Stop me if you have heard this all before....
As many of you may have noticed, we threatened to launch a new site at the beginning of December 2014 - but as we transferred the test site into a live environment a couple of issues cropped up - particularly with how the site processed orders outside the UK. We could have launched the site at that stage, but we didn't think the compromises we would have launched with were acceptable. So we took the decision to delay the site launch until this month. Well, tomorrow actually.
Why did this take so long? Unhappy with the options available to us we decided to completely restructure our shopping cart and how it interacted with our distribution hubs in the UK and US, which we believe will provide a more balanced (and enjoyable) shopping experience for customers around the world.
But what does this mean for you?
The new website will go live tomorrow. However as the site goes live you may experience short periods of downtime. During that time you can stay up to do with our progress by popping across and having a look at our Twitter feed, or checking out the latest news on our Facebook page.
2) User Details
Your user details and account information have been retained - which will mean that you will continue to have access to the user name that you use on the current site. However, as your password details are encrypted, you will have to reset your password the first time you log in to the new site. If you have any problems doing this, please let us know.
3) Payment details
For security reasons we are not able to take payment / card details from the current site to our new site. So, you will need to re-enter your card details prior to placing an order. You will also see a new payment gateway during the order process which is used to securely tokenize (is that a real word?) your card details. You may notice a charge of £0.01 in this gateway - this is not taken from your accounts, it is used by the payment gateway to confirm the card details are correct and that funds are available.
4) Order History, previously purchased ebooks
This data will also be ported across to the new website meaning that you will retain access to the ebook library you created on our old website. This is one of the reasons that our ebooks have been removed from the current site for the last few weeks - the amount of data that we needed to repopulate the site with to be able to provide this service was simply huge! A handful of orders placed in December may not have come through just yet - they should appear within a week, but if not please let us know!
Some of the older order data on the site will also look a bit odd in some cases. Some of the very first orders were not tagged with dates so have all been set as 1st Jan 08 purchases, and some of the earliest orders of digital products (ebooks and memberships) were not tagged as digital products so have had a shipping charge added to them. This charge has not been incurred by you - it is just the new site adapting to the reported old data.
If you have an active membership, this will remain active on the new website. However, when your next payment is due we won't be able to automatically renew - so you will need to repurchase your membership. Users will also be able to sign up for a 24-hour trial membership to have a look at what our members archive looks like - though you won't be able to take advantage of the membership discounts whilst using a trial membership.
6) Commenting on blogs and forums
As we have mentioned in the past, the issues with trolling on our forum and blog has forced us to take steps to tighten up the comments process. To this end we have introduced a new Bronze Membership payment level. A payment of £1/$1 will allow the user to post on our blog or forum. Whilst we are disappointed to have to do this, Osprey will make no profit from this payment - with all the proceeds from Bronze Membership being donated to selected military charities throughout the year. Gold and Silver members will be able to post comments without purchasing an additional membership.
7) New Sections
You will soon spot that we have dedicated pages, blogs and forums for Osprey Games and Osprey Adventures - places where you can get the latest news about our new wargaming sets and the great publishing plans for Osprey Adventures. In particular, this provides a new home for FAQ sheets and debates about our wargames titles.
8) Future developments
This is just the first stage in a planned two-year development cycle on the Osprey site. We have worked flat out to ensure the site is ready to launch, but we are prepared for any potential issues and bugs that may appear post-launch. Once those have been ironed out we will be continuing the development of a range of new features and options for the site - we will of course keep you up-to-date about all the ongoing developments on the blog.
In the meantime - I would like to bid a fond farewell to this site, and thank the customer service teams and web developers that have looked after her for the last seven years. Onwards and upwards - see you all on the other side!
Mike @ Osprey