Behind the Make: Where to Buy Crypto

February 19, 2018

This “Behind the Make” feature was a little challenging to write since it’s about a personal make of mine, Where to Buy Crypto.

If you thought interviewing other makers was challenging, try interviewing yourself about one of your own projects. Wow!

Hopefully I did my make justice in this interview.


In 100 words or less, what exactly is Where to Buy Crypto?

The goal of WhereToBuyCrypto.co is to make it easier for cryptocurrency investors to sift through the hundreds of coins and tokens and find exactly where they can invest in a specific currency.

How did you come up with the idea for Where to Buy Crypto?

As a newbie to the cryptocurrency industry I was overwhelmed with both the number of currencies but also how many exchanges were out there. On top of that it took me a while to realize that certain currencies are only available on certain exchanges which made it even more challenging to get into cryptocurrency investing.

Once I thought I had it figured out, I’d transfer some Bitcoin to a specific exchange to invest in a currency but then find out it was better to join a different exchange because of some other currencies I was interested in investing in.

Argh!

So I decided to build WTBC to help alleviate this annoyance.

How long did it take you to go from the idea to actually building your first version?

It honestly took me about 3 nights to get the first version of WTBC in a place where I felt happy to release it to the public. I say nights because like most makers, I worked on it after-hours from my day job.

How did you go about building the first version of Where to Buy Crypto?

Since I failed to do any research on what was available prior to jumping into developing WTBC, the first day turned into a lot of trial and error trying to find where I could pull all the cryptocurrency data. I assumed it would be easily available but it wasn’t as easy as I hoped.

Without giving away the “secret sauce” of WTBC, I ended up using two different sources for the information and then programming a couple bots run via cron to grab the currency information on a set daily schedule.

After launch I found Crypto Compare API but haven’t had a chance to dig too deep into the API. Just from my quick look it seems as if there is a lot of data they provide which I could integrate into WTBC.

But back to the build.

Now that my bots were running and gathering data for me, I decided the next step would be the decide on how I wanted to present the data to the public. I’m a developer first so design is not really my forte but I don’t let that slow me down.

Since the goal of WTBC was to make finding and investing in various cryptocurrencies as easy as possible I knew my design should follow suit.

Taking a cue from Google, I designed the homepage to just be a search box with a few popular coins and tokens as examples below the box. To make it even easier for the end user, I used a auto-suggest dropdown in the search box so when the user starts typing it will go through the whole database of cryptocurrencies to allow them to find what they were looking for as fast as possible.

The designing of the actual cryptocurrency page made me have a little internal debate on what it should and shouldn’t have. At the end of the day I kept going back to the goal of the website and instead of adding any bells and whistles (pricing, volume, ratings, etc) I went straight forward and just listed all the exchanges.

I’ll be honest with you, that was one of the hardest parts of this build and I’m happy the way it turned out. It is always easy to add more features, but I have to always ask myself does it help achieve the overall goal of the project.

How did your launch day go?

I went really low key on this launch and only posted it to my Twitter and to Hacker News.

Normally I would go all-in and submit to Product Hunt, various sub-Reddits, online communities, etc. but I decided to take a different approach for WTBC’s launch.

The main reason was I just wanted to see how visitors used the website and determine if I needed to make any changes.

Not that you only get one chance at places like PH, but if it doesn’t look like the overall goal of the build is being met, I tend to hold back on promotion until I can get it right.

For WTBC, honestly, going from the data I haven’t seen many issues at all so I think launch went really well.

Maybe one of these days I “launch” it on PH.

What are some milestones that WTBC has hit since launch that blow your mind?

I was really excited that during the first week of launching that the website was averaging of 75 visitors per day. It has since gone down from that number but also has the interest in cryptocurrency investing. Once Bitcoin makes a rally I can see traffic increasing.

Another milestone was that WTBC had three affiliate referral signups within the first 14 days. I think it has earned about $0.50 since launch. Not retiring any time soon with that, but it helped me validate that the goal of the website is being met … to make it easy for people to find and invest in cryptocurrencies.

Now that you have officially launched WTBC, what are some short term goals you are working towards?

When it comes to goals, I really like them in a list format:

~ Average 100 visitors per day before the end of March. I think this is very feasible since from my research the cryptocurrency industry has a big uptick during Match.

~ Average 1 new referral sign up per week. Monetizing WTBC is not a high priority to me right now, but again it helps validate that the website is doing what it was designed to do.

~ Improve my search engine presence. Since at least for the time being I don’t plan on doing a huge marketing push for WTBC, search traffic will be my major source of traffic. I’m researching some long-tail cryptocurrency keywords I can target and we’ll see how the next 60-90 days go in the rankings.

Other than WTBC, have you launched any other projects?

Although I don’t ship as much as a want to, I do consider myself a serial-maker. Besides WTBC and Behind the Make, I’ve launched numerous makes such as Game Dropper, RemoteJobs.email, Da1ly, MPG Buddy, and TechConfs.com.

I also have a feeling by the time this interview gets published I’ll have a few more makes under my belt.

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