Well, I did it! Last night sometime after supper, I got brave and hit the ‘publish’ button on my new site. After looking at it all week long, it seemed that it was time to really check things out. I still had to finish those few pattern packets, but I needed to try some things out like making sure the processor and ordering process worked and I didn’t want to wait because the general phone customer support isn’t available on weekends (except if you choose to purchase an after hour option, which I do not) and I didn’t want to get stuck.
Although the site is published and ‘live’ it will take a day or so to connect to the domain name of www.sheilalandrydesigns.com. I expected that after what happened a few weeks ago. Right now it is a “404 resource not found” error but it will kick in sometime today I hope. You can get to it by hand-typing www.storesonlinepro.com/store/437434 in the browser and everything works fine.
Upon publishing, I immediately tried to do a small order and although the order went through, I never received word from my processor. That was troubling, as the information comes to me instantly usually and I knew I missed something. I called the processor, and from their side, there was no activity. I then had to go to the host and I did the online chat thing to see if they could see what was up. Apparently I missed hooking a processor to each type of payment deep in one of the layers of the pages and it was a matter of checking a box. I republished (as you need to do with every change you make) and tried another order and – IT WORKED! I was so relieved and excited!
I am sure there will be some tweaking, but it is really pretty much good to go!
Being the child I am, I posted the notice on my private Facebook page so my friends could see the new look. I had all the new products there on the front page and even though I didn’t quite finish the pattern packets yet, I wasn’t expecting any sales and thought nothing of it. As I said, my ‘friends’ list on Facebook has grown quite a bit, as I do consider my fellow woodworkers friends and wouldn’t you know that within about five minutes, one of them placed an order. I was thrilled and excited at my first order on the new site. Then I read the order. . .
It seemed that six out of the seven patterns he ordered were the brand new ones that I hadn’t completed the packets on! Geeze! I am such a DORK, I thought! They were almost done, but needed to be assembled and proofread before I sent them out. Why am I such a child anyway?? I guess in all my excitement, I put the cart before the horse a bit.
So in my moment of glory, I had to humble myself and email him his ONE patter of seven that was ready with an explanation that the other six wouldn’t be ready until today! DUH! I also offered him a couple of additional patterns on the house for the inconvenience (and my stupidity) and he was nice and gracious and didn’t mind at all. He was quite understanding and I was very grateful for his patience.
So I spent the night finishing all the packets up. I didn’t finish until about 10pm and I sent them to my friend Leldon who has done a wonderful job of proofreading them for me. He is a great friend and has the knowledge and expertise needed to see mistakes that others would miss. Since I have been sending the patterns to him for a final look, I have had no problems whatsoever.
With that being said, I am all caught up at this point. I will be watching to see when my domain name kicks in, but I have had a substantial amount of visitors from my friends on FB and hopefully things will be rolling soon. As soon as I am sure the domain name is good, I will send out notification to my customers and invite them to come and see. So far the reviews are good, but I hope that even my friends will let me know if there is something that can be improved on.
I really do love the new software too. After fearing the change as much as I did, I am thrilled that I made it. The new program is so much easier to work and so organized it will make the time spent working on the site minimal and leave more time for us to design and create. The company has been good too, and I am very pleased with their customer support. All in all, it is a very happy ending to a great chapter in my business. And it is only the beginning.
If you get a chance, take a looksie and let me know (honestly) what you think. I am open to suggestions and excited for everyone to see the new presentation.
It is certainly a great day for me! :)
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"