OMG! What a Nightmare!!!
If you've visited the site since Valentine's Day, you saw the dreaded "site is offline" message.
I'm thrilled to say it's back up now having been totally rebuilt from the ground up. It has been a major investment in time and resources by more than just me.
While it took about 9 or 10 weeks longer than was originally predicted, Lindee G Embroidery is now back online! YAY!!!
This site is now built on totally different platform that promises to support growth and expansion better than the old one. /
The downside is that development is much more difficult, unintuitive, and, well, squirrelly. Before you write to me about problems, here's a list of current issues that are still under development.
New Platform, New Design
It wasn't possible to reproduce the look and feel of the previous site in this content management system and shopping cart. So yes, things look different, links are different, and the organization is a bit different but not so much from the old one that you'll be completely lost.
What is the same is the content. Some of it is still not up since I have to manually rebuild it from the other site and unfortunately it's not a simple copy and paste job. I wish!
Why Wasn't the Old Shop Restored from a Backup?
Yes, there were backups. However, the hosting techs were unable to tell me why the site crashed in the first place and why restoring from a back up didn't work.
The general consensus was I had too much content for what I was using and it was time to step up to something that could handle expansion.
That was already in the plans for this year but we didn't realize we were so near the edge.
Known Issues as of Post Date
- All links you may have stored as bookmarks are likely to break.
FAQs, Resources,Projects Gallery, and a few recent blog posts are still not up.
- Figure that every link included in blog posts is broken.
- Formatting has not been done on blog posts dated before April 2017 and you may see some peculiar things.
- Design details that were previously provided on a tab for each product are gone because there was no equivalent in this shop. However, that information is included when you download the product.
- Freebies don't work the same way.
- Product images all need to be replaced because of the way this shop displays/sizes images versus the old shop. (Why some images are microscopic in this shop vs actual size in old one.)
What Does Work
- Your previous password and login are the same.
- You can order and download new products. Just check your history to make sure you haven't ordered previously.
- Coupon codes all work.
- You can read and navigate the blog area and shopping cart and shop. (Just don't use links in the blog posts.)
Of course the entire "look" of the site has changed and that has to do with the "theme" or "template" used to display the content.
Previously, on WordPress with the theme I chose, I had way more control over font color, font size, and other doodads like sidebars and menus.
Not so much with this platform. Doesn't make me very happy but it is what it is.
The next biggest difference is in how free downloads are handled. You'll still need to create an account and log in but if your order consists of only free items, you'll be treated to an instant download button without the need to go through the checkout process.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that free designs will no longer be stored in your account and you won't be able to retrieve them should they no longer be free and you've lost yours.
Make sure you back them up safely. I do not email freebies!
As a reminder (repeated from other areas of this site), you should download your purchases as soon as possible and make safe backups. You never know when a digital disaster will occur, whether on your local computer or online.
Although most shopping carts store order history, they may differ in how many times you can download a particular item and for how long.
Some shops let you download once and it must be done withi 3 to 14 days. Others may offer infinite downloads forever, which was the case witht the previous shop.
This has a good and bad side. You may be tempted to just use your shop account as backup storage or storage until you get around to downloading.
Of course, if you don't download in a reasonable amount of time after ordering, you may forget you ordered something and never download it. Or, the shop could simply vanish and you'll lose your downloads.
No matter how a shop is configured, it is your responsibility to download your products in a timely manner and store them safely.
You, too, need to anticipate a computer crash and how you will restore all your designs. Would you remember all the places where you've downloaded designs? Are they all still available?
Shops can vanish. It might be due to a crash, death of the owner, or because it simply wasn't making enough money to be profitable.
Web sites are not free and providing free blog posts, free YouTube videos, and free designs has to be supported some way. Products may be retired due to lack of action and to make space for newer ones.
All your order history is intact and past files should be available even after all the convoluted gyrations the shop migration caused.
Order history is not as neat a clean as the previous shop, do do take your time and poke around before you holler for help. Of course, if you do need help, I'm here it--it just might not be instant!
Freebies Aren't Free Anymore?
That's a real bummer and something I think the developer/expert should have been aware of but it fell on my shoulders to work it out.
I have figured out the downloads (a massively HUGE issue that took ridiculously long to solve) but the freebies are still somewhat in limbo.
Freebie downloads account for the most downloads on this site but they don't pay the bill so they weren't at the top of the list to figure out.
This shop just doesn't like 0 priced items and it won't let you apply a discount of 100%--just 99.999% which sometimes generates errors. While I can place a "free download" button on the product item, it doesn't show as a free thing in the "catalog view."
Coupons work just fine for "pay" for a product. I'd prefer not to have to use them for all freebies because they're cumbersome for both you and me.
So let me just say, the freebies will be back once I find the optimum way to work it out.
A Work in Progress
Actually, all non-static sites are continually evolving. New content is added. Old content is revised. Obsolete content is removed. Structure is updated for various reasons.
For the past 3 weeks I've put in 16-hour days trying to restore content to this point. A developer did the structure and while the shopping cart products were moved in, the formatting was wrong and they had no downloads.
While it's not where I want it to be, it's useable. Hooking up an average of 7 downloadable products for each of the 3000+ designs and other downloadable media has been a huge effort as has been rebuilding the blog posts.
Refinements will continue to happen but I do need to catch up on a few other things so progress will slow down a bit.
If you have problems, you can always email me through the Contact page.