PriceAlert – price tracking and price history charts for Greek e-commerce websites
I recently launched a new web app called PriceAlert, which is a service that provides price tracking and price history charts for some of the most popular e-commerce stores operating in Greece.
Its UI is written in Greek, so I believe that unfortunately most of you won’t be able to navigate through it. Therefore, here’s a direct link to a product I chose randomly so you can see how a product page looks like. At the bottom of it, you can find the price history chart.
Around two and a half years ago, I needed to buy something from Greece. Being a camelcamelcamel (a price tracker for Amazon) user for years, I searched for a similar service focused on Greek e-shops, but I couldn’t find one. So, as an interesting side-project, I decided to build an automated system which would track the price of specified products and it would notify me when they reached a certain threshold.
I quickly decided that I wanted to share it with other people, so I created a basic UI, bought the domain, installed the system to a server, and decided that after some changes that wouldn’t take more than a few days I would release it.
Those few days quickly became weeks, then months, and eventually years. I never considered it as one of these projects that I would let go though, so it might have taken a while, but a few months ago I decided to spend some time on it so it could be released to the public, which happened on November 1st.
Moving to the technical side, the back-end code that powers everything related to the user’s interaction with the site is still part of the original code built in mid-2013 using CodeIgniter. As a login system, it uses my own PasswordLessLogin library.
The system which automatically handles -among other tasks- the product updates, price changes, and email notifications though, is a Laravel 5.1 application. All transactional emails are sent through Mandrill.
Most of the front-end code is dated, since it was built using Bootstrap 2.3.2 (yeap, that was the most recent stable version back then), and the Flat UI and Font Awesome versions that it supported. The price history charts are generated using Highcharts; I also used Responsive-Lightbox in a few places.
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