Growth August 23, 2020

When was the last time you decided to switch from one tool to another?

Felix Wong @felix12777

This is a question for both makers and users

I am sure you are used to certain tools (marketing, productivity, happiness, etc) And obviously new tools (good & bad) are emerging rapidly.

  • When did you last decide to change tools?
  • Like what tools? Any examples?
  • How do you come up with the decision?
  • Would love to hear all your "why"s

It’s important to understand the barriers of "switching".

Excited to hear what you would share with the IH community

  1. 8

    I recently switched from Heroku to Render for the Nolibs API and Database . I had never heard of Render until a friend suggested I check it out because of how easy it was for him to use. My first reaction was "Heroku is pretty easy, compared to something like AWS" but my friend insisted I give it a try.

    Render is incredible. It allows you to iterate rather quickly and I've found that there's even less friction than Heroku. It's also cheaper.

    What I appreciate about Render in addition to its simplicity is its versatility. You can host Static Sites, APIs, Databases, Scheduled Tasks, etc. on one platform. Vercel is another player in this space that I've used and enjoy.

    I think Render is the most accessible platform for full-stack web development I've seen. @csallen might have more to add as it appears Indie Hackers moved over to Render as well. It's been a joy to use.

    1. 3

      Thank you for the kind words!

      1. 2

        Sure thing! Keep up the awesome work man.

    2. 2

      Question- how is it less friction than Heroku? They're both literally git push X...?

      Edit: and cheaper? You only get static for free, but I can have Ruby, a DB, etc and more for free on Heroku...

      1. 1

        Haha, let me first say that both are relatively simple to use in comparison to AWS. Setting up Heroku remotes could be confusing to folks that have never done any cloud computing, that's kind of what I mean by friction. I'm splitting hairs but something of note I think.

        RE: price, once you need to upgrade off of the free tier, Dynos on Heroku are more expensive than Services on Render. A Standard 2X dyno with 1GB of ram is $50 a month on Heroku and the Standard Plus service on Render (similar specs) is $15 a month.

    3. 2

      Sounds like a big move @dkh - I'm not on the dev side but totally agree with the struggle of switching. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 4

    Switched from PHPStorm to Vim, Ubuntu to Arch Linux, and built a mouseless development environment which was the most beneficial change I did in my career as a developer (10 years professionally, 20 years as a hobby).

    I'm trying often new tools, but my conclusion is often the same: it doesn't really bring anything revolutionary. I prefer focusing most of my time on building something with the tools I know well, learning new and very different tools to be able to use them if I need them (and because I love that), like new programming languages for example, but I don't want to go into the "I'm spending all my time playing with tools to gain 1s every week of productivity".

    I begin to think it's because everything is incremental nowadays. There is rarely a big breakthrough because we just improve step by step the tools we have. That's fine, and I do it too, but it doesn't bring anything which will really improve my way of doing.

  3. 3

    I ditched having hosting, having servers, using cloud servers, paas (Heroku, Google Engine, Parse, AWS Amplify), writing for sql, dynamodb and mongodb - all those for Netlify+FaunaDB.

    You ask why.
    Its first setup in which i WRITE A CODE instead of endlessly setting up environment FOR that code.

    1. 2

      Setup procedure is a pain. I really don't understand why some products put up a lot of frictions

  4. 2

    Not really a tool, but I recently switched from selling userTrack.net on Envato (CodeCanyon) to selling it directly on Gumroad. There are tons of reasons for this change, and I am really happy with it, but the most important is that by selling it on a 3rd party marketplace you are not really in control of your own marketing (hard to track conversions, contact users, etc.).

    Online marketplaces (like CodeCanyon, Themeforest, etc.) are really good to get started with, but once you grow a bit bigger you encounter many, many issues with them, and it feels like they're fighting against you, not for you.

    If you are interested to learn why I moved away from Envato, I wrote on their forums about my concerns several months ago and some of their staff members even saw my post, but there was no official reply.

    1. 1

      Big up for this @XCS I'm now a big fan of Gumroad too. I used the marketplace before and I totally feel the same. I'm now selling my digital templates on Gumroad, feeling good so far.

  5. 2

    I recently switched from Wordpress to a static Hugo site for blogging. I wrote about this here: https://austinrepp.com/wordpresstohugo/

    1. 1

      Don't know Hugo before. Thanks for sharing tho @stin23

  6. 2

    I switched (and am still in the process of switching) from ActiveCampaign to MailChimp for email. AC is just so0o0o slow it hurts. I've put up with it for a long time, but it will take hours just to put in a few emails + reorganizing automations is a huge pain.

    I've heard great things about MailChimp and they will also be way cheaper than what I pay now at AC.

    So really the big reason is usability/speed. If AC would upgrade their servers, then I would have stayed.

    1. 1

      I'm from Dallas too -we should link Jordan.

      1. 1

        Dallas here as well. Shoot me a note, email on my profile.

    2. 1

      Never tried AC and didn’t know it’s a slow dude. Thanks for putting this up 😮

      I’m a MailChimp user too for one of my business. Have you also tried MailerLite? It’s even more affordable and intuitive @Jordankilburn

  7. 1

    I recently moved from BacklogTool to FreshRelease for tasks/bugs management. REASON: mainly for the integration with Freshdesk (helpdesk app) so that any ticket of a customer can be easily linked/synched to the corresponding software FIX

    I also sort of moved away from salesmachine.io : we keep it for usage tracking and automations , but the pricing was scaling too fast with the total number of contacts, including inactive contacts. So I moved to Hubspot to get a free CRM solution to back up all contacts.

  8. 1

    When did you last decide to change tools?
    Like what tools? Any examples?

    A. Switched from Sendgrid for Postmark.
    B. Switched from iubenda for GetTerms.io
    C. Switched from Pocket for Notion Web Clipper
    ...I have more examples if you want them!

    How do you come up with the decision?

    ...I've attempted to analyse my behaviour before. I think what it boils down to is I have a job to be done. (Think Jobs to be Done framework.) Just want to get something done and get on with more interesting things!

    Would love to hear all your "why"s

    A. Sendgrid was dropping transactional emails unfortunately. So switched to Postmark as it appears to have better deliverability.
    B. iubenda sadly didn't respond to my support email. I wanted to find a solution that didn't break the bank for multiple projects. GetTerms.io I think will get me started for multiple projects.
    C. Pocket has been with me for years! But I live more in Notion these days, so use Notion Web Clipper more often.

  9. 1

    I switched from Ruby/Rails to Elixir/Phoenix for the product I'm building now. I've worked on a lot of Rails projects over the years and though it's great for the early stages of a project, there are some serious growing pains you hit as you scale up in usage & complexity. Phoenix shares a lot of the Rails philosophies and design decisions but is built on a more solid foundation (Elixir & the Erlang VM).

    I wrote a blog post about the experience as well if you want to read more.

  10. 1

    I grew tired of the JavaScript landscape and built https://mkw.sh. Also switched to OpenBSD and https://openbsd.amsterdam mostly due to bloat and complexity reasons.

  11. 1

    Hey I switched from Sketch to Figma, just two weeks ago. Barriers were really low as Figma can import Sketch files, and their pricing is (for personal use) free. The reasons why I switched were because the SketchApp often crashed or was slow, I was trying Figma for fun but noticed it was much more performant, at least from my point of view. And their onboarding just felt better which made it look like its worth a switch.

    1. 1

      I'm a bit struggle with this too. Sketch will prompt me a license issue every year which is annoying. @giorgio_gross

      I started to see more and more tools around Figma and it's really tempting!

  12. 1

    I recently bought a Dominican Republic domain name (.do) and had to go outside of my main registrar which is Namecheap 😅

  13. 1

    Switched to Firefox from Safari after it cleared for no reason all my history. It was either restoring a backup or going on from scatch, I decided to go on from scratch but with another browser.

    Firefox is slick and fast, really happy that I gave it another try.

  14. 1

    Hey Felix,

    Well, it has been actually around a week ago.

    I have been using Bulma.io for my products., but after working on my second product, where we build templates, so I really enjoyed using Tailwind CSS, so now is going to be my go to.

    In fact I am building my newsletter site with it and i am enjoying like a kid with new shoes...

    Why?

    Bulma is great but very limited on colors so I used my own ones all the time..
    Tailwind has a great color palette. And more options...

    1. 1

      We’re going through the exact same thing with Pagereview.io. Moving from Bulma to TailwindCSS. Loving the customization Tailwind allows for while being powerful enough with its defaults.

  15. 1

    For Search solution, switched from AWS CloudSearch to Algolia, because I had the worst experience when using CloudSearch and also their sdk. But Algolia is the best fit for my requirements. Although their golang sdk needs improvements. I also tried ElasticSearch self hosted before, but failed to configure what I need.

  16. 1

    Switched from Google Drive to Notion about three months ago. Not for everything, but many things.

    Almost switched off gmail about two months ago. I'm back now.

    1. 1

      Big fan of Notion too @ryansneddon - I switched at least 50% of my digital life to Notion and even build side projects

      There's just so many things Google Drive can't do

  17. 1

    On starting Uclusion we switched from long time programming in Java on EC2 instances at our day job to AWS Lambdas written in Python. At the time I had never even programmed in Python before.

    But I get your implied point on tools, several times a week we will talk with people on outdated tools trying to get them to switch. Its not easy even when they are on something as crude as spreadsheets or Jira. I also would like to understand more about what causes the heavy inertia.

    1. 1

      I hear you. It’s not simple 🧐

      I don’t have the same technical experience like you. But speaking of Jira, can we assume that people used it as a team and many integrations in place, so that the switching cost (and time) is relatively high? @disrael

      1. 1

        No its not that simple. Just because your bugs are in Jira and interfacing with support or even customers doesn't mean your development stories have to be there also. In fact even Uclusion uses a bug tracker to track simple issues.

        However, though not related to integrations, the switching costs are high for a different reason. The problem is the risk in switching and unclear responsibility for taking the risk. People tend to think management is responsible for team tool selection but Slack and Trello have proven its just not true. So who is supposed to stick their neck on the line and what's the reward for taking that risk?

        At some point, as technology moves forward, process and communication tools will be thought of as an extended IDE. Developers will become unwilling to put up with tools and process designed for the last century. I think the rise of WFH in response to the pandemic will accelerate this change.

  18. 1

    A few months ago I switched from Weebly for my personal website and Register.com via Weebly for my domain to Squarespace for the website and Namecheap for the domain and email hosting.

    Weebly had stopped releasing new features or site templates since being acquired by Square a few years ago. They no longer supported full mailboxes in my plan, which I needed, but only email aliases. And there was a strong general feel of bitrot everywhere.

    Namecheap has great customer support, it's easy to use, and has affordable pricing. Squarespace is actively maintained and is more powerful than Weebly.

    1. 1

      I hear you @PaoloAmoroso - I used to be a Weebly user 4 years ago. The acquisition is definitely nothing going into a good direction.

      How's your experience with the current solution so far?

      1. 1

        I like Namecheap and Squarespace, but the latter is an opinionated platform and needs getting used to.

        For example, once you set a template for your Squarespace 7.1+ site, you can no longer change it. This seems a bit disconcerting, until you realize there are other ways of doing the same thing. I almost cancelled my susbcription but a support agent patiently walked me through the options, recorded explanatory screencasts, and offered me a discount.

        1. 1

          I think we’ve many preference in common. I just switched from Squarespace to Carrd for one of my projects last week.

          It was a pity the don’t provide a direct transition from 7.0 to 7.1.

          1. 1

            I love Carrd too but I need something more versatile.

  19. 1

    Switched from Gsuite to Zoho mail a couple of days back because I was trying to pay with my debit card and it didn't work.

    I later learned there is an option to make manual payments upfront but it was difficult to figure out then. If that option had shown up during payment failure, would've gladly paid. (I don't use credit cards to maintain financial discipline)

    Maybe it also coincided with the interest to try something new after using Gsuite all these years. I might possibly switch back to Gsuite in the future, but at the moment Zoho fits the bill.

    1. 1

      Are you only using Zoho mail or Gsuite because of custom mail, kind to hear your use case @akhilmk

      1. 1

        yes, just for custom mail. Don't need it for anything else at the moment other than to send some 1-1 emails to my customers/potential ones.

        1. 1

          Gotcha! I was in the same scenario. Hence we solution goes to ImprovMX :) @akhilmk

          1. 1

            cool! hearing about ImprovMX for the first time. Thanks.

            1. 2

              Yeaaa I used to for all my passion projects (non-profit making ones) - so I don't have to pay for custom mail @akhilmk

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