Migration Phase 2 Announcement
NEW: Track the latest updates with the new Migration Update Chart.
It’s taken a little longer than expected but we are now ready to roll out the next phase for migrating your PhotoMerchant accounts across to the new Fotomerchant application. As an existing user you will recognise a lot of the same concepts but underneath the revised interface is an entire new structure for how we deal with your pages, photos, products and orders. Because everything is so different, the transfer from old to new is quite a complicated, but our goal is to move everyone across to the new system as quickly as we can so you can start taking advantage of the new features and the new features we will be developing. We thank you for your patience.
Migration Phase 2 will start as of today and will continue to be rolled out in larger batches over the coming weeks. Keep reading this post for the full details of the rollout.
This is a pretty detailed blog post and it should cover any and all questions you have about the migration process. Please read through it in great detail as there are few things to consider before you proceed. In this post we will cover:
- What IS / IS NOT included in Migration Phase 2: Website and Photos
- Before you do anything you should read the Essential things you need to know before you migrate
- The Rollout Schedule which details how and when you can start migrating
- Frequently Asked Questions
At the end of this migration your new website will look almost identical to your current website with some slight changes to font sizes, template tweaks, navigation enhancements and other minor style changes. In this phase you will be able to transfer the majority of your customer facing content including:
- Account and billing information *
- Website and store settings *
- Domain settings * (You will need to make changes to your DNS settings if you are bringing your own website domain. We will do this for you if you obtained your website domain through PhotoMerchant)
- Images, Galleries and Tags (titles, descriptions and meta data will all be retained)
- Website Favicon
- Website Logo
- Theme settings (including any custom background images)
- Gallery Categories
- Web pages and their content
- Customers and Customer Groups
* these items are mandatory to the migration process
What IS NOT included in this migration?
- Current and Archived Orders
- Feature Sets and Pricing Models (Our new Product and Catalog tools are much easier to use so re-creating your offering is very simple and should only take half an hour or so)
- Self Fulfilment products
- Direct Fulfilment products
- Digital products
- Custom shipping options
There are still a few features that are missing from the new Fotomerchant that may be essential to the way you do business. Some of these features are high on our list of development while others are indeterminate at the moment. The current missing features are:
- Packages (very high on our development roadmap)
Lightroom UploaderThis has now been released (click here)
- Bulk image editor
- Self Fulfilment setting “Restrict paper sizes based on image resolution”
- Alternative payment options (e.g. Cash on Delivery)
- Dashboard & Financial Reports
Favourites and Checkout Cleanse
Although your new Fotomerchant will look the same to your customers and visitors, their previous browsing and order history will be reset to zero. This means that:
- Any favourites your customer had created will no longer exist. They will need to rebuild their favourites list and register as a new customer if they want their favourites saved.
- Any items in a customers checkout will no longer exist. If you know that specific customers have yet to order, you may want to prompt them to complete their order or risk having to go through the process all over again.
If any of these issues are critical to your business you may want to communicate with your customers about the impending change and delay your migration for a short time.
Customer and Order history will not be migrated
The Phase 2 Migration does not include the transfer of your Customer records or any current or existing Orders (that’s coming in Phase 3). An alternative may be to manually copy and paste your customer details into a spreadsheet for future reference. You could also do the same for your Order history or search through your email history for the order emails you would have received from PhotoMerchant.
Reporting and financial ledger data will not be migrated
Again, you may need to scrape the content in these pages and paste them into a spreadsheet if you want to retain this information. The new version of Fotomerchant does not yet have any reporting or ledger functionality.
Choose an appropriate time to start the migration
When you receive your invitation to migrate, you should start the process at a time that will have the least impact on your website. Because your shopping cart will be disabled for up to a couple of hours, choose a time when your customers are least likely to be making purchases on your site. We would suggest you start the process during your regular business hours or very late at night.
Our plan is to move everyones account across in batches. This way we can manually track the migration process, manage server load and intervene if we need to. The last thing we want is for everyone to press the “migrate” button at the same time and bring the entire Internets down! Okay, so not the whole Internet, but migrating in batches is the safest outcome for everyone. For the most part, each batch will be selected at random. If you have an immediate need to move across, you can volunteer to be a part of our initial wave of batches here.
Migration Phase 2 will start as of today and will continue to be rolled out in larger batches over the coming weeks.
How will I know if I have been selected?
Once your account has been assigned to a batch, our friendly account transfer robot MiGATRoN will send you a notification email and invite you to log into your account to start the migration.
What do I need to do to start the Migration?
Once you have logged in, you will be prompted to start the process with a large banner on your account dashboard (see example image). Click on the banner to start the 3-step process.
Step 1 of 3: Information about the migration process
This page contains all the information you need to know about what will and will not be included in the current migration state. Read everything carefully before you decide to proceed. Click the “Let’s get started!” button to continue.
Step 2 of 3: Migration options
On this page you will get to choose which items you would like to bring across from your current website. You might want to consider just bringing your Galleries across and use this time to reconsider how your pages and layout are presented. It’s entirely up to you.
If you’ve already started a Fotomerchant trial account you will be able to enter your log in details to sync your accounts. Don’t worry if you haven’t created a Fotomerchant account, we will automatically do all of that for you.
Your last option is to choose if you want to keep paying monthly for your plan or to take advantage of our new discounted yearly option. Check out our pricing plans page for more information on the new yearly plan options.
Once you have made your selections, click the “Migrate me to Fotomerchant.com” button.
Step 3 of 3: Final cross check
This is your last chance to make sure that you are happy to take the next step to start the actual migration process. Read the points on this page clearly as there is no turning back.
Once you have clicked the “I Agree” button, your account migration request will be added to the MiGATRoN processing queue. MiGATRoN will send you an email when the process has started and another when the migration is complete and you can log in to your new Fotomerchant account.
What happens to my old website and traffic?
If you have followed the steps outlined during the migration process, any visitors to your old website should automatically be redirected through to your new website. If you are using your own website domain, you will need to make sure you DNS settings are all up to date and pointing to your new website. Your old website will no longer exist and at some time in the future, will be deleted.
How long will the migration take?
There is no simple answer to this question as the speed is based on how big your website is, how many images you have and where you are placed in the migration queue. This could be anywhere between a couple of minutes and a couple of hours. In order to minimise the impact for your visitors we would recommend you start the process early in the morning, during standard business hours or late at night.
You’re the best judge of when you visitors are most likely to be on your website. Remember, your website will still be visible, it’s just that your visitors will be unable to add favourites, add items to cart or make a purchase.
Is there anything I need to do after the migration?
There are just a few little administrative tasks that may or may not be relevant to finalise your website. Take a look at our Post Migration Checklist once you have completed the migration.
Should I migrate now or wait until Phase 3?
It’s entirely up to you. Hopefully, you’ve read through the “Essential things you need to know before you migrate” list above so you’re aware of the things to watch for when moving across.
If the only thing that concerns you is setting up your products all over again, then you should bite the bullet and go through with the migration – setting up new products is very easy and nowhere near as painful as Feature Sets and Pricing Models were. If you have a lot of customers and re-building them manually again looks like a chore, then you should probably wait for Phase 3.
When will the next phase be ready?
We are unable to commit to a timeline on when the next phase will be ready for you to use. Know that our biggest priority is moving everyone across from the old system to the new, so getting phase 3 ready is super important to us.
What happens during the migration?
When you start the migration process your PhotoMerchant account will go into a suspended state, meaning you will be unable to access any administrative functions of your website. Behind the scenes, MiGATRoN will be copying all your photos, website content and settings across to your new website.
Your public facing website will continue to work normally allowing your visitors to browse your pages and view your photos. However, visitors will be unable to add items to their favourites, to a cart or be able to checkout.
What about payments and billing?
As part of the migration process we will automatically move your account and payment information across to the new system. During the migration process you will be offered the opportunity to take advantage of our discounted yearly option or continue with the monthly version of your current plan. Your new Fotomerchant account will reset your billing date to the date of your transfer. We will automatically calculate how many days you have left in your billing cycle and apply it as a credit to your first payment so you wont be out of pocket. Your new monthy billing date will now be the day you migrated to the new system.
Why haven’t I received an invite to migrate my account yet?
As mentioned previously, we are rolling out the migration invitations in batches. If you would like to be considered for inclusion in the first few batches, you can add your email address to our Migration priority volunteer list. If you have been waiting for more than a couple of weeks, there may be something unique about your account that requires our manual intervention, and if so, we will reach out to you personally to get you migrated as soon as we can.
Got more questions?
Add your questions to the comments area below