But learning how to begin coding a website can be an overwhelmingly time-consuming task for those who are not tech savvy and just have a creative idea for an online business.
Lee Su-mo, founder and CEO of Korean startup I’mweb, said his namesake program helps even a non-technical person build his or her own custom website with little or no coding skills at all.
“Many people think e-commerce is easy to do and has a low entry barrier, but it’s easy for technical experts from the beginning,” Lee said an interview with Yonhap News Agency held last week. “But you have to learn computing languages and coding or wait for an agency or an expert to do it for you. It’s a big entry barrier.”
I’mweb offers the free-of-charge homepage building tool and followup management services, including upgrades to its subscribers, while those who want more sophisticated designed websites can use its professional version. Its free version contains advertisements, he added.
Subscribers just pick up a favorite website template, or a predesigned layout, and build their homepage with easy drag-and-drop controls and features, choosing the best fonts and colors, creating menu bars and giving scroll effects.
I’mweb’s simple and easy-to-use website building process has gained popularity among Korean small online businesses over the past few years, becoming one of the few outstanding web builder tools in the country, along with market leaders Cafe24 and Makeshop.
A cumulative 500,000 websites and online shopping malls have been created since 2016, when the company started beta testing the software. The company has posted 2.6 trillion won in cumulative revenue over the past six years.
Lee said I’mweb is the only non-code website building platform in Korea that has a competitive edge over its big rivals by offering easier designing functions, cost-effectiveness and a friendly user interface, targeting mom and pop store owners who are not familiar with computing language and cannot afford to hire a homepage expert.
“Cafe24 has far more templates than we have. Still, they require coding experience,” he said. “I’mweb makes it available to build a website in a more diversified, tailored way.”
He said his company, which launched a Taiwanese service in 2020, is now eying an English-language service later this year, helping Korean clients open English websites for business in North America, powered by an automatic Korean-English translation system.
“After starting the service in 2020, we set up a Taiwanese unit in the second quarter of last year to expand business there. Taiwanese people can build an e-commerce website through I’mweb,” he said. “In 2023, we are planning to launch a global service targeting the North American market.”