Nowadays creating a website should be fast, fun and easy, right?
And indeed we have come a long way in trying to achieve that. But still millions of entrepreneurs and non-profit volunteers are having a hard time putting up a decent website. We want to help them by making it so easy that even our moms could create a website themselves. From scratch. We are Chris and Robert and for over a decade we have, in several ways, helped over 20.000 entrepreneurs set up their own website. We have created 2 content management systems and are now working on the third and by far coolest one. All of our knowledge and experience is going into this project, as well as some new stuff like gamification. But I’m getting ahead of my self.
Your website is the cornerstone of your online presence.
But it’s not enough. These days you probably also need to use social media (like Facebook), as well as an old fashioned mailing-list and to top it off, it all needs to work together. Not only to produce results, but also to get you higher and higher in the search engines. All in all not a small task. Daunting even. But we’re here to help.
One platform that provides you with everything you need to present your business to your target audience and to communicate with them online. That’s SwiftyLife.
For the past three years we have been working hard with a small team to research, design, sketch and create an all encompassing solution for you to create and manage your online presence. And, for different reasons, we failed even before we could release anything. Twice! Well that is to say, like Thomas Edison, we have found several ways how not to do it. So we’re failing forward. ;-)
But now we are on the right track and this is the route we are following:
pre-select the right tools for you
Simplify the tools to make them really easy to use
Pre-install them for you
Pre-configure them for you
Guide you through the process of using them
Make it more fun and engaging by including game mechanics (gamification)
We will do this for all the areas that make up your online presence and communication, but we start off with your website, as that is the center piece.
“The tool we have selected for you to create your website with is… (drum-roll please): WordPress!”
With over 70.000.000 websites running on WordPress it is by far the biggest content management system out there. And you can do almost anything with it. But that is both a blessing and a curse. You see, over time it has become so big and so large, with so many bells and buttons, that it has become way too difficult to use for a lot of people.
In many ways WordPress is like this remote control. So many buttons and possibilities. But so hard to understand for most people. In every day life you only use just a few buttons…
Besides selecting, installing and configuring WordPress for our customers, we are now in the process of simplifying WordPress. We think the picture of the remote control with the tape on it is funny, but in reality, sometimes you do need some extra options. You just don’t want them to be in your way all the time. Right? That’s why we love this new remote control that the designers of the new Uppleva TV sets at Ikea came up with. It has the stuff you use most at your fingertips and the more advanced stuff is still available, but behind a smart slider.
And that is, in a way, what we are doing with WordPress at the moment. We are hiding some of the functionality you probably will never use and we are redesigning the whole interface of the remaining functions that you use most. All of the power, but way more easy, fast and fun. WordPress is a very stable and robust core CMS (Content Management System). And because it is open source anyone can develop a program or piece of software to plug in to WordPress to perform a specific task. These plugins, as they are called, are the way to add or subtract functionality to or from WordPress.
Here is an overview of the areas of WordPress that we are currently simplifying.
These will act as a user interface layer on top of WordPress as the powerful engine for you next website.
The first part of WordPress that we decided to simplify is the way pages are created and managed in WordPress. With our page manager plugin you can see how the pages of your site are related to each other hierarchly. And changing the settings of each page, such as the title of the page or the status (draft, live, etc) is now very intuitive. Swifty Page Manager Plugin is now available in the WordPress repository. Give it a go ;-) http://wordpress.org/plugins/swifty-page-manager/
Content is king so it must be super easy and intuitive to add content to the pages of your website. And in the default WordPress, it isn’t. But no worries, we’re fixing it. Our Content Creator plugin allows you to drag and drop content blocks, such as an article, video or slider from a bottom bar on to your page. Swifty Content Creator plugin is currently in development.
There are almost an infinite amount of free and paid themes (designs) you can use for a WordPress site. Everyone talks about how easy it is to use these, but if you are not a designer or a developer, it really isn’t all that easy to configure them. We are currently working on a generator with which you, in a few steps, can create a nearly unique design for your site in no time. It’s very cool and easy to use, but we’ll tell you more about it when it is finished.
The Swifty Menu Bar is a toolbar at the bottom of the screen that replaces the (sometimes intimidating) WordPress admin bar on the side. In the menu bar you will find buttons that take you to the other Swifty Plugins. This means you can go from here to create or manage your pages, content and website design. It also has a switch that takes you to the full WordPress mode. So it’s much like this very smart remote control of the Uppleva TV sets that Ikea sells where the stuff that you use daily is right at your finger tips and the functionality that you need occasionally is accessible behind a switch.
Frankly, this is the only plugin you will need, because it automatically installs all other Swifty plugins (so you have the full Swifty experience) and some other free plugins that we didn’t make ourselves, but that will enhance or protect your website.
What you can expect from our team in the near and middle long future.
In the spring of 2016, when we have these plugins up and running, this whole package will be brought to market as SwiftySite 2.0, which replaces the current (outdated) SwiftySite and covers the website part of your online presence. We will then continue to improve this new SwiftySite in collaboration with our customers. Simultaneously we will start to repeat the procedure (select, install, configure, simplify, etc.) for the other tools you will need to become an online success. More about that later though. :-) For now,
We would love to get in touch with you!
How do you feel about these ideas? What features would you like us to include? What are your struggles in trying to setup a website or social media or any other part of your online life? We are here to help and to listen to you. If you want to talk, give us a call at +31-(0)40-2085358 (10:00-17:00 CET) or go to this forum. If you would like to be notified when we release SwiftySite 2.0, please fill out this form below. We won’t spam you, we promise.