In Part 2 of The Making of Snowplow Finder I’ll be providing a quick recap of my first post, The Making of SnowplowFinder-Part 1 and what has been going on since then.
Today is the 13th Day since beginning work on it (approximately based on my email research)


Recap


Previously I had discussed how my idea for SnowplowFinder.com originated after a Google search for snow removal services after a New England snowfall. After not discovering any resources that seemed to be helpful or straightforward in their deliverance of the information I was looking for, I purchased SnowplowFinder.com and a couple of related domains (just in case). I also briefly discussed that I had decided to build the site with Wordpress hosted on Digital Ocean and deployed through Laravel Forge.

Confession


To be blunt. Development and pushing out an MVP has taken longer than I’ve wanted. I’ll begin working on the project again today (01/08/18) write after I complete this post. I had wanted the site to be built and launch in one week. I, unfortunately, failed to take into account typical holiday activities coupled with a few other responsibilities. Take those as excuses, or legitimate reasons; either way, I am where I am now and only have the present and future.

The Making


Since my last writing, the site has been set up, modified, tweaked, rewritten, etcetera and still needs some updating. I’ll admit that there were times when I allowed my brain to get stuck on trying to figure out a “problem” that wasn’t actually a problem, but a currently unnecessary feature that I became fixated on. *Feature Creep…* I did realize what was happening on a few occasions and made an effort to acknowledge it and work to modify that behavior. I’ve found it best to spend a few minutes at the end of the day going over exactly and only what the project needs to launch. I’m working on it, but it’s a good start.

Rather than risk generating an annoying run-on sentence when I just want to make a list, I’ll let common sense prevail and do just that.

Site Making Updates:

  • The header image is a pleasant non-licensed video of snowfall
  • The Google Maps API has been implemented
  • The site was manually loaded with US-focussed regions data (along with a couple of mentions of Canada)
    This will be updated if use cases are found outside the US
  • User Logins have been set up and tested for the most part
  • The simple logo has been completed but still needs to be uploaded to all necessary locations
  • Demo content has been used throughout to help with the setup process
  • Payment acceptance is fully setup

Site Todos

  • Logo needs to be uploaded
  • Social accounts need to be set up
  • Proper images for regions need to be uploaded
  • Demo content needs to be removed
  • Short pieces of content need to be created and uploaded
  • The “How it works” page needs to be written
  • TOS and Privacy Policy need to be created and added
  • The listings pricing packages page needs to be updated and re-ordered
  • Seed the site with additional content
  • Test the site with a test user (again)
  • Probably more, but hopefully not so I can just launch and test

The development process hasn’t gone exactly as planned, but in the end, the takeaways are priceless. I now have a greater sense of what must be done when, and more importantly, what must not be done. I know for future projects how to better anticipate site needs based on my desired minimum functionality. I also have a greater sense of the timeline of a project based on what I want it to accomplish.

Thanks for stopping by and following me on my making journey. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far and want to be kept up to date on what I have going on, don’t forget to signup and follow along.

Best,

-Eric