Tiny Pioneer

A New Home for Tinypioneer.co.uk!

Tiny Pioneer

Welcome to the new Tiny Pioneer website! We’ll be uploading all the old blog posts soon, but first we wanted to write a post all about what has been happening over the last couple of weeks.  We never had a proper introductory post on the old site, so it will be nice to have a logical starting point for the blog on this site. 

If you’re a returning reader, you won’t be able to fail to notice that everything on tinypioneer.co.uk is now looking and running differently.  To cut a very long story short, the old Tiny Pioneer site broke during some technical updates that had to be carried out in order to keep it secure.  We really hoped it would be fixable, but after days of waiting and trying to get it back, we were advised to cut our losses and start again.  Funnily enough, we had been investigating the possibility of a fresh site just a few weeks earlier, but we’d always imagined that we’d have time to prepare for a move and ensure a seamless transition from one platform to another. 

To us – and to Tiny in particular – tinypioneer.co.uk is not just a website, but a labour of love that has great sentimental value.  It was absolutely devastating to see the ‘fatal error’ messages on the night it broke and to know that the old site would never be coming back.  Not only stressful from a business perspective, lest we lose customers or suffer a blow to our reputation, it was also emotionally stressful thinking that we’d never see the website in quite the same way again.  We still had all the content saved, of course, but every aspect of the old site was built by Tiny herself and it was really sad to see it wiped out.

We were lucky enough to speak on the phone with a web designer who had personal experience of our old platform and had also just struggled with the updates.  He advised us that a move was absolutely in the long term best interests of Tiny Pioneer and told us to see the breakage as a blessing in disguise.  Tiny cried a lot, but felt much better knowing that someone with experience of our old system agreed that moving to a new system was the right thing to do.  Once off the phone, Tiny chose a new platform and rebuilt the site, trying to remember what links had gone where on the old version!  Luckily she types everything into Word documents before publishing it on the site, so she had backups of all text and photos! 

We’re still getting used to the new system, but we think we were well advised and that it really will be much better in the long run.  There are some features that we’ve lost, but also some that we’ve gained and we hope you will get to like the changes.  From your perspective, the changes you’ll notice are:

  • You can no longer create a customer account.  Some of you were registered on the old site so that you could log in each time you made a purchase and checkout more quickly.  Unfortunately that feature is not currently available on this platform and we’re sorry about that.  On the other hand, most of you needed to reset your password every time you visited anyway, so perhaps you won’t notice the loss too much!
  • You can now checkout from your mobile device or tablet!  Hurrah!  This is the one aspect of functionality we got asked about most often and we’re pleased to say that the new checkout should be fully compatible with all mobile devices AND the new site should look better from them than the old site did!
  • We now accept Apple Pay, as well as PayPal and credit cards. 
  • We can’t give you automatic discounts anymore, so the free shipping option on orders over £80 has had to move to a code based system for the time being.  Entering the code FREESHIP at checkout will remove the shipping charges, but we know this is not as convenient as an automated system and we hadn’t realised that that wouldn’t be an option, sorry.   
  • Everything will hopefully look better, once we get used to editing things on the new system!  That should make the site easier to navigate and give it a cleaner, more professional feel.    
  • We can only print invoices, not dispatch notes, so we’re having to write ‘paid’ on your paperwork until we’ve got one of those stamps!
  • We can now let you know on your dispatch email who the carrier is and provide tracking information where applicable. 

The changes you won’t notice, but will benefit from, are that updates and security issues are now exclusively all the problem of our webhost and are not things we have to keep on top of ourselves.  This means the Tiny Pioneer site should always function smoothly and even more securely than before, and should NEVER be broken for so many days again.  This is a massive relief, as the more Tiny Pioneer has grown, the more afraid we’ve been of making any design or software changes that might break what’s not already broken.  When we first started out, we had months with no customers to build the site, test it, learn how to work it and generally mess things up without consequence.  Tiny loved the old site and was incredibly proud of it, but every tweak and change felt dangerous, lest something go wrong.  Now that we have customers to take care of, orders to fulfil, blogs to write and a reputation to uphold, it will be a relief to know that the only things we can really make a mess of (unless another move is ever required!) are the aesthetics! 

Over the next few weeks we’ll try to get the site looking good and make it as easy to use as possible.  We’ll do what we can to recreate all the best aspects of the old site and take advantage of the best features of our new platform, so that you can find the products and information you want as quickly as possible.  We’ll continue to post on the blog and, as promised, there are some exciting product announcements coming soon! 

We’d like to thank you very much for your patience and understanding during the last couple of weeks and we apologise for any inconvenience you have suffered.  Tiny is so proud of the Pioneer setup – not just the business aspect that you see and use, but of the technical skills she has learned in the time since tinypioneer.co.uk was born and of the knowledge she has amassed during her own health journey over the last decade and more.  Each time she hears from someone who is feeling better thanks to a product on the website, or is able to offer understanding and assistance to someone suffering with a chronic health problem, she feels that her own experiences have been able to contribute to something worthwhile.  We hope you will like the new site and will find it a valuable resource in your own healing journey. 

Wishing you the best of health.

Tiny

 

Many thanks to the following for their help and support over the last two weeks:

  • The team at Desert Harvest for their patience and for communicating with UK customers
  • Oliver for his email support and advice
  • Simon for his onsite technical assistance at such short notice and for getting a customer notice up for us
  • Jay at Recoil Web Design for making us feel better about the move, for expert advice and for giving us the confidence to have a go at the technical aspects of the move by ourselves.  In the interest of his professional reputation, we must point out that he didn’t actually make the Tiny Pioneer website, so please don’t judge his web designing skills negatively as a result of his involvement – the shortcomings of the site are ours and ours alone! 
  • The support man at our old webhosting company for giving us foolproof instructions about how to move our emails!