My experience at FLines

Project description

FLines is an online service for creating timeline images for embedding into forums. The largest in Russia at that time. It was fully created by me in 2009 and sold in 2013.

When forums were one of the most popular way of online communication, these timeline images were used to show and track time until or since a specific day. Like a birthday of a son or a future demobilization date of a husband. The timeline service gives a link that has an image. The day count and the position of the sub-image changes every day.

Here’s an example:

forum timeline

(if it doesn’t show up, it means that the new owner doesn’t maintain the service well enough)

Additionally the timeline engine software was sold and integrated into Pet’s Paradise forum.


PHP, MySQL, Drupal, ImageMagick

Results and challenges

In Jan 2015 – Feb 2016 as a founder and a software developer I worked on:

  1. Image generating engine development that allows for uploading custom images, resizing them to fit, overlaying them with alpha channel and merging them together
  2. Timeline wizard builder
  3. Cache system that supported 100+ requests per second
  4. Website development
  5. Project management
  6. Marketing
    1. Initial timelines were on dozens of forums
    2. Each timeline had a code for making it a link
    3. Internal and external SEO Monetization by selling banners, links and participating in referral programs (t-shirts)

Some stats:

  • 1+ million timelines
  • 6000+ users per day
  • 100k+ images uploaded
  • 60k+ timelines used simultaneously
  • 100+ image requests per second
  • 3500+ websites using timelines simultaneously
  • 30k+ pages using timelines simultaneously

Old stats, current stats

The new owner of a web-service said that it was the best and the most stable investment in a website ever.