New! Create headers, footers, blog layouts, and more with Beaver Themer. See how it works.

Creating a Website Builder Platform – An Interview with MeeSites

One of the lesser known features of our Agency package is support for creating a website builder platform. You know, like a SquareSpace or Weebly. Niche website builders are a big business, and we predict they're only going to get more and more popular as more and more small business are getting online.

To clarify, Beaver Builder's page builder interface would only be one, relatively small, piece of such a system. One would still need to build an eCommerce and membership system, customer onboarding, and a backend server architecture to host all of the sites.

There are several folks who have successfully navigated those challenges and are leveraging Beaver Builder as part of their website builder stack. Along with MeeSites, Faithmade is another hosted builder platform for churches that uses Beaver Builder for their page builder interface.

Today, I am excited to share an interview with David Vongries, of MeeSites, about his platform and some of the technology he used to create it…

What brought you to the web industry? How did you learn about and start building websites?

I’ve always been immensely interested in computers and created my first websites when I was only 13 years old. Ever since then, this has been a continuous process and evolved over the years. In fact, I am a self-taught web developer who came to appreciate Google as a good helper. In 2010, I founded my own company after having finished my apprenticeship as a media designer, due to more and more people in my social circle needing websites.

What was your first experience with WordPress?

A friend of mine, Thorsten Marks, introduced me to WordPress in 2012. Back then, I shared an office space with him and another guy in my hometown. I had to create a website for a customer, and I asked him which system he would suggest. He told me to go with WordPress.
Would I have asked the other guy from the office, the answer would probably have been Typo3. Thank God, I asked Thorsten this day.

What's your workspace like? Do you work from an office or from home? Do you use Mac or PC?

These days, I work from home, in a little apartment. PC? Never heard about her.

Tell us a bit about MeeSites.

With MeeSites, I wanted to launch a service that helps create WordPress websites more easily, faster, and from the front end.

This way, creating great websites is easier than ever – even for beginners without any coding experience. Besides that, MeeSites also helps freelancers and agencies to work faster and more efficiently.

Can you explain a bit about the technology behind MeeSites?

MeeSites is based on a multisite installation and WPMUDEV’s Pro-Sites, which lets you create a network like Edublogs or WordPress.com. So, users can register and start working on their websites within just a few seconds.

When building MeeSites, were you doing a lot of configuration, custom development, or both?

Oh, I did both. I did everything from adapting the registration form through optimizing admin interfaces to developing my own plugins. Lots of things had to be adapted and optimized – like, for example, user registration.

Why did you choose BeaverBuilder Plugin for MeeSites?

I did some research and compared most of the WordPress Page Builder Plugins out there. The decision actually was fairly easy, as making everything as user-friendly and intuitive as possible was our top priority.

Any unexpected pitfalls or interesting obstacles you had to overcome?

Some of the new features I absolutely wanted to implement slowed down the development a little bit.
Until very recently, for example, fundamental changes in the theme design had to be made on an options page. This had been decided in the beginning of the year when I had started to develop MeeSites. Since the most recent update, all fundamental changes can now be made live, directly in the theme customizer. But in order to get there, I first had to completely revamp the standard theme.

What is the future of MeeSites?

MeeSites is just coming out of the beta phase. Of course, I hope that the community and the team will continue to grow. In the future, we want to also provide self-made plugins and Drag & Drop modules for some of our paid plans. That’s one of many things on our bucket list.

In Closing

Thanks again to David for taking some time to do this interview. Be sure to check out MeeSites and all the work he's done over there!

Are you using Beaver Builder for a website builder platform? Share a link in the comments below…

Robby McCullough's Bio

6 Comments

  1. Miguel on April 28, 2016 at 9:23 am

    We have used this plugin to create a niche website builder for restaurants. Checkout webinly.com

    • Robby McCullough on April 28, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Thanks for sharing Miguel. It looks great!

      • Miguel on April 29, 2016 at 11:26 am

        Thanks any chance that we will see the customizer theme settings merged into the builder plugin? It would be nice if users didn’t have to change between interfaces to make changes on their site. By the way this is the best website builder I have seen keep up the great work.

        • Robby McCullough on May 2, 2016 at 10:12 am

          Hey Miguel. Thanks for the suggestion and the kind words. In all honesty, that’s probably not a problem we’re going to try to tackle. Keeping the theme and the page builder separate is a very important distinction for us.

  2. Tony South on May 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Quick question. How do services like Meesites and Faithmade handle support for the end users (subscribers)? Is that something that WPMUDEV or the hosting provider would handle, or do they handle (or outsource) the support?

    • Robby McCullough on May 31, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hey Tony! I am not 100% sure, but I believe they handle end user support themselves. You could try reaching out to them on Twitter and ask. 🙂

Leave a Comment