Upcoming Store & Product Plans
Following on from yesterdays post about my new site design, I wanted to update you on some more important updates and changes for the new year. The first concerns my Capture One guide. The second concerns my online store, and if you’ve purchased anything from me in the past, this is an important update, so please read it when you get the chance.
Capture One Guide Update
Phase One recently released a new version of Capture One, Capture One Pro 10. This new version introduces a lot of changes and has some important changes for X-Trans users. If you have bought my Capture One guide for X-Trans users I wanted you to know the plans for updating the guide for this new version.
The update has presented me with a bit of a conundrum. I want to add some of the new features and other information in order to best address how to use the software of X-Trans users. It also means that I have to have different information depending on which version of the software you are using, which gets very messy. It is a significant update, and in order to address the changes fully I need to do a complete re-write of a lot of the guide. The other problem is, it’s not practical for me to write a whole new version and give the update any for free, considering the low cost of the original book. But I also don’t want to leave anyone feeling cheated. So this is what I plan to do:
I will release a free updated version of the current guide, with updates to the existing information that is already in the guide, where applicable, and combining the information from the X-Pro2 supplement into an updated single guide.
Then, next year, I will release a brand new ebook, which will be just for version 10 and will have a lot more information about using Capture One 10 in general. This won’t be a free upgrade, but I will try and offer a discount to owners of the existing guide.
I think this is fair. I know this might upset some people, and some probably expect that you should get updated information for free indefinitely, but most books don’t offer free updates, and if I updated all of my guides indefinitely for free, I might as well just not bother as it would put me out of business. Having said that, I want to be able to at least update the existing information, so I think this is a good compromise.
I will try and have the update out before the new year, but it may be the first week in January. The new guide for version 10 will be out sometime early next year. I also have some on-going store issues to deal with, which brings me to the next point…
Store Changes for the New Year
I’ve been running my online store for some time now, and I’ve done my best to keep it running as smoothly as possible in order to make the process as painless as I can for my customers. Unfortunately that has’t really gone to plan, especially lately. I have had some major issues supporting PayPal. This is due to the underlying software which runs the store not playing nice with PayPal. Lately this is getting worse and worse, and in order to finally resolve it, I have to move the whole store to a new platform.
This is not something I really want to do (To paraphrase Dr. McCoy: “I’m a photographer dammit, not an engineer”), but I don’t really have a choice. At the moment the store runs on WooCommerce. This is based off Wordpress, and has the advantage of being very flexible, allowing you to add components, and work with lots of different themes, plug-ins and so on. The downside of this is that none of these components play well together, and getting support is very difficult. What started as a nice and flexible platform has become a f%@ng nightmare to deal with. I don’t want to make it hard for customers to use my services, but that’s what it’s leading to. The only solution is to move to a better platform, which is what I’m in the process of doing.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, the transition will have some downsides for customers, but I hope to minimise this as much as possible. I can’t really move accounts over, so in order to maintain access to existing downloads, I will keep the current site open for 6 months to a year. You will no longer be able to buy from it, but you will still be able to log in and re-download existing purchases. During that period I will send multiple reminders to download and back-up your files. After that, I will close the old store completely. This is for security reasons. I don’t want peoples information on an essentially inactive site, and I don’t think you will either.
After that period you will still be able to get your previous downloads but it just won’t be automatic. I will have a form where you can request a new download. I will also look into the option of allowing customers to create a new account on the new store (but I'm not sure if that will work, but I'm looking into it)
The new store will be based on Shopify. This seems to be a much more stable platform. Based on my current testing, it’s much faster and simpler, and the checkout process doesn’t seem to have any of the issues that I currently have. The new store will also address some of the criticism that I have received and the things that some customers have asked for as well as some other new features. In no particular order here are some of the things that I will be able to do on the new store:
Accounts will be optional. Some people are upset at having to create accounts, but due to the way the current store works, this was the only way to ensure customers would get their downloads without any issue. In the new store, the download process is better and so accounts will be optional. Updates are also delivered by email, so any product update will be automatically emailed to someone who has bought the product being updated.
PayPal Express works. Another popular request is for pay Pal express. This means that all your information is provided by pay pal and you only have to sign on with your PayPal id. The current store does have this feature, but it’s confusing and part of my ongoing problems.
Save to DropBox. The new store will allow you to save your purchases to your drop box account if you have one. This will make it easier to download from multiple devices and so on.
Larger Files & Video. The new store works better with larger files, and also allows me to offer video for sale, meaning I can do video courses.
Much Faster. The new store infrastructure is much faster to navigate. The whole back end is faster and the site is faster. One of the issues that I have with the current site is it’s quite slow. This won’t be a problem on the new version.
I understand that this is a pain for existing customers, and I know it’s messy but the alternative is for me to shut down the store altogether and stop offering guides, presets and other content for sale. I can’t continue with WooCommerce, as the system is too problematic, and Woo support is a joke. I will work to make the transition as painless as possible for existing customers, and I am looking at ways to allow you to move your account over (but there are privacy issues to deal with, as well as technical, so it may not be possible - but I’m looking into it) and if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let me know, either in the comments below, or you can email me if you wish to discuss privately. I do apologise for the inconvenience but I think it will be a much smoother experience going forward.
Because of all this hassle, and because it’s coming up to Christmas, I’m offering 50% off everything in the store. Simply use the following code at the checkout to get the discount:
This will be valid until the end of the year.