The story behind Koken – a lesser known CMS for photographers
We all know that WordPress is the #1 CMS used by more than 24% of all websites. But, today we’ll talk about another independent and really unique CMS.
It all started 5 years ago with a crazy idea. A group of 3 web enthusiasts (led by Todd Dominey) had a plan: to build a completely new CMS from scratch. They envisioned a powerful, beautiful and customizable CMS for photography lovers. It should allow photographers to publish their photos on their websites directly from Adobe Lightroom and finally this system should be free.
At that time, it was a major challenge, everything would be created from 0 (including back-end and front-end). They wanted a light, fast, fluid, intuitive (drag-and-drop) system with dedicated features for photography websites, like: searching, tagging, grouping, publishing and much more. This meant a lot of hard work, but our guys were very determined. And guess what? They actually did it.
Like a photographer chasing the perfect exposure and composition, we experimented, refined, and labored over every detail to make it the ideal photo management and publishing platform in the self-install market.
After 2 years of hard work (in 2012), Koken was released. In the following couple of years they continued to improve the CMS, launch new features, create new themes and plugins, listen to user feedback, and provide free technical support for a community which was expanding by 100 new installations a day.
In 2014, the guys launched Koken Store a dedicated spot for free and premium themes, plugins and add-ons. After 4 years of works they actually started to earn something and kept on implementing new themes, plugins, features and expanding their audience. It seemed like everything just begun.
However, recently the guys behind Koken realized that it was time for them to move on, follow new opportunities and pass their CMS to someone who will take care of it. So, they decided to sell Koken. This is not because they’re tired or frustrated, they’re simply looking for the right company that will take their CMS to the next level, invest and improve the platform. If you accidentally know such kind of company or a group of people, feel free to spread the word and help finding a new home for Koken.
Here are some key stats of Koken:
- Around 80,000 total installations since 2011
- Around 40,000 installations since Koken Store launched in 2014 (this means 50% of total installations during 1 year)
- Around 100 new installations per day
- $12,000 in gross revenue per month
- $200 in fixed monthly costs (hosting, AWS, etc.)
- Around 25k newsletter subscribers
- Around 65% of users install at least 1 additional theme/plugin, of those around 10% of users buy a premium item
To find out more stats and technical specification + get in touch with the founder, please read this post.
We hope to see this platform growing and evolving and we wish good luck to the founding members and eventually to the new owners. Keep up the good work!