Let’s say you want a fully functional dynamic data-driven web site, and you want it quickly. Your choices used to be:
- Build it yourself (if your geek quotient is sufficient) in Rails, Java, PHP, .NET or similar.
- Select a content management system (CMS) such as Mambo, WebGUI, Joomla, etc.
- Contract with a development shop to get it done (expensive!)
Enter soon-to-launch Hypersites – a fully hosted solution for building a dynamic web site. It includes wysiwyg editing and layout tools, sets of prepackaged functionality, a content management system, support of multiple security levels, and (soon) a set of pre-built “starting points” to get you going.
I’ve spent some time with founder Michael Sitarzewski (his personal site and blog is a hypersite of course) over the last two months and have gotten a couple of projects going where I was able to use Hypersites. I’m no great web developer but I was able to get going and build something functional pretty quickly. I included a blog, photo album, and one data driven form as well as a few other pages in my test site in about 10 minutes using just my web browser. I also didn’t look at any documentation since that’s how real users behave. I have to say the experience and technology behind Hypersites is pretty damn cool. The flexibility that I found when using the tools defeated much of my skepticism. It feels to me like you can develop a sophisticated web site in at least half the time with at least half the cost using this tool.
The downside that someone may see in this sort of solution is that once developed, the site must continually be hosted by Hypersites and is not portable to other hosts. However, I think for many companies the benefits and flexibility provided will far outweigh this concern.
Hypersites is in revenue and has some solid customer validation. It just hasn’t been launched with a mass market campaign and pricing strategy yet. One of the issues I’ve been talking to Michael about recently is the go to market strategy. This is all still coming together but it appears as if users will be able to use the tool to get a basic site up and running for free while the traffic is low. As traffic rises, the monthly fee will rise with it. Personally I think this combined with the pending release of starting points is a winning model and I would expect to see some adoption and buzz around this product if it’s executed properly. What a great tool for any startup to use to put up a decent web site at little to no real cost!
Hypersites has recently relocated to the Denver/Boulder area from Dallas and is currently seeking affordable (a-hem) office space in Boulder. They’re also interested in finding advisors with experience marketing software as a service.
By the way, this is my first post using Qumana, which allows me to write blog posts offline and sync them up when I get a connection. That’s very useful when you’re on a plane for hours, for example. So far, so good.
UPDATE: Oops, I originally said Austin, but the Hypersites gang is originally from Dallas.