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Public Beta Launch - v0.1.0

Public Beta Launch - v0.1.0
Lady D

Lady D

Updated on 26th Feb, 2024

Tommerty and Trent have come a long way in the last year. They’ve developed a whole new ecosystem of tools for the dreamers and the doers, and yesterday, they launched it.

This all started with an ExpressJS site about 2 years ago called Mystlink. They developed this “original concept as a “partner website to their Chrome extension that brought channel rewards to YouTube livestreams, the same way they work on Twitch.tv. They realized that maintaining this mess of a project was going to be difficult, so both Tommerty and Trent spent a year off releasing anything, and dove into more modern stacks.

They played with Svelte, Nuxt, React, the list goes on and on. They eventually found themselves on AstroJS, and that’s where they decided. This wouldn’t last terribly long.

The Development Phase

As the frontend guy, Tommerty tends to lay out majority of the UI before Trent comes in to make all the connections. As one isn’t great at backend and the other is not great at the front, they found harmony in this tactic.

While Tommerty would build everything and ensures it acts how it should – this makes it really easy for Trent to then clone the repo, see what’s going on and build up the database and bridge connections. This is how they start.

Although they were using AstroJS, they were attempting to build an entire SaaS product – which is really not what Astro was intended for. But they loved the freedom of things such as being able to use React and Svelte components and the concept of Astro Islands. While learning NextJS, they always hit hydration errors they didn’t understand and Astro was just “a lot more forgiving for us noobs“.

They had built two separate sites, one for the admin backend and one for the frontend. When you make changes to your profile, they were visible via an iframe hitting the front end back on the dashboard.

They also hosted this on Cloudflare Pages as they thought that this would be the simplest way to make the app be multi-tenant, allowing users to attach their own domains to their pages. This was also very wrong.

The problems came swiftly…

The stack was not built for this.

A core feature they wanted was custom domains. However, Astro lacked any sort of middleware to even assist with subdomains for users (user.doras.to instead of doras.to/user). On top of that, Cloudflare’s documentation on setting up Cloudflare SaaS was extremely difficult.

Cloudflare is very much loved in the Doras team, we’ve used them as a DNS provider for years. But Tommerty and Trent either had to spend weeks parsing their docs and trial and error – or they could look at other solutions.

They discovered that Vercel & Next has this great middleware and API that could handle this seamlessly, and within 20 minutes on a dummy project, they were adding custom domains. The writing was on the walls. The two lads had to do a rewrite.

The Dreaded Rewrite

This actually didn’t take too long once they settled in as majority of everything was React components. There was a lot of humming and hawing. Mainly, they couldn’t figure out a structure. They tried:

  • Next for admin dashboard & Astro frontend
  • Next for admin dashboard & a separate Next for frontend
  • A Turborepo with a repo that just handled things like the rendering of the user profile, etc.

And they then realised, we’re going to have to make it all one site“.

They had an idea about separating the sites. At least, if they ever had a problem with the admin dashboard, the user pages would still load. This was a silly concept in principle however, they were planning on going serverless.

Who’s to say that if one site was having a server issue that the other wouldn’t too? Or if Cloudflare Pages had some downtime, it would obviously affect both. Tommerty and Trent essentially built this block in front of themselves for no apparent reason, and they had to overcome it.

Overall, they finished the rewrite in about 8 days, in 3/5 hour sprints.

The move to public

Now on February 3rd, we – the Doras team – are leaving closed alpha and hitting open beta. During all this time, we’ve been in a closed alpha state where we had some friends and randoms come in and test it all out. And it’s been great. We’ve got some great feedback in our public meetings and we’re excited to finally launch publicly.

The day of launch was memorable. Andilippi – our first affiliate and our saviour – live streamed and showcased our beloved project on Twitch. Initially, we only expected this to last 30 minutes. But Andi talked about Doras for nearly 3 hours.

We cannot thank him enough for this amount of support for our service. We want to do right by the community and we’re doing everything in our power to build the most transparent tool possible. Hearing everyone’s kind words about the project and its ambitions was heart warming.

In the first hour of the live stream, we gained 50+ users and a few content creators have reached out to us to further advertise Doras on their channels.

This feedback has been insane. Many cups of tea were needed to calm the nerves. I’ve never seen Tommerty that speechless.

Let’s go break down some stats, shall we?

  • We have a total of 68 users
  • Out of those we have 5 Pro users
  • Andi definitely has the high score of reaching nearly 700 views within a 12 hour window
  • We went from a daily active userbase of about 30~ to over 235 today!
  • We squished 6 bugs within the two hours Andi was live with users reporting problems
  • We’ve met awesome people who want in on the affiliate program
  • Amazing ideas were shared (and logged) by the awesome Duckies and we honestly can’t wait to build them

What’s Next?

Tommerty and Trent are going to be squishing any bugs that come through and doing something we’re calling “Project Cleanup“. Basically for those who don’t know, Doras went from being two sites with AstroJS, to just one Astro and one Next, to a monorepo, and now to a single site. We have a lot of spaghetti to clean!

There are so many more features to come – further customization of the user page and a link shortener. Thank you everyone for your feedback and support in Doras. We truly appreciate it!

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