Far-reaching goals for BeachfrontDigital.
BeachfrontDigital is a domain portfolio management tool I built and launched late last year. To quote the "About" page:
BeachfrontDigital is me scratching my own itch and taking cues from The 7 Day Startup. I buy domains on a regular basis and often from more than one registrar. As a result, I tend to forget I have some domains! True story, I ran a WHOIS search on a domain I own, a couple months ago. Terrible. 😩
The name is a result of a conversation I had with co-workers about how domain names are like the premium waterfront properties of the 80s. Of course, the domain
beachfront.digital was available so I snagged it ASAP.
Since launching BD in October, I've made updates here and there and it seemed like I was going to get valuable feedback from early beta testers who assured me they would sign up at $6/year instead of the regular $11/year price...turns out, nobody wanted to beta test and my messages were ignored. Was it because of the upfront cost? Was it because I didn't have a bunch of features fleshed out? I'll never know. However, of the friends I reached out to for feedback Wojtek Witkowski was the only one who got back to me. Through him and a prospective customer/commenter on Hacker News, I learned a few things:
- I wasn't offering anything that a spreadsheet couldn't handle.
- $6/year was still too much to charge for someone who has <10 domains.
- To make charging for my service palatable, I'd need to create a sync system for registrars.
- Not all registrars have public APIs (see: Hover).
- There are so many registrars. It's not cost-effective to maintain syncing for each.
- Creating a sync system based on undocumented APIs like some people have done with Hover is a terrible idea. Undocumented APIs means they can break at any moment.
For these reasons and more, I have decided to make BeachfrontDigital free when V2 goes live. I'm currently working on a stock photography site for people of color so upgrades and changes to BD will occur in March (when I'm not playing my Nintendo Switch, hehe). I also plan to update the site with a visual style reminiscent of the 80s. Here's how the site used to look:
Here's how it looks now:
As you can see, the styling went from pretty cool (the logo was levitating and the background grid moved as well) to extremely sterile. Nothing's wrong with a sterile look, that's what this blog looks like, haha! But for something with the URL
beachfront.digital, it could stand to look a bit more impressive.
A key missing feature is the ability to import your domains. If you've already got a method to organize your domains and you want to use BeachfrontDigital, you sure wouldn't want to type everything again right? Hell no, who has time for that?! I intend to make the wishlist feature more robust, as well as the personal analytics. For example, I'm paying $2027 for 75 domains per year 😅. Anyhoo, watch this space and @BeachfrontD on Twitter for updates. 🕸