Let’s take a short rocket ride to see how SlideHunter, the online resource for PowerPoint templates, went from a simple blog to WordPress membership site, with a subscription base of over 150.000 users.
Who is SlideHunter and what they do?
SlideHunter is a free online resource that offers PowerPoint templates. Their website was born after the founder got frustrated about the backgrounds available and decided to change something. The business has started as a blog with a freemium strategy so they could offer free slide designs for everyone.
The journey started back in 2012 and the idea behind the project came from the consultancy and business world. This is where Julian Magnone, the founder had a recurrent need of using business templates. At that time SlideHunter had only a few visits per week, but soon enough the website became popular and now reached a subscriber base of over 150.000+ users.
After building the website, Julian realized that there are several things to improve and started looking for a way to provide a membership feature on their website. This way they meet the free version of Profile Builder on the WordPress plugin directory and decided to implement it right away.
What we liked from Profile Builder was the flexibility it offered and the customization possibilities especially for WordPress Developers. Using hooks and filters, it was very easy to adapt the plugin to our needs.
How are SlideHunter and Profile Builder working together?
Developing compelling pitches takes a lot of effort and can become a daunting task if you are not very familiar with the elements needed to succeed (design, content, delivery). A great story is not delivered efficiently if it doesn’t have a visual support behind and there are a few elements we all consider when building pitches: keep a balance between content and design. Both of them should convey the same idea & story, have some elements that stand out and grab the attention of your audience and all slides should be connected together visually by offering a consistent look.
Julian wanted to help business people who need an appropriate template, so he started to write blog posts and offer free PowerPoint templates with free Illustrations created in Adobe Illustration. With his templates, people could use nice diagrams with business characters and avatars, various backgrounds and freebies. But, as a business, he needed to enhance the value offered to subscribers, so he needed a solution that would help him convert the blog to a whole new membership website, where users could register themselves, in order to download templates, see fewer ads and get updates for new pieces of content.
So, after installing the plugin, he created a Registration Form with custom fields and integrated within SlideHunter website. As you can see below, he also added some benefits on why someone should create an account.
“It was simple, worked nicely from the beginning and offered us the flexibility we were looking for. Again, thanks to the use of hooks inside the WordPress plugin,” says Julian Magnone, owner of SlideHunter.
In order to decide between Profile Builder and other plugins they used in the past, Julian was hunting for plugin solutions on WordPress.org, evaluated a range of options and considered the following aspects:
- The Performance (the overall performance won’t be affected by having a large base of subscribers)
- The Flexibility to Customize how the plugin works via filters and hooks in WordPress (notifications emails being sent, smooth registration process, use of ReCaptcha, etc.)
After researching for the all-in-one solution he needed, SlideHunter went further with the free version of Profile Builder, which was the best fit for its need. More than this, Julian emphasizes that if he hadn’t managed to identify a plugin that would help him make the switch from a blog to the new membership website, then any other solutions would have required more complex development steps and in-house functionalities.
Going from blog to WordPress membership site and beyond
As regarding the advantages of time & productivity of converting the blog to a membership website, they could focus on designing and uploading the Free PowerPoint templates. Also, there was more time to work in the code of the business, rather than keeping an eye on the user base.
The installation was straightfoward and easy-to-use. The plugin could be adapted seamlessly to our website. It helped to gain more subscribers over time by customizing the registration process.
SlideHunter has increased the percentage of returning visitors compared to the new ones, by sending frequently customized emails to existing users, recommend them templates, and also updates on the free ones listed on the website.
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