Last week I went on an Excellent WordPress Adventure: I’ve got a whole new homepage, annual and monthly subscriptions available in the shop, plus lots of new features.
I’m so proud of how it turned out! Some of my goals were to integrate lots of the artwork that I’ve done over the past year or so into the website cleanly, to improve navigation, and to summarize pricing clearly, and I think I did pretty well.
To celebrate, I’m running a big sale on annual subscriptions
From now until February 23, subscriptions to the Annual Video League are 50% off!
Annual subscriptions won’t get cheaper than this in the future, so if you are interested, now is a good time to buy.
Here’s how the pricing works:
The different ways to buy are designed around different needs:
- Is there just one course you want? You can buy access to just that course in a two year subscription.
- Want to jump in and finish several courses in a month or two? The monthly subscription– Monthly Video Crew— is your best value.
- Want to learn from any course or webcast, without having to finish up quickly? The annual subscription — Annual Video League — saves you a bunch of money off the Monthly Video Crew, and has extra perks in addition.
It is very important to me that users be able to easily control their subscriptions, online, without having to email or talk to anyone, and I’m happy to say the site works that way! Immediately after your purchase goes through, you can manage your subscription online.
Here’s a few highlights of changes I’ve made around the site…
Annual subscribers will get to watch webcasts after the fact
If it isn’t possible or convenient for you to attend my free webcasts, you will be able to watch them afterward as an Annual Video League member. The published webcasts will be split into lessons and have script downloads, much like a regular course.
If you’ve got questions or comments, lesson pages let you ask or participate at the bottom of each page, too.
After much experimentation, I’ve just recently nailed down a process of recording live webcasts where the audio and video aren’t potato 🥔 quality on the recording, so this applies to webcasts from February 2018 and forward. (If there’s a past webcast you’d really like to have a recording of, hit me up with a request! I might re-run it.)
New courses sidebar widget
Over time, I’ve gotten feedback from many students saying that they prefer a shorter course format.
Folks seem to like courses to be in the 45 minute to 1 hour range, with relatively short lessons. This makes a lot of sense to me! I’m going to keep the few longer format courses I already have, but new courses will follow the shorter format. When a topic needs a longer time, I will break it up into ~50 minute courses and list them as a series.
This, plus publishing webcast courses, means that the number of courses I have will expand fairly rapidly, so it’s nice to have an easy way to see the most recent courses and recorded webcasts (for annual subscribers) that have gone live without heading over to the blog.
I’ve set up the sidebar on several common pages to show this list to make finding new content easier.
Handy dandy ‘Course Catalog’ page
I wanted an easy way to summarize courses by topic – both for shoppers, as well as enrolled students. The Course Catalog page is a single page that lists all the courses by topic, with links so you can jump around the page.
To get to each course, you just click on the course picture or a link. If you’re an enrolled student, you can take the course. If you’re a shopper, you can check out preview lessons.
I’ve found that as I work on the site and make little tweaks to courses, I use this page a ton! I think it will be very useful for students, too.
Every course has captions and transcripts
All courses can now have captions enabled in the video browser, plus a written transcript below the lesson.
It took some time to get through the backlog for this. The company I hire to do captions isn’t staffed by SQL Server experts, so sometimes I end up with a caption where I’m talking about a ‘gross store index’ instead of a ‘rowstore index’ 😂. I did my best to catch errors and get the best quality possible, but see if you can find any funny easter eggs still in there.
There’s even more new stuff…
But I’m going to save ’em for short posts with more details on them.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me in building this site!
To everyone who has tried out courses, left me reviews, given me feedback, and taken surveys — thank you so much for helping me launch this site and get things off the ground. Your comments and help have really made a difference and helped me get to the point where I am today, and I am so grateful to you.