The story of Voog, the ideal website builder for e-Residents

Voog
Voog
Feb 8 · 6 min read
The Voog team, at your service!

Voog is a super-easy way to build your website, just the way you want and need it, from the ground up. Our templates offer all the tools and possibilities your business needs to realise its full potential.

Before we tell you a bit more about our straightforward-to-use product, we think it’s the right time to explain how our experiences have shaped us as a company, and how we believe we can help e-Residents to move forward with their aspirations.

Early days

The Voog story began in 2008, with founder Tõnu Runnel, who first started the successful Estonian company Fraktal, which at the time designed, developed and built websites. Runnel sensed a gap in the market for an intuitive, user-friendly website builder that made it easy for a novice to go into business online right away. Edicy was split off from Fraktal, with the latter still existing today as a digital agency.

There were, just as is the case today, no rival website builders that offered multilingual pages as standard. Thus, Runnel and his team, some of whom remain on-board to this day, began work on Edicy, as the company was known at that time. In time, Edicy became Voog, but we’ll get to that.

This is what our first ever website looked like. As you can see, we were first known as Edicy and only in 2014 became Voog, as the result of rebranding and major technical improvements.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go entirely smoothly for the new company, thanks to world events, with almost immediate concerns being raised by the global economic crisis. This made it almost impossible for an early-stage startup in Estonia to get the venture capital funding it needed to become a truly global concern. Runnel reached a key decision point, and elected to run Edicy in a sustainable, scalable way, working within their means, and only marketing through word-of-mouth.

This also meant offering a simple, straight-up product, which could be adapted easily by developers and could be used by individuals, plus small and medium-sized enterprises — in fact, anyone who wanted a blog or promotional site that was easy to manage and maintain, while being far simpler to build than its rivals at the time such as WordPress.

The next few years saw gradual growth, with Edicy establishing itself as a company which produced a great product out of the box, but was also thoroughly flexible, as shown when e-commerce functionalities were added in 2016.

This shows the number of sites until the big rebranding. As you can see, the word-of-mouth marketing really justified itself. Also, the economic crisis played a part in our success, as people moved their advertising budgets from traditional media to online.

In 2014, as hinted-at earlier, Edicy became Voog, meaning ‘flow’ in Estonian. It was a complete rebrand of the company, with the aim being to reconfigure the product’s image to be more friendly to international marketing, but this also came with a ground-up revision of what had been on offer beforehand through the website builder.

The templates available through Voog demonstrated that this was more than just a cosmetic re-skin — now it was possible for anyone to build something beautiful and design-led, with the same ease of use, but adding an appearance that would impress any potential client.

The drag-and-drop interface that lets users configure their own pages, exactly as they want them to look and operate, is something you might see, in a different form, on competing website builders, but what you will find on the likes of Squarespace and Wix is a lack of intuition over what the user really needs. Because they put all the options on the table and give users no idea what might be the best option for their needs, the majority of website builders are guilty of overkill.

That’s emphatically not the case with Voog, which guides the user, step-by-step, through the construction process, meaning there’s no chance of your shop-front to the world looking like the interface that taste forgot by the time it launches.

Following our rebranding in 2014, we received the Gold award in the Web Design category of the Estonian ‘Kuldmuna’ (Golden Egg) awards for our own website, and Silver in the category of service design, so it really was a big year for us.

Multilingual as standard

Many website builders offer options for multilingual pages — that much is true. What they generally don’t do is make it easy for the user. Here’s where Voog steals a march on its competitors; it is the only true multilingual website builder, as opposed to a website builder that grudgingly offers multilingual plugins. While these rival plugins feel like a retrofit, repurposing website builders for things they were never originally meant to do, Voog has multilingualism in its DNA.

One of the clients that we are super proud of is Cleveron — one of the most innovative companies from Estonia, offering parcel solutions to giants like Walmart (US) and Asda (UK). As you can see, they also have a multilingual website.

What does this mean in practice? Most website builders have only one way of building sites in more than one language: the user must manually duplicate the page, then post the translated content within. This can be time-consuming and frustrating. Voog’s solution is a bit neater — it makes a copy of whatever page needs to be transposed into another language, meaning no time wasted moving icons around the screen and ensuring the right box is in the right place. All you have to do is translate the written content as required.

Based in Estonia, dedicated to our users

Voog is a small, reliable, long-running Estonian company. This means that when someone becomes a Voog user, they are able to take advantage of some of the most attentive and knowledgeable customer support in the business. Need to find a developer to put video backgrounds on your landing pages? Voog can connect you with someone. Got a query about which colour works best on a mobile browser screen? Voog’s team of designers and design-conscious support staff can advise.

We’ve always offered far more than the usual panoply of chat-bots, and this is part of the reason why, when someone decides to use Voog as their website builder, overwhelmingly they stay for the long term.

Images from the website of Stella Soomlais, made with Voog.

Exacting clients, like for example Estonian fashion designers Reet Aus and Stella Soomlais, have found a natural home for their brands and products on Voog sites, using templates that make it straightforward for end users to purchase products, while also offering these successful entrepreneurs the opportunity to communicate directly and quickly with Voog team members where necessary.

The designers’ own clients have been met by an efficient shopping process, something we’re very proud of, having ensured that the ability to create online stores is fully integrated into every template, rather than being an add-on.

This means, whatever design you choose, e-commerce is very much possible, with all major payment methods, including PayPal, accepted by our site templates. With invoicing and order management all taking place within Voog, there’s no need to worry about your bottom line.

We are very close to a meaningful milestone — 500 000 sites created with Voog. Maybe you’ll be the one who gets us there?

Step into Voog’s world to see what you can do with our family of templates. In yet more exciting news, we’re working on an update of Voog, coming soon and adding to everything our users love. This will bring an even more intuitive website-building experience, while also becoming even better for third-party developers. If you’d like to be among the first to try our upcoming improvements, email us at hello@voog.com.

What Voog offers e-Residents

We know that the e-Residency community contains innovative companies and individuals, many of whom are working across borders and in multiple languages. As an e-Resident, with Voog, you can be sure you’re able to build a website of the highest quality, backed up with world-class service and support.

Now is the time to get on board and build the website of your dreams with the world’s only multilingual website builder, bringing a user experience that enables you and your business to reach for the stars.

E-Residency Blog, E-residentsuse blogi

This is the official blog of the Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme — See on e-residentsuse programmi ametlik blogi.

Voog

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Voog

Voog is the only true multilingual website builder. Welcome to the best way to be focused, flexible, and fluid.

E-Residency Blog, E-residentsuse blogi

This is the official blog of the Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme — See on e-residentsuse programmi ametlik blogi.

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