I’m delighted to be able to announce that the new version of FAQShop.com is now live at http://faqshop.com.
Why the Change?
The world of Enterprise Mobility, that includes both Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr/ SCCM) and Microsoft Intune, is changing at an ever increasingly rapid pace. This coupled with my original vision for the site and what it was actually delivering, lead me to realise it was time to revisit the design of the site and its implementation.
However, rather than continue to go it alone in designing and implementing the new website, back in February I decided to engage with the experts at Aspurian Digital who have a proven track record of designing, implementing, supporting, and maintaining websites for some of the largest companies in the world.
Since then we have gone back to the drawing board to design and build what we feel is a site that better meets the needs of those that require timely, quality content, that can be trusted and relied upon for ConfigMgr/ Intune and their related technologies.
What is New/Has Changed?
Although we started with a blank sheet of paper, there were some fundamentals that we have kept with the new version. That said, there are a LOT of new features we believe greatly enhance your experience and meet your needs.
Search is “Front and Centre”
Most of our visitors come via the search engines; with others coming directly to the site and performing searches. One of the biggest problems with the old site, was that the search facility was tucked off in the right hand side (primarily so it was always visible), but it didn’t therefore have the focus it should have done.
Now with the new version of the site, the search facility has been moved to the top of every page; not only making it more accessible, but also providing you with practically the full width of the page to be able to easily enter search strings.
Filter as You Type Search
As you type your search string into the Search field a list of matching entries will be displayed thus speeding up your searches and allowing you to see all of the matching results.
New Knowledge Base
It is all very well having great content, but if people can’t find it what’s the point? People also find content in different ways! So we now give you multiple ways of finding content on the site:
Enter what you are looking for in the Search field at the top of any page.
Using the Knowledge Base menu
This allows you to navigate through a series of menus in the traditional manner (like on the old site), to find the page containing the content you are looking for. For example, getting to the page containing all of the Troubleshooting-related FAQs for Current Branch, is simply a case of clicking Knowledge Base | SCCM | Troubleshooting.
Selecting a Category from the new Knowledgebase Page
Clicking just the Knowledge Base menu without selecting anything from the dropdown takes you to the brand new Knowledgebase page; showing all of the various categories per product. Using WordPress Categories allows us to easily group related posts. Clicking a Category will show all of the articles contained within that specific Category.
For example, clicking the Troubleshooting (CM12) Category will load all of the ConfigMgr 2012 Troubleshooting-related FAQs.
Selecting a Category from the Categories dropdown
You can also select a Category from the Categories dropdown on the right hand side of any page.
Highlighting the Other Services We Provide
On several occasions people have commented they were unaware of the other services we can help you with; hence why we created the Other Services section. If you have a consultancy or training requirement we can help with, please let us know. Likewise, if you don’t want to commit to having to pay for a consultant to be on site to perform tasks, such as reviewing or even writing your documentation, this is something we can also assist you with.
If you are a company that needs ConfigMgr-related content writing or reviewing for your product or service; be it a blog, whitepaper or even a full guide, we can assist with that. Just because we are based in the UK does not mean we are unable to work globally, far from it. Several of our existing clients are based in different time zones to the UK.
Whatever the requirement, please get in touch with us, as it’s more likely than not we can help.
One of the many goals for FAQShop is to be able to cover all of the product; warts and all. We all know out-of-the-box ConfigMgr sometimes falls short in some areas, or maybe doesn’t provide all of the functionality/features that you may require.
To address these needs there are various 3rd party products available which you maybe aren’t aware of or familiar with. That is why we built the Showcase; to give you free exposure to these products but without any pressure. The Showcase itself is a work in progress and there are plenty of other vendors we are already at various stages of discussion with about featuring their products.
If you have a product you would like to see on the Showcase and we haven’t been in touch, we would love to hear from you.
Helping You Make a Decision Without Committing to a Subscription
We all know what it’s like, you buy something you think is going to be great and end up being disappointed as you couldn’t preview the item before buying it.
With FAQShop, we like to give you a preview of our content. Be it the title we use for our content, or the excerpt we provide for free (such as the problem statement for our troubleshooting articles), that hopefully means you can ensure we are talking about the same thing before committing to a subscription.
The old site used a theme that wasn’t overly mobile friendly. The new site uses a theme that is mobile friendly, so regardless of the device you are using to view the site you will have the same fantastic experience.
Integrated, Automated Subscriptions
Back in December we launched OneFAQ, our collection of ConfigMgr information containing all of our FAQs for ConfigMgr Current Branch and 2012, but in a series of OneNote Notebooks. Why OneNote? There were various reasons, but primarily this was due to concerns about being unable to secure the content if it were to be hosted on the actual FAQShop website itself.
Although OneFAQ has proved a great success, the way this is actually implemented isn’t as transparent as it should be. A key part of the redesign has been to create a secure site so that all content can be hosted in one place on the site itself, rather than being split between the site and OneNote.
When you subscribe, the process is fully automated and you’ll receive access to all of our content in a matter of minutes rather than potentially longer (as was previously the case).
There have been other improvements made behind the scenes which aim to improve the performance, experience and discoverability of the site and it’s content.
How Can You Help?
There are numerous ways you can help us. Of course the most obvious one is if you want access to information to help you get your job done, take out a subscription.
But it’s not all about subscriptions. Help us prioritise the content we write by telling us what kind of content you want and on what subjects. We may think we know what you want, but unless you tell us, we’ll be second guessing and possibly wrong; given the size of the products and the amount of content that could be written.
Please help us improve the experience of the site by giving us feedback.
Contribute. If you want to help write content for the site and receive recognition in return, then please get in touch.
Of course the site isn’t perfect and we’re not done yet. But if we waited until everything was implemented and the site was perfect we’d never finish it.
As of today I deem the site as fit for purpose and over the coming months the content will be migrated from OneNote onto the site itself. Part of this migration process will include me reviewing the content to ensure it is still relevant and up-to-date and also to ensure consistency.
Talking of consistency, we are aware that as the site has grown over the years we’ve used different styles, formatting, language and layout. We are now standardising the look and feel of all of our content; with all new content being written to this new standard and existing content being reviewed and amended accordingly as time allows.
For almost 20 years we have passionately believed there is a requirement for quality, timely and trustworthy information. The products have evolved over the years and so have we. One thing that hasn’t changed however, is our passion and significant investments we have made both financially and with our time in this new version of FAQShop to further demonstrate this to you.
I hope you enjoy this new version and if you have any thoughts or feedback I would personally love to hear them.
Founder and Owner