This week we migrated the farm’s online sales to a new eCommerce platform. This has felt like a never-ending project, so it was a relief to have the opportunity to switch things over. Planning started last spring, and it seems like every spare moment this winter and spring has been dedicated to the website project.
The changes allow us to manage our sales directly on our website, without using a third-party company to handle our online transactions. You may have noticed on our previous site that you’d get carried off to a different domain anytime you were viewing products or making a purchase.
What’s new for you?
- If you had an account with us before, we’re starting from scratch here, so your old login won’t work. However, one of the big improvements is that the new site allows for guest orders, so you aren’t forced to create a login if you don’t feel like it. Logins are more convenient though, as you can store your credit cards and view your order history. To create a login, just click here.
- We expanded our delivery footprint, so we now offer nationwide air delivery. We aren’t really trying to become a national retailer, but enough of you have been persistently asking about sending an order off to a spot you’re visiting for vacation, or sending a gift order to a friend outside the Northeast, so we added the option for delivery throughout the United States.
- No more order minimums. We decided to do away with order minimums, but since shipping small orders is disproportionately expensive, we included a surcharge for home delivery for all orders under $100.
Of course, immediately after launching, we did hit some snags. Although things seem to be running smoothly, I’m not so naïve as to expect that there still aren’t snarls and tangles hidden away somewhere. So if you run into anything weird, or if the site is doing something unexpected, please let me know.
It is amusing to trace the strange paths of life experience that applied here.
During high school, actually before I had my own computer, I taught myself C programming from a library book (Kernighan and Ritchie for those of you who remember). I’d just parse the code in my head and keep working until I understood how each sample program worked. I’m still amazed that I made any progress. I was utterly smitten by the idea of working as a programmer at Bell Labs, and I went after that idea with the singlemindedness only a 14-year-old could muster.
Later I was hired at Bell Labs, and I sat at a desk writing radio wave propagation software for a year. I eventually had to admit that I wasn’t a software coder. I liked knowing how to code. But I wasn’t temperamentally suited to a full time job of it.
All these years later, I found this website project to be right in the sweet spot for me. I enjoyed the experience of learning PHP and delving into the structure of things. I’m glad I now know how every part of my website works. But I’m not ready to make a career change to coding. I much prefer being a farmer first.
That puts a finger on one of the curious things about being a farmer. It seems that we can bring any imaginable prior life experience, and find a use for it in farming. Want to farm? Do you know how to write software? Weld pipes? Deliver babies? Tame lions? Whatever skills you bring to the job, there’s probably a way to use that as a farmer.
If you are in our region and looking for help with a web project, I’d recommend Levi Steier from Tekceptional Solutions. He did a great job of getting me from the beginning to the end of this site migration.