Creating a new website builder from scratch is not a small side project you can do beside your day job. There needs to be a dedicated team for that. We didn't start the project without thoroughly considering all the options. In following we are unwrapping how we ended up taking a leap of faith with Oidom.
Let's start from the beginning. There wouldn't be Oidom without a Finnish webhosting company called Suomen Hostingpalvelu. It was founded in 2008 by two IT students who were eager to offer reasonable priced hosting services for companies. Even then it was clear that there was an accelarating demand for an easy and cost effective way to build and maintain a website amongst small companies and associations. Cost-effectiveness in small companies often means, that websites are made and maintained in-house. Thus, the industry has long had a clear market for do-it-yourself website builders. However 2008 was not yet suitable time for Hostingpalvelu to develop it's own website builder. It would have demanded lots of resources and time. So Hostingpalvelu decided to use third-party software for their customers' website needs for that time. But the seeds of Oidom were planted.
Third-party solutions have their pros and cons for the hosting providers. Obvious benefit is that you have a real working product which you can start to utilize right away in your own product catalog. Start-up costs are also often much less than developing and maintaining your selfmade software. On the other hand, you are dependant of the third party when it comes to fixing bugs or adding new features. In addition, there is always the possibility that a third party may unilaterally abandon its program, or at least stop developing it, even on a short schedule. The latter was also the case we ran into couple of years ago: We received a notification from our partner that they were going to run down their software. At that point we started to scan through alternative solutions again: other third-party programs, but also the possibility to build our very own web site builder for our customers.
We thoroughly researched replacements options for our old website builder. And oh boy, how many there were already. Not all of them offered webhosting providers possibility to resell the product or host the software or published websites on their own server. In addition, many of the available builders already began to show the old code ballast due to their age. The weight of the legacy code includes problems such as that the created websites don't look so modern anymore, are slow to use and contents are not editable or even usable on mobile devices.
After going through various third party options and getting know competition in general, we began to lean more and more towards the option of developing our own builder. The initial cost of the project would be of course high before the product would be even usable and development takes time, but there were also lots of positive aspects to consider. One big benefit was that we would be able to leverage our own and our customers' knowledge of what small businesses need from a website builder. In addition we would be able to choose and take advantage of modern technologies to speed up the creation of websites and created websites would also load faster and smoother. Beside the download speeds, the big goal for the end result would be also that published websites look good and are easy to use, ie the company's brand emerges through the website as high-quality and modern. And of course, it's always great to create something new in Finland.
After receiving initial funding from Tekes, we were determined to start the project. In 2019 we opened the beta version of Oidom for the clients of Hostingpalvelu. Although it is still fairly new player in the market and sales for public are just starting, Oidom is already a noteworthy website builder with many features. As Oidom’s development still progresses and additions are made almost weekly, it has been great to see that many of our customers have already created great-looking and fast websites.
Now, almost 3 years after that notification from our partner, we are launching our own website builder, Oidom, for public. You can now register your own free Oidom account and start building your website using our builder. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Picture below: Editing content and adding sections with Oidom.