In today’s webinar, we’re joined by Russ Jeffery, Director of Ecosystem and Product Strategy at Duda. We asked him to join us today for a couple of reasons. First, if anyone at Duda can answer our questions, it’ll be Russ. He knows their system inside out. And second, we want to learn all we can about their platform because we’ve recently become a user of Duda and intend to make a lot of use of it. (Spoiler Alert: We’re impressed!)
One of the things we really like about listening to Russ talk about Duda is his candidness. He readily acknowledges any shortcomings that might exist, he doesn’t badmouth other platforms, and he doesn’t blow smoke up your skirt about the platform’s benefits.
Watch his slideshow and the rest of the video… you’ll see what we mean.
As always, there’s a transcript below, and of course, we always appreciate the Likes and Subscribes! 😉
Steve [00:02]: Alright everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Deep SEO conference webinar series. I’m Steve Gerencser and the gentleman above there is Doc Sheldon. And today we have with us Russ Jeffrey, from Duda. For those of you who don’t know, Duda is a web development CMS platform, might be considered like a WordPress. They have been growing steadily for the last few years and have been making a big splash in the industry. So we thought we’d bring them on and let Russ show you a little bit about the platform and talk a little bit about it, because it might be a solution that works for you other than WordPress or any of the other dozens that are out there. Russ, welcome to the show.
Russ [00:48]: Thanks Steve and Doc. Thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here and super excited to talk about Duda. It’s one of my favorite topics.
Steve [00:55]: Well, we’ll go ahead and let you start off with a short presentation and then we’ll come back and ask some questions.
Russ [01:01]: Awesome. Sounds good. So let me just give you a quick overview of who Duda is. We actually launched in 2010. We actually started the company as a mobile-only website building platform. So back in the early days of the iPhone and mobile design, a lot of websites weren’t responsive yet. So Duda had a technology that took mobile web or took desktop sites and made them mobile-friendly. About six, seven years ago now, we pivoted and we have a full platform that builds responsive websites, which is what we’ll primarily be talking about today. But we’ve kind of seen this evolution of the web over the past 12 years of the company. We have offices and six locations that you can see here. We’re about 220 people now, total across the organization.
[01:53] So Duda… we’re a white-label platform to build websites on. We work primarily with agencies and we call them web professionals. We have about 20,000 web professionals on the platform today. We host over a million live, paid websites. We go to market, either through the channel, which is through kind of these large scale digital publishers or through agencies as well in the market. We do also have a channel where we service web or site technology and SaaS companies too. So it’s a little bit of a smaller channel, but we do also serve companies like AppFolio or Trip Advisor who need to plug in a website into their technology stacks as well.
[02:48] We work with a lot of those larger brands around the world. So if you look at GoDaddy, they use us in EMEA to power all of their website builds for their customers. So Local out of France uses us to build websites on behalf of their clients. So Local is the largest kind of YP company in France. Similar to Broadly. Broadly is a review generation and a kind of marketing platform for small businesses. And they use us to build websites as well. So wide range of businesses and use cases that come from the Duda side.
[03:26] Some fun facts for you guys. In the last 12 months, Duda has surpassed a million website subscriptions, like I hinted out earlier. We’ve had over 3 billion visits to our live websites in the past year. And we’ve generated over 134 million conversion events. So those are things like form submissions, click-to-calls, e-commerce purchases, all of those type of things on the Duda platform. So pretty wide-reaching and pretty large scale that we’re getting to here across the board. We’re well-reviewed across the web. We’ve done quite a good job of getting our customers to review us in a lot of these online portals. So we’re really happy with what our customers think about us as well.
[04:12] So what I wanted to get into today and just spend a little bit of time talking about is Duda as a platform for web professionals. I think a lot of, kind of the default out there in the space is for a lot of companies to go directly to WordPress or build solutions on their own and not think of a tool like Duda to build sites on behalf of them. Duda is really trying to change that perspective in the market and say, look, you can build a website that’s just as fast, just as high quality, and that’s just as personalized, just as high performing for your clients, using a tool like Duda to get that website up and running.
[04:53] What’s cool about Duda and kind of our go-to market is, we get to make the platform easy to use, but then we also really get to focus on a lot of those agency and web professional use cases to help them be more productive. So at Duda, we provide prebuilt designs inside of the platform. So things like templates that are verticalized for your clients, sections that help you add in new areas of the website quickly and easily. All of these are predesigned and prebuilt and ready for you to go. We actually allow you to build those yourself. So if you have something that you want to use from your team and reuse those, you can say, cool, I want to take this section and I’m going to customize it and use that on my next six website builds and make that ready.
[05:37] We’re a fully white labeled platform. So one, if somebody looks at the live website, they’re not going to be able to tell it’s Duda immediately. Of course, if someone really wants to dig in and really figure it out, they could figure it out that it’s posted on Duda at some point. But we do our best to white label the platform. So the Duda brand is not represented. What that means is you get to put your brand on it. You can have your clients log in, maintain the websites themselves, update content themselves, if you want to. And all of that would be under your brand and your logo and your color scheme, all of those types of things.
[06:12] We’re also really strong on SEO and site performance or core web vital out of the box. I do have a slide on this a little bit later, but essentially, we’re able to bake in a lot of those best practices out of the box. Because we invest a lot of time in, ensuring that great, we’re going to set up the SEO things for you. What that means is we generate a site map for you. We generate a robots file based on your configuring of the site. We’ve implemented the new index now API, so that your content is submitted directly to Bing and to search engines.
[06:46] We try and implement a lot of those automated things that we can do from a technology level to impact SEO. We do have industry-leading, core web vital performance as well. A lot of practices that we’ve built into the platform and I’m happy to dig in on that as well. We make sure that we optimize images automatically. We make sure that we prioritize the above the fold content. We do all of that out of the box for you and not something that you need to do as a web designer or a web professional.
[07:20] We do also allow in-platform communication on top of Duda. So you can have your clients and actually more importantly, your team comment on the websites themselves and leave notes and leave context inside of the website of what we need to change as well. So this to something that is extremely valuable just to speed up that site development and really improve that iteration process to say, cool, the total time that it takes to build a website goes from six weeks down to four weeks because we’re able to really optimize the client feedback process there.
[07:57] We really try and focus on the agency use case and their exact kind of setup. One thing which is coming soon, we also do have client billing. So you can bill your clients directly from platform. Say, cool, I want to go and create an invoice. I want to say I have a monthly recurring fee of $75. My one-time setup fee is $2,000. Generate an invoice, send it to your customer and collect payment all through the Duda platform. This is something that we’re going into beta right now and will be launched a little bit later this year.
[08:33] Just a little bit more on Duda, just really kind of comparing us to WordPress. I think WordPress is kind of the default for a lot of web professionals in the market today. So when you look at Duda verse WordPress. The first thing that you’ll notice is Duda is fully managed. We’re going to take care of all of the hosting, all of the website updates, all of the software updates. If you look at, for example, the big log 4J exploit that happened about a month ago now, Duda was able to update our production environment in less than 24 hours from when that exploit was released to when we actually had fixes in place. So we’re monitoring that. It’s not something you need to come in and update automatically.
[09:16] Duda takes care of all the security concerns around that. Since it’s all hosted on Duda, we ensure that the contact form that you’re using, it doesn’t have a SQL injection vulnerability as part of it. We’re able to kind of abstract that away, so it’s not something you need to worry about and update on an ongoing basis. We make it easier to manage websites on an ongoing basis as well. Your clients can log in and make those updates or things like normal updates don’t break your site. If Duda releases an improved photo gallery, it’s not going to go and impact your live websites in any type of way, just because you update the widget.
[09:53] We also do have a real support team too, that you can contact at any point and actually get someone on the phone. WordPress has a great community of people looking and helping out, but you’re really on your own to figure out how am I going to get help? Who am I going to ask? Who’s out there to really help me? If things do go wrong, you are kind of on your own. You don’t have someone to really back you up there.
[10:14] Just part two of comparing us to WordPress and I’ll jump through this pretty quickly. SEO, I think comparing Duda on an SEO basis to WordPress is very comparable, I would say. Duda, we give you the technology and the tools to do well with SEO, but really all of that is on you as the site builder, the designer, building that content, building those optimizations and really thinking about, on the SEO side of, what you can do. We offer all of, if not more of, all of the on-page SEO, best practices of title and description and H1 tags. And like I said, earlier, site maps and a lot of those different things, we just kind of bake in.
[10:51] The one area that I think WordPress has a slight advantage is on the plugin side. So WordPress has some great plugins like Yoast, like RankMath, like All-In-One SEO, that do kind of give more of the best practices and review recommendations in context. Duda on performance. We do really well out of the box with nearly all of our websites on core web vitals. WordPress is hard. You can optimize press, but it’s hard to do so. It really requires knowledge and expertise to optimize and a lot of time to do so as well. So at Duda, we’re able to optimize that as part of this, I’ll show you some data that we’re really proud of on the next slide, kind of covering this.
[11:32] Like I said, we have collaboration within the website. I talked about comments a little bit earlier and then we still all also enable full design flexibility over all aspects of the site as well. So you’re going to be able to achieve those designs faster than you would by using a WordPress type technology. So just want to cover some kind of Duda versus WordPress kind of comparisons. On the speed side, this is live data from Google’s Core Web Vitals initiative. So Google puts out this Data Studio tool that compares CMS platforms. So you can see Duda has over 50% of our sites passing Core Web Vitals on mobile. You can see other comparative platforms there and how they’re doing.
[12:14] WordPress comes in around 15, 20%, little above 20%. And like I said, you can make WordPress fast, but you need to know how to make WordPress fast to get there. And then one thing I just wanted to share, we have a group, we have a reseller group in Facebook that actually goes and talks to Duda and collaborates with us and is within our community. And one of them posted, what do you respond when your clients ask for WordPress? So I wanted to just share some of these answers from some of our customers and make sure that you can see that a lot of Duda customers are also answering the same question of why Duda over WordPress, what are those things that are baked in?
[13:00] You can see that, some talking about, essentially like, cool, I don’t need third party plugins to leverage WordPress, Duda has a lot of that out of the box. WordPress requires extra maintenance. WordPress requires an SSL certificate. All of those type of things Duda has kind of baked into it. So that’s what I just wanted to cover for you guys is a quick introduction to Duda. We have a big platform, we have a lot of features. We have a lot of capabilities but really happy to dig into the questions that Steve and Doc, I know you guys have for us.
Steve [13:32]: Awesome. Thank you very much. We’ve built a website on Duda so far and we’ve been testing it out for our agency side. And I’ve been really impressed with, from our point of view, the ease with which we can knock out a website, a simple basic website. For those who haven’t seen it, Duda is more of a drag and drop type website builder. So you don’t have to get into the code. You don’t have to know CSS. You can tweak some of these things in CSS and you can manage to your heart’s delight, but you don’t have to. And so that was one of the things, just from my perspective, as an example, I built a copy of our former WordPress site in Duda having never even logged into Duda before in less than five hours. And that was just coming in cold.
[14:31] I have an advantage. I’ve been building websites since Mosaic was a browser. So I have a little bit of experience, but by the time I finished the website, I feel comfortable enough with it now that I can build anything in it. There are always going to be specialty edge cases where builders don’t apply. A question I have for you, if you could, is explain the difference between plugins and widgets. This is an area where I think a lot of people are going to have the same question because they basically achieve the same functionality, but why are they different between WordPress and Duda?
Russ [15:14]: So one is, Duda we have a library of what we call our widgets or website elements or components that are just kind of baked into the tool set. And so that’s things like a photo gallery, it’s things like a open table reservations. It’s something like a contact form or images. And those power kind of the core of the web design process. I’m going to add a widget into the site itself. So Duda has our library of essentially widgets, which we provide out of the box. Those are things that Duda builds. They’re part of the core product. They’re just made available to anyone using the tool set. I think we have about 70 different widgets available that power any of these wide range of use cases.
[15:57] And so those are things that we’re able to just optimize and build in as part of the process itself. We do have like an app store, like a third party library essentially of tools that people can plugin. But we ensure that as part of that build process, it doesn’t have a lot of the same kind of security vulnerabilities and headaches that’ll come along with other types of plugins that you’d see on a WordPress, where they’re actually running code on your servers. They’re actually processing those things. Duda avoids a lot of those extra complications as part of the integration process.
Steve [16:33]: I know a few of the larger agencies that you guys work with. Camel is one that I’ve come in contact with recently. It’s really awesome. And there’s another one and they’re going to kill me for not being able to pull their name off the top of my head. They’re out of Chicago.
Russ [16:48]: Olive Street Design.
Steve [16:49]: Thank you. And for those people who need more functionality, there are companies that provide that service. They can build a dedicated app for what you need. So there’s a process for those developers to go through with Duda before they are able to publish their app within the platform, or how does that process work?
Russ [17:17]: It’s kind of two channels. So as part of our accounts, we give our agencies access to what we call widget builder. It’s just a way to build your own widget with your own code and integrate that into the website building process. And so we have kind of in our community, like you’re saying the Camel, WebEx, there are a few others. WebEx is one, Olive Street Design, DevObal – these guys are out there. They’re part of the community and they build widgets on behalf of other agencies. So some of them, they have their own library. It’s actually outside of our app store that they build and they say, cool, I can go and provision this in your account and make that available for you, Mr. Agency.
[17:59] And it’s a good channel to get custom things done as needed. The app store is a little bit more of, Hey, here’s a third party tool that really wants to integrate into Duda and it’s not a one-off solution. It’s, Hey, this is going to be relevant for a lot of Duda customers. So let’s make it available across the board for all of them to kind of reuse in any type of way, if that makes sense.
Steve [18:25]: Yeah. Makes great sense. Very cool. I did notice that we see a lot of issues with people comparing Duda out of the box to a tweaked WordPress installation. We got into a big debate about that just a few weeks ago. I love WordPress, no question. It has helped me get to where I am today. But out of the box, especially with the latest updates, it’s just in my opinion, a cumbersome beast. I’m not a fan of the new version of WordPress at all. I still use it. It still has 90% of my clients on it. And there are a lot of reasons. One of them is, very few people actually migrate an active website – with good reason.
[19:17] So with Duda being already really provisioned well out of the box, are there things other than just filling out the different descriptions and stuff on the pages? Are there things that people could do with Duda on an individual site to help it function faster and better from a development standpoint?
Russ [19:40] Yeah. You’re talking about Duda specifically, the short answer is yes. From a performance perspective, if you’re talking about building sites, a lot of the things that we see that reduce the performance or reduce the speed are a lot of third party components. We’re talking about widgets a second ago. It’s very possible that, Hey, I’m going to go and install a widget on a website. I’m going to put that at the top of the page and that’s going to be slow to load, has to load from a third party service, has to download all of the content from a third party after the page is loaded.
[20:13] There are those types of things that you absolutely can do that will slow down a website. In fact, there’s even some Duda native widgets, which are a little bit slow, like as an example, we have a widget that is a Facebook page embed. All that widget does is it’s loading up the Facebook page. Facebook has their own little embed that you can use. And the reality is that Facebook has not optimized that – it’s slow to load. And if you use the Duda widget and place that on top of the page, you are going to slow down your website as well.
[20:44] So we do see those type of things. We try and give in product guidance around, it’s probably not a good idea to put this above the fold or at the top of the page, if you do need to use it, place it lower. Because with the way Google looks at Core Web Vitals, especially the LCP metric, the Largest Contentful Paint metric, that content above the fold is super important and needs to be kind of really thoughtful and prioritized. So we absolutely kind of have some of those best practices and things that you can follow.
[21:17]: On a bigger picture. One thing I would say to answer your question, just in terms of, how do we optimize site builds? And this is an area that I think you’ll see Duda do more of in the future, is we’re trying to introduce more advanced ways of building websites. So we want to kind of take the Duda-ized approach to building a website that has hundreds or thousands of pages. So we have our dynamic pages and collections feature and where you can kind of create these templatized pages and spin up a lot of different pages all at once. And I think what you’ll see Duda try and do more and more of is we’re going to try and release more advanced functionality and make it so you can easily incorporate that into the website built process.
[22:00] So great. I want to have a really simple checkout process as part of the form. I don’t need a full e-commerce system, but Hey, let me go and take payment as part of a contact form for an appointment or something along those lines or let me enable my clients to log in and start a new subscription for a membership type of site. Duda is going to be kind of more and more focused on the advanced use cases and try and replace, slowly replace some of that existing functionality that you see that you can’t get out of Duda today that you can get on a place like WordPress.
Doc [22:44]: I’m going to preface it though with, just to give Jeffrey an idea. I have been a strong advocate of WordPress for probably over 15 years. I use it on a lot of my client sites. And I have been an even stronger enemy of builders. Even to the extent that I have already said publicly the day that the classic editor no longer works on WordPress is the day I leave. I kick WordPress to the curb because I hate Gutenberg with a passion. I don’t like builders. As builders Gutenberg really sucks. But as Steve said at the beginning, our first exercise on Duda was impressive. It was fast, building a site quick, it was easy, it was intuitive, it’s secure. And although there are tons of builders out there that claim to be drag and drop, this is the first one that I didn’t just snort when I saw the way it works, because it is truly drag and drop.
[23:48] It’s a beautiful platform and we’re impressed with it and we’re going to be using it a lot. However, here comes the long slow curve. There are a couple of things that I’ve noticed, one of which was pointed out by a colleague of ours. The accessibility plugin UserWay and AudioEye. AudioEye seems to be a little bit more sophisticated at least the premium version of it, but they both make it sound in the context of what they present on the page as if here’s your accessibility solution, because the number of lawsuits generated last year was triple the previous year. Ambulance chasers are having a field day and they’re rounding up people right and left to file lawsuits.
[24:39] The average mom and pop shop doesn’t have an extra 5 or 10 grand to drop on a settlement. And basically there are damn few websites out there that are truly accessible. Overlays like UserWay and AudioEye will not achieve it. Particularly when you take into consideration that somebody who is differently-abled out there, perhaps somebody who is vision impaired. They may have a screen reader that will be obviated by implementing UserWay. So now they’re set up. They’ve known their whole life they’re blind. So they’ve got their computer set up to be a blind user. And all of a sudden they land on a website that breaks everything that they’ve installed on their system to help them.
[25:29] So my question is this and we had talked briefly about this before. I know that you’re aware that there are some shortcomings. My concern is if I go and build a website for a client and, and I show them, I’m going to use this AudioEye or UserWay. And they read on the site that it says it’s going to provide a solution to their accessibility issues. And then they get slapped for a lawsuit. They’re probably going to name me as a correspondent on that lawsuit. And that’s not even impossible that Duda itself could be named as well. So what plan exist at Duda to address this?
Russ [26:13]: It’s a great question. So in terms of a plan. This is actually an area of the platform that I think Duda needs to work on a little bit more, is baking in accessibility as part of the design and build process a little bit more than we do today. I think if you really want to achieve accessibility, just as part of the base website build, you can go about that. We give access to the HTML, we give access to the CSS. You can go and do that, but that’s a big pain. It’s not something that the average person is going to know how to do and know how to access. And kind of do from the default.
[26:48] We provide some of these extra tools like AudioEye, like UserWay because our customers are asking for it. That’s the reason it’s there. And the reason it’s a tool set. And I completely agree that obviously these tools – especially the toolbars themselves – don’t actually provide compliance. The way you get to compliance is by doing testing with folks who are differently-abled, is by ensuring that they can use the website and fixing usability issues as you come along. And I think what we see is that a lot of folks don’t have that level of expertise to know even where to start that process. And so tools like AudioEye, they help customers get there quicker and they help our agencies kind of get that next level of detail on accessibility and solve some of those problems. And it’s not going to get you to a hundred percent accessibility, probably never will, but they help folks get over that initial threshold.
[27:51] And so I think Doc, what you’re calling out here is, I think Duda probably needs to be a little bit more clear on how these actually impact accessibility and what kind of problems they do solve versus don’t solve and say, cool, it probably won’t solve, especially on the free plans. They won’t solve accessibility issues consistently. But I think what you’ll see more and more from Duda just in terms of your actual question of what’s the plan? I think we will try and bake accessibility more into the base process of, you’re using, let’s just say the social icons widget within Duda and you’ll have accessibility features as part of that. Do we want to make these skippable by a screen reader? Should the screen reader read each one of these social icon links? We’ll have some configuration options in the platform going and say, cool, we can configure that on a website build just like we can configure SEO settings as part of the website build. I think that’s what you’ll see out of Duda, but I agree it’s kind of a weak point out of the box today.
Doc [28:56]: Well, that’s a fair answer. And I agree with you. Any level of mitigation is helpful. It reduces your risk of a lawsuit. And also, if you do get drawn into court, showing evidence of some honest effort is always going to be helpful and it could be the difference between a $10,000 fine, and a $400 fine. So just that alone is worthwhile. And I understand too, the fact that accessibility solutions are unique from site to site. Every single website is going to have different issues. So it’s extremely difficult – if even possible – to achieve true compliance across the board like that. I acknowledge that and understand it.
[29:46] My concern is the representation of it as a compliance solution because it isn’t really, and nobody has one, there is none. Except a consultant who really knows what they’re doing, to go in there and juggle all the nuts and bolts of the site. And eventually iron all, until the first user goes in there and puts up a new blog post with a different image and screws it all up. It’s like SEO, it’s an ongoing process. And there’s a very low level of education on accessibility.
Russ [30:24]: I think it’s a bigger problem in our industry that it’s so difficult to build websites that are truly accessible. At Duda, we’re obviously a player and we can do our role. There’s just not the same level of focus on accessibility as there is SEO.
Steve [30:45]: And from a design perspective, some of the most horrible things we’ve ever done to accessibility was like low contrast web design. Whoever thought that was a good idea really should be taken out back and beaten, even for those of us with decent eyesight, I struggle with those websites to this day. They’re horrible.
Russ [31:05]: The light gray text on a black background.
Steve [31:07]: Yeah, I built my fair share of websites with black backgrounds and gold text. They were jewelers and that’s what they wanted. And it’s like, holy cow, this is impossible to read. In case you couldn’t tell Doc and I have become very big proponents of the accessibility side, specifically because of our relationship with Kim Krause Berg – she is an amazing advocate for that entire space. And whenever we get the opportunity we kinda rattle that cage.
Russ [31:46] I think what we see and it kind of varies from business to business to business, but we definitely hear quite a bit about these accessibility lawsuits coming through and especially agencies worry that their customers are going to come and just kind of pound them with this and say, hey, you need to fix this. Our customers turn to us, and today, at Duda, we don’t have a great solution for it. I will tell you guys, we do point them to AudioEye when that happens. AudioEye does help them, say, here’s a scan, here’s a STAR report, which says, here’s the amendments we’re fixing that we’re trying to improve. Here’s our action plan. Those are things that you can give when you’re hit by a lawsuit to try and help out there.
[32:31] AudioEye is trying to do the right thing in this process. They’re not at the beginning of the funnel. They’re not at the conception and the design process side to really bake in all of those best practices as part of it. They’re not on as part of this, the overall solution.
Steve [32:52]: So to drag us back into actual web development, you mentioned a little bit about data integration and this is an issue that is very upfront with a lot of people building on WordPress is the ability to pull information out of tables. CSVs, uploads. And I know I’ve seen the link on the Duda backend builder, but what does that look like in Duda?
Russ [33:22]: Within Duda we have this kind of concept of what we call is a collection. And a collection is essentially a database, it’s rows and columns that are within your website. And it’s kind of a data store that’s there. A collection is a nicer term for it, but that’s really what it is. And you can import data into that collection from a number of sources. You can upload a CSV, you can connect it to Google sheets, you can connect it to air table. We even have a more advanced option to connect it to a third-party data source. We call it like an external collection and that can fill in kind of the data source within Duda. And then you can use that data as kind of like a CMS. It becomes a set of static information that’s there.
[34:07] You can use that to power widgets of saying, here’s my list widget that has my 15 properties for sale, or here are the 15 pages I want to build for each one of those locations using dynamic pages. We’re going to build on top of this even more in the future, but we have that basic concept of cool here’s your data store and let’s go and use that as part of the web design process to really treat it as a true CMS.
[34:34] I don’t know if you guys saw this, we purchased a company called SnipCart the middle of last year. We’re building our e-commerce solution on top of collections. So collections are going to power the product catalog that are there, and then you can build out dynamic pages. You can build out category pages, or you can build out product pages, which are dynamic pages. You can build out category pages, which are also dynamic pages. So we’re really incorporating that as part of the core infrastructure of Duda as well.
Doc [35:12]: I was tickled to see the SnipCart acquisition. I thought that was a great addition.
Steve [35:17]: And that’s where I was going to go next is the ecommerce solutions, which I’m a fan of Woo-commerce. It has its issues, but overall it’s straightforward to use for clients. And we notice Duda is offering a tiered approach to ecommerce so that you have small, medium and large stores basically. The lower ends are always easier to deal with. When you start getting to the large at the upper end, where do you think Duda to may be maxing out from a technology point of view or does it?
Russ [35:57]: Honestly, I don’t have a good answer to that. For sure we want to support tens of thousands of products. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to support hundreds of thousands, at least on our day one. I know we want to, but from my perspective it’s very much a technology question of, can we scalably handle that many products? Can we make sure that we generate that many pages on the website? Can we make sure our site maps handle all of those pages? There are a lot of things that really get into those larger scale questions. And so I think that the short answer is it’ll be in the tens of thousands at first, and then maybe not the hundreds of thousands or millions of products, at least from our first phase. I think we will get there eventually, but probably not as it first launch.
Steve [36:45]: I asked because I think Magento is a steaming pile and that’s usually where people end up when they have very large ecommerce stores.
Doc [36:54]: Just name recognition drives that.
Steve [36:57]: Exactly. And I like the idea of the collections, simply because we’re trying to avoid things like SQL injection, which is a huge issue on WordPress or any of the platforms really, because everybody’s based on SQL or Sequel depending on who you are. So, having an opportunity to develop on something that’s less likely to be attacked and is more likely to be properly defended instead of having to defend it myself. Having the platform stepping up and saying, no, unlike the last mandatory WordPress auto update that they pushed when their core got corrupt, got a problem.
[37:47] And it literally broke like three or four of our client websites there. I have no idea what they could have done in the core update that they forced, that caused these websites to break, but it was a mess. And that is something that I am hugely looking forward to avoiding in the future.
Russ [38:08]: That’s something we hear all the time is just those headaches that, you don’t always think about them when you first decided on your platform, or selecting your tool to build the website on. They’re very much second and third order effects. But we hear that with long time customers at Duda all the time that they don’t have those headaches as frequently, they don’t have the website change or some update, broke something or things along those lines. We hear that pretty frequently. It was highlighted in some of those Facebook responses that I showed a little bit earlier. It’s one of the nice abstractions that we can apply just being kind of the SaaS platform that does this, that we are.
Steve [38:48]: We’ll ask this question as the last question. I’ve been looking at the Duda University that you guys have. Could you tell everybody a little bit more about that? Because I think it’s an amazing idea that only a locked in company like this can provide.
Russ [39:08]: Our goal at the Duda University is to have a tool where you can become an expert on the Duda platform, in a limited period of time. So we want our customers to become proficient, to become knowledgeable, to know the platform inside and out. And so we’ve built several different tracks and courses that you can go through to become a Duda expert and A, earn your own certification. And then we have other certifications for specific tracks. I’m a developer, or I’m a solution provider, or all of those type of things as well. But we have a full team inside of data that builds those out and is responsible for one, iterating and two, creating more content. So it’s going to be an area of investment for us for quite a while here.
Steve [39:54]: I like the idea of the platform also offering instruction, like with WordPress it’s forums and Facebook. Good luck. So there’s that. Russ, I want to thank you very much for being on the show with us. Did you have anything else you wanted to share with us before we wrap this up?
Russ [40:17]: I’ll just say one thing, keep an eye out for some kind of upcoming launches. I mentioned client billing is one. We’re going to be launching our new ecommerce solution a little bit later this year, hopefully in Q2, maybe Q3 we’ll have that out. So keep an eye out for that. We’re, really excited to just engage with this community more. Thank you very much for inviting me on today. It’s been a good experience.
Doc [40:41]: Thank you for joining us. And by the way, I apologize after the fact for calling you Jeffrey. We really appreciate you being making yourself available and answering some questions and we are enjoying working with your company and your platform.
Russ [41:14]: Thank you so much. I’m glad you guys are fans and we’ll keep moving forward on our side.
Steve [41:19]: Outstanding. Well, everybody, thank you for watching the show today. Let us know if you like this type of format for the webinars going forward. We’re going to hopefully be doing more tools videos, where we can dig more in-depth into the different tools that are available in our industry so that you can get a little bit of an overview of those. And if you like the video, obviously subscribe, like the video. It really helps us with the algorithm. Everybody in our industry knows what that means. So thank you very much, and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the next show.
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