Over the weekend of April 4th we had a network outage due to a switch upgrade that our host provider was performing for their network. This upgrade was something completely unrelated to the FloorPlanOnline servers or service, yet because our Internet connection runs through our host, our service, as well as many other clients of our host company, was unable to connect to the Internet. The result was the FloorPlanOnline service was down for Saturday and a good part of Sunday. This is obviously not good, not expected and very unusual. In the past several years, any outage has typically lasted only a few minutes or so, and we have maintained an uptime well over 99.95%.
We recognize that having a reliable and stable platform is part of any purchase decision. Therefore, we have decided to move our hosting environment to Amazon’s AWS service, the same hosting service used by companies like Netflix, Twitter, Linkedin, Expedia, Pinterest, Dropbox, Comcast and many other large sites. We are going to make sure these kind of outages WILL not happen again. Amazon, while not 100% full-proof, typically has outages of a few minutes, if at all, and data is automatically copied across multiple data centers 2 to 4 times. We can also use their platform to scale to meet demand during peak times. This should provide customers with a more reliable, faster and more stable user experience.
This is our commitment to you to make sure we do not experience such an outage caused by a network upgrade again. We will begin the migration the week of April 6th and hope to complete it by the end of the month.
As always, we appreciate your business and understanding as we make the change.
-Kris Cone, CEO FloorPlanOnline
We released a new simplified way to either search/filter for accounts on the Manage Tour page, or when you are placing an order. In the past, there was a long list to select from. Now, if you are placing orders via a corporate account, just start typing the person’s name (first or last) or their customer ID and the list of filtered agents will appear. You can then quickly select from the list.
This is an example. Once the list appears just mouse over the desired name and click.
An interesting article from Inman the other day where the top 3 real estate portals are really dominating the search results. Zillow was at the top with 16.53 percent of real estate traffic. Then came Trulia with 8.66%. Rounding out the top 3 was Realtor.com (which used to be #1) with 7.26%. But what these numbers do not show is Zillow also powers several other websites, including Yahoo Homes, which is #4. So you have Zillow with over 64 million monthly visitors to their site and listings. Realtor.com does power MSN Real Estate, so together, they represent about 26 million monthly visits.
We recently launched intro and exit branding slides for the downloadable/YouTube video. We heard from some of you that you wanted this to be optional. We have listened, and you now have the ability to uncheck the box for the branding slides. If you do not want the branding, or if you want to first download the video file without the branding for use elsewhere…and then add the branding, just uncheck the box, save and we will regenerate the video you can download or that gets posted to YouTube. Each time you check or uncheck the box, we regenerate the video, so you do have some options to create multiple downloadable files.
We hope you enjoy this FREE enhancement!
We are pleased to announce the launch of agent branding on the YouTube videos. We have been providing automated YouTube video uploads for years now, but the video was an exact replica of the video on your tour. Now, we have added agent branding at the beginning and end of the video that includes info on the property as well as your contact info, logo and photo. We also add a banner that displays your contact info and some property info.
As always, you can select the free YouTube posting service to either the FloorPlanOnline YouTube Channel, or you can set to authenticate with your own google account/YouTube account. See the settings under Edit Profile, then Edit Tour Linking & Distribution. Select the box to upload videos to your YouTube channel, then authenticate by signing in with your gmail account credentials (it helps to have gmail or your YouTube channel open when you do this). Save at the bottom.
Then just make sure as you create a new tour, the box is checked to upload the video to YouTube.
That’s it! Again we create these videos for free…no upgrades, up charges or manual work needed!