In my first editorial, lo these many months ago, I talk about hubris; about the belief that I could transition into my mother’s position at IT’S CLASSIFIED with something resembling ease.
I also implied (and believed!) that I had learned my lesson.
And maybe I had. Certainly, I learned many things from our first website breaking suddenly and irreparably within my first three weeks in the IC offices, and more when our quick fix replacement website turned out to be a minefield of confusion, decreased functionality, and frustration for both the IC team and our customers.
I learned—or perhaps more accurately, had my belief confirmed—that people in this community, in our Upper Valley, are essentially good. Even when our customers were frustrated, they were armed and ready with kindness and understanding when we explained our situation and did whatever we could to help them.
I learned that my team is resilient; willing and able to pick apart any problem, to test every new feature, to do fifteen extra steps for each and every ad if that was what it took (and it often did). This business would not have survived this year without the hard work and dedication of Jenn Grossi (who is currently taking a very well-earned vacation), and I am so grateful and so proud to call her my friend.
What I didn’t learn, apparently—can you see the hubris coming?—is that you should never expect a website to do exactly what it is supposed to do on the first try.
I know, I know, you’d think that would have been lesson number one.
Last week, when we announced in the paper that our new website had gone live, we truly believed that that would be the case. Everything was working smoothly and beautifully on our test site and all that was left was to migrate the new site to our domain overnight so that it would be live on Friday morning.
We were so excited to share this new, fully functional site that our amazing IT crew had worked so hard to create—taking on all of our customers’ suggestions and ideas and integrating them into a better, faster site than we’d ever had before.
So, we told you all about it. We used our whole back page!
And there it is: the pride that comes before the fall.
Something went wrong. To be honest, I still couldn’t explain it to you if I tried. The IT folks worked all day on Friday trying to fix it but found the problem wasn’t on their end, so they had to pass it on to our hosting service to investigate. The hosting service made it a priority over the weekend, but in the meantime the transitional site went back up. Worse, for some people the switches back and forth caused their browsers to get paranoid and warn of a security breach (even though their wasn’t one).
It was, to be frank, a mess. It was no one’s fault and I am so thankful to have a tech team that worked so hard and so diligently to help us.
Where I am at fault, what I am so sorry about, is that it caused yet more confusion and frustration for all of you.
Three websites later, it’s easy to say that 2018 has not been our year. We know how incredibly aggravating it has been for all of our customers. While we have endeavored to do everything that we can to make up for the various sites’ failings, we know we have not been able to deliver the experience that you all deserve. We are a small, family business and we love our community, we are proud of what we have built over thirty years, and we are so saddened to feel that, despite our best efforts, we have let you down.
The good news is, the new site really is up now and seems to be running smoothly. There will undoubtedly be a few little issues that crop up, but overall we believe this transition is going to go swimmingly and that you are all going to find that the site is better by miles than any site we’ve ever had before.
As a small token of our appreciations of your patience through this process, and to make up for the website being up and down as changes were made this week, we have renewed all of last week’s ads for an additional week free of charge.
Outlined below are some frequently asked questions regarding this entire situation. As always, feel free to reach out if you wish to clarify something, ask something new, express a concern, or are in need of help. We are here to do whatever we can. The best way to reach us remains shooting an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, though we can also be reached by phone, through the website, or on our social media accounts.
Thank you for sticking with us; for you kindness, your understanding, your friendship, and your faith. Hopefully we can now begin to prove to you that none of that was in vain and that we still intend to serve this vibrant, unique community with the spirit of fun and the steadfast reliability that you have come to expect from us over the last three decades.
Again, thank you. There are no better friends and neighbors to be found anywhere on earth.
WEBSITE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to create a new account?
Maybe. If you created a new account on the transitional website, your account will have transitioned to the new site. If you created an account on the original site (before March), you will need to make a new account.
Why can’t I log into my account?
While accounts were transferred from the transitional site to the new one, some users will have to reset their passwords. If you have any difficulty with this process, please reach out and we can easily do it for you.
Why don’t I see my old ads in my account?
Only current ads were transferred from the transitional site to the new one. However, the IC team has a database of those ads and can locate them for you should you wish to renew an ad posted between March and November. Unfortunately, ads from the original website are inaccessible.
So, what makes this site so great, huh?
Gosh, so much! We love it! Just a few of the great new features:
• A brand new, updated look that’s easy to navigate
• Incorporation of all the quirky artwork you know and love from our print publication
• Mobile compatibility
• A dynamic shopping cart and checkout experience that allows you to purchase multiple ads at once (as well as edit, preview, and save them for later)
• Easily renew, edit, check the status of, or cancel your ads through your “My Account” page
• Five to seven times faster than previous sites
• And more!