Launch! jMockups Website to Mockup Converter

Today is the official launch of the new jMockups Website to Mockup Converter, which lets you import any existing webpage into jMockups, allowing you to redesign and share it in minutes.

You can check it out here: Website to Mockup Converter.

And here’s the video demo:

Saturday probably isn’t the ideal day to publicly launch a new feature, but I’m in NYC this weekend with Chris Conley and Mike Nichoaides, two talented developers I originally met through some Philly on Rails meetups a while back. What better time to launch than among friends who have been following my progress and helping me since jMockups’ inception?

In the past I probably would have posted it on HackerNews minutes after I pushed it out to the site for people to start using. The problem doing it that way is that without a lot of people testing it beforehand, you run the risk of discovering major bugs in the midst of getting a lot of traffic. Then you have to choose between trying to fix it immediately (which due to your haste can introduce other bugs) or waiting for the traffic to die down (in which case a lot of people might have already experienced the bug). This has happened to me more times than I’d like to admit.

With this launch, I made it available to a few folks last weekend, then about half the existing user base on Wednesday. And sure enough, there were a lot of issues that I hadn’t anticipated. For example, when you work with bookmarklets you need to make sure that you prevent the browser from caching the code:’+(Math.random())

I wasn’t doing that a week ago and so I was making changes to the bookmarklet code but users weren’t getting the updates because their browser had cached the original version. Thankfully only a handful of people had tested it at that point. Imagine if several hundred had: most of them would never get the updated versions of the file, forever forcing them to use the original version of the bookmarklet. Not good.

By launching it in stages I identified issues like that and resolved them prior to the influx of traffic, making this a much less stressful day than previous launch days have been. Knock on wood…

Anyway, dear reader, I’d love to get your thoughts on the new Website to Mockup tool. Feel free to email me or leave a comment below. Thanks!

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