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Davide Masserini with DMware Case Study – 7 years, 400 Sites Launched, 1200 Maintained

Here, at templatemonster.com, we are always glad to meet talented professionals who can share their experience and give honest feedback about the products and services we provide. Davide Masserini is one of them.

Recently, we have reached the manager at DMware for an interview about his story of realization of potential in profession and career. As a result, we attained more than just a case study of an experienced web developer who knows how to make every client leave satisfied. Davide has shared his story from a freelancer to an owner of his own business, provided recommendations to the fellow designers and even TM, and revealed examples of some of his latest works that are built with TemplateMonster's themes.

Enough said, let's get to the interview.

Name: Davide Masserini
Occupation: Manager at DMware
Location: Italy
Audience: small to big businesses
Favorite mobile software - Android
Favorite car make - Volkswagen
TemplateMonster: Hello, Davide. We know that you have a lot to tell about web design and your personal experience, but let's get off a subject and talk about modern gadgets that a contemporary user cannot live without. Smartphones, tablets, fitness trackers and stuff like that have become inherent parts of our lives. What kind of smartphone do you own? Do you prefer iOS or Android devices?
Davide Masserini: Since smartphones arrived I have been using both Android and iOS devices. A few months ago I had an iPhone, then I wanted to purchase a Nexus. However, my mom anticipated me and gave me the new iPhone for my birthday 🙁

I was like "Oh... all right. Thank you" 🙂 So at the moment I still have an iPhone, however, I think my next phone will be an Android.

Personally, I think iPhones are great. Fast, stable, good looking, great pictures, and probably more secure. However, I think Android is going to be better in a world where Internet of Things is rapidly taking place probably because they are more compatible and open in regards to devices in cars, appliances and another type of devices in general.

There are also two other important reasons why I'll go for Android.

  • Number one my car's navigation's system/audio system is Sony, and for some reason, it works better with Android.
  • Secondly, I am looking to develop a small application for an Android watch to track my time on projects with a "clock-in-clock-out" method that will synchronize with my Project Manager's database.

TemplateMonster: What gadgets do you think are indispensable for a web developer? Which ones do you use?
Davide Masserini: I am not sure if a web developer needs a gadget. Probably he just needs the following set of tools to work smoothly:
  • a fast and secure machine, either Linux, Apple or Windows. I work with all three of them, but mainly with my iMac.
  • a good text editor. I personally use Sublime Text.
  • FTP program. I use Filezilla.
  • a fast internet's connection.

Other than this for a web developer not much else. If he is looking to work with images then the Adobe Suite (at least Photoshop and Illustrator) is definitely important.


TemplateMonster: Tell us a couple of words about yourself/your studio. Where are you located? How big is your team? For how many years have you been into web design?
Davide Masserini: I am a 31 years old guy, father of two beautiful kids and a great wife! I am also the owner of a company named DMWARE, a complicated name that combines the meaning of "Develop" "Media" and "-ware" (of course initially they were just the first letters of my name and last name). I started in 2009 as a freelancer, and I have been growing slowly yet steadily since then.

DMWARE specializes in creating and managing websites for small to big businesses. Over the years I decided to divide the brand in two because of the vertical nature of the areas we focus on:

  • website management (hosting and maintenance) - www.dmware.it

dmware

  • web design and marketing - www.dmware.pro

dmwarepro

There are three people in the web design/marketing area and 2 people in the web hosting/management area. We also have some external trusted developers sometimes working with us on projects where a particular skill is needed.


TemplateMonster: What immersed you into web design?
Davide Masserini: I vividly remember the day my first personal computer arrived at my house. I was 11 or 12 I think. It was a gift from a mom's friend who didn't need it anymore. Wow, how much playing to "Command and Conquer" a strategic game with soldiers, lands, weapons. Then at one point, after some hundreds of hours of gaming, I probably started to ask myself if I could do anything productive with "that box."

At one point, I don't remember how but I figured to install my first 56Kb connection and start to navigate online. I immediately asked myself "how these web pages are built?" So yes I found the "View source" button and began figuring out HTML. I studied the HTML4 manual and started to learn HTML and Javascript.

Time passed, and I was 14. My mom and dad had a common business, however, they got separated and so I thought I could help them "communicate" or "promote" their shops online with a website. This was 1999, so probably nobody in Bergamo's county (it's my land) had a website. I thought it was going to be a very good idea, however, both my parents were "not seeing" what I was seeing. I decided to build for my father a website, and I made it. Once I showed it to a home he was kind of glad, but definitely, I could perceive he just wasn't getting it. Anyway, I was going to buy a domain name and a hosting space, however, due do the lack of anybody's interest in my creation, I kind of left it there off-line. That was the start of my passion. I then started ITIS, which is a computer science school in Bergamo.


TemplateMonster: Now, as you work in a web design and development field, what helps you to plan your workflow?
Davide Masserini: The production workflow is the main point I am trying to optimize these days. So for the beginning of 2017, I believe we will have a new software administration system that will take care of everything we need to manage the company efficiently.

Once that will be deployed and running, I will have to take care of the only one aspect I never faced seriously: SALES. I just don't like to push "selling" very much, but I realize it's important for the growth of a company.


TemplateMonster: Do you commonly use ready-made website templates in your work or create custom designs as well? (In case you develop custom themes, in what cases do you opt for ready-made solutions?)
Davide Masserini: We offer our clients the choice to start from a ready-made template or to create a custom design from scratch, however 90% of the time when they see the price for the custom work, they opt for a template. A template doesn't mean that your website will not follow your brand's look and feel, in fact thanks to the easily customizable templates in Joomla, WordPress or others is possible to achieve a complete customization of the front-end. For some projects, where an adequate budget is available, of course, we create a template from scratch to suit the website's goal perfectly and achieve the best possible performance regarding speed and security.

TemplateMonster: To what do you pay special attention when choosing a theme?
Davide Masserini: Of the thing I am careful of when I select templates for a project is to be sure that the template's framework doesn't interfere with the CMS's logic. For example, if a Joomla template has some builder or framework that heavily changes the way the CMS "thinks," then it's possible that other extensions will not work on that template.

I remember a time a few years ago at some point we noticed that a template was handling articles in a way that modules couldn't be inserted into them, so that was not a nice discovery as you can imagine as that is a core CMS feature. Template Monster was using Gantry on Joomla's templates up to some time ago, now I noticed you guys stopped using it and they created their template framework, which is fine as it doesn't bother the Joomla's flow.


TemplateMonster: For what business niche do you make site the most often?
Davide Masserini: This is a good question. Well, probably we are a good partner for businesses that need a reliable IT that takes care of their website, but also for individuals who just want a small website for their little project. We also manage websites for other marketing agencies in "white label." For some agencies, we have also created their Nameservers so that we can stay "invisible" to the final client. We take care of the web hosting and website maintenance for their customers. Instead, we are not for the savvy developer or system administrator. Those guys just directly go to a dedicated machine or cloud they can run.

TemplateMonster: How much time does is normally take you to create a website based on a theme? How fast do custom-made projects launch?
Davide Masserini: It depends on the size and complexity of the project. I'll make up 2 sample projects and give an approximated time estimate. The first type of project is the "presentational website" which usually is a small business that requires a new website to show products and services.

Once the site structure is defined, and the template is chosen, we proceed to gather all contents such as texts, images, fonts, videos, pdf files, etc. We usually ask clients to use Wetransfer.com to send us all in one time. We make sure the client understands we will not start the website creation until we receive all the needed content. Of course, if there is something not yet ready we can insert it later, however, we make an effort into limiting the number of mailings.

Once we have the content, we start to build the website and for a 15 pages websites, it takes about two weeks to show the first draft. We show it to the customer, and we take note of his/her reactions, opinions, and preferences.


TemplateMonster: What are the most common fixes that your clients request to be made?
Davide Masserini: Most of the time the client wants a bigger logo 🙂 and we usually accommodate that unless it is going to take all area above the fold 😮 Sometimes we have customers that look at a #000000, and they want a darker black, however, we have not yet been able to satisfy those. We hope to achieve such power at some point. Jokes apart we strive for a 100% customer satisfaction so we scrupulously take note of everything and we refine the theme accordingly for all devices.

The second type of project is the excellent website with a certain degree of front-end and back-end customization. Depending on the function required, we sometimes create a custom plugin or component or we use an extension already made from another developer.

By the way, we are always very transparent about the ownership of the software, and we always explain the difference between and custom software and software developed by others (sometimes requiring a license). This can take a couple of months to create. However, it depends on what has to be done.


TemplateMonster: What's an average bill for a theme-based website creation? How much does it cost to launch a custom-made site?
Davide Masserini: An average bill for a theme-based website could be 1500 €. However, many factors can increase the price such as copywriting, photography, graphics, and other related services. A custom template is usually above 5000 €.

TemplateMonster: Please provide some URLs of the finished projects in comparison to the purchased templates. It will be a great example of your work!
Davide Masserini: We have developed about 400 websites since 2009, and we manage about 1200 websites so far between Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, Prestashop, Magento and some custom works. Here some of the works we have created starting from a Template Monster's theme:

Investment Consultancy Joomla Template is a foundation of nafitalia.com.

nafitalia

Industrial Company Joomla Template was used for www.rettificamerelli.com.

rettificamerelli

Hotels and Motels Joomla Template became a starting point of www.otticaceroni.com.

otticaceroni


TemplateMonster: What is your audience? What niche do you target? Do you target foreign markets or prefer working with customers from your country only?
Davide Masserini: Most of my clients are from Italy, however, I have clients all over the world. Customers from anywhere are welcome. I would love to increase my clients outside of Italy.

TemplateMonster: How do you attract new customers and keep them coming back?
Davide Masserini: I focus on delivering a superior experience to my clients. This has been the key point for creating word of mouth. By "experience" I mean that overall intangible thing that makes you think "they are great." To achieve this I always make sure the client knows exactly what he/she is buying so he/she won't be disappointed, then I surprise him/her by delivering more than what was asked. You know, "the cherry on the cake" as we say here. I have been spending a lot of my time into the company's software to automate the majority of our internal processes. We have a nice system all integrated within the CMS: a CRM, a project manager, support tickets and more and we are planning a complete renovation for the beginning of 2017.

So, for example, the fact that a client can log in, see all his/her invoices, open a support ticket, add cool things to the web hosting package, order a three months SEO on a particular word, and grow his/her web presence with us is appreciated.


TemplateMonster: How long have you been with TemplateMonster? How can you evaluate the results of our collaboration? What do you enjoy the most?
Davide Masserini: I have been with Template Monster since 2010. I think that one of the main positive points of our collaboration is that TM's templates are impressive. They make a very good first impression. When I have to pre-select themes for clients I use about 5/6 template suppliers and very often clients choose the ones in Template Monster.

I enjoy the look and feel of your templates. The graphic designers are good at creating the right spaces around the webpage's elements. Also, I can have a direct link to the template demo, so the client doesn't have any topbar that distracts from the view of the template (I get it from the source code).


TemplateMonster: Is there anything the should be enhanced?
Davide Masserini: One of the things I don't like is the support system of TM. I don't like to have to make a double log-in. I also don't like the fact that support guys most of the time won't understand what I mean the first time and I have to explain the situation a couple of occasions usually. I can sense they don't regularly encounter my problems. In general, I don't like to insist on getting help, however, I realize that on the other side I have people giving help on so many platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Prestashop, etc. ) so I have to be patient and provide all details.

A couple of weeks ago I complained about one thin, and the Italian support guy called me on the phone and solved the issue with me, so it was awesome.

Another thing I don't necessarily appreciate is why they put model's photos on the live chat, it just seems fake ... aren't you guys supposed to be monsters 😛


TemplateMonster: TemplateMonster is constanly developing new innovative designs. Let's talk about one of them - Jumerix Multipurpose Joomla Template. What do you think about the newest TM flagman theme?

Davide Masserini: The latest Jumerix template is really good. One of the improvements I noticed in comparison with previously made TM's Joomla's templates is the top area. A great menu and a great line above the menu with great spacing. I don't necessarily like the loading image preceding the page rendering so I will most likely get rid of that, but beside this detail it's really awesome. I will most likely use it for my next project.

I'd like to thank the all Template Monster's theme for their great work and for their awesome website.

Once again I appreciate the work you guys have been doing. I really hope we will be able to continue collaborating together for the next several years to come.

best regards

Davide Masserini

Manager at DMware

This was Davide Masserini with DMware case study. We hope that if will inspire you for new great achievements and give you a hint on how to make your own business a success. Have your own unique study that is worthy of a mention at MonsterPost? [email protected] is always ready to reach you for an interview 😉


Katherine Crayon

copywriter reporting on tech news and all aspects of the web design industry. Anyone looking for more inspirational posts, tips and advice or simply the latest industry news, meet her in person on Quora and Twitter.

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