2 min read

Packt prides itself on using the latest technology to deliver products and services to our customers effortlessly. That’s why we’ve updated our search tool across our website to provide a more efficient and intuitive search experience with Algolia. We’ve loved building it and we’re pretty confident you’ll love using it too.

Explore our content using our new search tool now.

What is Algolia and why do we love it?

Algolia is an incredibly powerful search platform. We love it because it’s incredibly reliable and scalable – it’s also a great platform for our development team to work with, which means a lot when we’re working on multiple projects at the same time with tight deadlines.

Why you will love our new search

Our new search tool is fast and responsive, which means you’ll be able to find the content you want quickly and easily. With the range of products on our website we know that can sometimes be a challenge – now you can go straight to the products best suited to your needs.

How we integrated Algolia with the Packt website

Back end algolia integration

We built a Node.js function which was deployed as an AWS Lambda that can read from multiple sources and then push data into DynamoDB. A trigger within DynamoDB then pushes the data into a transformation and finally into Algolia. This means we only update in Algolia when the data has changed.

Search setup

We have 4 indices: the main index with relevance sorting and replicas to sort by title, price and release data. The results have been tuned to show conceptual matching information items first, such as relevant Tech Pages and Live Courses.

Front end Algolia integration

To allow rapid development and deployment, we used CircleCI 2.0 to build and deploy our project into an AWS S3 Bucket that sits behind a CloudFront CDN.

The site is built using HTML, SCSS and pure Javascript together with Webpack for bundling and minification. We are using Algolia’s InstantSearch.js library to show different widgets on the screen and Bootstrap for quickly implementing the design which allowed us to put together the bulk of the site in a single day.


  1. Looks like step forward: it’s definitly faster. But I’m still missing some basic functions (in my opinion). For example scope of the searching (in title, author, details). And the relevance of the result is not always adequate. If I search for “Solr”, items with “solu”tion or “sour”ce are also displayed. Showing results in table format (only with authors, title, publication date, length, price and add to cart button, without images) would be also sometimes usefull (it is time-consuming to scroll through the entire list of new titles). Or showing pagination not only on the bottom of the list but also on the top. I wish you good luck with upgrading this new search solution.


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