A new coat of paint

Back in June we quietly rolled out our new web site here at Anything Digital. We then took the summer to put the site through its paces and fix any outstanding issues.

I am now proud to officially announce the re-launch of our extension shop and tell you a little more about it.

Our previous site was restricted my numerous issues, most notably a legacy subscriptions extension that was prone to errors during payment processing. In addition, the system was not cart-based so users had to complete multiple checkouts to purchase more than one product.

Powerful subscriptions system

We solved this issue by writing a new subscriptions extension from the ground up. Subscriptions is a flexible extension that provides access to various areas of the site following a purchase. Perhaps most importantly, we spent months researching best practices for converting site visitors to customers.

The results of this research are visible in every aspect of Subscriptions from the registration-free, cart-based checkout workflow to the placement of the links in and around the site. All of the existing active subscribers were also imported from the old site to Susbcriptions.

User-friendly support forum

Another issue we were keen to resolve was the bridged SMF forum used for support on the old site. Being a separate application, it was difficult to reliably match subscriptions to forum permissions. In addition, end users sometimes ran into problems with session and cache conflicts.

The solution of course was to use a native Joomla app. Perhaps not surprisingly, we chose Agora forum. Working with jVitals and their team, we stabilized the codebase and implemented a few new features including overrides for templates, CSS and images.

This allowed us to heavily customize the interface to produce a more user-friendly experience as well as to more clearly separate our support areas. The feedback has been great and I encourage you to take a look at what we’ve done with Agora, especially the iconified landing page.

Meaningful search results

The last major change was to improve our on-site search capability. We chose our own Advanced Site Search extension for this task and it is performing very well. Search results are now ranked based on the relevance of the keywords, similar to how Google ranks search results.

Over to you

There are numerous other changes of course, including a great new design, social media integration, a new 30-day refund policy, etc. But for now, please take a look around and enjoy the view.

Comments welcome below.

Last modified on Aug262011
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