Simply Testable Updates #106: Unsendable Emails, UnChimpable Emails, Broken Link Checking Improvements

Simply Testable Updates #106: Unsendable Emails, UnChimpable Emails, Broken Link Checking Improvements

September 10, 2014
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This is the 106th 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.

This week I dealt with handling various types of email-related failures, improving broken link checking and finalising podcast ads/

Handling Unsendable Emails
I mentioned last week that I had started dealing with unsendable emails. Quick recap: our system sends various emails, some of which can not be received (not all email addresses work all the time) and we can't tell that an email won't work until (relatively) well after it has been sent.

Our systems will try to send you an email in various situations, such as when:
  • creating an account
  • resetting your password
  • changing your email address
  • inviting a new user to join your team
If an email address that cannot receive new email is used in any of the above situations, you will now get a nice error message the second time you try and do something with that email address.

That's a lot better than encountering a 500 Internal Server Error.

Handling Unchimpable Emails
I made up the word 'unchimpable'.

We use MailChimp to manage our mailing lists. Visit your account page and you'll have two simple checkboxes for subscribing to or unsubscribing from two of our mailing lists.

Up until recently, trying to subscribe to one of our mailing lists from your account page would sometimes generate a server error. Not for all email addresses but for some.

It turns out the email addresses related to the server errors are those deemed to be 'banned' by MailChimp. Some domains are outright banned by MailChimp as well as some individual email addresses. In short, some email addresses can't subscribe to some MailChimp-powered mailing lists.

We now handle these situations nicely and let you know that this is the case. Much nicer than a server error.

Finialising Podcast Ads
After a few emails back and forth with the TMS guys, I've finalised the content for the ads that will soon be running on the TMS podcast. I'm not sure at the moment when the ads will run.

Upcoming Work
Over the next week or so I'll be hunting down further podcasts in which I can advertise and will be addressing some shortcomings in our broken link checker.

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, follow @simplytestable or keep an eye on the Simply Testable blog.


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