Site Improvements

Site Improvements.

With the new year and new decade now upon us I thought it a good time to give a little over view about what’s been going on. Those of you who have been long standing customers will know I started Miniature-Heroes way back in 2008, towards the end of January. That first site wasn’t great, and to be honest I didn’t have a clue about website design or ecommerce. I was mainly selling second hand miniatures which I had bought, cleaned and listed for people to buy. It worked well enough, but as time went on I began to get the idea it wasn’t as good as it should be. It took a while, but eventually I found a better designer and moved to a ZenCart powered shop.

Zencart was much better, but unfortunately the data from my first shop couldn’t be moved across so I had to start again from scratch. It was a pain, but I wasn’t selling Reaper or Darksword products then so there wasn’t thousands of products listings to sort out, only a few hundred. The ZenCart site worked very well for 8 years, and I even did a mini upgrade to a newer version which lasted another 2 years. If they’d released more updates, and if the plugins for it had worked properly, I might still be with it. But they didn’t and they don’t, and I felt the site was being left behind.  So in February 2019 the Mark III, MH site was launched, this time powered by Woocommerce via WordPress.

So why am I rambling on about all of this ? Well it’s to put the next part of this post into some sort of context. This time when I moved from ZenCart to Woocommerce I had a product inventory of over 6000 items. My web guru somehow managed to get these across and working on the new site, which I’m very grateful for. Customer details couldn’t be moved which is why so many have been trying to log in with old passwords to no avail. However even with the product data moved across, I’d still lost quite a bit. Mainly the extra images that many of the product listings had. Also a lot of the product catagories had duplicated themselves and were in a bit of a mess.

This I knew about, and can only apologise for. Miniature-Heroes is my full time job, but I’m also a full time carer to my Dad, which means spending time doing all sorts of other day to day type things. Time is precious and I made it my priority on getting the orders dispatched first, with site improvements coming when I had time.

Over the Christmas break I had that time. It’s not all there yet, but the main catagories now have pictures, descriptions and are easier to get to.  Out of production products have been removed, and stock I’ll no longer be stocking has been moved to the Clearance section.

Reaper Miniatures

The Reaper catalogue is huge, and they keep expanding it. Over 1900 metal miniatures in the Dark Heaven Legends alone makes it quite a task to keep on top of it. Coupled to that is the ever expanding Bones plastics and now Black Bones plastics too. I’ve tried hard in the past to offer the chance for anyone not in the US to get their Reaper Miniatures without customs duty being added on. With the range growing to the size it is, and with Reaper now having a distribution hub here in the UK, I’m going to have to admit defeat. I just don’t have the time to keep on top of everything they’re producing now, and certainly couldn’t even think about stocking it all. Metal and Bones Black miniatures, along with their paints will be added to the database, but no more ordinary Bones plastics.

Darksword Miniatures

I’ve long run my Darksword section as an almost completely pre-order set-up. They’re really good miniatures, but their price has always been high. Up to recently I’ve always seen this as a problem, money is tight and we certainly live in uncertains times. However Reaper have been increasing the price of their metals, and indeed all metal miniatures continue to get more expensive. This has seen the gap between what Darksword charge and the rest starting to narrow. With this in mind I’ve started holding stock. Currently I’m working on getting the whole of the DSM74 range in stock. I’ve also got a few others like the Cats and Kitsune, which are really stunning. After the whole DSM74 range is in stock I’ll see what else people would like.

All the in stock Darksword product listings have been revised to show all the product pictures avialable. Also the height of the miniature in mm and whether or not in requires assembly. I’ve also tried to include what bit’s need fixing to what, so you can have a better idea what to expect on the packet.

I’m also doing this with Reaper products too, but as I mentioned above, there are a lot of listings. As of now, you might find one I’ve improved, or more likely one I haven’t. All I can say is I’m working on them as and when I can. The height measurements are me taking them through the blister packs so please bear in mind they are approximate. The bigger and more multi-part the mini is, the more these could vary. Manufacturers don’t supply this sort of information to us retailers.

Each improved listing also now features Tags towards the bottom of the page. I’m sure you know how these work as they’re pretty common, but just in case. Each product has certain things that make it what it is. For example. A male dwarf fighter with an axe and backpack. The tags will show, Male, Dwarf, Fighter, Axe, Backpack. Clicking on one of these will bring up a listing of all the other miniatures in the MH inventory which have the same tag. You want to see all the Dwarves I have, then click on Dwarf. Perhaps you only want minis with Backpacks, then click on backpack. I’m sure you get the idea.

Again not everything is done, I have many thousands left to do but it’s another of my ongoing site improvements.

So now it just leaves me to throw the ball in your court. What do you like, not like about the site ?. Products you’d like to see, bearing in mind I have limited storage room. Features you’d like or even existing features you don’t like?

Please just comment below and I’ll reply. Being an online business is a bit like working in a vacuum so feedback, good or bad is always welcome.

Thank you for reading this far, and also a big thanks if you add a comment in below. Though not for cheap viagra, I get anough of those already 😉

TTFN

Tim

 

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