We’ve been quiet for the last three months as we’ve been working on three major releases. The first one drops today: the new devowl.io website. In this article, we’d like to take you on the journey of why we’re relaunching our WordPress website after only one year and what we learned about high-quality WordPress websites in the past year. Last but not least, we want to show you what the new website offers you as a customer.
How the previous website was created
devowl.io has only had its name for about a year. Up to and including 2019, Matthias developed fantastic WordPress plugins on his own. Despite the grumpy website, crooked translations and more tech-speak than planned marketing, sales grew over the years. That’s why in 2020 we – Matthias and Jan – decided to transform these WordPress plugins into a full-time business. It was important to dust off the technically and functionally fantastic plugins and give them as well as the company behind them a modern look.
We build the devowl.io website in January 2020 with Divi Page Builder and achieved a satisfying result. It was a big leap in the right direction. The website was entirely in English, as at that time the majority of our customers were from all over the world. Integrated in it were the first process automations, a new support tool, the first attempt to build a knowledge base for our customers and a lot of information and around the products.
During the year our business developed further, and we identified that in the meantime already about 40% of our customers speak German. Since we are from Germany it was a logical step to offer everything in German to this large group of customers. In addition, we were already building a new product with Real Cookie Banner, which should also be interesting for many German customers. However, at that time we had no intensive experience with multilingual websites in WordPress. After extensive research we decided to use the almost standard solution in the WordPress world: WPML. A mistake, as it should turn out! I – Jan – have been building WordPress websites for over ten years, but never before have I been so happy to remove a plugin from my WordPress. Countless bugs, performance that forced us to fundamentally rethink our entire server setup with in-memory caches, and a multitude of compatibility issues. This was just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we caught with this decision. We now had a website in English and German, but it was getting worse every month. And it quickly became clear that we would not be able to run it like this forever.
New start for new opportunities
In 2021, we are planning a lot more for Real Cookie Banner, among other products. Not just in terms of new features, but we want to bring what we think is the best cookie banner plugin for WordPress to thousands of website owners. However, that doesn’t work with a slow and buggy website. At least, I wouldn’t leave my money there. At the same time, the content on the website was growing steadily, so the effort for a relaunch would become bigger and bigger. So, the question was: If not now, when? And we invested the time in the new site!
Our new website runs on WordPress with the Impeza theme, a customized version of WP Backery Page Builder and TranslatePress as a multilingual solution. The setup, like any, has its rough edges, but as you click through this site, you’ll notice that it feels fast and high quality. With that, we try to give you the same great experience that you should get in every single one of our WordPress plugins.
However, in addition to the technology, this is also because we’ve been able to conceptually improve the website. If you give us consent, we integrate Google Analytics and Microsoft Clarity in our website. Both tools record the behavior of visitors in detail. Of course, we are not interested in what you are doing in front of your monitor, but in the average behavior of thousands of visitors. From the analysis of this data we could conclude, for example, that we need to make our knowledge base more present and easier to search. This is the only way that potential customers can solve typical problems themselves without having to wait for an answer from us in support.
What’s new on the website?
Let’s get specific. Besides a much faster loading time without annoying flickering effects, clearer readable texts and more defined colors – what else has changed? Of course, we don’t want to withhold that from you to see and try out for yourself!
Knowledge base completely renewed
The knowledge base on our website contained about 30 short articles on the most important issues in English. Many articles ideas were still open with us, but we did not write texts for them yet. For the new knowledge base we have rewritten every single article, so that questions would be clarified now in detail and for various cases. In addition, about 20 partly very detailed articles around Real Cookie Banner were added, so that you now have it much easier to set up your Cookie Banner perfectly. From now on, you will not only get this help in English, but all articles are also available in German.
In addition, we have greatly simplified the accessibility to the knowledge base. It is now more present on the devowl.io website in places where you are looking for more information. We also integrated an intelligent search that tries to show you the right article before you open a support ticket. Without bullshitting click-throughs or chat bots that you have to go through to get to a support person, but as a discreet addition. In perspective you will find this search functionality also directly in our WordPress plugins, so that you get directly at e.g. the setup of your WordPress plugin as easy as possible extensive explanations to the respective topic.
Revised product descriptions
If you’ve ever developed a product yourself, you’ll know it: You know every detail and could tell hours about it. But what is the essential thing that would interest someone who has never seen your product before? This is not an easy question to answer. With the old website, we tried to make the descriptions of our WordPress plugins clearer and easier to understand. Measured by the number of users, we succeeded. However, we also received constructive criticism last year, where we tried to listen carefully. This flowed into the conception of the new website, so that we can now hopefully bring you even more understandably closer, which problems our products solve for you.
For example, at the start of each product description, like for Real Cookie Banner, you will now find the core problem described in one sentence that the WordPress plugin solves for you.
Content is king. Not the animations.
The old devowl.io website was inspired by the design language of Elegant Themes and its visual marketing. Here, distinctive animations are an important element to draw the attention of website visitors. However, integrating this into a custom visual style is more complex than it may first appear. For example, on the old website there were many funny animations – perhaps too many animations – which missed the goal of drawing attention.
On the new website we try to use animations sparingly. They have been reduced to a minimum and are only used in places where they have a clear function. On the other hand, we focused on making the content clearer with different sizes, font widths and colors. This should give you, the reader of the content, a clearer and more undisturbed focus on what really matters.
PS: Newsletter subscribers also get exclusive deals. For the release of the new devowl.io website, for example, there was a 40% discount on the first year of Real Cookie Banner. For this reason alone, you should not miss our news!
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