Marketers say that only one in seven new products can become successful. And people always want to know what makes a new solution a hit or a miss.
We enjoy looking at the stories of the most popular tech products trying to understand and recreate their secrets.
On May 29 the global Elementor community celebrated the birthday of their favorite website builder.
The TemplateMonster marketplace team together with millions of users have joined the celebration. We deeply appreciate Elementor and we’ve chosen it over all other website builders. Without it, our amazing themes wouldn’t be the same.
And the third birthday of our favorite builder made us, the TemplateMonster team, sentimental and curious:
- How did it all start back in 2016?
- I mean in 2019, the success of Elementor is quite obvious. It’s loved by more than 2 000 000 professionals from 180 countries.
- But did that happen overnight?
Further we’ll explore the history of the world’s top website builder from its birth until today. If you also want to know how great products come to be then keep on reading.
In 2016, Yoni Luksenberg and Ariel Klikstein were successful web professionals, CEOs of Aryo Digital studio. The studio was founded in 2010 and has made a lot of awesome projects since then. Their team has covered all kinds of WordPress web design and development projects. They designed apps and improved UX for hundreds of websites.
But it was not all rainbows. Experienced developers remember how long it used to take to create a DIY website in those days.
The whole process of designing websites involves many tours of interacting with clients. Also, prototyping and making small changes. Back then, it had to be done with nothing but code and good luck. Developers couldn’t know how a new feature will turn out until it was completed. And the process of getting websites improved and approved by clients took months on end.
Yoni and Ariel were looking for a solution that would turn web design into a visual interactive process. As in all success stories, they didn’t find what they needed. So they created Elementor.
The First Steps (2016-2017)
The main idea was to give designers complete control over the process and results of their work.
Arie and Yoni also knew that developers were sick and tired of creating new theme files for their projects over and over again.
There were also other users, like bloggers and content managers. Most of them didn’t have any coding background and felt helpless when having to add content to websites.
And finally, website owners and marketers needed a technology to help them easily build highly converting landing pages.
So, the task was huge.
How did the new team approach the challenge? The Elementor team explains that:
- They took a step back and reviewed all the goals they had in mind with maximum clarity. There was a lot of brainstorming, negotiating the details and determination to make the project pull through.
- The team took the development very seriously. It was a long process for coming up with new creative solutions, testing them, and going back to where it started. As a result, only 100% effective and workable solutions found their way in the final product. Every inch of Elementor was carefully thought through.
- When the product was finally born as a whole, the team took a step back again. They needed to make sure that Elementor has become a superior builder – powerful, flexible and easy-to-use. Again there was a lot of testing. And the result is here. More than 3000 five star positive reviews to Elementor across various platforms in 2019.
But let’s get back to 2016.
The Product Hunt Surprise
The builder was launched on May 29 of 2016 and the WordPress community got really excited.
I’ll explain what I mean by “excited”: it was some of the first users, not the creators, who launched Elementor on ProductHunt!
The creators did not even know!
They didn’t even have a video intro…
The team was expecting to gather the first feedback from users, have a week of rest and set of to Product Hunt. But the users got it their way.
If there is something to know about Product Hunt launches is that they matter. Creators make a big deal of them, choosing the timing, preparing presentations and official communications. To be successful, a product should get enough votes on ProductHunt and be at the top of the rating. If not, this is a huge opportunity missed.
So the Elementor team was shocked when some user introduced Elementor to the platform without them knowing. But they were not surprised when the Builder got more than 300 upvotes and got to the top 2nd position on the rating. Because they already knew that Elementor was a bomb. And this user-operated launch only proved it.
The launch was only the beginning of the journey.
The First Updates
- Next, the Elementor team welcomed the world to their new template library.
- In September, it was time to talk about responsive design. The mobile experience was already a big thing for web developers. So most websites and web themes were created responsive. But many users didn’t understand that EVERY piece of content they add to their websites should be optimized for mobile screens too.
- Elementor made building responsive layouts so easy that the number of ugly pages we all got to see on mobile screens was significantly reduced.
- By December, the team has worked out and released Elementor PRO. Launching the PRO version six months later was an unpopular but very responsible decision. They wanted to make sure that the professional version of the superstar builder was a new player on the market.
- The next thing they did was a launch of 24 free widgets that were added to the builder inventory.
By the end of 2016, Elementor has gained a wide community of fans. Since then so many feedback was given, so many improvements were made.
Move on to 2018 -2019
- At the dawn of 2018, Elementor was in the 39th most popular plugin in the world. Can you imagine the level of competition they had to win over?
- Elementor spoke 50 languages and had over 70 plugins (actually many more) created by other developers to extend it.
- And the Elementor social media community has grown to 17k fans in their Facebook (they have 63.5k now) and had 10,974 commits on Github.
- During 2017, the team has made changes in the UI, the History feature, Inline editing, and Autosave/Draft functionalities.
- The WordPress theme builder we all love now was launched on April 16, 2018.
- In 2018, the template library got another awesome addition – the Blocks tab. Since then, the Elementors (I mean the users of Elementor) are using blocks to customize their websites through and through.
- The team added Call to action buttons, Animated headlines, hover effects, image shadows and lightboxes.
- Lots of awesome widgets were also added to the Elementor package, like Carousel, Testimonials and media, Single post widget, Facebook widget, Search and Navigation widget.
What’s Up in 2019?
Well, as you can see, Elementor builder has gone a long way and is not going to stop.
- In January, they released the Pop-up builder. Now we have popups with multiple designs and easy-to-add content in the same builder and can set targeting rules in a few clicks. Easy, heh?
- In 2019, Elementor PRO and all the later versions were released. The Elementor team has set two more ambitious goals for 2019 – to enable users to personalize EVERY INCH of the website, not only content areas but also the ability to create interactive content was added. This is huge and this is a reality now with Elementor PRO.
The whole process of website creation is now broken down to three easy steps:
- picking a template (header, footer, archive page, etc);
- filling it with dynamic content;
- setting the rules as to where it will apply.
Designing websites with dynamic content is where we all are heading to all these years.
Why am I making such a fuss about it? Because now you can create a website on your own. You can fill it your content seeing the result as you do it. This seems so obvious but website builders have gone a long way to achieve it.
Earlier this year, in February, Elementor has reached 2 000 000 active downloads. Only 7 months after reaching 1000 000 in 2018!