<![CDATA[We have received a lot of feedback (both negative and positive) about our online registration system. The new system that we rolled out in 2018 was far from perfect – and we knew that. Good computer software takes time to build and in order to remain “good” requires constant attention.
Of all the comments we have received regarding our new online registration system, there was one reoccurring remark that I wanted to directly address. It was one that generally followed along these lines: “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because we saw it many times, it told us that there were several users who did not understand why we would replace an online registration system that on its face has served us well for many years.
Why did we feel the need to change out the old online registration system?
- Security– We take the security of your data very seriously. When I purchased Road, I hired a team of highly qualified IT/Programming and Security professionals to implement some security patches on the software. They told me, at that point in time, that the old system was secure, but that they recommended designing a new system to meet our long-term goals and flexibility regarding ongoing and ever-changing security patches.
- User Interface (Experience) – We had received multiple complaints in the past from our attendees saying that the old system did not work on touch devices. Given that the web traffic on our standard website (road2ca.com) is over 40% mobile devices, we needed to create a system that would be touch-interface friendly.
The old online registration system was an industry leader for many years and served us well. We were the first Quilt Show in the United States to have automated class registration, quilt jurying online and a dedicated application for return quilt shipping. For all its greatness – the old online registration system required some necessary updates that would have had to be addressed sooner rather than later.
So, now you know the “why” we switched. Here’s the “what happened” to our new online registrataion system on Saturday morning, July 14th, and why it wasn’t really all that uncommon of an experience considering today’s technological world:
Road’s software is hosted in a world class server farm. Our hosting package is one that grows with our demand. On Saturday morning, the server was not even close to capacity, yet as many of you experienced, it acted like it was.
What we discovered was that there is one tiny setting
in the web server that limits the number of active sessions that the server will allow. The web server was receiving over 500 requests per second – way more than the default setting on the server. We had over 2,000 eager quilters at the SAME TIME trying to register for their favorite class, causing the congestion that some of you and us in the office
In other words, think of trying to merge onto a crowded freeway that is at a standstill. You can’t go anywhere and you’re extremely frustrated but once the flow of traffic improves, you are able to navigate to your final destination. What happened that Saturday morning was similar to a crowded freeway, except the server was taking who clicked first at that particular point in time, not who was first in line like on a busy freeway.
To put our situation in perspective, Amazon also experienced this kind of problem on their Prime Day. It’snot an excuse, but if a multi-billion dollar company like Amazon can have these issues – anyone (like Road) can too.
We learned a lot through this experience. Ever since, our developer has been inserting additional code into the new online registraton system to speed it up and make the process smoother. We also have appreciated the additional suggestions we’ve been receiving from our users and are attempting to include many of them in future releases of the software.
The bottom line is, our new online registration system is better than ever before to serve you. More positive changes are planned in other areas to continue to enhance your Road experience. We are grateful for all our valued customers and their enthusiasm for Road 2019. It’s going to be an amazing show.
Road to California]]>