After eight months of work, Sitesauce went live on ProductHunt the 1st of May at 12 AM in San Francisco. At that exact time but 8955 kilometers away was someone that should have woken up 30 minutes ago, but was too tired from staying up until 4:30AM to even hear the alarm. That someone was me, and I totally overslept on my own launch. Two hours later, I finally managed to get out of bed and powered on my mac.
Setting the scene
Sitesauce had been ready for launch for two or three months, but I was too busy trying to get everything perfect and delaying the launch to notice. Then, the virus hit, and my finals got canceled. With those out of the way, I decided to give myself a week to finally launch the thing (I would have probably never done it otherwise). After writing down everything I'd need to have ready, I got to work.
Each day I would wake up and go through the items I had assigned for that day, and I even stayed up late multiple days to get everything done. I was having a lot of fun. I had also planned to record a video each day showing my work but ended up giving up on the second day since it took too much time away from the essential things.
Making the product video
I had initially planned to pay someone to do the video for me, but after failing to find anyone that could create what I wanted, I decided to do it myself. Since I have close to no experience in editing videos, I made a Keynote presentation and exported it as a video, and it ended up looking great!
Back to the future
Back to launch day. I opened Twitter and saw the tweet I had scheduled the day before with the launch article already had some likes and retweets, which was a great start. The ProductHunt post had just reached 10 upvotes, which wasn't a lot for the two hours I had overslept, but at least it was on the homepage. I then posted the announcement tweet and went to get breakfast. Then it went crazy.
Everyone started retweeting it. I didn't retweet everyone because I didn't want to spam my followers, but I really wanted to. Some of the people I admire the most shared it with their audience, and I was literally jumping around and trying to not scream. Adam Wathan shared it as an example of a great Tailwind UI enhanced landing, Jonathan, Marcel, James, Christoph, Caleb, Mattias, even Taylor replied. And I could go on and on. Every time I refreshed the page, I had ten new notifications. It was awesome.
Over at ProductHunt, things were also blowing up, with 41 upvotes in the first hour since I tweeted the link. The website was also going crazy, getting 900 views from ProductHunt throughout the day. Then, I posted it to Hacker News.
Sitesauce quickly got to the top of Show HN and even stayed on the front page for a few hours. The number of current visitors stayed at around 150 for the rest of the day, bringing in 9.5K visitors. But the best part was the comments. I was expecting the same, low quality, "oh so wget" comments most startups get when they get posted to HN, but most people were actually really nice and seemed excited about the product.
When someone eventually posted the traditional "but I can already do this with these tools," they got downvoted and flooded with comments before I could even answer.
Let's look at the numbers then, shall we? First of all, the website got 29.5K pageviews on May 1st and 2nd (counting both because of timezones).
The ProductHunt post finished the day with 618 upvotes, and my HN post clocked at 185 votes, not bad at all. But all these are kind of vanity metrics, what about the ones that do matter?
At the time of writing this (13 days after launch), we've just hit \$1K MRR with the first wave of trials ending (we offer a 7-day trial). Sitesauce currently has created +2700 deployments for +365 sites owned by 298 users. It's amazing.
I could say I did not expect the launch to go this well and would be cutting myself short. Last time I launched something, I got 15 customers and around 5K views. This is in an entirely different league. And the best thing of all is that it's helping people who had the same problem I had when building it and now don't need to spend a few weeks working on a static version for their site.
Changing the Past
Mattias asked what I would do differently if I were to rebuild Sitesauce (along with many other questions I've tried to answer throughout the post).
I would probably not change much on the technical side, aside from implementing a few refactors from the start. On the product side, however, I'd try to launch a few months before I did, then iterate based on the feedback of users. I believe that "ship early, ship often" is the way to go when building products, especially in the early stages, so I would try to get it out of the door as soon as possible.
Changing the Future
So, now that the launch has passed, what am I planning to work on?
In the short term, I want to make big sites (+10.000 pages) build as faster as medium or small ones. I've been working on this with the help of Vercel's team and will hopefully have some proof of concept soon. I also want to make sure the generated sites are blazing-fast out of the box by introducing multiple optimizations all sites can benefit from.
On a longer scale, I want to make Sitesauce a truly one-click experience for all sites out there. If a part of your website cannot work on the Jamstack (WooCommerce, for example), we could automatically swap it out with a Jamstack-friendly e-commerce platform on build time and keep everything working with no work in your part.
Finally, I plan to continue working on Sitesauce for a long time, while occasionally building smaller projects on the side. I will keep sharing updates and behind-the-scenes information on my Twitter profile, and plan to resume sending a manually-crafted newsletter every week.
More exciting stuff is coming soon. Until then, see you around, and have a great day!