Old News

Before starting this blog, I had a page listing all the cool SearchTempest developments in good old HTML. Here it is for posterity:

Early 2011

Improved search history, results layout improvements

  • SearchTempest now lets you easily pull up recent or favorite searches to search again.
  • You can now easily flip between the two most popular results formats without even reloading the page. See the tabs near the top of the results page, right under the search bar.
  • Updated the documentation. May not seem like much, but it tends to get overlooked with other, more fun work to do!

September 2010

More improvements on the new design

  • A small section on the results page has been added to show any additional search options, like price or ‘has picture’. Keeps you from forgetting about them and allows them to be easily changed or removed.
  • The stacked results mode now works on Android.
  • Even fixed some stuff in IE6 (but do yourself a favor and don’t use it…) 🙂

Aug. 4, 2010

Several initial tweaks and improvements to the new design

  • Cities with no results are now automatically closed! (Relies on craigslist allowing Yahoo Pipes access to their feeds; hopefully that will continue to be the case!)
  • Greatly improved keyboard-browsing of the main search form and the site in general.
  • Added a notification to let users know about the new craigslist image preview option, and how best to use it.
  • Increased the default city size (which is nice for the craigslist image previews), and added a feature that auto-shrinks cities if the browser window is small. (All controllable via the Display Options results tab.)

June 20, 2010

  • All new site design!

    An all-new version of SearchTempest rolled out today.

    The new design is greatly streamlined, reducing clutter and complexity. It will hopefully make things much easier for new users. It will retains all the power of the current site, while allowing us to add even more features in the future.

December 30, 2009

  • Another new results format!

    This is for those of you willing to look far and wide for long distances. I know it’s a struggle slogging through all 400 odd craigslist cities, so I’ve enlisted the help of google to build a new results format. It shows all results in the US and/or Canada in a single list, sorted by date or relevance.

December 15, 2009

  • Brand New Server

    You may have notice SearchTempest lagging out a bit around dinnertime lately. Well, I’ve just upgraded to a brand new server with dual quad-core cpus, and other such fanciness, so lag should be a thing of the past!

September 28, 2009

  • Performance Enhancements

    Through a combination of code optimizations, compression, caching, etc, I’ve managed to cut the amount of traffic between SearchTempest and your browser by more than half. I’ve also added smart pre-fetching, so the results page (particularly searches with multiple pages of results) should be much snappier. The end result: SearchTempest.com should now be 2-3 times faster! I imagine this will be especially beneficial for mobile and dial-up browsers, but regardless of your connection speed, faster is always better, right? :-)

September 1, 2009

  • New Cities

    Added about 140 new craigslist cities today. Also removed a few duplicates where craiglist lists the same city under two states.

    If you are selecting states manually though, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to find the cities in either location.

July 29, 2009

  • Recent Searches

    After you’ve run a few searches, you’ll notice that the keywords entry is now a combobox. You can use it to type in keywords as usual, or you can select one of your recent searches from a dropdown! It loads all the options from the selected search too, like category and price.

    Of course, if you don’t like this option or don’t want your searches saved, you can turn it off under the ‘Other’ tab of the Options menu.

  • Aaand more performance improvements

    Made more changes to improve the load times of the site, and there are even more to come…

July 9, 2009

  • Speedy speedy

    Made some changes to the results page to speed up load times. With my test setup, the page now loads about 33% faster!

  • Amazon test

    I added an Amazon section similar to the eBay section. I hope people find it useful, especially since it took a bit of doing to cobble something decent together with their tools! (I think it turned out fairly well. 🙂 ) Either way though, I learned a fair bit from doing it, which helped with the speed improvements mentioned above.

    Naturally, if you don’t want the Amazon results, it’s easy to get rid of them. Just uncheck the ‘Include Amazon.com results’ checkbox on the main page. (If you already said no to eBay results, I’ve unchecked it for you by default.)

May 17, 2009

  • Car Search

    You’ll notice the ‘car search’ link on the main page is now active! I believe the car search site is now at a point where it surpasses SearchTempest when searching for vehicles – and it’ll only get better from here! So check it out! :-)

  • General Streamlining

    I’ve made a bunch of small improvements focused on making the site easier to use.

    Particularly, all the additional options have been consolidated into a single (much) simpler pop-up box, accessible by clicking the ‘Options’ link at the top-right of either the search or results page.

    I’ve also made a number of improvements behind the scenes to hopefully make things even faster and more stable.

November 12, 2008

  • Search by Zip and Distance!

    It’s now much easier to enter your search into SearchTempest! Instead of manually choosing states and cities to search, all you have to do is type in your zip code, and you’re good to go!

    Also, cities in the results page can now be sorted by distance from you and by size, as well as alphabetically.

    Yay! :-)

  • Save searches/results

    You could always do this by bookmarking the results page. Now it’s even easier, using the “Add to Favorites” button on the results page. When you open the page from your favorites/bookmarks, you get the newest results for that search!

October 30, 2008

  • RSS Feeds!

    I’ve heard from a number of you that you like to use RSS feeds for searches you run often. (That way you only get the newest results, and don’t have to keep coming and checking back.) However, it’s a pain to manually go to each craigslist city to grab the feed. Now SearchTempest does it for you! Just look for the RSS icon (RSS) on the results page!

September 24, 2008

  • Search from Results Page

    I’ve had a few people ask for this, and I agree it definitely has value. You can now change the parameters of your search and re-run it right from the results page!

July Something, 2008

  • Advanced Keywords

    Through my ongoing, industrious research, I’ve discovered even more hidden craigslist keyword functions. These are all now organized under an ‘Advanced Keywords’ mode. Click the little [?] beside it on the main page for more info…

  • eBay Results

    SearchTempest now provides eBay results as well as Craigslist, with no added effort required. Many people tend to search both Craigslist and eBay, so hopefully this’ll save you some time.

    Of course, if it doesn’t, feel free to turn it off; SearchTempest will remember your choice and won’t show it again. Just uncheck the ‘show eBay’ box on the main page, or press the big red ‘X’ above the eBay results! :-)

June 15, 2008

  • Stacked Results

    Multiple cities, all on the same page! Should speed up browsing nicely, especially for those searching for rare items. Learn more here!

June 7, 2008

  • Keyboard Browsing

    Rather than clicking the ‘Next City’ and ‘Previous City’ buttons, you can now use the ‘N’ and ‘P’ keys on your keyboard (or in Firefox, the left and right arrows) to switch between cities. Should speed things up a bit! Thanks to Jim for suggesting this one.

  • Firefox 3.0 fixed

    Since it looks like Firefox isn’t going to bother fixing their broken object element before releasing v3, I went ahead and coded a work-around. SOoo the site should now work just fine in Firefox 3 as well as 2. 🙂

March, 2008

  • Complete Facelift!

    Hopefully it’s obvious, but SearchTempest’s looking a little cooler now! Thanks to web designer Jason, and Steve from the Craigslist Handbook, we now have a whole new look. Hopefully it’ll be even easier to use too!

Mar. 14, 2008

  • Improved keyword functionality

    I had planned to introduce this along with the new site design, but… it was done, and I couldn’t make you wait. :-)

    You can now choose whether to search for ads with ALL your keywords, ANY of the keywords, or a complete phrase.

Mar. 8, 2008

  • CLH Kijiji.. Canada

    I can’t believe how many requests I got for this! OK.. now you can search Kijiji Canada too. 🙂

Jan.? Something, 2008

  • CLH Kijiji

    Now Search Kijiji, in the friendly, SearchTempest fashion! CLH Kijiji

Nov., 2007

  • Works in IE!

    Finally figured out a way around IE stupidness to get the site working in everyone’s favourite built-into-windows browser! Of course, everyone should still use Firefox, but if you can’t, now you CAN use SearchTempest.com!

Oct. 13, 2007

  • Worldwide Areas

    Added a version of the ‘U.S. Regions’ dropdown for the rest of the world.

Summerish, 2007

  • ‘Major Cities Only’ Checkbox

    You can now choose to only show results from the largest cities in your search region. Could be handy when you just want to take a quick look, or to keep craigslist happy if you do a Lot of searching…

  • Polls!

    Added a fancy AJAX poll to the results page. Sometimes change the poll question too… heh.. 🙂

  • Refresh Button

    The results page now features a refresh button to bring you back to the list of results for the currently viewed city. (That way you don’t have to back-back-back out of the ads. Also helpful if the internet breaks and the page for that city doesn’t load.

March 25, 2007

  • Regions!

    Just added the new ‘Regions’ dropdown box for US Regions! Please let me know a) if it’s useful, b) if I messed anything up, and c) if any of the regions need tweaking, if there’re too many, too few, etc.

Dec. 3, 2006

  • Added New Cities

    Added all the new Craigslist cities! Looks like there’s quite a few. Managed to delete all the biggest cities in the process, but got it fixed quickly, thanks to a heads-up from Terry and Ken.

Nov. something, 2006

  • Horizontal Add/Remove Layout

    Changed the default layout for the main search page to something (hopefully) more user-friendly. I kinda prefer the more compact nature of the old, vertical layout though, so if you feel the same, you can switch back using the link at the top-right of the main page.

Oct. 16, 2006

  • Added ‘Has Picture’ and ‘Search Titles’, plus other options

    Craigslist recently added these two vital options, so I’ve incorporated them as well. Also added was the “By Dealer/By Owner” option for the cars & trucks for sale category. If I’ve missed any options that you can find on Craigslist (or if you notice that they’ve added more), please let me know – I promise to get them up here asap.

    Also while I was doing some preliminary work for this yesterday, it turns out I broke the results page rather badly.. so a big thanks to Steve E. for pointing that out!

Oct. 12, 2006

  • Paypal Link

    To be honest, as useful as I think this service is, I was pretty surpised that people would be kind enough to donate for my time. Thanks to Terry for sending me an email to *ask for a way to donate*! I must say, that was some pretty cool recognition. So as requested, there’s now a paypal link like this one at the bottom of the main page. Please don’t feel any pressure to donate. (But I won’t discourage you either 😉 )

Sept. 30, 2006

  • Improved <Back> Button

    Improved/fixed how the back button works in the results page. Now lets you back through the cities you have viewed.
    Thanks to SearchTempest user Bob for getting me thinking on this.

  • Added Tips and Help

    I actually put the ‘tips’ up on the results page a few days ago, but added a few more today. Added a couple of new help pages too.

Earlier Changes:

  • Canada and Worldwide

    Search is now available for every craigslist city everywhere. New cities will be adopted as they are added to craigslist (but if we miss one, feel free to let us know).

  • Saved Search Info

    Your most recent search will now be saved by searchtempest.com. When you return, your search cities and other info will be ready for you. To start fresh, simply click the “clear all” button.

  • Better Results!

    The Results page has been overhauled! I’m actually quite pleased with it – it fits into the craigslist colour scheme nicely, and should make viewing results much more efficient. However, if you liked it better the old way, just click the “View results in whole window” link in the top corner to switch back.