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I created and published my first SaaS! Here's the story

nh2_amine profile image nh2_amine Updated on ・3 min read

The problem

If you are, like me, a web developer. I'm sure it already happened more than once that one of your relatives asked you "Hey, I need a quick, simple website for my business/project/hobby..." (you name it)

After the usual "Oh, not again..." that goes through your head, you decide to say "OK! Let's do this", then most of the time you build a simple static website with 2 or 3 pages and some contact infos or a contact form.

Now you have to build a script (PHP or Node.js depending on the hosting) to handle the form submission with the mail transfer. And of course you have to set or use an SMTP gateway or sometimes you have to create an account on one of the transactionnal email services and wire your script the service.

So the last that this happened to me. I've had enough and thought to myself:
"Wouldn't it be great if I could just plug an endpoint to all these forms and it would handle the submission for me then redirect to the page I choose".

The Search

So I started to look for a similar service and I stumbled upon Netlify Form and Formspree

The service I was really looking for was Formspree. As it provided me with a URL endpoint to set as the action attribute of any form and set the method to post and that was it. I would receive and email with the submitted data and I could also view all the form submissions.

The decision

I tested out Formspree and was pretty happy with it.
But as a developer, I thought that I could also build one by myself and it could be a good practice for my skills

There was already a validation for the idea as there was at least 2 (paying) services. So maybe It could also be a nice revenue source if it took off.

I let the idea sink a little bit, then I decided to give it a try.

The making

I decided to work on it on nights and weekends as I am currently working full-time. I built it with the stack I'm most comfortable with PHP/Symfony for the backend. I grabbed a free HTML/CSS template for the front and went with MariaDB as it handles JSON fields for the elastic part of the form submission handling.

It took me about a weekend to have a working backend and nice looking front-end.

It took me another weekend to integrate with Stripe to add recurring billing using the PHP SDK.

I also added a free tier to let small websites, as the ones I was mostly building for my relatives, use my service without worrying about free usage limit.

Now all that was left on my to-do list was "Find a name". I came with serveral names, but they were all already taken domain names. So the first name that I came with and that was available was FlexyForm.
So that was how FlexyForm.com was born.

Now What?

I am a real techie at the core. So I built a decent (in my opinion) service that I will be using for sure for my own needs. But now comes the most difficult part, spread the word about my SaaS. As I was a long time member, rather passive, of IndieHackers and Dev.to communities. For the first time, I got passed about my writer's block and found the courage to write about my project. Since it's the first time I think I have built something worth sharing. I hope it will inspire at least one person.

If you want to help me and test out Flexyform or maybe you find service helpful (who knows...), I will be more than happy to get feedback from you.

Thank you for reading me. I hope to be able to write again about the evolution of this project.

Discussion (2)

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davinodaniele profile image
Daniele D'Avino

Hi! I think i'll use your SaaS for my static website :) thank you for your precious work!

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nh2_amine profile image
nh2_amine Author

Thank you! Really glad you find it useful!