But let me take you through the journey that has brought us to where we are today. Back when we committed to the mobile market, it wasn’t an easy decision. First of all, as a self-funded business like Jimdo, you have to be very sure about the kinds of investments you make. There just isn’t a lot of room for error. And we knew that “mobile” would be a big investment for us.
Secondly, we basically had no idea about the mobile market or about app development. We were experts on web but not mobile, so we knew there would be a lot of learning involved. On the other hand, we knew that mobile had the potential to disrupt our market and we wanted to be the ones leading the way.
When we started with the iOS App, the learning curve was indeed as steep as we anticipated. The challenge was to come up with an editing concept that made use of a touch device’s advantages, while keeping it similar enough to our web version so our existing users would enjoy using it right away. In the end we were really happy: users loved the app and Apple even voted us into the category of “Best of AppStore 2013.”
For Android we applied a lot of the same lessons. The challenge here was to adapt the concept but making it native to Android at the same time. We’re now very curious to see how our users like it.
Since the beginning of the development and especially after the iOS release, a lot of our hypotheses about mobile have proven correct:
1. Users expect to be able to update their website from any device.
Some updates to your website are so much more convenient and fun with a mobile device. Just think about uploading a photo—take it with your phone, tap to upload, done. No complicated copying the file from a SD Card to the desktop, resizing, and uploading anymore. Or if you're on the way somewhere and want to check your site statistics quickly? Now you can. The thing is, users are expecting this kind of fun mobile experience for basically any kind of product now. It used to be a pleasant surprise if companies had great mobile apps, but now it’s become a necessity. It feels much better to be the one setting standards then the one chasing the market.
2. Mobile devices push us to develop even easier interfaces, leading us to new markets.
The limited space on mobile devices forces app developers to focus on the most important features. This means apps are more limited, but also easier to use. The same is the case for Jimdo. There are three big upsides to this:
- We’re establishing an even easier entry point to Jimdo, which makes the product accessible to more people.
- Once users hits the limits of the app, they can switch to the desktop version and make more significant changes
- We learned so many lessons on how to simplify the user interface that we re-used them in our web version. So in the end, the New Jimdo Experience was also inspired by our apps.
3. The mobile website-market is taking off quickly.
A website is the identity hub for all SMB’s, prosumers, etc.—and this is no less true in a mobile world. If you combine that with the growth of the mobile market, you can see how important full mobile editing access to a website will be. To give you a sense of the scale, there are about 1.7 billion PCs in use today, and already approximately 2 billion iOS and Android devices. In the next few years, there will be 3-4 billion smartphones in use—it will change how people create and manage their websites.
So today we’re not only celebrating the goal of being cross-platform; we're celebrating being a big part of this change.
Download Jimdo for Android
Co-founder at Jimdo
Matthias studied at the University of Kiel and the University of Gothenburg and then went into business with Fridtjof and Christian to start Jimdo. Matthias takes care of Jimdo's marketing. In his free time, you can find him hang gliding.