We've been working on a big project for the past couple of months that will, ultimately, radically improve the Smokingpipes.com experience (well, we hope so, at least!). Tomorrow night (Saturday October 29th) at 9pm, we're taking the website offline for a couple of hours for the upgrades. We'll be restructuring a lot of the data in the database, so we can't take orders at the same time as we roll out the new stuff.
Initially, the big changes that will be visible will have to do with how you log into the website. If you have an existing user account, we'll make your username your email address and your password won't change. If your password fails to meet security criteria, or if you've been using the website without logging in, we'll email you to set the password for the account we'll create for you with your extant order history. This is being driven by a few things:
1) Security. While we've always considered security of the utmost importance, the internet, and security threats, have changed since this part of the code was written over ten years ago. We want to get ahead of the curve and make sure we offer top notch protection for your data.
2) An improved user center experience. Right now, when you log into your user account, you have a fairly limited set of things you can do. Yeah, in this day and age, that should be way cooler. Initially, we'll give you more control over your information and order history. More importantly, the architectural changes will let us bolt on new features over time, make recommendations specific to you, offer you quick access to the items you order repeatedly and, we assume, offer up a bunch of cool stuff we haven't even thought up yet. Think pie charts of your pipe collection from smokingpipes.com broken down by country or by brand, or perhaps how much you've bought of different blends laid out for you to look at. Once we have this piece, which is sort of like the steel frame of a building, done, we'll be able to fill it with all sorts of cool stuff.
3) New, faster and easier checkout with more options. This will be available immediately. It will also fix a few problems that crop up now and again with carts dropping items and whatnot.
So, you likely won't have to do anything, but you may have to reset your password and you'll now be logging in with your email address instead of your username.
Please email us or use the comments section of this blog for any questions you might have.
We definitely hope that you like the changes!