2023 Platform Wrap-up

Despite the challenging economic climate, in 2023 our small business customers around the world are still very resilient and continue to be successful online. Our partners continue to see growth and site publishing activity is up 10% Y-o-Y.

Over the past year as we have set out to complete our BaseKit Connect strategy, we’ve released significant roadmap features to help make our products more accessible and easier to use.

We’ve also continued to enhance our operational security and efficiency, rolling out significant production infrastructure upgrades to maintain peace of mind and maximum uptime for our partners and their small business customers.

Here’s a wrap of how the BaseKit Platform has evolved throughout 2023.

Product evolution

2023 was the year AI became headline news. According to OFCOM research, in the UK generative 3 in 10 internet users say they have used a generative AI tool. Engagement varies by age but there’s no doubt we will see increasing use as the technology becomes more widely available. We see potential for using AI in many parts of the BaseKit customer journey but we will always be focussed on adding value not just adding technology for the sake of it.

We have been very focussed on making BaseKit connect to small business workflows. In March we launched an exciting new feature at the heart of our BaseKit Connect roadmap – The Customers Application. A single place for small businesses to view all customer details and transactions, it ultimately makes it much easier for them to integrate transactions from their websites to their marketing and accounting workflows.

The BaseKit Connect vision was created to connect the many separate steps of transacting online into one simple and repeatable workflow. The Customers Application was a significant foundational element of that roadmap. Early next year we will look to ship a Zapier plugin, expand our public API and offer our first shipping integration which will complete the original strategy.

In March we once again attended CloudFest meeting with many of our partners to unveil our 2023 product roadmap. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. This year we have put a lot of emphasis on how partners can use our API, Webhooks and other points of connection to better integrate our products.

In addition to improving website page speed across all BaseKit websites behind the scenes. When it came to visible improvements to BaseKit Site, we shipped a lot of small changes in response to customer feedback and improved the overall performance of the sitebuilder especially for large websites.

For BaseKit Store we made significant improvements to the Store onboarding process, increasing and sustaining our overall store activation rate among our partners’ customers by 75% in the 6 months after the improvements were made.

We also introduced new product navigation and widget controls and other features to help customers manage the products within their store. A free shipping option for orders above a certain value was also made available..

For BaseKit Bookings, we introduced the option to capture customer marketing consent at the time of booking. We also added a range of new payment gateways, and improved brand consistency for business owners with the option to add their company logo across bookings pages and confirmation emails.

View all 2023 product updates

We were also excited to integrate with stock image and video provider Pexels. Offering our partners’ customers unlimited access to the 3.2 million free stock images and videos from their media library with improved language support for non-english speakers.

Throughout 2024 we will be expanding the range of design capabilities to help our customers make even more visually exciting websites. We will be using AI technology to simplify content generation and improve image handling and management.

Watch this space for our 2024 product roadmap coming soon!

Operational activity

2023 has been a year of rolling out significant production infrastructure upgrades.

This year our operations team upgraded just under 100 database instances. Everything ran smoothly, there were no issues and no unplanned downtime. All due to the meticulous planning and testing earlier in the year.

As a result we have upgraded all our database instances from Mysql 5.7 to MariaDB which has significantly improved performance, we’ve also taken the opportunity to review our backup strategy to improve resilience.

We’ve been updating both our own, and our partners, servers that were on Ubuntu 18.04 to the new stable long term supported version 22.04

We also implemented a log aggregation tool called graylog, this allows us to very easily analyse the traffic across all of our partners’ environments in real time allowing us to respond to issues more efficiently.

In 2024 we’ll be reviewing our continuous deployment system and hopefully moving more of our partners onto the platform so they can benefit from instant deployment of new features.

We’ll also be reviewing our Redis implementation with a view to having an option for partners to add an additional Redis instance for better fault tolerance.

As always we’ll be keeping our partners up to date with the very latest bi-weekly product feature updates, and operational announcements throughout the year. Stay tuned for more exciting updates in 2024.

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