I wrote a blog a couple of years ago about why graphic designers should run a mile from WordPress and it ruffled a few feathers let me tell you.

Let me preface this blog by saying:

WordPress is an amazing platform. If you’re a WordPress gun who can build sites with your eyes closed, I applaud you.

But, by the same token…

WordPress ain’t for everyone.

In my opinion, it’s like trying to run your home’s electricity off one single power board and 67 double-adapters plugged into one another with cords tangled all over the place.  

As a blogging platform? It kicks butt (most of the time).

But as an intuitive CMS platform your clients love to use and actually make money from?

Well let’s just say the jury is still out on that one. 😉

But Foxley is more than just a website building platform anyway.

Foxley is the world’s first truly complete website building business in a box.

In fact for all you hardcore WordPress fans — it may come as a surprise — but you might even use both.

So here’s what Foxley is and how it differs… you make up your own mind. 🙂

FOXLEY IS THE NEXT GENERATION OF WEB DESIGN.

This is the tool that graphic and web designers have been waiting for all their lives… an intelligent, simple, profit-making ‘web building business in a box’.

Foxley helps designers build websites that even big and well-resourced web design companies struggle to create.

Websites that produce results need to employ an SEO team, a marketing company, a graphic designer and a web developer.

Right or wrong?

Wrong.

Now there’s Foxley.

Foxley eliminates the need for everyone — other than the designer.

Foxley CMS website platform disrupting the web

It’s a software solution built for designers that makes their process of building a website incredibly quick, fantastically profitable and one that gets breakthrough results for their clients.

In short…. we make designers digital rockstars!

TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH THE WEB INDUSTRY:

As we got further into developing our partner program, we identified two significant problems with the web industry.

#1 PROBLEM: 80% of websites don’t work…. they don’t generate new customers.

Firstly, the majority of small business websites being created did not effectively create enough new customers. Sadly, clients just weren’t seeing a return, they weren’t getting the traffic and they weren’t making sales. 🙁

#2 PROBLEM: You (the designer) aren’t making enough money!

Secondly, web designers were rarely able to run a profitable web business. 

We uncovered a desperate need to combine website design AND marketing into one solution to solve these major problems.

And so Foxley was born.

Here are the major problems in our industry and how Foxley aims to solve them.

Problem Solution
Website not generating revenue traffic or leads. Foxley’s smart website and marketing platform will drive traffic and sales.
Lack the marketing and SEO expertise to create effective client websites. Foxley integrates super complex marketing knowledge into an easy-to-use scorecard.
Not making enough profit in web design services. Foxley will dramatically increase your profit on every job whilst significantly reducing your expenses.
Unable to differentiate so losing clients to offshore developing nations. Foxley is a premium website and marketing platform that delivers results at an affordable price
Extremely complex and requires knowledge of HTML & CSS to effectively build websites. Foxley’s code-free platform allows you to create stunning websites with ease.
Lack the skills, time, resources and support to run a profitable and successful design business. Foxley provides the marketing systems, business tools, sales mentoring and real life support to be wildly successful in web.

 

WE’VE CUT OUT ALL THE HARD WORK.

FOXLEY IS QUICK!

As designers, we’re spending huge amounts of time using incredibly complex software building websites for our clients.

And in most cases (especially for designers like me who are allergic to HTML & CSS), it’s a barrier to being successful in business. 

Did you know that the average profitability for web design services is just 5.5%?

You could probably earn more if you put your money instead in the bank! It’s ludicrous.

But honestly, it’s a wonder you’re making any money at all. It’s just not that easy to build a website. Full stop.

The biggest DIY web builder has 68 million users yet only 1.18% have actual LIVE websites which just proves my point. It’s a technical, difficult, long-winded and overwhelming process for you and your clients.

Foxley is a drag and drop, code-free designer’s platform that produces stunning, smart, responsive websites in record time. It also allows you, as the designer, to keep the entire project in-house which puts the power back in your hands and delivers you ultimate control.

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also incorporated results-driven page templates that even the biggest, well-resourced web design companies struggle to deliver.

You know how hard it is to get content out of clients, right?

Well imagine delivering them a website that had kick-ass page templates, already designed and optimised, ready for clients to fill in the blanks?

Wouldn’t that make life so much easier?

Our proven page templates are optimised to SELL.

Your clients get all the marketing, SEO and conversion smarts they need to pull in more traffic and drive more sales… and you?

You become an absolute rockstar!

Your clients will fucking LOVE you for this.

You just took away all the hard work and saved them months fumbling around, making excuses, struggling to pull the right content together.

PLUS, you just paved the way to fit in another three web projects this month when previously you’ve been struggling to launch one.

That’s Foxley.

It’s quick, smart, and it will get them results.

Which in turn will bring YOU more clients.

Clients who will gladly pay you what you’re worth because no longer will you be ‘just another WordPress designer’ — you’ll be a digital marketing rockstar who builds sites that get results!

FOXLEY WILL MAKE YOU PROFITABLE

Although over $200 billion is spent annually on building and managing websites, designers are making on average less than 6% margin.

How on earth are you meant to run your business, increase your profit AND remain relevant in an increasingly competitive, fast-paced, ever-changing marketplace?

You would have to spend 10,000+ hours becoming an SEO, conversion optimisation and marketing expert to do what Foxley does.

Most small business clients will only spend a few grand on a website, so you can’t give them the time or resources they need to be truly successful. And if that wasn’t hard enough, you’re competing against low cost options in developing nations.

What separates you from a $3 per hour WordPress designer from overseas?

Exactly.

You know you’re worth more. And I know that.

But try telling your clients that when they’re feeling the pinch because their last four websites produced diddly squat and they think a new design will fix everything!

Clients think that by going offshore to get a ‘cheap website’ will save them money AND achieve results.

But because they don’t have you, helping them with the strategy, the marketing, the SEO etc, it’s still money down the drain.

Whether they spend $300 or $30,000 on a website, if they miss the marketing, they skip past the results and are back to square one.

It’s a vicious catch-22 cycle and all the while, YOU are the one missing out on the pie.

It’s a race to the bottom and the reason why margins in this game are at an all time low.

Foxley gives them 127+ damn good foxy reasons to work with you — the smarts, the support, the marketing, and the RESULTS.

Which all boils down to a whole lotta success — they’ll start getting more customers and you’ll start making more money in every project you do.

Because Foxley cuts down the time to build websites by up to 80%, profitability is completely transformed.

Not only that but Foxley has a client and business management dashboard that allows you to manage your business powerfully and simply.

You’ll even have access to our phone, email and live chat support and a gated design community where you can share ideas and support each other on your journey to profits.

FOXLEY GETS RESULTS FOR YOU AND YOUR CLIENTS…

It’s commonly known that 80% of small business websites are ineffective and don’t get results.

In short, they don’t make the end user money.

Foxley transforms this by having a built-in smart marketing scorecard that makes every website a powerful lead generation machine.

Let’s face it, you don’t really want to learn about meta tags, do you?

But here’s the thing, there’s 101 annoying little things you need to do to content and pages to make sites effective.

Foxley closes the knowledge gap normally required to learn and implement these things.

Instead of making the hardcore trek up Everest, you can land in a chopper at the top.

If you want to learn it, you can watch the inbuilt video tutorials or read the articles… but you can also just skip the learning and go straight to the results.

…AND IT’S FUN

Foxley will have gamification which makes it motivating and exciting for you to maximise the performance of your site AND your business — not just when it’s originally built but also as technology evolves.

You, and your clients, will always be motivated to be at the cutting edge.

Okay, so that’s Foxley. The world’s first truly complete web building business in a box.


NOW LET’S MOVE ONTO WORDPRESS…

Because we set out to revolutionise the web industry with Foxley, so there are so many differences between the two, a comparison table seemed like the most logical way explain everything. So here it goes!

WordPress Foxley
Requires technical skills to develop like HTML, XHTML, CSS etc. No code required, zip, nada.
Takes around 25 hours to design, build and deliver a basic 5 page website. With Foxley, you can do it in about 4-5 hours.
WordPress is expensive despite clients thinking they can get it for free. By the time you pay a developer, designer, marketer, SEO team, copywriter etc and then you add the cost of the theme and plugins, whether they be upfront or ongoing, WordPress is not as cheap (or easy) as people think. Foxley’s websites are actually free to build and you only pay for hosting once you want to set the site live. Each membership tier allows you a different amount of website projects but in essence, the sites themselves are free, apart from your time of course.
No website support. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to search forums for hours to find the answer to a 2-minute fix. Foxley offers speedy and convenient phone, email and live chat support available so you can get back to business fast.
No business training or support. Foxley will offer a business toolbox packed with a library of resources to build effective websites and web businesses. We also offer phone support so if you get a question from a client about something you can’t answer, you can call us and find out.
No page templates available. Library of kick-ass pre-designed page templates to choose which not only speeds up the project turnaround but it will improve your client’s success too because every page template has been designed with conversions in mind.
No client management tools. Extensive client management and sales tools available through your dedicated reseller dashboard.
Purely just a blog platform that needs to be customised extensively to work like a website. Foxley is an intelligent website and marketing platform which has been specifically designed to improve traffic and sales.
Security threats — a huge number of WordPress sites have not upgraded to more recent, secure versions of the software, leaving them targets for dirtbag hackers. Since Foxley’s security updates are rolled out globally and automatically, Foxley sites are secure so you and your clients have one less thing to worry about.
Requires regular software updates which take forever to process. Sometimes updates wipe your entire library of content so you have to go digging through to restore backups… that is of course if did actually backup. Foxley takes care of all software upgrades and tests rollouts rigorously before release to avoid issues.
Plugins often conflict with each other and require constant backups and fixes clients aren’t happy about paying for. Constantly installing updates and re-testing is a big overhead for website administrators. Minimal bug fixes taken care of by the Foxley team.
WordPress is painfully slow. Unless you’re running sites on stealth ninja servers, you’re screwed. It’s so heavy it takes forever to show your dashboard. Foxley uses Microsoft Azure to host sites which enables us to provide fast, reliable load times and top notch hosting from servers closeby wherever you are in the world.
Providing additional custom functionality can be cumbersome and risky. Foxley will assign you a project manager to help you scope and quote on any additional custom work required, then ensure it gets done on time and within budget.
Platform requires tons of additional plugins to achieve successful results for your client — it’s like plugging in 25 different double-adapters into the one power board, making the platform bloated and clunky. Functionality built into the platform from the get-go means everything works seamlessly.
CMS is not intuitive and therefore difficult to use. CMS is incredibly simple to master in minutes as it’s been made for designers and users (clients) in mind.
No drag and drop editor unless you pay for a third-party app. Super simple to use drag and drop editor so you can edit on page where you are — not by having to dive into the backend.
Have to organise hosting for client. All done for you and only charged once you want to actually launch a client site.
Flooded market, differentiation difficult.
Heavily driven by price because clients know they can get a WordPress developer overseas for $100 so often can’t see value in local designer.
Intelligent design and marketing platform rolled into one delivers extraordinary value and results, allowing designers to charge more, differentiate themselves and make more margin.
It’s a manual shitfight to backup and restore a WordPress site. Backed up automatically and versions saved.
Themes or plugins that look great on desktop, but terrible on mobile. Because we’ve built it from the ground up, 100% of Foxley’s themes are responsive and look great on all devices.
WordPress is often too technical and arduous for the typical small business client to work with.
(The average client knows as much about XHTML as they do about rocket science.)
Foxley is not just simple to use, it has gamification built into it so updating websites is motivating and fun.
Requires you spend valuable time training clients on how to make updates to their website. Foxley will reduce your support load by 50% and eliminate training sessions altogether.
Insane amount of spam purely due to it being WordPress. Little or no spam.
As a web design business owner, WordPress is unscalable if you want take on any sort of volume of clients due to the huge overhead required for administrators. Foxley allows you to easily scale by giving you the tools you need manage website and clients effectively, whether you want to build 10 websites per year or 1000.
WordPress is not SEO friendly. You’ll have a hard time getting a good Google ranking due to all their latest algorithm changes. Most of the time your site is just another copycat, with the same boring theme seen all over the web countless times. Foxley offers new themes, and eventually you’ll even be able to create your own site from a blank canvas. Plus, it’s been created from a strong SEO perspective so you’ll always be up to date with the latest that Google is looking for in order to rank better.
Requires an SEO expert or team to perform onsite optimisation which can equate to another 30+ hours of manual work and/or thousands of dollars. With Foxley, you can follow the marketing and SEO scorecard checklist and do it yourself in a fraction of the time, probably well under an hour per page.
At the end of the day, WordPress is not a marketing tool, it’s a blogging platform. Foxley is a marketing platform that allows you to build effective client websites that get more traffic and sales AND run a profitable web business.

Although WordPress has a large part of the market in terms of actual live websites, there is still a lot that needs to improve for it be an effective tool for designers and clients as a CMS platform. And the growth dynamics of such an infant industry are just astounding.

But sadly, with so much opportunity and such a huge slice of the pie for everyone in web, the two big problems still remain:

  1. 80% of websites don’t generate an ROI, and…
  2. You’re not making the kind of money you deserve!

So bring on Foxley I say. Let’s put an end to the feast or famine cycle, finicky technical barriers and lackluster profits. Let’s put the power back in your hands where it belongs!

What do you think? I’ve told you what I think in just under 3,000 words, share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you like what you’ve read and want to secure your spot for Foxley’s limited Beta release, sign up here www.foxley.com so you don’t miss out.

Author Bianca Board

After 20 years inspiring more than 10,000 designers and small business owners to take control of their business, Bianca is now spearheading Foxley, a brand spanking new SaaS platform for designers. She is deeply passionate about helping distil the complexities of running a web design business - to make it easier for all designers to make the leap from designer to design entrepreneur. She’s a translator of web jargon, a lead generation master, a champion for small businesses and you can Google her brain for endless strategies on how to transform your business.

More posts by Bianca Board
  • Lily Hattingh

    Hey Bianca! This sounds great. What would happen if my client wants to use their own host? Once the clients site is live are they “dependant” on using Foxley to make changes? Let’s say I “white label” it from you and start my own “enterprise” of clients sites… would the payment be monthly or per site? Lots of questions, but these jump to mind now. Look forward to testing it out.

    • Hey Lily!

      Your clients will need to host with Foxley but I assure you, they won’t want to leave! When they see all the benefits of what the platform brings — simplicity, ease of use, SEO scorecard, marketing checklist, etc etc and they see the results Foxley delivers in terms of more traffic, sales and customers — they’ll be with you for life.

      It’s hosted on Microsoft Azure, one of the best cloud platforms out there so fast, reliable and secure from anywhere in the world, and it’s so affordable, why would they want to bother with all the hassle of taking it elsewhere? It’s one less headache they don’t have to worry about.

      Say you become a white label Foxstar, you pay a monthly subscription for your membership, however you can build the sites for free and you only pay hosting per site once the site goes live. Hosting per site starts at just $11 so extremely affordable. You’ll make great margin on the website AND the ongoings. We bill you for your clients’ sites and you bill your clients — eventually you’ll be able to handle all your billing and upsells through your Dashboard but that won’t be ready in the beta.

      In addition to the smart CMS platform, marketing scorecard and client management dashboard, you also get the business building toolbox, marketing collateral, systems, resources and support that you need to kick some serious butt in your web business. Not just tech support but actual business support.

      I guarantee you… YOU. WILL. LOVE. IT!

      (And your clients will love you for it!)

      Any other questions, fire away!

  • disqus_PeyyNwAbo7

    Hi Bianca. Good comparison to WordPress which I find to be clunky. I’m increasingly frustrated with it. At the moment I’m struggling with SEO plugins (Yoast). I don’t have the time or patience to work out how to use it even though I’ve read about how easy it supposedly is.
    Q1: What are the features that make Foxley better than other site builders such as Squarespace, Weebly (I haven’t used them, only read top-10 site builder reviews) and even newer ones like PageCloud?
    Q2: Is there any function related to lead generation? Something like infusionsoft. Setting up email campaigns, newsletters, etc? Can you expand on these features?
    Q3: Back to WordPress, I’m also currently struggling to find and configure a decent event booking plugin. I need something that will allow a single booking for a weekly recurring event, and there just doesn’t seem to be anything to suit my requirements. How will Foxley handle something like this, ie plugin-type features ‘out of the box’ or customised features for individual functions?
    Thanks for your time.
    S.

    • I’m hearing this ‘clunky comment’ more and more every day — even from seasoned WP’ers that have been doing it their whole careers. It’s just getting way too bloated and screwy to manage. Which is ironic really because it started off as such a simple blogging platform and now is slowly strangling itself.

      Q1: I love this question and get it all the time! The biggest point of difference to remember is that all these other platforms are ‘just’ website building platforms — even PageCloud as amazing as it is –is STILL just a website building platform. You still need a marketing team and SEO company to get a result.

      It’s not really that hard to build a website really… the real problem is how to get a result from a website. That’s why Foxley is a website building AND marketing platform all in one. One that improves traffic through our SEO and marketing scorecard, and increases conversions/sales as well with optimised page templates.

      In terms of building websites, Foxley is in fact very similar to the others with drag and drop functionality, content types, click to edit etc but with not as many features on launch obviously. Our real edge is in our marketing scorecard and smart page templates that have been designed to sell for your clients — and make you a freakin’ rockstar. The platform + page templates will cut down your build time by up to 80%, completely transforming your profitability.

      Re: the scorecard, each page gets a score and the site gets an overall score as well. Plus it’s fun! Foxley will have gamification which makes it motivating and exciting for designers to maximise the performance of the site and their business — not just when it’s originally built but also as technology evolves. As the designer, you and your clients will always be motivated to be at the cutting edge.

      Q2: Foxley will always be very focussed on lead generation because we believe that websites should make money — not just look good. I honestly believe this is the next generation of web design so we plan to have tools that are marketing and results focussed like landing page templates, sales funnels, email automation, email marketing, membership sites etc We aim to offer simple tools for marketing automation more appealing to micro and small businesses, ie. those not quite at the Infusionsoft level however they wouldn’t need to fork out $300 p/mth either. Think of it like a cut down Infusionsoft and web builder all in one.

      Q3: We definitely understand that individual clients can sometimes have very specific needs regarding their online presence. For this reason we have planned to be able to both integrate with third parties (many straight out of the box) and also roll out customisation work to individual websites.

      Let me know if you have any more questions! xx

  • LIna Mare

    Its funny as you use WordPress yourself on this website with a Themeforest-Theme … you do not mention that 😉

    • We do Llna and it was a nightmare to setup. Still is! It took my team four days just to setup a basic one page site and blog because of all the glitches with plugins. We even kept a log of all the issues we were having setting it up for a laugh.

      I’m by no means bashing WordPress, I just think it has flaws and it’s difficult for the average graphic designer or technophobe web designer to manage when things go wrong. Definitely a brilliant platform for blogging and basic sites but like all platforms, it has flaws. 🙂

  • Lawrence Ladomery

    You’re promoting Foxley well and making a lot of promises… and I hope you can meet the set expectations, because the world needs a product like yours! I’m very keen to try it out for my own venture.

    A couple of points:

    Part of the problem with a lot of web designers is that they’re not good business folk. They need to fine tune those skills too – become better at marketing and sales, price themselves at a higher level, prove their value, etc… The platform has little to do with this.

    The other point is that no system can do everything. Not even Adobe’s enterprise suite. For your product to succeed you need to have an extensive and flexible set of integrations. Because managing these can be as much of a hassle as managing a set of WP plug-ins. Shopify and Mailchimp do this well with their app stores.

    Best of luck and.. launch soon!

    • I couldn’t agree more Lawrence! The world does need Foxley so we can outfox, outsmart and outdo the way things have been done. It’s like the industry is still living in the dark ages.

      I 100% agree with your comments. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Designers just aren’t taught all this stuff in design school. And business is not easy. A successful design business isn’t about pretty websites—it’s about business. Getting more traffic and sales for clients. Sourcing, winning and pricing projects. Working smarter, not just harder. A successful business is about taking control of your work, your life and its purpose.

      But the old industry rules are getting in the way. From complex software platforms to competition from $300 websites, designers everywhere are suffering in business. They’re getting trapped in the feast-or-famine cycle, outsourcing profits and designing without reaping the benefits they work so hard for.

      That’s why we created Foxley: to help designers build a business they love on their own terms. And give the industry a mighty shaking too.

      Foxley is the first design ‘business’ platform. It encompasses everything you need to run an effective business, the knowledge, the motivation and the tools you need to create effective websites. The websites are just a hammer in the toolbox. Getting good at business is where it’s at. 😉

      We don’t plan on doing everything, that would be impossible. We do however want to open the platform up to designers and developers to help fuel the features, themes, strategies, templates, and business education and while doing so, enable them to create recurring residual income for themselves. A big part of our strategy is the community so we plan to invest heavily in and nurture that growth until we get it right.

      Thanks for the advice, and yes, we are launching soon! Watch this space…

  • But this site is on WordPress and it looks great 🙂
    Plus talking and working with programmers and designers, wordpress enables you get custom needs. Do you customize?

    • It does but it was a nightmare to put together. Plugins kept conflicting causing all sorts of dramas, and we have developers in house. We kept a list of everything that went wrong, and ended up with a full page of issues, even though this is a pretty basic 3 page site with blog. I’d hate to think how others manage when things don’t work as planned.

      I’m not against WordPress by any means, I just feel strongly about it taking 12-16 weeks to build a site, requires the input of several experts in different fields, and costs a fortune to get it to actually work.

      The entire web industry needs shaking up. We haven’t seen any real innovation in over a decade, it takes way too long to build sites for clients, 80% of them don’t even generate results, and I feel like designers have been getting the rough end of the stick for way too long. As a collective, we need to create the ultimate solution that puts designers back in the driver’s seat, enables them to make better profits, and makes doing business far less painful than it is now. Which is why we’re so passionate about Foxley.

      To answer your question, yes! Foxley will have a team on standby to do any custom work required. That’s been a huge request from all our surveys and pilot users so we’re addressing that for sure. Thanks for the comment!

      • I agree in general with what you are saying….but – the issue with sites and marketing is that a site cant only work for the customer. The customer/Business owner has to work for the site as well. The online marketing options are amazing, but getting into it is the problem. It takes work and time, so even having the most amazing and invested website without “working” it is worthless.
        On the other hand business owners that get it, do not need the fancy site, they know what needs to be done to have the site serves them.

        The bottom line is – the extra mile that needs to be done, can not be done and for you, you got to do it…

        In regards to WP, yes it is hard to get into it and Foxley does solve many issues and still more work has done out of the comfort zone – which is the hard part for most.

        Once again – Great Blog!

        • Absolutely, it’s up to us to educate our clients, give them to tools, knowledge and motivation also then yes, the ball is in their court and they still have to work their site. I think the misconception of build it and they will come, or build it and it is done as well is still way too common amongst business owners. Most of the clients we have though don’t know what they don’t know and get overwhelmed with who to believe or where to start. Some say do SEO, others Facebook Ads, others Adwords, when their site isn’t even converting in the first place.

          Our goal is to help people suffer less, maybe that’s just helping with the 49% and they do the rest, but we can make it easier to go the extra mile… whoever takes the baton! 😉 Thanks again.

  • Paul Murphy

    Hi Bianca
    Foxley is a great idea especially if you are simplifying the SEO and Marketing side of getting online. I provide Google Adwords and was wondering how I would track the website performance using Adwords Tags? Will I be able to conveniently add the tags or will I need to ask the Foxley team to apply these tags?

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