Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work on the site. A quick summary of the changes:
**New Membership Software – I added this last weekend, and everyone should notice the changes. Subscribers will notice a new interface, and hopefully better software. Non-subscribers can now see partial articles, although the full articles are still for subscribers.
The old software was horrible, with member passwords and subscriptions randomly quitting. Some of you had these problems, and I could never get the software company to fix the issue, much less acknowledge it was a problem with their software. The new software is much better, as you have hopefully seen. The downside is that the old software led to problems with the export process, which means some of the subscriptions weren’t imported properly. There are bound to be a few issues when you’ve got 3000 subscribers, but this added to that.
Customer service is one of my biggest priorities here, as many of you with issues have found out. If you’re having a problem with your subscription at any time, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get the issue fixed ASAP. As many can attest, I’ll usually respond with a solution that same day, and sometimes a minute after you send the problem. If anyone is still having issues, please send them my way.
**New Web Host – We had been with the same web host for the last few years. They were good for the majority of the time we were with them, and we could handle 85,000 visitors per day, which is a figure we would only reach on the busiest days. But over time the service started to go down hill, with a lot of crashes in the last year. This weekend we upgraded to a high powered server on Pagely, which is the number one web hosting service that you can have for WordPress. The service uses Amazon’s cloud based servers to present the site, which should make it lightning quick, with no issues. Previously we served parts of the site off Amazon, including images and scripts, but never to this extent.
The combination of these two things should provide a much better user experience for subscribers, allowing you to read all of our great coverage on the Pirates’ minor league system.
I’ve mentioned in the past that we’re working on adding a stats database, which is a $4,000 project. We are nearing the end of this project (one of the holdups was the change in hosts), and should have the database on the site in the coming weeks. I’m very excited by this addition. It will give you live box scores each night in the Prospect Watch, plus sortable season stats for every player, and updated stats on each player page. I hope to have more information later this week.
We are currently looking for writers for the following teams:
**West Virginia Power
If interested, send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
The international signing period is coming up on Thursday, and I’ll have a few articles in the next couple of days from my trip down to the Pirates’ Dominican Academy. Ryan Palencer had a look at John Holdzkom today, and will take a look at Radhames Liz this week, who has been showing much better stuff since going down to the minors. Sean McCool will take a look at the recently promoted Gift Ngoepe, along with other guys in Altoona who might be deserving of a promotion. Jamey Conlin has been covering the new draft picks in Morgantown, and will have a few features from there, following today’s look at Kevin Kramer. Pete Ellis has a few articles left over from his time in West Virginia a week ago. And I’ll have some features from Bradenton, covering both the Marauders and the GCL Pirates.
Subscriptions and DraftKings
We’ve got 3,000 subscriptions now, and we’re just a few weeks away from three full months as a subscription site. That has allowed us to add so much, including all of the increased coverage at every level throughout the system, plus the upcoming stats database, and the new hosting (which is the equivalent of a car payment each month). But we’re not stopping there.
New subscriptions only further increase coverage on the site, along with additional features in the future. The site is already the best $2.99 per month that you will spend ($2.50 or less on an Annual plan or higher), and my goal is to keep increasing the value of the subscription.
If you haven’t subscribed, you can do so here.We also have a special promotion with DraftKings, where you can get a free one-year subscription to the site, simply by signing up as a new customer and making a deposit. Just sign up for a new DraftKings account (use that link), make your first deposit ($5 minimum), and participate in a contest. Once you have completed those steps, send an e-mail to Javier Vargas at DraftKings (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let him know you are participating in the Pirates Prospects subscription promotion. Javier will confirm whether you’ve met the requirements, then will contact me so I can give you a coupon code that will allow you to set up your one year subscription.