Some people shop for deals on clothing, we shop for apps
UPDATE: 10-22-13 This Site has been out of maintenance for a while now and the domain is set to expire soon. Upon that happening, this website will no longer exist.
UPDATE: 12-06-11 Site is no longer maintained at this time.
ORIGINAL POST: This was an idea I had about 1 week away from Black Friday in 2010. The website had to be created within a 7 hour time frame and it’s purpose was decided that it be a simple interface for people to find what applications were going on sale & for how long. Click the “Read More” button to see how I created the site.
Click here to view more about how it was created.
- 1. Viewers could see multiple posts/apps at once
- 2. Viewers could easily navigate between apps
- 3. Viewers could view posts/apps by category
- 4. Information needed to be posted in a relatively short amount of time.
- 5. Viewers could post comments on the posts/apps
- 6. Easily recognizable domain
- 7. Twitter account created to go along with website
- 8. Posts needed to be scheduled so that they would go LIVE at a certain date & at midnight EST.
- 9. Posts needed to be scheduled so that they would EXPIRE at a certain date & at midnight EST
- 10. Developers putting app on sale, could easily submit content
- 11. My budget – $30
So here are the steps I took: WordPress was my obvious choice for this as it is easily configurable, customizable and free. And I could easily schedule posts(Requirements fulfilled: 4, 5, 8 & 11) Next I purchased a domain from GoDaddy.com for $7.49 – BlackfridayApps.net since someone was coveting BlackFridayApps.com and aren’t even using it for the purpose its named for (shame on them). (Requirements fulfilled: 6, 11) I installed WordPress on my webserver & found a template that I could manipulate in the time frame I had. I was already a part of ElegantThemes.com ‘ s template club & found TheStyle theme to be the perfect match for me. *GasP* Yeah, yeah, I know I used a template. Heck I can’t create a sleek site in under 6 hours… Maybe one day I can…(Requirements fulfilled: 1, 2 & 3) I created a quick & simple logo in Photoshop CS4 & created a 48px48p favicon. I popped my favicon into a generator to make the file types I need. Then uploaded all that into my template, made a few CSS adjustments to the template & viola! I was done with the template.
Within WordPress itself, I used a number of of plugins to accomplish precisely what I wanted: Akismet – I put it in all my WordPress type websites. It cuts down on the spam on the site AppStore Charts – displays the top apps in the app store. I used it in the sidebar when viewing apps/posts. Contact Form 7 – allowed me to create a complex and highly customizable contact form, to allow devs to submit their content/apps to me. (Requirements fulfilled: 10) Ultimate Google Analytics – Another plugin I always use in my WordPress installations – Allows me to easily insert my Google tracking code into the site. Post Expirator – This ultimately allowed me to allow the posts to disappear when the sale of the app was over. It turned the post into a draft & hid it to the viewer, but allowed me to hold onto it in case I wanted it for the future. (Requirements fulfilled: 9)
Dev submits application information: Name of app, Contact name & e-mail, Developer URL, App Title, App Category, App Platform, App Details (description), Post Date, Current/Retail Price, Sale Price, Date Sale Price Ends, Link to App in iTunes, Upload screenshots (1-3), Comments/Questions (promo giveaways or sale conditions or other info.) (Requirements fulfilled: 10) I received an e-mail with the above information, including the attachments. Uploaded the images, set one as the featured image, inserted the three screenshots into the post with the built-in WordPress gallery function, then added the description of the app, it’s category & the other submitted information including a link to the developer and a link to iTunes I then added the post to the associated app category, this allows the reader to view posts by category. I then scheduled the post for the future as well as the expiry date of the post.
So when all the posts were put together, the reader could browse through different apps that were on sale:
Lastly, I created a Twitter account @BlackFridayApps the account updated (manually) when a post was posted or when I found some other apps I thought were cool that went on sale, but not necessarily on the website. I manually posted stuff because, for one, there weren’t many posts to manage & I wanted short & concise tweets with my URL shortener – http://itapp.in/(Requirement fulfilled: 7)
I hope next year I am much more prepared, that I have more apps to show, that the Twitter account will auto-post to Twitter, that I can enable the ability to make certain post to be larger than others on the home page – thus highlighting that app. Overall I had a lot of fun creating this little project in just under 7 hours and for as little as $8. Here’s the link to the site, in case you haven’t already figured it out – BlackFridayApps.Net