Regular visitors to Spendabit and passers-by on our Twitter feed might have noticed a slow-down in new merchants recently. Even worse, you may have even experienced an outage of our website in recent weeks. We write to assure these are temporary phenomena, on the one hand due to some reorganization to our infrastructure, and on the other hand due to our working busily on a product we hope will make our efforts more sustainable.

A New Home (Server)

On the first note, we have migrated to a new server. With our previous, cloud-hosting provider, we'd had ongoing issues in recent months. Being a “Platform as a Service” it made many things easier (application deployment, backups, etc.), but at times it made things that would otherwise be non-problems serious hinderances (such as monitoring log files).

So, on that front, we have migrated our operations to an old-fashioned server setup (no PaaS). Thus far, we are happy campers. We do have some work cut out for us yet — such as making deployments easier — but we seem to be running smoothly, and at a lower cost.

More Improvements to Search Performance

You may have noticed Spendabit coming back with search results a bit faster than previously. And, after noting the above, you may suspect this is due to our new server arrangement — but that's not the case (mostly). Our recent performance improvements may be, in small part, due our new hosting situation, but we've also made more tweaks to our search back-end, the primary source of these speedups.

And we have additional changes planned that should improve our search performance marginally. That said, the more valuable changes to our search engine, in the near- to medium-term, will likely come in the form of better result relevance.

Our First ‘Product’

Though already a useful tool, our ‘Bitcoin Product Search Engine‘ is not the only way we plan to add value to the crypto-currency ecosystem. For starters, we are developing a service to better enable Bitcoin-accepting merchants. With this product, dubbed ‘Merchant Suite’, merchants will get greater exposure for their offerings, guaranteed product coverage, a cool ‘admin’ tool for managing their products and their Spendabit profile — plus a number of other perks.

If you're a Bitcoin-enabled seller, whether you're on Spendabit already or not, get in touch if you'd like to learn more and/or participate in our pilot program. We'll be kicking it off in the coming weeks, and those that help us shake out the bugs will be entitled to a discounted rate on Merchant Suite in addition to the first month free.