July Update: Wild Apricot Turns 10

Dmitriy Buterin 29 July 2016 4 comments

July UpdateThis month we celebrated the ten year anniversary of Wild Apricot. It’s been a tremendous journey from the start.

In the first few years I had many friends and fellow entrepreneurs express concerns whether we could make it in this market and build a long-term sustainable business. I have always believed that we would, even if it took a long time and a lot of effort (and it did!).

We celebrated the event by taking a relaxing evening dinner cruise around Lake Ontario.

WA 10 Anniversary

I am very proud of what our team has achieved over ten years. We are now helping thousands of small organizations to fulfill their core purpose, through simplifying and automating their mundane (but critically important) core administrative functions.

I believe Wild Apricot will still make an even bigger impact in this world. It’s my dream to help as many organizations as I can achieve their dreams and also to help the people on our team to keep growing and developing.

Thanks for ten fantastic years!

-Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot

Four New Email Templates Released


Looking to refresh the look of your email templates? If so, our Email Developers (called the Husky Crew) have designed and released four new themed email templates for your use this month:
  1. 4th of July
  2. Happy Independence Day
  3. Golf green
  4. Clubhouse
July Email Templates

 

These email templates come ready to use with beautiful images, stylized text, and clean layouts. 

To choose one of these templates to work with, go to your Admin View, then click Emails > Email Templates

Select Email Template

A New Way to Accept Payments on your Phone


Would you like the ability to receive membership and event payments by swiping a member’s credit card on your phone? If so, you’ll be excited to learn about one of our latest projects in development. Our Mobile Crew is currently testing out the ability to receive payments on your phone using SquareUp.
SquareUp
In fact, this feature was recommended by our users, who created the suggestion on our WishList Forum.

 

While this feature is still in development, if you’re anxious to give it a try, you can become one of our Beta Testers. All we ask is:

  1. You have a SquareUp account
  2. You have an iOS device with the Wild Apricot app and Square Register app
  3. You actually complete a SquareUp payment via our mobile app during our beta-test period
If you qualify for these three things and you’re interested in beta-testing, please fill out this form.

 

SquareUp does charge fees per use: 2.75% for swiped entries and 3.5% + 15 cents for manual entries. Wild Apricot does not charge any fees for the use of SquareUp.

To learn more about how you can implement Square for your organization, visit squareup.com

If you’d like to see what other features are in the works, take a look at our Product Roadmap.

Free Webinar: Why Most Content on Social Media Fails and How to Create a Winning Strategy


Not seeing the engagement you’d like on your social media channels? If so, we recommend watching the recording of the webinar we ran last week on this topic, hosted by Amy Sample Ward. Amy is the CEO of the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN), and in her presentation, she shows you the unique—and simplified—approach she has used to grow NTEN into a leader in its space using social media.

 

Access this webinar recording now to learn:

  • The 3 things to focus on if you only have 30 minutes a week
  • The number one reason why most content fails on social media
  • What types of content engage your following on Facebook the most
Watch the webinar.

 

Our Downtime This Month and What We’re Doing About It


If you were affected by our downtime on July 4th, we’d like to apologize for any problems you might have experienced because of it. We'd also like to provide you with some more context on what happened and what we’re doing about it.

 

On July 4th, from approximately 8:00 PM (ET) to 2:45 AM (ET), all Wild Apricot sites and services were unavailable. 

The reason this happened was due to a network issue from our internet service provider (ISP). We weren’t able to get everything up and running until our ISP was able to solve the problem on their end.

One downfall on our part was that we were slow to react in updating you about what was going on. Minutes into the downtime, many of you tweeted, emailed, called and Facebooked us, however we did not post any status updates until approximately 1:00 AM (ET). This is a big failure on our part and we are working to develop a better process for updating all our channels as soon as we experience downtime so that you aren’t left in the dark.

From the ISP side of things, we find outages such as the one you experienced unacceptable and have taken time to research other ISPs which we believe will meet our standards of reliability. We have chosen Amazon Web Services (AMS) as our new provider and have already begun migrating some of our assets over. This project will still take some time to complete, but I want to let you know that we are taking this situation very seriously.

An Update on Solution Splitting


This is a brief update for everyone who’s been following along with our Solution Splitting project first mentioned in our March Newsletter this year. In short, the Solution Splitting projects will “split” the code that runs Wild Apricot into smaller, more manageable segments. This will make it easier for our developers to release new features faster. 

 

Stage 1 is well underway. As a reminder, Stage 1 entails everything that is visible to you (the public and admin sides of your accounts). So far 12,127 accounts (paid and free) have been moved over to the new code. The remaining 7,000 accounts (paid, free, and trials) are scheduled to be moved over in the coming month.

One thing we didn’t quite expect was the amount of bugs we encountered through this process. We have identified over 70 bugs during Stage 1, about 30 of which were client reported (thank you!). Fixing these bugs has caused some delay in our progress, but no major concerns have arisen because of them and we are planning on implementing Stage 2 in September. Stage 2 entails switching over the “invisible” features of Wild Apricot that the public cannot see (Imports, Exports, Payments, Emailing, Public API, etc.).

Throughout this process, you won’t see any immediate changes to your platform. Everything about Solution Splitting is internal, but it will pave the way to improvements, benefits and large scale projects in the near future such as:

  • Faster feature development speed, meaning we can work on more of your requests
  • Fewer bugs and a more robust system, so you won’t need to call our support team
  • More frequent, faster and smoother releases to improve performance of our platform
  • Faster reaction on user feedback to product changes to give you a better experience
  • Improvements to our main features (membership, events, payments, CMS, emailing, mobile etc.)

That's all for this month's update. Thanks for ten fantastic years!

 

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Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Published Friday, 29 July 2016 at 8:30 AM

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Comments

  • Colleen Corrigan said:

    Friday, 29 July 2016 at 12:06 PM
    I can feel the love from the apricots!
    Communication is important to us too. Thanks for stating the need to let clients know what is happening involving service.
    Congratulations on 10 years, it's a milestone worth celebrating!!!
  • Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

    Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot] said:

    Friday, 29 July 2016 at 12:54 PM
    Thanks, Colleen :)
  • Bridget Brooks said:

    Wednesday, 03 August 2016 at 7:26 PM
    Happy anniversary!

    Making it to the five-year milestone is always significant (since some statistics say 80% of all small businesses fail in the first five years), but making it to 10 years is HUGE! Especially in an industry like yours, where things change constantly, and new competitors (and apps) are always being developed to compete with you. Congratulations on the achievement -- and can't wait to see where you take us next on the journey!

    (A fellow small business owner who is celebrating 20 years this year, and has "reinvented" the company about 12 times during those two decades!)
  • Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

    Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 04 August 2016 at 9:43 AM
    Hi Bridget,

    Thanks for the wonderful comments!
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