New site: First day report

By PhotoBox 7 years ago67 Comments
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Without any exaggeration, yesterday was one of our biggest days ever at PhotoBox. Launching a new site is no mean feat, so I’m pleased to say it went very smoothly.

So far, about 30,000 of you have tried the new site, and though we’ve got a few issues to work through, services such as photo uploads, sharing and product ordering have been as popular as ever.

I do confess to feeling a bit sentimental however. I clearly remember the first orders going across the old site 8 years ago. I even printed all the photos then! It seems a bit strange to be moving on but nothing lasts forever, and everyone here is really fired up about the new products & services we’ll be able to roll out, as we fully move into our new home.

Back to those issues then – firstly thanks for all your feedback. Our customer service team have been pretty busy helping some of you through the new site, and we’ve been taking careful note of your comments and suggestions via phone, blog and email. Please keep them coming – we’re not perfect but we want to keep improving our service, and your feedback is what drives us.

It’s not possible for me to speak here on every point raised, but I wanted to comment on a couple of popular points:

Pros, Semi-pros, and other photo-junkies

You win the prize for the most vocal contribution so far. Not all good feedback, but where we’re not getting it right we’ll fix it. Specifically, we get your points on the flexibility and speed of ordering when you’ve got hundreds of photos to print on a tight timescale. FTP upload will be back shortly, and some missing products will be re-introduced, or superseded by better versions soon.

You should also know also that we’re fully committed to Pro gallery. Watch this space for a new improved version, which will be fully integrated into the new site later this summer. Meanwhile it’s business as usual for existing gallery owners via links from your new ‘My PhotoBox’ page.

Finally, I want to make it clear our core commitment to serious photographers remains: High-quality printing, fast turnaround and sharp pricing. You’re where we started; we don’t intend to leave you behind now!

Site performance

There’s a lot going on right now to improve performance over the next few weeks. Please bear with us – we’ve got some of the best software engineers in the business on this project, but moving millions of members and hundreds of millions of images takes a while, and a bit of horsepower. I’m confident you’ll see improvements as we tune the service, but it’ll take a few weeks to get it right.

I promise we’ll take all your other comments into account. In particular, look out for great new slideshow and sharing features appearing soon.

Please carry on posting your views here – I’ll be responding to the more common themes as they arise. I’ll also give you a further update on how the changeover’s going next week.

Have a great bank-holiday weekend!

 

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67 Comments

  • Val Smith says:

    Dear Photobox team

    I have read your feedback postings and I’m afraid I have to agree that this new site is a disappointment and so slow. The “please be patient box” after every move is becoming very annoying and time consuming. This is such a shame as the old site was quick and easy to use. Yahoo made the same mistake with their beta mail but at least there was the option to return to classic mail. We cannot move back to the old web site but I’m sure that many will now move on to quicker and more efficient sites – such a shame as your old site and service was almost perfect and a site you would have recommend to friends and family.

  • Michael says:

    Ouch! Basic navigation is an issue… I can’t get back to the main Home page from here. Your web designer has a lot to do urgently, but this doesn’t seem well planned on a basic level.

    I also want postcards – so I can’t place this order with you.

    You also ought to address printer profiles for the pro market – it’s poor QC practice (CQI, UPDIG) and a serious inconvenience not to have them available… I also want to know which machine prints your photobooks so I can perfect my images.

  • Michael says:

    URGENT

    I think you ought to make people aware (especially pro’s) that making an album public is apparently a licence for anyone to print off their images!

    This is an implicit breach of copyright and could cause Photobox major legal repercussions – your MD needs to know about this issue immediately!

  • Viv Gunton says:

    This new site is a disaster. Please revert to the previous one.

  • Timothy Parker says:

    Sorry to say that the new website causes the browser on several computers i have tried, to crash. This happens when trying to move photos between albums. Everything loads so much slower than the old website. The old website was great and I for one, want it back, for simplicities sake! tim

  • Sinead Diederich says:

    I am so disappointed. Used to love photobox. Cant understand why you would take such a gamble with your loyal customer base. I will give it another week or two, and then find a new provider. Shame

  • Graeme says:

    when is the pro galleries section going to be running. Wedding season is coming up fast and I got 5 in June/July that will want to be in the pro section for customers families to order photos from.

    Am I going to have to do it manually and double my work load?

    Seriously guys, switch this one off, go fix it then bring it back AFTER you’ve tested it to death. in the meantime can we have the option of the old one back please?

  • Andrew Ridge says:

    I also have to say that the new site is slow and totally unsuitable for any heavy usage. Positively, the upload didn’t crash but there is no way to batch the ‘resize to fit’ option and the reloading of the image in a separate window with every adjustment is very frustrating.

    Bring back the old site!

  • Ryan says:

    The new site has slowed my Internet down BIG TIME.
    I’ve always loved photobox but if the speed issue doesn’t get fixed ill have no other choice but to find a website that doesn’t take 5 mins (literally) to load each page.

    Good luck with the fixing. i’ll check back another time.

  • toby says:

    I agree with all the other comments. What on earth have you done to that lovely, efficient site? No file names, endless waiting, sales from my pro-site not migrating to me new one, fiddly little drop-down menus, over half an hour on the phone waiting for customer support who were unable to answer my query, followed by further unanswered emails. I was with you for life, but unless you sort this out fast, I’m off.

  • Timothy Parker says:

    What a difference a day makes from my previous comments. The website which previously had caused browser to crash is so much better, still slower than the old site, but i actually managed to get a print order done today. Would i be correct in saying that navigation of the tabbed ie. numbered pages of our albums leads one always to be returned to page one of our albums, even if we are working on a later tabbed album page. Very aggravating, but i believe all will be well , judged by current progress and state of improvements to preformance. Well done.

  • Tina J says:

    I’m absolutely gutted! I’ve been struggling to keep faith in photobox over the last year or so now and this just does it. It seems that the more they’ve grown the less they’ve been able to cope to great standards that made me love them for years. I hope that things can change but I can’t wait until they do, I have to find an alternate supplier of such products and prints I won’t pass on the poor standards to my customers.

    Sorry.

  • Colin S says:

    We have used your great service for three years now, all of which has been relatively trouble free. However, the new website is already giving us grave concerns as to whether we need to move our printing elsewhere. From a fairly short look the main problems for us are….

    * Speed – it’s way too slow and clunky! The upload seems to take an eternity and we don’t have the time to wait!

    * Sending items to a different address (not the billing one) – where has the ability to add a personal message to the paperwork gone? We used that on every customer order and now, so far as we can tell, there will be nothing to show them where the photos have come from, other than PhotoBox, of course! Please can we have that option back again?
    * Tagging – who needs it? Certainly not us! Just another additional clutter.

    In short, as has been said by many before me, the old site was great – just can’t understand why it was changed!

    We are now seriously considering a move away from Photobox – things better improve soon or it will be bye bye……………

  • Colin S says:

    Also, forgot to add in my previous message….

    When you receive order confirmation there is no note shown of the filenames that have been printed – only a list of print sizes & quantities. Bring back filenames please!

  • David says:

    I can only add to the bad press already. I noticed earlier this week that all my albums have disappeared. I can’t get into the new site and the old one is now useless. I have tried customer service, which probably should be renamed NO customer service.

    My patience has run out. I am very annoyed that I have lost all my photographs. Unless this is rectified within the next few days I will never use Photobox again.

    There are a lot more sites out there. I strongly advise anyone to look around before using Photobox and what ever you do, make sure you have backed up your photo’s on your own hard drive.

    After using Photobox for many years with excellent service it’s a shame it has come to this. RIP.

    David

  • Adam G says:

    Thought I’d add my voice to the comments listed. Been using Photobox since the word go when you guys were exhibiting at Excel in London (2002?) I’ve always extolled your virtues to many fellow snappers – not anymore, tonight was perhaps the final nail in the coffin trying to place a simple order. New web site is utterly useless to say the least, been struggling with it for two weeks now and enough is enough. I use you guys a lot both for client prints and Pro gallery as you used to offer a good service for prints at a reasonable price, but your quality has slipped, the order process takes me 10-15 times longer than it ever did, your upload system is poor, mind you it’s been that way for the past year or more and to even try to multiple change items in the basket is a joke. Please do us all a favour and switch the old system back on!! I am reluctantly going to blow the dust off of my Sony UPDR100 and consider starting printing my 7×5’s and passport photos here in the office.I have a Kodak 1400 which does a superb job of 10 and 12 x8’s. Costs me quite a bit more, but without the hassle, as I can’t see you guys regaining any decent system any time soon. Oh and one more thing, ordered some photobooks recently, won’t bother again, quality is rubbish compared to 12 months ago when I last did a holiday book. Cover is low quality and black pages had speckles and stuff over them.

  • Rich says:

    I wish that I had found these comments before I placed my latest order….I would have gone elsewhere. A £63 order placed four days ago has yet to be delivered. Courier delivery was the only option listed, and they left a card today, saying they will redeliver tomorrow (when I’m at work again), or at the weekend for a hefty fee. No visible option to collect myself, so most likely that the order will return to sender. Beware of courier deliveries!!!

    I’m also supposedly a Photobox VIP, but customer services took two days to respond to my query regarding the above and give me a tracking number. A far cry from the two hour response time stated in their e-mail.

    The new site is simply awful and clearly not aimed at the majority of pepole who just want a fast efficient service, providing quality prints at a reasonable price. Too many bells and whistles for my liking, so I’m looking for an alternative….such a sad day, as I’ve been more than happy up until now….Can’t even blame this fiasco on Gordon Brown!

    RIP Photobox

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