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Eknoorpreet Singh
Eknoorpreet Singh

Posted on

I built a DEV.to clone from scratch (including the API!) 👨‍💻🥳

Hey guys, I wanted to showcase my latest project: A DEV clone.

Why I made it

My motivation behind the project was simple: I had learnt both frontend (React) and backend (MongoDB, Node, Express) technologies and wanted to build a full-stack React app to learn how both sides work together. Initially, I decided to make a blog website where I could post my notes on anything new I learned. Then, I came to know about DEV.to (believe me, I didn't know about it until some months ago) so I decided to make a clone.

The Mindset:

Going in, I decided that I will not shy away from building any complex features present on the original website. Even though it's a clone (and nobody will probably ever use it), it's still a clone of a real-world application, and building it with that mindset will make you a better developer. For example, you write efficient queries because you care about the speed of the response from the server.

Tech

Enough talking! Let's see the clone in action:

Login / Signup

The application consists of local authentication (using JWT) as well as OAuth services of Google, Facebook, GitHub, and Twitter:

Login / Signup

Like / Unicorn / Bookmark

Just like the original, there are 3 "reaction" features: like, unicorn (whose mystery I am yet to unravel), and bookmark.

Like / Unicorn / Bookmark

New Post

Users can create / update / delete posts.

New Post

(A gif wasn't working here so I just added an image)

Comments and Replies

Users can comment /reply but unlike the original DEV, I limited my clone's comment section to just one thread.

Comments and Replies

Real-time Notifications

The user gets notifications when he's followed or his post receives a like or comment from another user.

Real-time Notifications

Follow Tags

Whenever a user creates a new post, he can add tags (no set limit as of now). If the tag doesn't exist, it's created and attached to the post. Furthermore, the user can follow/unfollow tags and get posts filtered by tags as well.

Follow Tags

Edit Profile

Users can update their profile by providing information about their work, skills/languages, bio, social media, and location.

Edit Profile

Search

Users can search for posts (only via titles as of now).

Search

What I learned:

There are three most important factors that distinguish a good project from a great project:

  1. UI: The first thing people are going to compare when judging your clone is the UI. So, I tried to make it as close to the original as possible. It was a challenge to match the UI with the original on both desktop and mobile but I got through.

  2. Features: As you saw, I tried to implement all the core features of the original DEV. Starting out, I had no idea how to go about working on real-time functionalities such as notifications. But you grow the most when you do the things you don't know how to do.

  3. Code readability: You don't write code for just the machine. In real-world, you write it for other people to read. Being able to write code that is easy to read is an essential skill to master.

That's it

I put a lot of effort into the DEV clone and I hope you liked it. Feel free to ask anything about the project!

You can access the code at my GitHub repo.

Here's the deployed site

Top comments (61)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Quite impressive

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eknoor4197 profile image
Eknoorpreet Singh

Thanks a lot, Ben!

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dumboprogrammer profile image
Tawhid

Hey Ben you are here.
How's everything going man?

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Things are good, you?

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dumboprogrammer profile image
Tawhid

Glad to hear,I'm also doing good.

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liftoffstudios profile image
Liftoff Studios

Impressive !

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ninjaasmoke profile image
Nithin Sai K J

Quite ballsy of you to post about it on dev.to

But, amazing work

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eknoor4197 profile image
Eknoorpreet Singh

Hahaha!
Well, Ben approved it so it's all good :)

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donnyroufs profile image
donny roufs

Great job. Have a look at abstracting logic from your controllers and writing tests!

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eknoor4197 profile image
Eknoorpreet Singh

Yes, I plan to refactor code and add tests.
Thanks!

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strongunsullied profile image
Kasope Johnson

A beautiful attempt! Well done

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vulcanwm profile image
Medea

Woah nice!

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eknoor4197 profile image
Eknoorpreet Singh

Thanks!

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vulcanwm profile image
Medea

No problem! This is really impressive

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor

Nice!

A kangaroo playing an electric guitar

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prakhart111 profile image
Prakhar Tandon

Stunning man !

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Incredible that must have taken a long time to perfect 🤩

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binoybarnabas profile image
Binoy Barnabas

looks like we got a twin for dev.to . well done mate!

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papilocloud profile image
papilo-cloud

Awesome

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bellatrix profile image
Sakshi

Woah!!

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tmchuynh profile image
Tina Huynh

Wow! That's incredible!

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ddaypunk profile image
Andy Delso

Really neat project and well written summary!

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errorgamer2000 profile image
ErrorGamer2000

Unicorn (I believe)eans it is a one-of-a-kind article that is of extremely rare quality.