The Journey Continues

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Note: SpeedFactor has been merged into WordPress Lighthouse.

I’m proud to say that in the past year I’ve merged lots of tiny scripts, tracking engines and snippets of code I’ve written over the course of 10 years and created an awesome SaaS: SpeedFactor. I’m using SpeedFactor for myself, for my clients and for my competitors. As it runs completely remote, without the need for a tracking script, I can analyze any site I want, for how long I want. I won’t go into details, but the way it’s been coded, using simulated user behaviour, does not add any load to the analyzed site.

I’ve also merged all my tiny bits of UI elements, components, CSS resets and stylesheets I’ve coded for hundreds of sites, into a CSS library. Highly opinionated, Thin UI offers the most used and popular UI components for any admin/back-end project: a Flex grid, form elements, buttons, switches, tabs and multilevel menus. It also offers popovers and modals. The JavaScript is minimal and there are zero dependencies required. As it’s 2020, Thin UI does not support IE11, even Edge, and some old versions of Safari.

I’ve used Thin UI for SpeedFactor and I keep working on it, making both of them faster, smoother and more modern looking.

The SaaS

It was an obvious step forward for me, and it’s something that I’ve used daily. I used lots of third-party solutions, apps, websites to measure and track various aspects of my site or the sites I was actively working on. I have slowly built a framework, unified all my tools into a web product. I was doing a lot of manual work and I had data scattered everywhere. It was time I had a proper solution. And this is how SpeedFactor was born.

It’s been 4 months now, and I haven’t really talked about it, except for promoting the various tools inside and the occasional updates. But I need to document everything, every step, every tool so that I can better understand how to market it and how to sell it.

The Affiliates

The first step in this journey is to create an affiliate system. A good product sells itself, but not unless it’s properly advertised. The system has been put in place, and I’ve gone into a create-tweak-fix-iterate mode, as the more customers I get, the more feedback I get and the more bugs rear their heads.

I don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle in place yet, but so far the system hasn’t failed me. I built it the SaaS from scratch and I have slowly added features, scaled them, fixed the code, then moved on to the next feature. I am using WordPress as a framework – WaaF :) – for my project, and it turns out that it can be very fast if properly optimized.

The Tools

2020 is all about speed. Google threatened to shame slow sites, even de-rank them, so it’s imperative to have a bird’s eye view over a site’s performance. Knowing that it’s fast today, doesn’t mean it’s fast every day. There can be traffic spikes, server downtime, server misconfiguration, SEO efforts, CRO-related changes, new images being added, new tracking scripts and more. SpeedFactor tracks everything, every little site metric and lays them out in multiple charts and graphs and analyzes the outcome. It then offers actionable advice, tips, and tricks for fixing or improving the speed.

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