There have been a lot of changes at Pirates Prospects over the last eight months. The site was switched to a new server, new membership software was added, a new theme was put in place, and there was a lengthy period where you could access the site without signing in, and without an active subscription.
I put the paywall back up at the end of last week, and it led to some issues. Some people couldn’t log in at all. Some people could log in, but couldn’t access the articles, getting a message that their subscription wasn’t active.
I’ve been responding to individual problems that were emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll have all of the responses finished by tomorrow evening. However, I figured a quicker way to do this would be to provide a guide which covers a lot of the most common issues, since I’ve noticed a lot of the same problems, covered by the same solutions.
In order to have access to the site, you need to log in (which involves changing your password, if you haven’t done so in the last several months), then make sure you have an active subscription. Follow the guide below to find your specific issue in this process.
If You Can’t Log In…
When the user accounts were transferred to the new servers, the passwords didn’t come with them. Thus, everyone has to reset their password to create a new one. There have been some issues involving that process, broken down below.
No Password Reset Email Received
There were some issues where people couldn’t even get a password email sent to them. The common issue here is that they signed up with a different email address. Check your other email for that possibility if this applies to you. You can update your email address after you have signed in. If you no longer have that email address, send me an email and I’ll change it in your account.
Password Email Received, But the Link Doesn’t Work
There was an issue where people couldn’t get a valid link in their password email. This was a formatting issue which impacted only some people, due to the way their email server read the password link.
I’ve updated the password email, which should remove this problem. If you were stuck on this step, try again and see if it works with the new email and password change format.
New Password Doesn’t Work
There were also people who received their new password, only to have it not work. The problem here was that the password reset page provided an example password. You needed to save that password, or create one of your own. Instead, people were copying that password and using it without saving it, which is why it didn’t work.
I’ve created a less confusing password reset page, where you have to enter a new password and hit save. It also removes the confusing language about how the password should be 12 characters long (that was a WordPress suggestion, and not a requirement).
If You Can Log In, But Can’t Access Articles…
This is where a lot of the issues are right now. There was a problem last week where the subscriptions weren’t linked to the accounts, but that was fixed. At this point, if you have an active subscription, you should be able to access articles.
This issue has confused some people, so let me run through and explain the issues.
If You Can Log In, But Can’t Access Articles
You probably don’t have an active subscription. The large majority of people who have this issue saw their subscription expire between September and now. You wouldn’t have noticed that the subscription expired, since you could still access the site until now.
I can check on everyone’s subscription status and see when your subscription ran out. But the easy way to find out this information, without delays, is to search your email for a receipt from the site for when you paid. That will let you know when you signed up, which will let you know when your subscription expired.
The best search terms to use:
“Payment Receipt for your payment to Pirates Prospects”
“Your payment to Pirates Prospects” (if you used Paypal)
“Your Pirates Prospects receipt” (Credit card orders)
If you want me to check to confirm your subscription status, feel free to send an email to email@example.com with the title “CONFIRM SUBSCRIPTION STATUS”. Include your user name and the email address you used to sign up, plus any other payment details you can remember (although I can find all of that with the first two bits of info).
If You Can Log In, But You Don’t See Your Old Subscription Info
This is what is confusing most people about their expired subscriptions. They look in their account page and see nothing — not even their expired subscription.
The only people who see any subscription information in their account page are the people with active subscriptions. I didn’t import the expired subscription records, as that would have involved importing anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 or more records, and none of those would have been relevant to active subscriptions. There was also too much of a chance that such an import could create problems.
So if you don’t see your old subscription information in your account, this is normal. It doesn’t mean you got the wrong account. It means that your subscription has expired. Again, check the above for how to confirm that, or how to send me an email to check for confirmation.
You Think You Should Have an Active Subscription
If after the previous steps you still believe you should have an active subscription, then please email me with the above steps looking for confirmation. Even when cutting out thousands of unnecessary records to import, I still had to import several thousand records, and all transferred over by manually entering the data in a spreadsheet. I checked, double checked, and triple checked, but there’s a chance a mistake was made, and I don’t want anyone double-paying, or not getting what they paid for.
Side Issue: I Have to Enter My Password Constantly
The site had an issue where people had to sign in every day or two, due to a WordPress security setting. I added something to override that issue, and the problem should be gone now. Let me know if you keep having to sign in (on the same browser), although I’ll also know, since this issue happened to me as well.
Getting the Site Back Online
This entire process has been a mess, and I apologize for the issues. All I want to do is get back to writing about baseball, rather than spending my entire workday on the back end of the site. I’m sure all you want to do is get back to reading about baseball without having to jump through hoops.
A lot of this could have been avoided if I had outsourced the work, but unfortunately that wasn’t an option. The site was about to go under, and I was trying to figure out how to pay my own bills, with no extra money to pay people for the migration service.
I’m hoping that after this week, all of the issues are resolved. But until that happens, I’m here to fix any issues for you. Just follow the steps above and email the help account to allow me to pinpoint your issue.