Sebastiaan van der Lans is co-founder and owner of web agency Van Ons. Starting out in 2006, Van Ons has grown into a leading tech agency in Amsterdam with a team of 25 experts who are focused on building WordPress sites, shops and applications for big names such as IKEA, Intratuin (The Netherlands’ largest retail gardening store) and Koffietijd (a Dutch TV show), among others.
Sebastiaan’s own focus has recently shifted to WordProof, a service that uses the power of blockchain technology to protect your content on WordPress in a user-friendly manner.
By contributing to WordPress and the community behind it as a WordCamp organizer, contributor, and speaker (among others) year after year, it’s fair to say that he has left his mark on WordPress.
You can find Sebastiaan on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Q1: What is your background and how did you first get involved with WordPress?
In 2006 I started web agency Van Ons together with Robert van Eekhout. We’ve been working with WordPress since 2007 and have also trained other agencies in using WordPress. We started out by making our own CMS, but soon discovered the WordPress software and philosophy, which we quickly embraced.
When we started, we regularly received angry messages from other agencies – “You’re destroying the market with that free software of yours!” – Those were signs that WordPress was going to become big.
We have always published a lot, both on Van-Ons.nl, our personal websites and back in the day on WPleren.nl. The latter site quickly received tens of thousands of visitors per month. By giving away a lot of knowledge – for example about how to build a webshop with WordPress – we were able to grow considerably as an agency without advertising.
Van Ons now has 25 employees in the office, and many of the largest WordPress sites and shops in the Netherlands are in the portfolio. As an agency, we have a strong focus on technology – we have built the craziest things in WordPress, such as second screens for Koffietijd.nl, which were used by thousands of viewers simultaneously. My team also created the WordPress plugin WP GDPR Compliance (over 1.3 million downloads).
In 2013, we built our first Bitcoin and blockchain application, combining our experience with open source software and communities from WordPress with the capabilities of blockchain technology. Thanks to WordPress, publishing has become democratic (including and accessible to everyone).
With blockchain technology, we can publish the principles that have made the WordPress community so big to all other aspects beyond.
Q2: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
I’ve been working with the software practically full time for almost 12 years. I founded WordProof in 2018, an open source way to protect content with blockchain and show your authenticity to readers and search engines. Timestamping is the open source approach to
This article was written by Lucas Prigge and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.