shipped well-documented. The documentation guides users through all the steps of using it. You can also find many detailed tutorials at our Help Center and Startup Hub for the startuppers who want to know how. Moreover, we run a blog to share a lot of educational content with our audience, particularly free ebooks, webinars, tips, tools to become more productive, and much more. At TemplateMonster, you don’t just learn how to build attractive and functional sites quickly, you enjoy the process.

Thank you very much for your inspiring interview, David. We wish you and your company thrive for ages as you make the www a better, user-friendlier place. Best of luck with your ambitious plans!

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