PageDash is Shutting Down

Jonathan Lin · Fri, Oct 8 2021 in Updates


PageDash will be shutting down on 31 December 2021.

The beginning of the end

There was a credit card verification attack on PageDash earlier this year that racked up RM10,000 in Braintree charges against my company (US$2,500, i.e. more than all the payments I ever received from PageDash customers).

I managed to avoid it for now by shutting down the merchant account (pending their credit department chasing me, which hasn’t happened). This meant that I could not charge customers for PageDash anymore in the meantime.

I had intended to fix this by migrating payments to Stripe. After 3 months of giving PageDash customers free premium access and subscription extension, I have still failed to find the motivation to complete the task.

I conclude that I am no longer interested in maintaining PageDash.

The beginning

PageDash was my first SaaS. It was a simple idea: Evernote sucked at saving web pages, I wanted to do it better by simply saving all the page assets and letting the browser do the job. I personally have 3000+ pages currently saved in PageDash.

I built it. I launched on HN and got a lot of discussion and some traction. It was launched as an archiving solution, but that came with a lot of other expectations and criticisms. Eventually, I rebranded PageDash as a web scrapbook solution.

The end of the beginning

I recently found that I rarely actually look at the pages I had saved. I think PageDash appeals to the OCD crowd who feels like they cannot lose a single page.

But let me challenge you to something I feel strongly about now: You don’t need it. If you can’t find it, and you didn’t manually save the page (e.g. via PDF) and put it somewhere, then probably it didn’t matter too much to you. Just re-Google it and you may actually find newer and later resources on the matter. Or maybe just move on with life without it and find ways to cope without it.

PageDash itself has a bunch of loyal users (1-2 dozen), but honestly it cannot scale up much more. It simply is a quirky solution to a non-problem. I don’t even want to tell my friends that I made it. The reaction is usually, “why would I even need that?". They wouldn’t say it out loud, of course.

I am shutting down PageDash on 31 December 2021. If your subscription goes longer than that, I am sorry to disappoint you.

Exporting your data

There are a few ways to export your data:

  • Google Drive export. Enabling this will cause PageDash to back up all your pages (the raw page assets) to your Google Drive folder. It will take a few days to complete depending on how many pages you have saved.

You can find this in Settings.
  • Export all pages metadata. This will generate a CSV mapping all UUIDs to page titles for your reference.

You can also find this in Settings.
  • Export page as ZIP. You can only do this one page at a time.

Click on "Export as ZIP".
It will download a ZIP file with the UUID as filename.
  • Export as PDF. Sorry, I didn’t implement this, but you can export the page as ZIP and then open the index.html or static.html in the browser, and then do a PDF print via the browser.

Open static.html or index.html.
Save as PDF via the Print function of your browser (Chrome is shown here).

The end

Once again, I am sorry for the inconvenience caused. I am personally in a bad mental health shape to keep going, and dropping the PageDash baggage may psychologically help me regain my footing in life. I hope you understand. PageDash itself, by all metrics, is also pretty much a non-success.

If you need to save pages via browser extension, I recommend Evernote.

Thank you so much for reading this and for your understanding.