Following up from my last post I am very pleased to say we found a fantastic web design company for the redesign of our Surfulater.com web site. We actually finished up with a short list of a two companies, either of which I am confident would have done a good job. We have been working with the winning designer for a few weeks now and have gone through several iterations. About a dozen people have seen the initial design and the comments we’ve received have been overwhelmingly positive. I have no doubt that the new site will work much better for us than the current site.
We will receive the final production ready material in the next few days, and then need to embark on first of all modifying it to work with our newly chosen content management system (CMS), finalizing the design for the new site structure and then writing new content and rewriting existing content for it. It is hard to say how long this will all take, however I would love to see the new site up by mid May.
In order to meet the requirements of the new CMS we’ve had to upgrade several of the major software packages on our Web Server. This is work I do not like doing as something always seems to break when big changes (or sometimes even small ones) are made to Web servers. So this time our Forums, Issue Tracking system and some other stuff broke. I started upgrading the Web server on Friday last and then spent most of the weekend trying to get everything working properly again. The Forums were off-line for a day and by far caused the biggest technical headache. The Issue Tracker is still not working, but I have yet to take a serious look at it.
Now that the Web Server has had its big update and appears to be running quicker and better than ever, I have decided to upgrade the Forum software, which is also overdue. You may therefore see the Forum closed again in the coming days, though hopefully for just a short period. E-Mail support is of course available as always. So that’s the second lot of good news.
And if that’s not enough I’d also like to update the blog software and want to look at a new theme for it, as it is also due for a makeover.
All of this is about helping us to deliver a better user experience for visitors to our site, especially for our Surfulater Customers.
Some people think a software product is just the application you run. To us is it much more. It is a complete package that encompasses the software, documentation, support (both pre and post sales), the web site and the blog. We continue to strive to deliver the best package we can so that our users have a great experience using Surfulater.