Case Study: WordSpot

"Firebase is everything to us except the application code."  -Michael Wulf, Founder

WordSpot is a place for writers to inspire and assist each other
  • Team of 2
  • Firebase powers their entire backend, including features like collaborative writing and critiquing.
  • Chose Firebase because of its serverless paradigm.

WordSpot Lights It Up

Once I discovered Firebase, I started thinking about all the advantages if we went entirely client-side. There would be no Nginx to maintain, there would be no multiple server environments to deal with, and there would be no scaling up and scaling down. That suited me just fine.

- Michael Wulf, WordSpot.org

Michael Wulf has aspirations to be a professional writer. In 2011, he moved from Nevada to Arizona which meant he would no longer have the support of the Lone Mountain Writers Club.

Needing inspiration, good critiques, and a sense of community again, he founded WordSpot with his friend of 10 years, Matt Clark. Their goal is to become the go-to destination for writers on the web. Their nearest competitor, Writing.com, has over 1,000,000 members, and WordSpot intends to supplant it.

WordSpot is powered by Firebase and has built many exciting and innovative features.

  • Plot Storm: A word game to create plots and alleviate writer’s block.
  • Goal Tracking: An easy workflow to publicly record progress towards writing goals.
  • Critiquing System: A real-time feedback system designed to be as simple as critiquing on paper. Users can highlight text, select the type of feedback and enter comments effortlessly. Get quantifiable feedback instead of rankings and ratings.
  • Agent CRM: A tool for managing the book publishing process by tracking interactions with agents.
  • Workshops: An area for creative writing experts to hold workshops on specific parts of the writing process.

Before choosing Firebase, Wulf and Clark investigated several options: “There are only two of us, so we started with Node.js since JavaScript on both the client and server simplifies things. I then looked for a scalable database solution and found Mongo, Couch, Dynamo and Firebase. Once I discovered Firebase, I started thinking about all the advantages if we went entirely client-side. There would be no Nginx to maintain, there would be no multiple server environments to deal with, and there would be no scaling up and scaling down. That suited me just fine. The less hats I wear, the better, especially when I’m reading 2-3 books a week on marketing,” said Wulf.

As the team finished investigating technology and moved on to building product, Firebase proved its value. Wulf commented: “Firebase is everything to us except the application code. I wanted it to do everything our servers and database would do and it’s perfectly capable of taking on the job.” Wulf estimates that Firebase has cut his development time from over a year to only 4 months.

Thanks to Firebase his aspirations of becoming a published author are one step closer to reality. WordSpot isn't open to the public yet, but if you'd like to request beta access, head over to wordspot.org!