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The birth of an online web builder for car websites

12 years ago I started the website Gepimped.nl. The idea came from a 10-year-old boy who was sitting next to me in the car. He was completely crazy about car tuning and styling. Then he asked me why daddy didn’t have a car tuning website when we were very enthusiastic about it. At that moment the idea was born.

At first Gepimped was nothing but a website with some photos of pimped out cars. It was the time of “Pimp Your Ride” and of course the first years of “The Fast & the Furious” (RIP Paul Walker). Over a few months I had about 10,000 visitors per month and I also got the first request: ‘Is it possible to put a car for sale on the website?’ Of course it was possible and I placed their car manually. It was a green Opel Calibra, I’ll never forget it.

After that, more tuned cars followed and in a year there were about a hundred tuned, styled and pimped cars on the website. A car marketplace was born. In the next few years I automated everything and slowly we became a serious marketplace with all kinds of extras. The highlight came in 2009 with a contest ‘Win your dream ride’, where people could describe their dream car and win a completely tuned one. The winner was from Belgium and he won a wonderful Volkswagen Golf in pearl white. I would have liked to win it myself.

Now the question appeared, ‘Can we do better?’ It was difficult, especially because of the economic crisis that hit Europe. That’s why there was an idea to go international. Gepimped.nl became TuneZup.com in 2012. It was not only a marketplace, but also a social network for car and tuning fans in 10 languages. The possibilities on this website are endless and they are still increasing. Going international was not that easy – we needed a big budget to promote TuneZup which we didn’t have at that time. But what we did have were questions from many: Could we build such a website for them? TuneZup was completely different from WP website or phpBB forum software.

So we made the decision to open our software up to everybody. The GazZup idea was born and at the end of 2015 we went online. With GazZup everyone can build their own website, car forum or marketplace. Everything that we made for TuneZup came to GazZup with the intention that people can create their own websites quickly and easily, and share their passion for cars with others.

After a long discussion about whether it should cost money or not, we came to the conclusion to make it completely free of charge. This is because we believe that the time of paid online software has passed.

That is why I can now say that after more than a decade the idea from a now 21-year old young man has developed into the best free online automotive web builder that is available. And as you might understand I am very proud of this.

Have we finished building and developing? No, because I will keep building and improving so that those who start a website on GazZup can make it more beautiful and extensive.

Do you use GazZup or you have questions about how to make your website better, faster and more fun to work with? Contact me.
Leander
March 11, 2016
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