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VisualHint's blog
Jan29

VisualHint changes its hosting provider ... and more

Starting on this Friday, Jan 29, I have triggered the DNS changes that will make visualhint.com point to its new home.

Why this move?

So far visualhint.com was a site written in php and hosted at a linux host. I was using the ExpressionEngine CMS to handle the html pages, the dynamic parts like the blog and announcements, the protected downloads and the sales through paypal. I had also a helpdesk system. This was rather flexible but it has 2 drawbacks for me: it is written in php (which is not something I master) and it is too generic. I need more flexibility to handle my customers, licenses and downloads. Being a .net guy, and also because I fell in love with asp.net MVC, I decided to rewrite my web site completely for my exact needs and I'm proud, excited (and a bit frightened) to unveil it now with a first version. It is not fully functional but its core is stable enough to make the jump.

What does it mean for you?

So far, as a customer, you had just the strict minimum: a link to download your product and your serial number. Starting with the new site you will be able to:

  • See your orders
  • See your subscriptions, expiration dates and status
  • See your downloads and serial numbers
  • Receive automatic reminders (in time... can you imagine this was manual so far?)
  • Purchase in CAD$ if you are canadian (it had to be a manual process outside the site so far)

I will ask you to login next week to the VisualHint web site and check your profile, subscriptions and access to downloads/serials. Please let me know if you see something wrong which does not correspond to your actual purchases. Also bear with me if you see some bugs, like receiving a reminder email several times. Here again, please inform me. At last, because all the backend is under my control, you can send feature requests about the web site. Thanks in advance.

About prices, something new?

Yes, the policy about renewals changes in your favor. So far, after your subscription to support and updates expires, you had a one month grace period to renew at a discounted price. After this period, the full price had to be paid again to renew for a year. Starting now, the grace period remains, but a simple late fee will be added (30% for the first year not renewed, 60% the second year and so on). Here is an example: for SPG.Net with sources, after the grace period, you had to pay 308 US$. Now, if you want to renew 3 months after the expiration, you will have to pay 114 US$ (the normal renewal price) + 30%, so 148 US$ instead of 308. 14 months later, it would be 114 US$ + 60%, so 182 US$. Nicer, no?

What are the next steps?

Some things will cease working: the forums (the current ones were underused anyway), the helpdesk and the MFC product pages. So at first, on the support page, you will just see an email address. Use it to contact me. I postpone the development of the forums and helpdesk because I want first to focus on my admin panel which is a central part of my new site and it must work flawlessly. I will add some new features to it bit by bit (like a dashboard, stats, and so on) which are many things invisible to you. Then I will get back to the helpdesk.

If you have any question about these changes, feel free to contact me. Also thank you in advance to put up with the small inconveniences attached to this change which is something important for the future of VisualHint.