Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter versus Christmas

Easter traffic was very good on Opening Times, the busiest day record was smashed to reach 53k visits, (previous best was New Year's Day 35k visits). There were some intermittent problems with the search not working, I think this is due to a time-out issue with Yahoo geocoding.

I noticed on Google trends that overall searches for "opening times" over the Easter period in the UK were greatly up on last year, where as Christmas and New Year was quite static. I wonder whether over the long term this website will significantly increase the number of searches for opening time information, I would suspect so, but impossible to have control case to test against.

I'm still working on the editable form, it is getting there and most of the remaining work is around user accounts. I am also looking at using some form of "cloud" hosting as allowing writes to the database will increase server load, also as the load has infrequent high demand periods (like Easter :) it might in the future make sense to dynamically increase the server capacity for 72 hours or so.

I am considering making this project open source under the Affero General Public License. I imagine this might make it harder to market commercially, but business isn't really my thing and I would rather see it become successful than waste my time trying to make money. Does anyone have any experience or advice on this idea?


  1. Hi there

    I didnt know where else to post this, but I realised earlier that you dont have ALDI listed on your site, at least not for brighton...
    I looked on their website, and they have the opening times for their stores online, so maybe its worth having a look and stickin them on your site...?


  2. I notice that you clearly pay no attention whatsoever to emails or feedback, so perhaps this comment will help warn others about your site.

    As stated in feedback and emails, the Asda nearest to me is advertised on your site as being open 24 hours. However, after walking 4 miles to get there (I have no car and there is no bus route) I found that it was closed.

    The Asda in question has never ever been open 24 hours. This was a complete waste of time and effort on my part, all because of your stupid website.

    Despite alerting you to the error, I received no apology, and weeks later your site is still advertising the wrong opening times.

    Why don't you simply close down the website? You are advertising misleading and inaccurate information, paying no attention to feedback, ignoring emails and persisting in promoting false information.

  3. Hello, firstly apologies for not responding to your email, I almost always do reply, but have been busy recently and it's only me who looks after this website.

    I'm very sorry that incorrect information on Opening Times caused you inconvenience. I checked in my archived data (19 December 2008) and Asda Mount Pleasant was marked as being open 24 hours during the week, so it looks like I picked up an error from the Asda website.

    At the moment is it much more complex for me to update the website than it should be, however I've corrected this information. I am currently working on allowing anyone to update information (like Wikipedia), but this is taking much longer than I expected and so the current data is becoming stale.

    Thank you for letting me know that the information was wrong, again sorry for the inconvenience, I hope you will consider using Opening Times again in the future and perhaps contributing once I get that bit working.


  4. Hi,

    This looks like a very worthwhile project. Congratulations!

    Would be great if the info could be emailed or synched with a mobile device. Or made into an iphone webapp or native application.

    Come on you other folks reading this! Offer some words of encouragement! BTW, it would be good to put next to the links the date that the information was last checked, and a "report it" button to notify inaccuracies but the web 2.0 idea is to let the users edit. Have some control though. Maybe voting buttons and do something with twitter to tell you/us about pending/made changes?

  5. Hi Julian, We're building (US) and many other countries. Our UK site is at, which we've realized is perhaps not the usual phrasing from a UK person's point of view :). Anyhow, we have a great system for keeping times up-to-date (it's our specialty and secret sauce to compete with other hundreds of openinng hours sites in various contries) and perhaps we could do some business or coding together with you?


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