StoriesStartups27 May 20195 min

Meet Hyperlane, the startup that gets your Craft and WordPress websites online in a snap.

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Every web developer understands the pain of having to migrate an existing website. Server setups can be a true hassle to implement, every Content Management System has its own peculiar pitfalls and failed deployments are a true nightmare. This is where Hyperlane comes into play! Start it @KBC sat down with founder Dimitri Vandormael.

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Perfect team

Jonas Coenen, Pieter Hayen, Dimitri Vandormael and Bram Pieters understood like nobody else that the hosting, management & maintenance of websites needed to be streamlined. Their previous experience in the early 2000’s made them the perfect team for the job. Content Management Systems like WordPress and Craft power the lion’s share of websites worldwide. Hyperlane provides a single platform to build and host these CMS websites, saving web developers all around the globe countless hours and heaps of frustration.

Craft and WordPress are a perfect fit for Hyperlane, since both CMS’s provide intuitive, easy to understand and highly adaptable interfaces. “Whereas WordPress and Craft power your website’s front-and back-ends, Hyperlane provides the same intuitive user experience for everything that makes your website tick”, says founder Dimitri.

The school of hard knocks

The trick to founding your own start-up in a technology-based market is remaining up to date. This is where advice from Start it can be essential. “Our team quickly realized that the Start it initiative offered a lot of opportunities”, says Dimitri. “Hyperlane’s first few potential customers were all present in the Start it business network. The mentorship talks offered by Start it were also a major asset to Hyperlane’s evolution.” Experienced sales people like Michael Humblet also proved to be a precious source of information. “It’s always a good thing to surround yourself with people who have been around for a while,” says Dimitri. “Their experiences & advice can provide often overseen insights, making them literally worth their weight in gold.”

Start it also provides access to global accelerator networks, offering useful technology at reduced pricing. “Those networks provide the necessary contacts with other start-ups, allowing Hyperlane to learn from their peers and share advice”, he says. “It’s the perfect hive to develop and grow as young potentials.”

Knowledge is power

The Hyperlane team first started pitching in the summer of 2017. A few of them being developers themselves, they realized that their target audience required a specific approach. “To convince most web developers, you need to throw them a bone in the form of a 30-day trial period”, Dimitri explains. “They need to be able to mess around with your product, discover the ins and outs or find useful, day-to-day applications before they decide to purchase it. By teasing them, we made our prospects understand what they could potentially miss out on by not buying our product. With great success, we should add.”

April 2018 was another pivotal moment for Hyperlane. They had been working with Drupal, a CMS that has a steep learning curve for novice web developers compared to WordPress. Both CMS’s have their own, unique following. Realizing that the difference between both user groups was too expansive to cover, the team dropped Drupal and started looking for another CMS similar to WordPress.

Luckily for them, they had some contacts with the people over at Pixl & Tonic. They develop Craft & sell it under a license. “We put on our big boy pants and decided to simply shoot an email to the Pixl & Tonic staff, pitching the Hyperlane concept”, Dimitri laughs. “I think Pixl & Tonic themselves were charmed by our ambition and were sold on our ideas. After challenging us with some technical questions, they quickly understood that we were up to speed with the technology behind Craft and a successful cooperation was kick-started.”

Power to the team

Of course none of this would be possible without a stellar team. Since Hyperlane is effectively developing completely new concepts, it’s incredibly important to have the right mix of people on board. “Every person has their own unique skill set, and they function best when they can further expand those skills”, explains Dimitri. “Within the Hyperlane team, every team member fulfils his or her specific role, blindly trusting each other without forgetting that quality trumps quantity any day of the week.”

Hyperlane’s eclectic mix of characters attracted both experienced developers and graduates, further expanding the team’s collective skillset. “It’s okay to not try and be the best at everything”, Dimitri believes. “Trust the team around you, there are always people who are older, have more experience and know more than you do.”

Want to experience Hyperlane’s magic for yourself? Go check out their website or maybe even give them a call!