Simply Testable Updates #88: In-Account Newsletter Management Fixed

Simply Testable Updates #88: In-Account Newsletter Management Fixed

May 7, 2014
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This is the 88th of weekly progress updates on the development of Simply Testable, your professional automated web frontend testing service providing one-click testing for your entire site.

Highlights from the past week:
  • In-account newsletter management fixed
  • Mobile-ready account and payment card pages (are almost ready)
     
In-account newsletter management fixed
From your account page you can choose to subscribe to, or unsubscribe from, both this newsletter and our product annoucements newsletter.

This worked well when both newsletters had relatively few recipients. When moving the account page over to Bootstrap version 3, I noticed that these newsletter management feautures no longer worked correctly.

If you happened to be one of the lucky first 25 recipients for both newsletters the feature continued to work just fine. If not, the checkboxes for each newsletter may or may not reflect whether you're subscribed to a given newsletter and when trying to save your newsletter subscription choices it might work just fine, might silently fail or might generate a cryptic error.

This is not quite what I wanted and so I set about fixing it. And to do that I first set out investigating the problem.

In deciding whether to check or uncheck a checkbox next to a newsletter, the account page was asking the MailChimp API for a list of all recipients for a given newsletter and checking a checkbox if your email address featured in the list of a recipients.

Not the most efficient way of going about this but it worked and when the feature was originally added to the account page this was good enough.

In reality, this only appeared to initially work due to the low number of newsletter recipients. When said that the account page was asking the MailChimp API for a list of all receipients, what I should have said was that the account page was asking the MailChimp API for a list of the first 25 recipients. I only thought it was asking for all recipients.

I could have updated the account page to really ask the MailChimp API for all newsletter recipients but when limited to retrieving 100 at a time this would be too inefficient.

I totally re-wrote how newsletter management from your account page works. I made use of MailChimp webhooks so that Simply Testable is notified when newsletter recipients change and I ensured that a local copy newsletter recipients was built and kept up to date.

This is about as efficient as can be, it works and it reduces page load time for the account page by a second or two. Which is nice.

Mobile-ready account and payment card pages (are almost ready)
Following last week's deployment of mobile-ready sign up, sigin in and reset password pages, I've been re-implementing the account and payment card pages.

These are both now mobile-ready and are almost ready to go live.

Upcoming Development
I'll continue to update the Simply Testable services to be more friendly to vastly differing screen sizes and will continue to help make it more clear when account-only features are an option.

As always, if you'd like to see web testing you find boring handled automatically for you, add a suggestion or vote up those that interest you. This really helps.

Feedback, thoughts or ideas: email jon@simplytestable.com, follow @simplytestable or keep an eye on the Simply Testable blog.

Cheers!

 
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