June 28, 2016

How and why I built Web Uptime

Back in May this year I launched a new side project called Web Uptime. Web Uptime provides multi-location website uptime monitoring for your sites. I’m not going to talk so much about what Web Uptime does here, you can see the marketing site to find out more, rather I’m going to talk about how and why I built it.

Web Uptime is the first SaaS app I’ve launched in quite some time. My old apps (Sellwire and WP Updates) now both have new owners. In recent years I’ve started and shut down a few SaaS apps (Artisan, ClickDeploy). I found that SaaS apps were increasingly hard to market and getting any initial traction was tough (even with the likes of Product Hunt and Hacker News). That, combined with my increasing lack of time and energy for side projects, had almost killed my desire to build new apps. However something new on the block rekindled my interest.

Taylor Otwell’s much anticipated new side project Laravel Spark was launched in April and promised to take the pain out of building SaaS apps with Laravel. The idea is that Spark is a single package that provides scaffolding for all the “common” stuff in SaaS apps that you don’t want to code (e.g. authentication, subscription billing, teams etc.). Obviously I was excited, having previously spent hours building these kind of components from scratch for my other apps.

So I quickly decided I wanted to build and app using Spark that would be interesting, easy to maintain and be part of an established market. And so Web Uptime was born. I ended up building the entire first version of the app in my spare time in just over a month. Spark did indeed save a tonne of time and has been a dream to work with so far. If you want to know more about how I built the app you should read my post over at Delicious Brains which goes into much more technical detail.

I’m happy that I’ve got a SaaS app side project to hack away on again. It motivates me to learn. Learn new technologies, learn how to tackle marketing, learn how to price a product and support my customers. So I have to say thank you to Taylor Otwell and Laravel Spark for helping reignite my interest in SaaS app side projects.

I’d love it if you would check out Web Uptime and let me know what you think.

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