Day 1: From Idea to Launch in 5 days

I’m back, and Day 1 is complete.

I’ve done a lot today, which is definitely required with such a short timeframe. Of the $100 budget, I’ve spent a total of $15 — which is pretty darn good for having a domain name, logo and full HTML mockup.

The Name

The name came naturally to me:

Spanish or Bust

it was the first thing that popped into my head. It demonstrates that excited motivation that you’re going to learn Spanish no matter what, just like the attitude of the gold prospectors who popularized the “or bust” expression in the early 1900s.

Obviously, the first thing to do after coming up with a potential name is to see which domains are available for it. Generally, .co or else the domain for whichever country you’re in works best if/when the .com isn’t available.

Having the .com is invaluable — everyone knows and trusts the .com TLD.

Incredibly, the .com was still available so I registered SpanishOrBust.com.

Registering the Domain Name

Two things are important to me when I get a domain name.

  1. Cost
  2. Privacy

The initial, first-year cost of a domain is important. You don’t want to be getting ripped off, but you don’t want to be caught with massive renewal prices either. Generally, registrars have seemingly too-good-to-be-true deals on, a $0.99 .com for example. The catch comes a year later, when you have an established website and they charge 50 times the initial cost to renew the domain.

Another thing that I think is very important, especially for small projects like this one, is to have your WhoIs information protected. I prefer my inbox without a million spammy emails, thank you very much.

Weighing both these things, I chose to register SpanishOrBust.com through NameCheap. They have free WhoIs privacy and are relatively inexpensive compared to other registrars.

For this project, I just purchased for one year. If the project is successful, I can just renew it. If it’s not, I’ll be glad that I didn’t put myself out 5 years worth of domain registration fees.

The Logo

With the name and domain sorted out, it was time to create a fitting logo. Design isn’t my forté, but the whole point of this project is to get me out of my comfort zone.

I had a bit of an idea in mind for what the logo could look like, but I did some brainstorming to get all of my ideas out and on paper. My goal was to create a very typographic and simple yet representative design. I didn’t want to go too minimal and look like every site these days with simple lowercase writing.

The name provided a lot to work with — there was a deep history to the saying ( ___ or bust). The first thing that pops into my head is a hitchhiker from the 80s, holding a cardboard sign that says “LA or Bust!”. From that, I decided to replicate a cardboard sign and include spraypaint-like typography.

My go-to photo editor is pixlr.com. It’s like a toned down version of photoshop but completely web-based. After finding a suitable image of cardboard for the logo, I upload it to pixlr, find a font I like, type “Spanish or Bust” and boom — logo’s done.

The completed logo.

The Website

Here’s the tough part, and what will take up most of the day. Luckily, I’ve built a few websites in my time and know of some resources that will be handy.

I always start a website off with a sketch — *how exactly do I want this to work for my target user?*

For this site, I decided on a multi-stage form (pick the level, the date, the price, etc.). Rather than building this from scratch, I did a quick google search and found a suitable bootstrap-based template. For the background image, I did a quick search on unsplash.com — it’s a great place to get free background images for your websites.

From there, I customized the form to include the fields I needed — whenever I had an issue, like when I wanted to make an image a radio button, stackoverflow.com was the place to check.

For graphics and icons, I used thenounproject.com — they let you use everything for free as long as you credit the artist.

Finally, for editing up the “How it works” graphics, I used canva.com.

With everything on the site laid out how I wanted, I went through and made notes in the code. This not only makes it much easier to edit in the future, but if I need some help with Stripe integration or implementing PHP, whoever’s helping will know what they’re looking at in the code.

The site as-of Day 1

Hosting

Now, the only thing I’m missing is hosting. I’m going to cheat a little bit and just add on a domain to an account I already pay for.

If you’re looking to get hosting for a small project like this, though — I recommend Namecheap hosting. This isn’t because it’s super fast or well done or anything — it’s simply because your first year of hosting is stupidly cheap compared to other providers. One year costs the same as one month on another provider (for the first year at least).

Feedback

That about wraps things up for Day 1 — I’ve completed the HTML/CSS design of the site, created a logo, decided on a name and registered a domain.

If you want to take a look at the site so far and offer any feedback — please do!

What’s Left

  • D̶a̶y̶ ̶1̶:̶ ̶l̶o̶g̶o̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶i̶g̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶H̶T̶M̶L̶/̶C̶S̶S̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶n̶t̶-̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶(̶i̶n̶c̶l̶u̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶d̶o̶m̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶h̶o̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶)̶
  • Day 2: PHP functionality (keeping track of users and dates)
  • Day 3: Stripe integration
  • Day 4: developing the quizzes
  • Day 5: publicity, bug fixes and prepare for launch
  • Launch Day

Check back tomorrow for Day 2.