My last year with a side project

I started https://whenarethefights.com a year ago now and it kinda flew by. It all started out with a post on Reddit and I was completely shocked that more than just me had a use for it. I  was immediately starting to think of ways to improve the site and the  easiest way to do so. I tried to listen to everyone on Reddit and tried  to find ways to improve the way I collected fights. This was a mistake. I  forgot about the actual problem I was trying to solve and that was just  to let people know when the next fight was. Over the last couple weeks I  have started to think about how I can just go back to square one and do  what I set out to do. I wanted to build a community around combat  sports in the spirit of The Underground and /r/mma. These were the places that I found out about all the fights that were coming up and which fighters to pay attention to.

Since  I started it, I went through 3 designs on the frontend and one change  on the backend. The site first started out as a React app using Create React App, hosted on Netlify (where this is now) just to get things moving. I quickly found out that Google’s search results weren’t really nice for JAM stacks and being that I wasn’t well versed in SEOfu, I thought maybe just use a static site generator. I wanted to mess around with GatsbyJS,  so why not. It’s been one of the better decisions I made since starting  the project. Another big change was switching my data store from  Google’s Firebase to Postgres on Heroku with Hasura.  I’m at the point now where I want to start trying to build a community  where smaller promotions and other users can add events. I created /r/whenarethefights for a spot to talk about some future ideas.

Some things I have planned for the next few months are:

  • Weekly newsletter on Sundays with upcoming fights and results
  • Accounts with locations and preferences
  • Social media sharing and notifications
  • New design with a smaller payload. I want to ditch Semantic UI
  • Once  ^ happens I can start thinking about an native app for people that  prefer something like that, if there is enough demand for it
  • Open up the API to the public so other sites can let people know when the fights are

Here  is the last year on Google Analytics. Every spike is a Saturday, the  common fight day during the week. I think the most interesting part  about this is you can actually see when bigger fights are happening.  Data is pretty cool.

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