My name is Joonas Vanhatapio, the Founder of WP-Cloud.fi. I was born and raised in the small city of Rovaniemi, the northernmost city in Finland known as the home of Santa Claus. I lived there until love drove me halfway around the world.
I’d always had an insatiable interest in computers and technology. I got my first computer when I was 6 and was absolutely mesmerized, wanting to learn everything that had to do with technology.
I immersed myself completely, learning primarily by trial and error. My father gave me a book on C++ when I was 8. After much struggle, I had an understanding of the basics but ended up surrendering to more palatable stuff like web development with HTML and CSS.
The Journey Began
I was 18 years old and had decided to follow the girl who’d arrived in Finland as an exchange student the year before.
We moved back to her native Mexico together, where I, who had just recently graduated high school, found myself without a reliable source of income and a need to quickly figure out how to support us.
Joonas Vanhatapio Workplace
Although no one in my family had run their own business before, entrepreneurship was an intuitive choice. I was surrounded by entrepreneurs in my friend circle and always envisioned myself as one.
The Need for WP-Cloud.fi
The more I learned about building websites, the more I realized how much of a nightmare it is to code a website from scratch. And here’s how I developed my interest in WordPress.
I’d tried CMS systems like Joomla and Wix but always gravitated back to WordPress as nothing could come close to its customizability, available resources to learn from, and community support.
And it was extendable with my own custom code, which rendered the creative freedom I needed from a CMS.
So, I had some prior knowledge of how to build websites and manage my own servers. I noticed that some of the people I’d helped with web development couldn’t even navigate a web host’s website to buy a hosting package, it was just too complex for them, while their need for online presence persisted.
They needed someone to not only build but to manage their website day to day, as there simply was no chance that they’d survive a PHP update.
So, I decided to make things simple for them by combining my server knowledge and web development skills.
There was a similar service on the Finnish market already, they were amazing in every aspect but lacked the simplicity that I’d identified as a key need for Finnish entrepreneurs.
They provided a stellar technical platform for developers and agencies but were far too advanced to be used by my clients. There was a gap I was trying to fill with WP-Cloud.fi.
I’d be lying if I said that it was an instant success. As the sole entrepreneur, I did everything on my own for 2 years.
All the support. All the development. I’d spread myself thin, waking up in the middle of the night in Mexico to help Finnish customers in their time zone.
I was consumed by guilt, mostly towards the customers I wanted to deliver more to. They deserved better.
Financially, I wasn’t exactly rolling in money as I’d undervalued my knowledge and the service I was providing, and it all felt a bit too much at times. However, there were moments that became the fuel to keep going.
Positive feedback from customers reassured me that the core business was on the right track and was needed.
I especially remember the empowering feeling when my first major online retailer client told me that their website could handle traffic spiking during high season resulting in more sales and increased revenue for them.
WP-Cloud.fi had become the online enabler I wanted it to be, and it motivated me to keep going.
By the way, remember the girl I’d moved to Mexico for? She became, and still is my wife. We moved back to Helsinki together.
I started studying Computer Science at the University of Helsinki and kept developing WP Cloud, not very good at understanding my own limits.
It was more overwhelming than ever when I was approached by the CEO of Zoner about selling WP-Cloud.fi.
Their idea of empowering entrepreneurs really resonated with me, and it felt like I’d come full circle. I knew this was the key to scaling up the business, so I happily accepted their offer.
A year later, one.com bought Zoner, largely due to WP-Cloud.fi. It was not only a dream come true but the goal I’d worked towards from the start. I was overjoyed, but not surprised. We saw the same potential and are now partners in making it happen.
Joonas Enjoying at Party
Myself with my Brilliant Team
The next trip I’m really looking forward to is the one we have planned with our whole team to Marbella. 10 days of relaxing after having worked tirelessly to achieve what most external consultants didn’t dare to take on. When we started, it was just me and two more developers.
Now we’re a full team and we all share the same entrepreneurial mindset. When we are determined to achieve something, it’s always just assumed that it will get done. There’s no concept of “impossible”. If we want it, we’ll find a way.
I’m lucky to have found them and they’re worth celebrating, not only for what we’ve achieved but also for the promise we make together to take WP-Cloud.fi to the next level. We’re just getting started.
Joonas With His Team Members
Advice for Business Owners
That’s my advice to those considering venturing into WordPress. Be confident, the market is there. WordPress is still growing and there is room for improvement for developers, hosts, and everyone else involved.
There’s so much we could do better.
Don’t sell yourself short, but always strive to deliver more than what’s expected. And the key to delivering a good product is understanding the user.
WordPress & Beyond
WordPress is an unstoppable ecosystem thanks to the community that keeps iterating tirelessly to improve what’s already in place and add new features that open WordPress up to even more adoption.
In the near future, I see a lot of potential in catering to the largest companies by providing custom solutions. But of course, it’s a matter of keeping your ear to the ground. You’ll recognize the opportunity when you see it.
My Love for the WordPress Community
Many of those insights are found in the WordPress community. Most WP-Cloud.fi customers sign up after having been recommended to do so by an agency representative or developer.
The latter, we used to meet in local Meetups every month before COVID hit. Some of them became friends and even customers of WP-Cloud.fi.
I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful and inclusive community, and I look forward to continuing to grow and learn alongside my fellow WordPress enthusiasts.
How I Keep Myself Updated
I like to stay in the loop by following a mix of technical and community news for a few minutes every day.
Understanding the direction in which WordPress is going is key to keep delivering a WP-Cloud.fi that meets both known and unexpected needs.
I make sure to follow Make WordPress hosting and core channels, be active in local Finnish WordPress and WooCommerce groups, and scroll through WP Tavern every now and then.
I Have a Life Other Than Work
When not immersed in work, I spend my time with my wife and our two small dogs, Mimi and Coco. Although I’m born and raised at the North Pole, the sun, warm weather, and beaches make me happy.
My wife and I are world travelers, we like to explore exotic places and enjoy nice food together whenever we get the chance. We never say no to visiting Puerto Vallarta in Mexico which holds a special place in our hearts.
I Reward Myself by
I reward myself by spending time with my family and helping others (out of the way). It always feels pleasure when our goals align with those, making everyone happier in the process!