Moonfruit, the London-based website building platform, has relaunched its service by introducing a range of new features including third-party apps, a social media image search and improved chat-based support.
Back in 1999, if you needed a website, you either hired a designer or bought a massive book with a CD strapped inside. This was until Moonfruit co-founders, Eirik Petterson, Wendy Tan White and Joe White, created a platform to let regular folk build something without all the fuss. The mission was a simple one, to democratise the web and help people to launch new ideas quickly, regardless of how wild they were.
In the early days, the product was completely free and supported by ads, but over time it’s morphed through several guises to adapt to the ever-changing nature of the web. From Flash-based DIY sites, through to subscriptions and packages which included your own designer. In 2012, this flexibility was recognised by Hibu (operating in the UK under the Yell brand), which acquired the platform for $29 million (£18m).
Over 7 million websites have been created via Moonfruit and today’s relaunch brings with it some of the most radical advances to date.
A rebuilt responsive page editor now integrates with a range of business tools and services. These include social apps, Getty images, media players, Yell Free Business Listings and Google maps.
These integrations reduce the need for customers to scour the web in search of embeddable code snippets. There are plans to introduce further services including Shoprocket’s advanced solution and Namsco domains/webmail.
Social Media Image Search
Customers are also able to search through over 5 million images from social media, thanks to a partnership with Lobster. This is particularly good news for those looking to find a unique photo of their local area or a specific occupation.
Lobster CEO, Olga Egorsheva, explains: “It can be tricky to track down that perfect image when you’re creating a website for a new business. With Lobster’s social media search, Moonfruit customers can access live content across all the main social networks and license photos directly from the general public. It often takes one really unusual shot to make a website truly yours.“
Business Listing Service
Directories are useful for small businesses, especially in the early days. Moonfruit’s new business listing service automatically posts to several leading directories and allows customers to maintain one set of details in the editor. They just update once and it’s updated everywhere.
There’s genuine intent to help customers and a new chat-based support system has put the emphasis on one-to-one discussion. Carla Dawkins, Moonfruit’s Product Director, explains:
“Replacing our support ticketing system with chat has really opened up the conversation. Almost overnight, we found that our customers were speaking more freely which gave us a better understanding of their problems. This in turn has enabled us to support them better and use this feedback to refine the product. If our soaring Trustpilot score is anything to go by, customers seem to like it!”