History

Early Years

In 2003, Dave started a small personal web development blog. Primarily an opportunity for Dave to document what he was learning and share any useful tips and tricks he learned, by 2005 it had turned into a resource for downloading Dave's cheat sheets. Dave's articles on PHP security and URL rewriting went down well, and he shared a few small tools and experiments on the site, including a small tool for calculating the Flesch Reading Ease of text.

The original blog was on a different domain, a little too close to the name of a famous whiskey brand for their liking. In 2008 they requested Dave move to a new domain, and so Added Bytes was born.

Branching Out

In 2011, Dave moved his cheat sheets off into their own website - Cheatography - where people could finally, after asking for years, make and share their own cheat sheets. Cheatography was ad-supported at the time, and to this day we haven't found a better financial model for the project, though the quest continues.

Shortly after that, Dave moved his readability tools into their own website as well - Readability-Score.com. The first indication Dave had that there might be more to this project than he thought was when, during that move, a researcher from the University of Toronto contacted him in a panic, as he'd been using the readability tool for several months for his PhD thesis and was worried it had been shuttered.

The new Readability-Score.com was a paid product, with free usage somewhat limited and paid customers able to score Word documents and CSVs with lots of data. Dave also experimented with a pay-what-you-want model, which was an enlightening experience. The minimum annual fee was $1, and the fourth subscriber paid $100.

Going Pro

In 2012, after a decade or so building websites for clients at various Brighton web development agencies, Dave struck out alone to start building his own agency and put those development skills to good use for himself. The natural choice was to trade using the same site that had raised his profile to that point, so Dave formed a limited UK company - Added Bytes Ltd. Dave's personal blog was moved to AloneOnAHill.com where it suffers a chronic lack of regular posts.

The plan was for client work to pay the bills while Dave iterated through various digital product ideas. Dave was lucky enough to work with some great companies, like Kings Education, Woolovers and Peggs & son, among many others. Various products were tried and didn't work out (really, does the world need another bug tracker?) and some, like Mathaversaries, proved to be wonderful little fun side projects.

In late 2015, the arrival of twins provided a lot of late-night coding opportunities, and in January 2016 ApolloPad was launched. Originally conceived as a way to better monetise the considerable traffic that Readability-Score.com was enjoying, it quickly became clear it would be better off as its own project.

With ApolloPad uncoupled from Readability-Score.com, Dave got to work on a new version of the readability scoring website. And in April 2016, Dave launched a new version of Readability-Score.com, with a far better pricing model, new features, proper sales process and a nice new design. Since 2016, Readability-Score.com has moved to its current (and hopefully final!) home at Readable.com.

All-In

By late 2016, it was clear the new Readability-Score.com was growing faster than Dave could cope with as a side-project. So, reluctantly, Dave handed off his remaining clients to trusted developers and colleagues, and Added Bytes became a digital product company.

In that time we have had the pleasure of working with some lovely and talented people, both as employees and as freelancers. We are always interested in talking to talented and creative people, so if you think we should hire you - even if we don't have a job opening that matches your skills - we encourage you to get in touch.

This work by Added Bytes CC BY-SA 4.0