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Blast To The... Future? Software Updates

Posted by , in Software & Tech 30 June 2012 · 1,111 views

Tech Tuesday Software Updates

Well, instead of a Blast to the Past, we bring you a Blast to the... Future! Myr helps update all of us on some software updates. -Trebs


Software Updates
As is often the case here on GA, we have updated the software again. We seem to do this on a fairly regular basis in order to keep up with the new features being offered as well as the security updates of the existing software. Two to three times a year, we end up with an update that adds or changes features. The latest update of our store software has allowed us to fix some of the outstanding issues with our Premium Content program.


Changes to Premium Content
There are a number of changes to Premium Content that are important.

  • We, at long last, have a fix for the strange behavior that is caused with the PayPal subscription. In the store, you'll now see two PayPal Payment options. One is called "PayPal - Recurring Payments" and the other is "PayPal - Non-recurring Payments". If you wish to subscribe to Premium Content and not worry about renewals, then chose the Recurring Payments. This uses PayPal's subscription service and automatically bills you at the specified interval. If you wish to be invoiced, then select the non-recurring payment option.
  • We have added a new payment processor you can chose to pay with. Some people hate PayPal and do not want to use them. An alternative has just become available called "Stripe.com". You can choose to use this payment method. Unlike PayPal, it actually appears to be on the GA site. It isn't. Nor is your credit card information actually stored on GA.
  • Price Change. As discussed in the Admin Communication Forum, we have slightly increased the price of Premium Content. This is the first time in four years that we have done so, but the cost of running the site has been climbing steadily since that time. We've gone from asking for $0.25 per day to asking for $0.28. There are also now discounts if you purchase longer subscription times.
Support Requests
While the support function has been a part o f the software for over a year, we have not emphasized its use. With this last update, we are. Support Requests are support tickets that get submitted to the system and alert us to someone needing help. There are two easy ways to open a ticket. Go to the bottom of the page and click "Contact Us" or go to your Client Area, located in the drop down menu under your username on the top right of the page. When you are in the Client Area, click on the Support tab on the left side lower menu. It will list all past support tickets and allow you to create new ones.


Privacy Policy
With the last update, we also now have a deployed Privacy Policy to comply with EU regulations on cookie usage. You can find the link on the bottom of all pages and on log in pop-ups when you try to log on. The important thing to note is that we use Google Analytics to anonymously track user actions on GA to allow us to improve the site.


Site Help Page
The software used for powering the website (IP.Content) also had some updates that we took advantage of. One of them was the change of template systems. The Site Help Page uses a different way to list articles. We are currently reviewing all help topics and adding more to address issues as they come up.


Warning Points
The update to the IP.Board 3.3.X versions, allowed us to switch our warning system into a Warning Points system. We have set up a number of Crime and Punishments that are based on a 100 pt scale. The more points you have, the more painful life is. We are still working out exact point values and such. Most of the warning points are assigned and automatically removed after a set time. When you receive a warning, you ill not be able to post until you have acknowledged receiving the warning. (No more, "I didn't see it" excuses). One example is 10 warning points for 14 days for a broken email address. Punishments start occurring at 25 points. Posting Porn or naked pictures is a 50 point violation, which is an automatic suspension of your account access to the site. If you receive 100 points, your account is automatically banned.


There are tons of little things and lots of stuff behind the scenes.


So - what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Sounds neat for the geeks who have to run the system. As a user, I just want it to work and be somewhat ergonomically friendly. So far I've enjoyed my experience at GA and I expect that will continue.
Myr, thanks for all you do to keep this site up and running.
Love the paypal idea. The reoccurring payment really caught me off guard a few months ago. lol
Did you also happen with these updates to disable notifications for peoples feeds? Still not getting those.. :\
Thanks for the update Myr, and thanks for helping to keep access to this great site open to us EU members
Only switch I wouldn't mind would be some way for the long time users to be able to like more than 10 times or what ever the limit is, because if your like me, I read all day on my off days, and like a ton of what I read, but can't click it, therefore the rep points peeps should be getting, can't. Other than that, I can't complain. If you could tier that off, it would be perfect.