Jul 15

New nicegear website launched

After some furious in-house development we're happy to launch our new website. We had a lot of positive comments from our old site, and a few comments on how we could make things even better. We took these on board and tried to address them with this new site.

We spent most of our time streamlining the existing functionality that we had with the old site, we've also added some new features too. Obviously we have added this blog so we can keep you up to date on what's happening with us.

Some of the other features; You can now tag products (and of course browse by tag). You can add your comments on products (let us know what you think of them - good or bad), along those lines you can also add ratings to products. The more people who use these systems the better they'll work for everyone so please do feel free to go click/type away!

We've made it easier for you to get through the checkout process by making you enter less details and providing you with more information during the whole process.

There's also a lot of details you won't see, we've spent a considerable amount of time developing our backend systems to streamline the ordering and shipping process. This allows us keep our administration costs down while we expand to cope with increasing demand. By us keeping our administration costs down it means you continue to get the cheapest prices.

Let us know what you think, either using the comment section below or our usual contact details. The new site framework makes it quite easy for us to add new features we will be introducing more in the near future. If you have any suggestions or requests do feel free to let us know.

For those who are interested in the gory details of how the nicegear site works...

Obviously being strong believers in open source software we've based our site on open source technologies. Doing so has allowed us to achieve a high level of functionality in a short amount of time. It's also allowed us to contribute patches back to the projects where we find that something is either missing or broken for what we need to do.

First things first, the site is developed in Python, a flexible language that's great for web development (amongst other things). There's a bunch of Python modules we use to speed up development; Werkzeug, a library handling requests and routing etc., Jinja for templating, SQLAlchemy, the well known database access and ORM, and finally WTForms, a new form handling library.

For powering the site search we're using the excellent Xapian Search Engine Library with it's bundled Python bindings.

All of these technologies are hosted on an Ubuntu Linux server which runs the Apache2 webserver with the mod_wsgi Python module. The database backend is driven by PostgreSQL.

On the client side of things, the jQuery JavaScript library and various plugins allowing for faster tidier development.

We're also looking at releasing the source code for the shop platform that we've built at some stage. Since there's a bit of work involved extracting a generic platform from the nicegear site it may take some time for this to come to fruition.

I do hope people find the new site easy and fun to use, if you've got any comments please feel free to leave them below. All the best - Hadley Rich and the nicegear team.

7 responses to "New nicegear website launched"

  1. Hi Hadley

    Nice site nicegear! I found it easy to find the product I wanted, and the shopping experience was up there with the best I've used.

    Nice clean relatively uncluttered site layout, and friendly interface.

    Also I love that it's all open source.

    Great work!

  2. Great site !
    I do a lot of online ordering and NiceGear would be one of the best sites I've used.

    Great that it's all open source.

    Keep up the good work!
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