We haven't shared many product updates over the past year, but that's not because we've been quarantining on the couch (I promise 😇)! Instead, we took a step back and worked on some big changes to our internal systems. First we'll explain what they are and then why we've prioritized them.
New Engine: Our "engine" is what renders your websites based on the design and content you created in the editor. We have learned a lot since we started and now we've used that knowledge to build a new system. In 2020 we rewrote the engine to become a standardized set of components which we can be more easily extended. This new version has been live since the end of last year and you probably haven't noticed. Sounds boring? Not at all, just read to the end!
New Editor: Our new editor has been a work in progress since May 2020 and will enter open beta very soon. As with the new engine, our goal was to standardize everything to make new functionality easier to add. We've also used the opportunity to improve the design and performance.
New Hosting: We have moved around between CDNs to host your websites but none of them really suited our situation. That's why we built our own CDN which has been in production since February 2020 and provides some of the fastest hosting in the industry.
Why we did this now
We did none of those big changes for fun. We would've much rather worked on beautiful new things you can see right away, but there's a good reason. When I started Umso nearly three years ago, it was a minimum viable product. That means it was just meant to help me figure out whether or not it could become a valuable business.
Many websites, paying customers (thank you so much 🙌🏻), and two full-time employees later we have decided that YES! it is valuable business, hooray! Now we had to figure out how to turn the successful MVP into the amazing product we actually want to build.
We have a great vision for what Umso can be. However, those things add a lot of complexity which our existing Engine, Editor and Hosting couldn't handle. That's why we worked so much on improving them.
The things we will build next
You can already find most of this on our Roadmap, but here's a quick summary of some big updates that wouldn't have been possible without our systems overhaul.
Multi-Language Support: one of the most requested features would've been an impossible mess without our new Engine and Editor. With the new system however, it'll be a breeze (we've already tried it out!).
Engine design overhaul: some of our sections have been designed three years ago and haven't been updated much since. Now that the Engine has been completely overhauled, we can use it to create much more beautiful and responsive designs.
Dynamic data: Because we have our own hosting system with 100% customizability, we will be able to soon support dynamic data sources on our edge servers. With the new Editor you will be able to create the templates for that data.
We have a lot more planned, just head to our Roadmap to find out and subscribe to stuff you're interested in.
Will Umso turn into another super-duper complicated website builder that I need a PhD for?
No. We believe that simplicity is key to our product and we will continuously work on keeping it that way. In fact I think we can make it much more user-friendly while also adding new features.
Our goal is to let you create a beautiful website in record-time and edit it with ease. However, you should also run into very few roadblocks when you need more advanced functionality.
We're still a long way from realizing our vision, but we're getting closer every day and we're excited to share this journey with you!