Ok, so you've noticed the new website and you may be asking yourself why the heck MaxMini team decided to switch to a new "engine"? Fear not, it is not some sort of whim, resulting in us spending cash on some tech instead of new models :D . This change comes from our constant need to make something better - and I'd like to shed some light what led us to this decision.
First of all - our main page has not been updated for months, only the webstore got constant updates. That has been caused by something I did in the very beggining - I've used several separate systems to get our webpage running. This means that I had to use separate login when I wished to add an article, another one when I added new product, and yet another one when I've written a post on the forums. It worked early on - but as I've been getting more and more involved in the projects it became a real pain. New system makes it so much smoother - when I log in into the admin panel I can choose to write, add a product etc in a single environment.
It gets even cooler as I work in the team. Each member can get a "role" and thus have an access to different parts of the system. So for example if someone wishes to write some tips on modelling and painting I can give him/her an "author" priviliges so those can be posted without involving a couple of extra people just to make some simple confirmation clicks.
I felt past system was a tad restrictive - the guys at the workshop do so many cool things but so far they haven't been able to spread the love ;) across our site.
What's more, by assigning roles the orders can be processed and statuses updated faster. No longer I'll have to print order lists to the guys at the workshop as they'll be able to access them by themselves.
The checkout is significantly streamlined. If you're in the rush , don't want to create an account ( and don't want to make a custom order) you can use PayPal Express (available from AUG, 12, 2013). How does it work? Upon checkout click "Pay with PayPal Express" button and you'll be taken to PayPal site. After logging-in and confirming the order you'll be taken back to our store to confirm shipping rates. At the same moment your address is being sent to us from PayPal - saving you time of entering this data. So as long as you have the address set in PayPal correctly it should work very fast .
Otherwise you can use the method you propably get accustomed to - create account and go through all the checkout steps. That should also give you the option to specify which bits inside the set you' like to get if possible (by typying your request in the comments field), comments the articles, write reviews and so on.
When it comes to comments I'd like to hear your opinion - would you like us to connect those to Disqus? That's something I'm considering - on the surface it looks pretty neat. You'd ne able to work out comments and participate in discussions using your Facebook / Google etc account. You propably seen this system on many sites (BoLS for example). You can drop your thoughts about it on our FB profile.
Viewing is also improved. One thing really makes me happy - the site has a responsive skin , so it wil adapt to your screen resolution. No matter you access it through your PC, phone, tablet it should look just fine.
On top of that you can use extra features like product tags to find items that may work for you.
So all in all what does the change mean to you? Simply put you can expect that your orders will be processed faster , you should finaly get some articles and tutorials, will be able to work out orders faster and hassle-free :) .
In the end I think through the years we simply outgrown past system. In fact the only part of the old page I'll miss is the stuff you've posted - all the articles, feedback, reviews. For quite a while I've been wondering howto retain those and it really kept me from making the change. In the end I made the decision - the thinsg we can do and the quality of service we can provide is more important. At least the articles will be kept - I still have the old database and will simply copy/paste them into the blog section.
So the entire change will be only for the better :) .
The 2nd thing that was a pain for me was your old accounts data. I've looked for a ways to transfer those , but that would create a messy database amd I really don't want that - it is not healthy for the site. But luckily , with PayPal Express it will be less painful.
There are still some things that need polishing around the edges (like resizing the images in blog section), but the new site already works beautifully. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the change and what features you'd like to see. Stay tuned :) .