January 7, 2020

[flode] Live - Why it started & the build


It's been a bumpy ride but it's live...

[flode] is an easy way to [gather] nice things people say about your eCommerce brands and products in one place. Think testimonials, reviews, interviews,... from your customers or influencers.

It's a productivity tool first because of the nature of problems it solves for teams.

The idea was based on an insight I got for working in multiple companies that had the same problem. A copywriter had a customer name and quote about a product and there was supposed to be a photo of him... somewhere - either on Google Drive, some designers desktop, ftp,... It was impossible to find it and 4-5 people had to be involved and asked for help so we can start the campaign for the new landing page.

At the end I had to make a google search to find it... and I did find it somewhere on a blog and luckily the image size was ok to be used.

Talk about lost time, energy, added stress & anxiety for everyone in those 2 hours of madness. Crazy, but these things happen almost daily in milder scenarios.

There's a list of problems [flode] solves on the webpage for managers, editors, copywriters, designers,... everyone really.

I asked the Manager of editors if a tool like this would help them and she said that "that sounds like a dreamland". It may not be enough to validate an idea or find market/fit, but the solution works and I've tested in on my own skin.

So I started to plan it and put things together.

Building things with WordPress Multisite and plugins is... challenging but for an MVP it's ok. It feels like I've mostly been hacking at a WordPress to get it all up instead of building and focusing on features.

Design/Developing websites is totally different than making saas products and [flode] is mostly built with ACF, WP Ultimo and custom code. I wanted to keep the plugins number (and problems and pains) to a minimum.

It's based on on the Roots (Trellis, Bedrock, Sage) combo for deploying, server provisioning, speed and security optimization,...

I had to use the skills and experience I already had to build this in a decent time as a side project while doing conversion consulting and design work full-time.

V2 will be rebuilt with a proper stack, probably React, just need to learn it more ;)

Next steps are adding the multilingual support for translations, eCommerce site editors will love this as it will make their lives easier.

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