24/01

Ship features faster using no-code integrations

Whilst building side-projects last year, I realised I was wasting to much time on parts of a project that were holding it back from ever launching, or a feature from being shipped. I remember being inspired by a podcast I listened to with the creator of Makerpad, Ben Tossell explaining how "no-code" is the future by linking multiple 3rd party platforms together to create a working MVP.

I wasn't willing to go that far and rely on all of my project to work off 3rd parties, but I was interested to start using 3rd parties to do certain tasks such as data collection, image optimisation, mailing lists etc.

Ship feature thumb

Mailing Lists

We all do this, we collect emails for launches, feature drops etc and the majority I've found either bounce between Mailchimp and Convertkit. The only issue with these is that they are not friendly for startups with zero funding. Because as your growth increases, so does the cost to keep that list growing.

This is when I came across Button Down. The pricing is perfect, it has quick integrations and the API is a breeze to work with. I've hooked this into all my projects quite easily and it allows newsletters or single shot emails to be sent relatively easily.

Not to mention, Button Down is also privacy-focussed. So doesn't track your user's personal information.

Changelog buttondown

Use Notion for support / documentation pages

Data Collection & Documentation Pages

To get pages like roadmaps, changelogs, FAQ's or support pages etc out the door, Notion is the app to look at. It's allowed me to quickly create documentation/support for my apps without even having to consider designing and building it in. The ability to have a spreadsheet, with images and code blocks all in one page, which is also linkable works really well.

(You could take this a step further and use Super to make a full website using Notion)

On the flip side, if you need to collect the information you could use Air Table. You can quickly whip up a form (E.g. A contact or submission form) which links straight to a spreadsheet, and whallah - You have organised data which can be exported as CSV's into your app, or you could take this a step further and link with Zapier to import users into Button Down! Magical.


Content & SEO

Although I haven't used this yet, I like the idea of them. Headlime uses AI to create the (near) perfect content for your marketing sites. You input a few keywords and click a button and you then have your whole site written for you. I like this approach to get you going, but I'm not sure how well this would work for the long term.

To visually appealing metadata / open graph images that convert your shared articles to visiting users, I've discovered services like Microlink (Free-ish) and Bannerbear. They both allow you to hook into image templates and output an image card.

Microlink

Use Microlink API to generate metadata images that convert

Analytics

For visitor analytics data there's nothing better than Fathom. I can't express how easy this app is to plug into your site and give you privacy focussed data on your visitors and most visited pages.

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Overall, using these 3rd parties have saved me hours of design and development time, and it means I can deploy features faster.