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The New Store, Same as the Old Store. Mostly

Before Christmas I talked about my plans for moving to a new store platform. I had been having numerous problems, and I put them down to issues with WordPress and WooCommerce. The plan was to move to Shopify. This was in my mind the only solution, but it wasn’t something to which I was looking forward. Luckily I found a better alternative, and so here’s an update as to what’s happening.

To move to Shopify meant having to re-create my whole store from scratch, and I would probably put it on a new domain. This was going to be a royal pain, both for users and for me. It would mean that all of my set work and traffic building would be lost, but it would also mean that customers from the old store would no longer have the convenience of logging back into their accounts to get their downloads. Despite the obvious downsides, I felt that I had no choice, and so I had started building the new store. Then, by complete chance, I came across an interesting bit of information.

I was doing some tests on my old store server, and I discovered that the domain wasn’t resolving correctly. It was still working, but there were some issues behind the scenes. Also, the server was using old versions of PHP and MySQL. I contacted them to ask for their assistance (i.e. fix their issue), but they refused and wanted me to upgrade to a new second hosting account. I’ve always had problems with this company, and so, I decided that I would try a better hosting provider. After doing some research, I’ve settled on Pressable. WooCommerce recommends it as a partner for the e-commerce platform, and the price is reasonable, and so that’s what I’ve done.

The transition took a little time, and of course, it wasn’t without hitches. The biggest one being my own stupidity.

Here’s what happened.

I did lots of testing after the move, but it’s hard to test it properly all by yourself, and so you don’t really know until customers start ordering, I had a few sales after the move, and so I figured it was working ok. Then I started getting emails from people as they couldn’t download their purchases. It suddenly dawned on me that I’d forgotten something rather crucial.

The hosting company that I’m now using did the moving of the site for me, which, as it’s based on WordPress took a little while, but it was relatively seamless. However, I forgot one crucial, and in hindsight, kind of obvious thing. The links to the store downloads were hosted in a separate folder outside of the store’s main contents (for security reasons), and I hadn’t realised that it wasn’t moved with the rest of the store. This may own fault for not realising such an obvious thing. Luckily, I was able to fix it without having to re-enter all the links to the individual downloads manually.

If you had any issues, I’m sorry. They should be resolved now (and let me know if they aren’t)

The new site has server level security and caching, and it seems to be much faster. I’m also hoping the modern infrastructure resolves the pay Pal issue. I really didn’t want to have to move to Shopify, and I think this is best for all my customers. I’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve visited the store before and found it slow or problematic, I’d like to hear your experiences with the new version.

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Preset Compatibility with Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6

Lightroom-Splash

As you are probably aware by now, Adobe has released the next major new version of Lightroom. Called Lightroom CC (Or Lightroom 6 for the standalone non subscription version) it features many new features and changes. I’m pleased to report though, that there are no compatibility issues with any of my presets, and all should work perfectly out of the (virtual) box.

I’ve covered the launch of the new version of Lightroom on my Photography Blog, and on the Lightroom Diary, and I’ve also posted my first impressions of the software. If you have any questions regarding Lightroom CC and any of my presets, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

For ongoing coverage of Lightroom don’t forget to check out my Photography blog, and my Lightroom blog, the Lightroom Diary