Flagrow.io

Extension marketplace for the Flarum forum

No Employees
Founders Code
Solo Founder
Community
Marketplaces
Open Source
Programming

Provide Flarum extension developers with a means to build sustainably.

First production test

I decided to push forward hard by trying to move one of my own private extensions as premium on the platform.

Pretty much nothing worked like intended. The stripe integration failed, creating products and plans on connected accounts failed, subscribing failed. 🤯

A few hours after-works deeper into the night and it all stabilised with quite a list of todo's to improve usability for the end user, but .. a beginning has happened.

Launched the forum

Yes, finally another milestone completed. The forum is up and steadily users are flowing in. Not much content yet, but that will all change later when premium/paid extensions are live.

🎉

https://forum.flagrow.io

Forum

What would an extension marketplace for a forum software be without a forum 🤷‍♂️

Closely integrating into the forum is a different question all together, but with the knowledge of building extensions not something I can't overcome.

Launching the forum soon :tm: as soon as I'm happy with the result.

The Stack

Flagrow.io is a pretty complex code base already with 12490 lines of code. It runs on Laravel 5.7, having upgraded from 5.5 at each release. In addition:

  • Uses MySQL.
  • Uses Queues with redis and Laravel Horizon.
  • Has a Laravel Nova backend to access the data more easily.
  • Uses VueJS 2 for the frontend, a Single Page App.
  • Sends mail using Mailgun.
  • Processes payments using Stripe, allows developer teams to receive money because of the Connected Accounts feature, with the app taking a platform fee which is configurable per team.
  • Syncs free extensions from packagist.
  • Allows connecting privately owned git repositories from GitHub.com and GitLab.com.
  • Uses pusher.com for real time frontend updates.

Marketing

There's not much value in doing active marketing for the project right now. But even after release the need to do so will be little.

The Flarum community is still growing and its own discussion board is a great way of creating awareness about the brand. Regularly posting updates in discussions related to the product will help increase the awareness.

https://discuss.flarum.org/d/5151-flagrow-bazaar-the-extension-marketplace

How it came into being

Almost two years ago, I had this idea of setting up a cooperative with others to build awesome web apps for own profit, no clients, no strict requirements.

Flarum is a free, open source forum tool built in php and I was actively involved as an extension developer. The first project we settled on building was an idea I had based on this open source work. Flarum had no marketplace to get a good overview of extensions suitable for your forum. In addition I noticed older extensions becoming easily unmaintained, what if we could allow maintainers to offer quality extensions while earning some money?

Flagrow.io was born.

The cooperative was very fluid, members had a hard time keeping to a stable pace of development. Often life or work took over and resignation was the only valid way out. Only one year after having signed the papers at the notary, we folded the company and all IP was transferred over to me.

In its early stages, flagrow.io and side-kick Flarum extension Bazaar existed as very crude versions. The paid (or premium) extension functionality was visible, but not precisely in an acceptable way. So..

For the last year I have been indie hacking my way forward. Battling all moments of lost motivation, failing hard at preventing unnecessary refactoring, even introduced new tech. Next to a full time job, active open source contributions and being a parent of two, it was a struggle.

But I'm getting close and that's what matters.

Provide Flarum extension developers with a means to build sustainably.