The interactive Harry Potter online reading site Pottermore will finally open to the general public in April 2012. It was scheduled to open in October 2011, but the beta period was extended in order to move the site to a new platform which would be able to handle millions of users.
Pottermore was launched by Harry Potter author JK Rowling and is managed by Sony. It was advertised as an online reading experience for the popular book series. Readers are allowed to take part in the story, which includes getting a wand and being placed in one of the four Hogwarts houses. They can also compete for points to gain the House Cup.
The site allowed a limited number of users to register for the beta on 31 July 2011. It gave them access to Pottermore between mid-August and late September, aiming to open the site to the public during October to let users navigate through the first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
However, Pottermore struggled with the demand from beta users and suffered frequent downtime. As a result, the beta trial was extended to an unspecified period.
Today, Sony has announced that Pottermore will be publicly available in early April 2012. It said its user feedback from the beta trial showed that the original platform for the site "wouldn’t be suitable when millions more users came onto the site."
“We always knew Pottermore would be incredibly popular, which is why we made the decision to only open to 1m beta users to begin with,” wrote a Pottermore spokesperson in a blog post.
"We wanted to make sure that we had a really good understanding of how people want to use the site and which bits we’d need to modify before giving more people access,” they said.
As a result, Pottermore will move to another platform to cope with the demand. Users won’t notice the change, but Sony hopes it will help the site grow and develop as more books are added.