Solo founder implements file handling in an hour

  • industry
  • headquarters
    Vancouver, Canada
  • employees
  • tenure
    1 year
Upscribe is a B2B SaaS application that allows marketers to embed signup forms in Medium posts. Using Uploadcare to replace his error-prone internally-developed file-handling solution, Joshua Anderton was able to maintain focus on moving his product forward.

Joshua Anderton created Upscribe as a side project in 2016. It is a B2B SaaS application that allows marketers to embed newsletter signup forms directly into their posts on Medium.

When it was originally developed, Upscribe needed to accept two types of files from users. Images, like logos, were required to style the forms properly. Additionally, users needed to upload files as marketing incentives for their readers to sign up to their newsletters. These were things like infographics, ebooks, spreadsheets, etc. While this functionality is required for Upscribe to operate, it isn’t the core value of the application.

Joshua Anderton, Founder
Joshua Anderton, Founder
Being able to upload files is really important to the tool, but it’s definitely not the core value that Upscribe is providing.

Initially, Joshua built his own file-handling system, but he quickly ran into problems hosting files on his own server.

I was keeping the files on the server where the site was being hosted. There were a couple of instances where I had to migrate the site and lost a bunch of images.

Additionally, it became clear that accepting uploads wasn’t the only functionality he was going to have to build. He needed upload integrations with third-party services and image processing as well.

I definitely would have had to go and write integrations with Evernote and Google Drive and Dropbox and Box. Learn those APIs and build all of that myself. And of course maintain it over time. A total headache.

All of this was needed for Upscribe to function, and Joshua was working a full-time job. There just wasn’t enough time to do all of it himself.

After struggling with his own limited solutions and with an extremely constrained time-budget, Joshua implemented Uploadcare.

It originally took maybe an hour. I integrate Uploadcare with all of my side projects now, and it takes minutes. Especially with a Ruby on Rails site. Add the gem. Place the helpers in the template, and I’m going. Today, it would probably take 10 to 20 minutes.

In doing so, Joshua was immediately able to move his users’ file uploads off of his own servers.

I don’t have to think at all about the files sitting on my server when doing migrations or deploying. It was a huge draw for me to be able to keep my files somewhere else.

Additionally, Uploadcare provided the image processing and integrations with third-party services that Joshua needed.

I just add the dimensions I want the image to be shrunk to right into the HTML attribute and then that automatically resizes the images. Which is awesome.

Ultimately, implementing Uploadcare has allowed Joshua to focus more of his time working on Upscribe itself rather than the infrastructure it runs on.

I’m working on Upscribe part time with a full-time job. It’s still a side project, so I have very few hours in the week that I get to work on Upscribe, and none of that time is spend managing files anymore.