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everypage / Website Builder / United Kingdom

How we created a JSON based website builder - Story of Everypage

Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?

My name is Krupali and I’m a co-founder of every page. Everypage is a website builder (yep, another one) which uses a declarative system with JSON as an input and a beautiful and performant site is the output.

What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?

I co-founded every page with my husband to address a need we had. We actually came up with an idea for a developer tool and we were looking to get a website up to gather interest and early sign ups. My co-founder has the ability to build a site himself but it’d mean I wouldn’t be able to update the site without his help (I have no coding skills). On the other hand, when reviewing the many website building tools out there, my co-founder recognized they were very much focused on design first rather than copy. This motivated us to work on a new product, a website building tool that would work for teams made up of technical and non-technical people.

Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?

Our first users were identified as soon as the idea of every page came about - every page was being built for us initially. This was really helpful when building the MVP as I could regularly check in with user needs. I put a list together of the key features the website builder needed and mapped this against what was achievable in a one month period. Whilst my co-founder was busy building, I was researching the market, understanding our target users better as well as understanding the competitors we were up against. Once the core features of every page were ready, I got an initial page up for every page (using every page of course) and gathered early signups. Since then, I’ve gone through various cycles of feedback with our growing list of users and iterated our product accordingly.

What has been your biggest failure or struggle?

Our biggest struggle has been reaching the right users and at the right time. Many forums I hang out in have users who’d benefit from every page, but they usually have a website up already so they’re less likely to move over (they’re not completely unlikely though as we’ve helped a few users to migrate to every page). At the moment, I’m trying to figure out how to reach users at the point at which they need a website up.

How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?

At the early stages of every page, I was in between jobs so I was much more available to work 5-8 hours a day. My co-founder had a full time job so he’d find a few hours in the evenings after work and one day at the weekend to focus on every page. As you can imagine, there was never a typical day as one day I’d be focusing on marketing and other days I’d spend time speaking with users to understand their needs better. Since starting, we’ve maintained daily stand ups, weekly retrospectives and monthly planning sessions. These have helped us to set realistic goals and track to them regularly.

And what has been your biggest achievement or success?

The biggest achievement has to be our first users. Especially because every page hadn’t actually launched yet when the first user signed up! I was researching the various platforms to use for launching and I came across fiddy.co which is similar to Product Hunt except you have to describe your product in less than 50 characters. It seemed like an easy and quirky idea so I tried it, and the next day I got an email to say a user had signed up! It was my birthday so it was one of the nicest presents I received :) and the same user turned into one of our first paying users shortly after!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

In terms of attraction, my co-founder and I “hung out” out in forums where our users might be e.g. Indie Hackers. We shared more about ourselves and every page in these forums, with the aim of connecting and attracting potential users. We’d also do the same in other general places like Twitter. However it was most important to have a presence in places where our users might be.

Once users were interested, we kept them at the centre of our focus. This is an important principle for any product and I still stand by it. Once the first version of every page was out, we only focussed on new features which came from user needs. At times, both of us wanted to work on things that seemed important to us but we always weighed this up against what we were hearing from our users. I also keep in regular contact with our users, whether it’s general updates or 1:1 follow ups, and our users tell us that this has made a real difference to them. Of course personalised customer support may not be scalable but for now I’m enjoying the journey of learning and growing together with our users!

Describe the process of launching the business.

Without repeating too much of a recent blog post, I’d say every page is still launching and always will be.

The first launch of every page came with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. My co-founder and I were going back and forth between releasing a functional product and perfecting our product, and then we came to an agreement that our website builder has worked for us as the first users so this means we’re ready to launch to a wider audience. I wanted to initially launch to a few users only as I wanted to be able to speak to users individually on feedback to help improve the product before a wider launch. As I’d gathered a few early sign-ups whilst in the process of building the SSMVP (super simple MVP), I had a small group of users to launch to.

Once the first version of every page was out and received a generous amount of feedback, I identified and planned how to make improvements and which features to add. I then launched to a wider audience and shared every page more publicly on places like Indie Hackers and Twitter. Then I followed a similar process as the initial launch, where I worked with users to understand how to make every page better.

I still consider every page as being in the launch process, just because we are continuously refining every page and working with users on what they want to see next.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

Everypage has 3 tiers at the moment, one free tier and 2 paid tiers. Essentially the core features of every page are available at all tiers, and then the paid tiers allow users to host on their own domain and remove every page branding. I decided to keep most features available for free to encourage users to get an initial website up for whatever they need. Once they see how simple it is to get a performant site up, they usually want to host their site on their own domain and/or remove branding - which they get with the paid tiers.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?

Everypage is a side project run alongside full-time jobs and this poses our biggest challenge in allowing regular time to focus on every page. I try to manage this by allocating certain evenings and/or weekends to work on specified tasks, and I continue to hold regular meetings to track progress.

I certainly want to grow every page as a product and with more users. I’m currently planning how to do this, whether it’s a Product Hunt launch or continuing with smaller launches. Watch this space!

Let’s talk about your marketing strategy -- how do you market Everypage and grow the service? 

Marketing isn’t one of my natural strengths so I signed up for a course on First 100 users by Olly Meakings. This helped me to learn how I could tackle marketing for every page and I strongly recommend the course for anyone needing help with how to get started on marketing. One of the biggest things I learned is that marketing starts even before you have a product ready, which may be obvious to some but it’s been surprising for others (including my co-founder and I).

The first step in the marketing plan for every page, which I had done subconsciously, was to get a website up to share with anyone interested. This could be done without having a product ready, and I used the initial website to gather interested users (who we later launched to). I then started researching the market and target persona for every page which helped me to understand where I could find my users as well as what questions to expect.

As well as marketing, writing was something neither my co-founder nor I were familiar with. We didn’t let this stop us, and we wrote about our journey and learnings and shared this on various forums (you can find these here https://blog.everypagehq.com/ if you’re interested. I also spent time reviewing websites on Indie Hackers and Product Hunt. These activities weren’t necessarily marketing specific but they’ve helped us to grow our presence with users.

Do you have a model to get product feedback? What’s your favorite way to get product feedback? Did product feedback help you get the results you hoped for ?

Product feedback is essential at all points of the product journey, and for this reason my co-founder and I have always offered users immediate access to us - whether it’s a call, email or our chatbot. We want our users’ feedback so we knew we had to be as available as possible to them in order to get their feedback.

There have been a few forums that have been really helpful for sharing our product for feedback. These include Indie Hackers, Pioneer, Startup School and Moziilla Builders. We’ve received really helpful and actionable feedback through these channels, whether it’s about our website or the product itself. It’s so great to have access to these and I’d strongly encourage it for everyone

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

It’s been a fun and incredible journey of learning! The most significant learning has probably been understanding our users. I knew it was important to know my target audience but I hadn’t specified a target persona (something I learned on the First 100 users course with Olly Meakings). I learned that my target persona should be specified to the level of having a name and age! This seemed crazy at first but it was very helpful when every page wasn’t launched and I wanted to make decisions on what features to implement for our MVP, I focussed on our target persona to understand what they’d want and made decisions based on that.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

My co-founder and I are both fans of podcasts. Some of our favourites include My First Million by Sam Parr and Shaan Puri, Indie Hackers by Courtland Allen and Indie Bites by James McKinven.

I’ve also enjoyed Principles of Product Management by Peter Yang which wasn’t directly applicable to every page as a side project but certainly taught me to spend enough time in understanding the problem every page is solving before identifying and executing a solution.

What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?

Firstly good on you for starting this super fun and exciting journey!

One piece of advice I think all entrepreneurs need is to share their ideas as soon as they have them. Many will think they need to spend time to figure out all the details before sharing anywhere but I think the opposite is true. Once you have an idea, get a website up so you can start engaging with your users and build a product around their needs. This is the best way to build in my opinion!

Another important piece of advice, don’t forget to have fun along the way! Celebrate your first user as well as your hundredth, and hopefully millionth!

About The Author : Binu Mathew

Binu Mathew is the CEO of itmarkerz technologies. It has been catering to the custom software needs of SMEs in India and abroad since March 2011. Binu started his programming and freelance carrier at the age of 17. over around 13 years of experience in startups, startup visas around the globe, and Blogging. You can reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn