Have 100 seconds over? I'd love some feedback on this demo video I made.
Shared by caendesilva · 92d ago · 13 comments

My hope for the video is for it to showcase that the software is easy enough to use for non-techies, but powerful enough for developers, and that you are not limited to one path.

Is the video clear? What do you think about the graphics? I'd love any feedback I can get :)

alansp · 88d ago

My main piece of advice is general, but something I learned the hard way in the past, and that is to be careful with an offering that caters to two ends of a spectrum (in your case, non-techies through to developers). When you do this, it is very hard to satisfy either end, as you naturally have to make sacrifices to cater for such a broad user base. The biggest risk is that you end up with something both sides can use, but that neither side really loves. Even if you are adamant in servicing both ends, I feel it's much better to have an initial focus on one group, and grow from there.

caendesilva · 88d ago

I was actually thinking about this the other day that I may need to go back to my original focus, creating a static site generator for Laravel developers, but that can then branch out in the future. Since I'm the only developer it's hard to keep focus on so many aspects. So I really want to thank you for this advice as it gives me confidence in something I was just thinking about.

alansp · 88d ago

No worries.

user_1234 · 86d ago

well made

manojranaweera · 91d ago

Enough of me, what's the business model?

caendesilva · 91d ago

Hi, sorry I missed this comment. I'll post the reply I sent to your email here so others can see :)

Right now there is no business model as it is free and open source. I want the core product to always be free and open source.

But I have ideas about related services that could be paid. For example, a SaaS that gives non-tech users a content management dashboard with included hosting. This is something I'd love to explore if I get selected to become a Pioneer.

manojranaweera · 91d ago

I got so many questions...

First, we have used Laravel in the past when building single page web apps on Livestax framework for https://deallite.uk (live but need a lot of love) and https://unifiedvu.app (now mothballed).

I've used WordPress for websites and am happy with it, except for regular updates that need to be actioned. Where does your product comes in? Are you offering this as a competition to WordPress community?

Who is your target audience?

Next is https://skilledup.life which is built on WordPress using a job template. Hacked it over three days and went live on 1st Aug 2020. I have been here on Pioneer since that day.

I am thinking of building V2 using Laravel, as I believe at an Exit event, it would have a much higher valuation. But I get challenged by others to use WordPress engine and use APIs to build the front end and functionality, so it's now considered solid. Whilst I have access to a trusted CTO, I am still at a loss as I keep changing my views.

Lastly, if you can afford £30/month, I would love you to join https://skilledup.life as you would be a great startup to help with our free talent.

Anyway, those are some of the stuff in my mind.

About the video - it's good, professional and easy to understand. Well done and good luck!

caendesilva · 91d ago

Thank you so much for this expressive feedback!

First, a little rant on WordPress. (TLDR: Don't use WordPress.) My recommendation pretty much always when it comes to WordPress, is that it's great for what it's made for. Blogs and sites that needs an easy CMS. And when it comes to blog builders, it's one of the worse ones. WordPress has become some kind of website builder for sites that honestly don't even need a CMS. For the kind of sites WordPress is used for, an alternative like Squarespace would honestly be be better and I bet cheaper in the long run. I don't think WP deserves its place in the web design world. It is notorious for being vulnerable and insecure. Also, in many cases it's a rip off as many hosting providers charge proportionally large sums of money for WP hosting. To give insight in how expensive it can be, a local web design agency near me specializes in managed WordPress. They have about 5 web designers, and one who's entire job is to handle security and maintenance for the sites. Their sites are so insecure they literally need a full time employee just to make sure their sites don't get hacked.

So with that out of the way, let's talk HydePHP. I originally created Hyde as a tool for Laravel developers to quickly create static websites with the tools they are already familiar with. But in the process it turned out that the software is so easy to use that many non-techies are interested in it. If you have ever touched a terminal which I am sure you have since you used Laravel, then you are skilled enough to use Hyde.

There are two main paths to using Hyde, one is the Markdown path. You can create entire websites with just Markdown. No CSS, no HTML, no JS. Unless you want to. The other path is the Laravel path, since Hyde is based on Laravel you have access to many of the familiar Laravel tools like Blade templating. Best of all, you can mix and match between them.

Here are some reasons I would recommend against using HydePHP
- As it is now, it requires some familiarity with using CLI tools. A GUI desktop application is in the works.
- You should be comfortable working with file based systems. If you prefer creating blog posts in a rich editor, maybe Hyde is not ready for you yet. If you love Markdown, this is for you.

Here are some reasons as to why you should use HydePHP instead of WordPress

- There are so many ways WordPress can be hacked. With Hyde, everything is precompiled. This means that once you deploy your site, there is nothing for anyone to hack. There is no database, no logins, nothing. This also means that there won't be any runtime errors. If something goes wrong, it happens when you compile the site. No surprises here.

- You can host your website for absolutely free. HydePHP.com is hosted on GitHub pages and is automatically compiled in the cloud. Does not cost me a single penny.

- WordPress is slow. Like really slow. HydePHP is not. You can expect load times of less than 0.5 seconds to render for first time visits. Since it's static you can also deploy local mirrors all over the world making it even faster.

- Here are some reasons you may want to use Laravel instead of HydePHP

While Hyde can read data from a database while compiling, once compiled it doesn't change. This means you can't have login systems and things like that. You could still build interactive things using APIs though. The Hyde Search feature is a great example of that. Try it out! https://hydephp.com/docs/master/search

Sorry that this post became super long, I hope it helps, and do let me know if you have any questions! Thank you so much for the feedback!!

manojranaweera · 91d ago

Some of the issues WordPress has is taken care of by Cloudflare. But there are many products built using WordPress, some just use the core without the plugins. WordPress has evolved a lot over the years. It's also great for SEO.

I'm not a coder by the way. I was speaking about my team building those apps using Laravel. However, the whole of https://skilledup.life is built by me using a theme I paid for. It's getting slow and also seems to have wiped out the recent changes due to core and plugin updates.

The plan is to build V2 once we hit £10k MRR - the earliest of which would be in Nov 2022.

caendesilva · 91d ago

Ah I see! And yes, one thing that's cool with WP is that there are so many plugins. Unfortunately, those very same plugins are part of the reason WP can be so insecure. For V2 I would highly suggest Laravel. One thing I love about Laravel is the high quality first party features, like https://spark.laravel.com/, https://jetstream.laravel.com/, and https://nova.laravel.com/

manojranaweera · 91d ago

With Laraval, one issue was whether to fast-track by buying a Laravel job theme. This might again cause untold later miseries.

But my biggest fear is that we will lose a lot of data during the transition from WP to Laravel.

During these discussions use of WP engine keeps coming up as a viable alternative. So I keep getting confused and start having doubts about deciding on the next tech stack.

manojranaweera · 91d ago

I dislike WooCommerce which is baked into current WP theme. I prefer to have simple Stripe payment integration.

caendesilva · 91d ago

To be fair, WooCommerce is actually one thing WordPress got right. I think it's actually the only complete e-commerce platform that is free and open source, and that actually works and is easy for small businesses to use. Though there are much better alternatives. (Selling single types of services/subscriptions, use Stripe, selling tangible products? try ecwid)

The thing is, your customers will never care what stack you use. They probably won't even notice it. All they want is a product that works. We spend so much time worrying about tech stacks. Even if you are not a developer I suggest you watch this video about just this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxxw3qtb3_g

One thing that is very nice with Laravel is that you design the database (granted that can be a drawback too). You can set up the database to be similar to the current WP one, and write some code to import your existing data. I don't think that should be that hard. Obviously don't do it on a production server. You can always run local copies and run the migrations there, then upload the SQL database to your host.

I think going with one of the first party starter kits can also give you a great headstart and save a lot of money. You know you will get quality, especially if you use something paid like Nova where you get actual support.

I hope this helps! Feel free to upvote my posts if they helped you :)