We’ve changed the way jobs are listed on our homepage. Previously jobs were listed by the date they were posted, with the most recent job posted being listed first. We now list jobs according to the most recently logged in host family – so each time you log in your job appears at the top of the list on the homepage. We did this to encourage more applicants for jobs, with host families, that are most actively looking for jobseekers. The most recently posted jobs are, however, still listed by post date on the side panel of the jobs listing page.
We’re trying out some changes we made to the membership model for the Host Families. Previously a host family got one free job post, when they registered, and two job posts when they upgraded. We’ve now changed that so host families, regardless of whether they are Premium Members or not, get unlimited job postings. We made this change in order to facilitate our new job posting format, whereby we now require a host family to have an active job posted when in order to use the site.
When a new member logs in now they will be taken to the job posting screen, once they have a job posted and while the job is active, future log ins will take them to the standard Host Family homepage. If an existing member logs in, and they previously posted a job, they will be taken to the job posting screen, with the option to reuse/re-post one of their previous jobs.
We’ve just launched a new homepage design, The new responsive homepage replaces the older one, which has existed in one format or another for about three years or so. The new, cleaner, design cuts down on visual clutter and prioritises the functionality based on feedback we got from heatmap of visitors’ interaction of the page. This new page retains all the functionality of the old page, so there’s nothing missing in the new version.
Today we increase the price of our Premium Membership plan, from €20 to €27, this price increase is down to a number of factors including the intense investment in, and development of the site over the past four months, all of the new functionality since our last price increase, and the fact that our last price increase was over 6 years ago – in late 2008.
Our new price still offers you great value for money, and we are still one of the cheapest when compared to competitors’ plans.
Yesterday the site was down for about two hours, while we switched over to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), SSL transmits all data transferred between your browser and this site in an encrypted format. You can tell the site has SSL enabled now, due to the https:// (instead of http://) in the address bar.
Besides the trust element of seeing “https://”, and the fact that Google now uses it as a ranking signal for its search results, I’m not sure what the benefit of having it on the site is. There seems to be a slight increase in load times for certain pages, so we’ll keep an eye on that and decide, based on that, if we want to continue using SSL in the future.
Just a quick update on progress on the work we’ve been doing on the site.
We have pretty much finished converting the Host Family section of the site to a responsive design, that means that you’ll see different views, each optimised for that device, when viewed on a desktop PC, a tablet, or on a mobile phone. There is still a small bit of cleaning-up to do, here and there, which we’ll get to as soon as the more urgent tasks are completed.
The second task we have started (and almost completed) is refactoring some of the slower pages on the site. Over the years the constant updates to pages has had an affect on the quality of the code behind those pages, it became a bit convuluted and cumbersome, this has caused them to run very slowly. We completely rewrote the code behind the Job Applications, Search Results, Favourites List, and the Downloaded CVs pages in the Host Families logged-in section, and we also rewrote the code behind the Free Au Pair Search page, which is accessed from the site homepage. All these pages are noticably faster now.
The latest bit of work we’ve started is converting the Au Pair/Jobseeker section of the site, this was only started today, 04/08/2015, and should go on for about 3 weeks.
So, that’s it really, busy bees.
We’ve also implemented the Ajax opening of CVs (and also of the jobseekers’ photo’s) on all of the pages that have links to jobseekers’ CVs – the Job Applicants page, the Downloaded CVs page, the Shortlisted CVs page, and the Private Notes page.
Hopefully this more consistent user experience, and reduced download and page load time, will make using the site a more plesant experience for you. If you can think of any other ways we can improve the site please let us know, below.
Also, we’re still in the process of converting the site to a responsive design, thanks for your continued patience.
We’re currently in the proces of converting the site to a responsive design (a fluid layout that rebuilds itself to suit different screen sizes), we’ve already converted the job description template, and in the last few minutes the new homepage layout has gone live. We are going to continue the redesign by converting all of the pages in the logged-out area of the site and then we’ll move onto the the host family section, followed by the jobseeker section. This will take a few months to complete, unfortunately, and until then you may experience a mixture of layouts – ie. you might go from a responsive page to a desktop page, to a responsive page which isn’t an ideal user experience, but in our opinion is a better way of doing it than attempting to convert the hundred or so templates in the background, we apologise for any invonvenience, and appreciate your patience.
If you encounter any issues in the meantime, or have any feedback, please let us know at [email protected]
[ Update ] We have removed this instant messaging service as it was adding considerable time to page loads
We’ve delighted to announce that we’ve just added instant messaging functionality to the site. Just like Google Talk and Facebook Messenger, it allows two-way instant messaging, and sending of files.
This new service could be a massive time-saver for both jobseeekers and host families, saving you having to wait for a reply from an email, or from your AuPairIreland.ie mail box, it can also be useful for host families who are not quite ready to share their contact details with the jobseeker.
Live conversations can only happen if both the host family and jobseeker are online, however if either party is offline when a message is sent, they will receive it next time they log in.
For Host Families
Host families must initiate the chat, jobseekers are unable to do so, and you can only have conversations with jobseekers whose CVs you have downloaded, so when you log in for the first time after registering your Who’s Online list will have no members.
You’ll find the chat panel on the bottom right-hand-side of the screen, clicking that opens your Who’s Online list, online users have a green circle next to their name, and idle (jobseekers who are on the site but have not been active on the site for five minutes) have a yellow circle, offline users have a grey circle. If a user is offline you can still message them and they will receive it when they next log in, so you could, for example, send them an offline message to arrange a instant messaging chat at a pre-arranged time/date.
This functionality is available to both premium members, and users availing of our free trial.
Jobseekers cannot initiate conversations, host families can contact you, but not vice-versa. But once a conversation has been initiated you have the same messaging features the host families have.
We’ve also added a chatroom for Au Pairs, as a lot of au pairs who come to work in Ireland can find themselves isolated, knowing no-one in the town/city they are working in. This is a great way to stay in contact with existing friends, and a great way to make new friends. You’ll find the au pair chatroom on the bottom of the page as soon as you log in to your account.
Instant Messaging Features
- Send a File – useful for sharing photos, certificates, etc
- Save Conversation – You can save your conversation to your computer for later reference
- Report Conversation – You can report the conversation to us if you feel it is appropriate to do so
Given the nature of the site, and for the protection of both the host family and the jobseeker, all chats are automatically logged on the chat server. This would only be used for later reference if a conversation was reported.