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This is my favourite side project. In December 2011 our first child, Isaac, arrived into the world. In the weeks leading up to his birth people kept asking us when the baby was going to arrive. And we wanted a way to tell people when it DID arrive. So I created hasyourbabyarrivedyet.com to mimic <site> and <site> in announcing with a bold and simple YES or NO whether or not the baby was here yet.

its here buttonhasyourbabyarrivedyet.com is now in it’s third (and hopefully final) form: a custom-built application created using the Laravel framework. It was an excuse to learn Laravel and to put it to good use on a real life application.

It works well, is fast, is (hopefully) user-friendly and simple enough to use at the end of 40 hours of labour over a 3G connection.

The project does have some history: it was previously a static HTML site and then I re-created it in WordPress before finally settling on Laravel.  Some history is given below.

The original static HTML Build

The original build of hasyourbabyarrivedyet.com was actually a hurriedly-put-together HTML page, intended to replicate sites like isitchristmas.com, ismycomputeron.com (which is a bit lame, in my opinion) and isnickelbacktheworstbandever.tumblr.com. It worked, but it wasn’t easy to update from a hospital room.

The WordPress build

After Isaac’s arrival, other people thought this was a good idea, so I took my own experience and the desire for more from users, and made a WordPress “app” using Gravity Forms and a simple custom theme job.

The site’s main complexity was that it would have sub-domains like sallyandross.hasyourbabyarrivedyet.com or kateandwilliam.hasyourbabyarrivedyet.com and WordPress wasn’t very good at detecting those, so there was a fair amount of low-level custom coding to make it work.

Moving to Laravel

WordPress was a bit slow and I’d kinda hit a limit with it, so in 2015 I re-worked the whole thing as an excuse to learn a rapid application framework called Laravel.  It was simple enough to be pretty easy to do, but tricky enough (especially, again, with sub-domains) that I learned some cool stuff as I went.

And so it is…

And here it is. Aside from “Push notifications”, which are on the roadmap (they’re not, but it’s a good joke, right?) it’s there and awaiting your sign up. I’m pretty happy with it. It’s super-quick. Hopefully super-easy to use. And it was great to learn Laravel whilst building a real world tool that I could share with people.



Posted on

January 28, 2015