We’re Selling Koken

The photography content management system is looking for a new home.

Todd Dominey
Jul 8, 2015 · 6 min read

Koken’s Library interface — Screenshot is from my own personal photography site.

Stats and sales

Koken is bootstrapped, privately owned and profitable.

  • Of that total, ~40,000 Koken installations since the Koken Store launched in April, 2014 (which means nearly half of all installations were last year).
  • ~100 new installations created daily.
  • $12,000 in gross revenue per month, on average.
  • ~$200 in fixed monthly costs to operate (AWS, Desk, site hosting).
  • ~65% of new installs visit the Koken Store and install at least one additional theme/plugin. Of those, ~10% purchase a premium item.
  • ~25k subscribers to the Koken email newsletter list.


  • Core CMS featuring a robust photo management interface, essay and custom page editor, web site previewing and styling through a simple settings panel (no HTML experience needed).
  • 8 responsive themes, 3 of which are premium at $60 each.
  • 15 plugins, 5 of which are premium at $20-$35 each.
  • Free Lightroom Publish Service Plugin for automatically publishing collections of images to the web without leaving Lightroom.
  • Complete customer knowledge base and service portal powered by Desk.
  • Integrated Koken Store where themes and plugins may be purchased, downloaded and installed from inside the CMS.
  • Supported by all major hosting providers including MediaTemple, GoDaddy, Dreamhost, InMotion, DigitalOcean, and more.

Technical specifications

  • Koken itself is a single-page application built with common, open source tools familiar to many developers including PHP, MySQL, jQuery, and Knockout.js.
  • The Koken Store is a custom e-commerce application built using Laravel, Braintree merchant account, DigitalOcean hosting.
  • Easy to use local development environment built on Vagrant, Docker, and git.
  • Custom-built “Lens” PHP template engine for publishing web sites and responsive, Retina-compatible images.
  • RESTful, JSON API (built with PHP using CodeIgniter 2) that manages all backend data for Lens, the admin console and plugins.
  • Command-line tool for easy publishing of all product updates.

Future opportunities

We believe — with the right development team and leadership — Koken could be even more popular and profitable. We foresee a number of growth opportunities for the platform, including:

  • Backend photo management and site publishing system for a mobile photography app.
  • Paid, premium customer support packages for customers who need expedited support.
  • Design, develop and sell additional site themes for a wider variety of options and increased revenue.
  • Expanding the integrated Koken Store beyond Koken add-ons by offering Lightroom presets, prints, photo books, photography accessories, etc.
  • All of the above.

Make us an offer

If interested in acquiring Koken, or if you have questions concerning the sale, please email me (Todd Dominey) at todd@koken.me. Serious inquiries only. We are absolutely committed to finding Koken — and our existing user base — a suitable team that believes in the product and will continue to grow and expand the platform.

What will happen to Koken in the meantime?

This announcement will not harm anyone’s installation of Koken or their web sites. External services including the Koken Store and new installation downloads will continue to operate as normal. The minute anything changes regarding new ownership we’ll let you know.

Closing thoughts

We’re so incredibly proud of the work that’s gone into Koken, and can’t thank our customers enough for supporting and believing in the product. We will do everything we can to ensure this isn’t the final chapter, but rather the start of something new and exciting for us all.


Perspectives on Visual Storytelling

Todd Dominey

Written by

Currently pursuing life. Former Sr. Director of Design at MailChimp, Founder of Koken, SlideShowPro, Super Deluxe.



Perspectives on Visual Storytelling