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Did You Notice? We Have A New Website!

Did you notice? We have a new website!

Welcome to the New!

After three years of steady growth, it was time to give a much needed overhaul. We knew it wasn’t as functional as it could be — the documentation was hard to find and the design was somewhat dated. But, more than that, in order to fully support the upcoming DS4.0, it was imperative that we put all our ducks in a row first. One of those “ducks” included a new site with better functionality and upgraded content.

It was no easy task, but we finally pulled the trigger on Monday, March 30, with the first phase of our website redesign. We rolled a soft launch to allow us the time to work through any issues that might arrive moving from our staging environment to live. We’ve worked out most of the kinks and are happy to share with you the new features we believe will be a huge benefit to all. Phase two of the site will be rolled out at the beginning of June. This includes a major upgrade to content – but more on that later.

Customer Account Information Center

One email we used to receive frequently was, “when does my account expire?” And because of the way that the previous site was set up, you would have to wait for us to actually look up your information and respond. There was no way to self-help your way out of it. The new Customer Account Information Center puts your account information right at your fingertips.

The next time you log in, click on Account in the top navigation menu. You will find your entire membership history available for review. View your purchase date, download (or re-download) the software you purchased, edit your profile and contact support, if needed.

Better Search Functionality

In the survey you told us how difficult it was to find the information you needed on the old site. We paid attention. While we have a lot of content and documentation on the site, finding it was pretty difficult unless you knew where to look. The new site leverages the power of SearchWP, which immediately improved the efficiency and accuracy when you search the site. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find content you KNOW is on a website, but having all your search efforts fail.

We also made the search functionality easier to find. On the old site, “Search” was nestled in drop down menu. Now, the search icon is in the top level navigation and on all page views through the site. (Please let us know if you find a page that’s missing the search option!) We hope this makes your visits to the site more productive and efficient.

Long Awaited Affiliate Program

It’s a question we get all the time. “We love your software and evangelize about it all the time. Is there ANY way we could make money doing what we’re already doing? Do you have an affiliate program?”

The answer is now “YES!” Qualified DesktopServer Affiliates will earn 20% commission on purchases originating from their affiliate link. If you’d like to become a Qualified DS Affiliate, you can find the application in your Customer Account Area. Just click on Account –> Affiliate Area. You can also revisit this link to review your standing while we review your application. As with most other companies, you’ll have to fill out tax forms and a few other things in order to receive your payouts. But mostly, it’s pretty straightforward.

Account Screenshot

We built the affiliate program for the benefit of our current members and we will try our best to weed out spammers with obnoxious landing pages and forums trolls looking to make a quick buck. We want to build a strong affiliate program that maintains the integrity of the company we have carefully built and represents the quality of work we have poured into DesktopServer and we are excited to partner up with people who want to associate themselves with that level of integrity. We invite you to apply and will work in earnest to keep this a top-notch program.

Affiliate Screen Shot

And if you’re curious – yes, we are absolutely using Pippin Williamson’s*AffiliateWP program. We highly recommend it! (*affiliate link)

More Reliable Notification System on Account Expiration

With the new system, you’ll never need to worry about whether or not you are eligible for Premium Member Support again since you will be receiving an automatic reminder to renew your Premium Membership! This is one of our favorite features of the new Customer Account Information System! You will receive an email notification when your account is going to expire – in fact some of you have probably already seen this in action. The auto-notification system will save you from ever having a lapse in support because of an expired Premium Membership.

More Payment Options

For the past three years, we relied on PayPal as our primary payment gateway. If you didn’t have a PayPal account, you would encounter a bit of a roadblock to purchasing a Premium Membership. This issue has been completely resolved: we now take all major credit cards without the need for a PayPal account. We can also set you up with auto-renewal plans should you be interested in that feature. Getting going (or staying going) with DesktopServer has never been easier. 

A Better Mobile Experience

There have been a lot of changes in the last couple of years when it comes to responsive design and mobile website experience. We are excited that our new site is fully responsive and mobile-friendly. We hope you enjoy comfortably navigating the site no matter what platform, screen size, or device you happen to be using.

Faster and Prettier

We’ve streamlined the new site to run with as little overhead as possible resulting in a much faster and more responsive site. No more motorcycle graphic and no more Jody Foster under the tree. (We hear that there is a story behind the latter, although Steve has kept it under wraps for quite some time. Hopefully one day we’ll all find out the big mystery that’s been on everyone’s mind.)

A Couple of Things to Note

Because of the way the forums were structured before, there was a lot of redundancy, many topics were outdated, and it was really hard to find the information. In order to allow us to launch the new site we opted to take them down completely and start from scratch. Rather than wait until we went through it all and migrated the useful data in order to get the new website up, we decided that this was something we could do over time. This is also true of some of our documentation, although most of the important documents have been moved over and are available to you. However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for please let us know and we’ll track down the info you need. Or, better yet, just post a new forum topic!

That’s a Wrap!

Rebranding, redesigning, reorganizing and updating both the newsletter and the website have truly been a team effort, not just internally – but without the community rallying behind us we would still be looking at our long “New Website To Do List” and the site would not be live. Noteably, many thanks to Taylor Aldridge, Jennifer Bourn and Suzette Franck for the designs, direction and hands on help with the updated color scheme, style and fresh new layout. And many thanks to Trisha Salas for wrangling all the development work that goes into responsive newsletters. WHO KNEW!? We couldn’t have done this without you all!

We hope you enjoy the new site and, because we pride ourselves at always listening to our customer feedback, look forward to any comments or suggestions you might have for us! In fact, many of the changes we committed to were a direct result of the suggestions you made to us in our survey that we sent out earlier this year.