If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know I’m a big fan of the English Premier League. Yesterday as my team, Liverpool, failed to win its latest game against local rivals Everton. I scrambled to find out the details of the remaining season for Liverpool and their closet rival, Manchester city.
I failed to find anything except a couple of news stories that have a combined schedule, information what would quickly become out of date.
With a couple of months still remaining of the Premier league season I wondered if there was a way to scratch my own itch and build something to help me stay tapped into the Premier League title race drama that is sure to follow.
I even tweeted recently about wanting to build something, so why not give it a go.
I had a small list of criteria if I was to build something…
I’m very busy with the day job and other projects that moment so I had to be able to build something in the remaining time last night.
Going back to the being busy situation, what solution I was to build should require no maintenance, it should update itself with the latest standings information and upcoming schedules.
Low Cost / Free
Since this was a side project to scratch my own itch, I don’t see any revenue potential. The solution should incur no significant costs.
I decided to build a website that was optimized for mobile screens, so I could check in on the title race where ever I am.
At a glance you can see the current standings, and the upcoming fixtures for both of the teams in contention for the title.
I’ve been searching for football related APIs for MLS but I’ve come across many APIs that cover the Premier league. I decided to use the data from Football-data.
football-data.org - ur src for machine readable football data
A restful API for football data
This meant I was able to gather all the information I needed, updated frequently, with no manual involvement. The website could be updated automatically.
When building for speed, it’s best to stick with what you know, so I stuck with my preferred stack: Laravel for the backend; Bootstrap for the frontend. I decided to forgo any database, and just have the website work directly with the data from the Football-data API. Another way to reduce the complexity and have less things to build.
I’ve built many websites with this stack so I felt comfortable being able to build something quickly. In the end I only need a couple of hours (yes that meant 2 hours less sleep last night) to decide what I need to build and then build it.
Low Cost / Free
Since built the website in Laravel there are plenty of hosting options. Since I already have a few servers and the resources required here are minimal I decided add Title Race to one of those server. I could have uploaded the site to Heroku which has a free tier to avoid any costs.
Football-data also has a free tier which includes the Premier League data, so no cost there. If I had wanted a more complete picture of games remaining (in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions leagues), there is an upgrade available. If you want to sponsor the site and enable me to upgrade let me know 😀
My only actual expense was the purchase of new domain. I could have avoided this by hosting the site on a subdomain of an existing domain I owned, or when using a service like Heroku they also offer subdomain on it’s own herokuapp.com domain.
I decided I wanted something quick and easy to type in, so I purchased titlerace.me for $3.88 from Namecheap. The renewal price if I decide I need this site again next year is a little higher, but we’ll see how next season progresses before I have to worry about that.
If you’re a fan of the Premier League I hope you checkout the site, and let me know what you think.
Title Race: Easily follow the run-in for the 2019 Premier League season
Easily follow the run-in for the 2019 Premier League season
Easily follow the run-in for the 2019 Premier League seasontitlerace.me
Good luck to Liverpool!