It is amazing how time passes by so quickly. It has been almost 8 years since the first version of Profile Manager Premium came out. At that time, I was still a computer science student. It all started with some free web site development I was doing for a non-profit organization. I was only doing it for fun but I also believed in the organization. I shared the scripts I developed on the web. Which lead to some small consulting gigs which lead me to post some more free scripts on the web. Two of the scripts I posted in 1999 became pretty popular among small websites. One was called “Netcard” and the other one was “Profile Manager”. They were both simple scripts which made it possible for small sites to easily let visitors create profiles on their sites. There was no term called “social networking” at that time. The biggest profile site was “Yahoo! Profiles” so most of the users wanted something similar to that.
Over the years, I have helped many web startups. Most of them were tiny startups probably doing it as a hobby. I have also worked with many professional web designers/developers who were using Profile Manager for their clients. I learned a lot from them and tried to provide best support and service I can. I have worked with hundreds of webmasters from ages 16 to 60. What did I learn about most webmasters want?
First all, webmasters would like to be original. They would like the web site to function as a whole. That’s why we do not stamp our logo on our products. At least on the public pages. We have a logo on the Admin sections which is only seen by the site owner, but it can be easily changed from templates. I think it is very important to provide software that will integrate with the user’s existing site. That’s also why we make our products customizable. We would like users to look professional with the software fitting exactly within their site design.
Secondly, webmasters would like to increase their site traffic. A web site or web application does not mean much without actual users. Our JotForm service now has almost 60K users and we are loving it. Seeing over 100 signups every day energizes us. But it is also a lot of responsibility. A lot of people are putting their trust with us. Traffic is especially important if you are a social site, the value of the site increases with the number of users using it. And one of the best ways to let users spend more time on your site is to provide them with the tools that would allow them to join the discussion and create content on your site. That’s one of the greatest benefits of Profile Manager Premium.
Finally, webmasters would like to make money with their site. It proves that if someone pays for the content, it has been valuable. So, probably no 1 reason, Profile Manager Premium is successful is that its integration with payments gateways like Paypal to collect subscription payments.
I think it is important to revise and redesign a site every couple of years. The same way people change, companies or web sites also change. I am really exciting about our new design for Interlogy. We had a simple but effective site for many years. However it was time for a change. We are now growing much more rapidly. Our user base is growing every day. Our products are getting better and we have some new products. The old clothes were not fitting us any more. For example, we have removed the old “About” page which had some boring stuff nobody cared and replaced it with “Blog”. I can now post updates about our products more often. We are also now more open about our company. Our new web homepage states how many users and how many employees we have.
This is all great and well. I thought this post was about the new version of Profile Manager Premium. So, let’s get back to that. The new version of Profile Manager Premium is not something revolutionary. It is more of an evolution from older versions. It is more stable, much more scable and looks and works much neater. We have fixed many common problems or confusions. We turned our flat file based database to Mysql instead. Applications are much more slicker now. They are also much more integrated with the member area. Our new tab based design makes it possible for PM Premium to add new tab for each new application.
Made to be Scalable
Unlike older versions, PM Premium 4.0 is designed to be highly scalable.
We have accomplished this by
converting flat file databases to Mysql. We now have best of both worlds.
PM Premium is still highly customizable but now it is also suitable for sites with
hundreds of thousands of members.
Applications has just get better
We introduced a new feature called “Application Builder” on version 3 and
it turned out to be a very popular and useful tool.
Application Builder enabled users to create their own custom data entry forms and
Version 4 now makes Applications much more powerful. You can now do advanced searches and listings using Application Builder.
It is also possible to add comments to application listing entries.
Video/Audio/Document Uploads has never been easier
One of the common requests on the older versions was to add various type of media upload fields.
It is now very easy to add new upload field for Video/Audio/Document files.
It is pretty exciting. We have a demo of the new version on the site. You can now try it out. Enjoy!