Writings

Let’s break the site and annoy subscribers

Last week, the email and subscribers plugin I use here received a major upgrade. The upgrade came with a complete UI redesign, which always sucks. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I figured I would have to get used to where everything got moved and the new look, but it was so much worse than that.

Before I dive in to what has happened, I apologize to those of you who aren’t getting email notifications or who have received multiple notifications.

After about an hour, when the cache had cleared in my browser, the website returned a 502 server error. That’s never a good thing.

I logged into my website via FTP as this was the only possible way to reach it. I searched through countless files and thought I had found the problem. It was the update I had just made to the the email and subscribers plugin. I took a deep breath and attempted to disable it. It didn’t work.

I contacted support and it took more than an hour for them to get the plugin to disable. My site reappeared. I thanked them for my help and began to read the comments on what had been the best email and subscribers plugin in use. Dozens of messages all saying the same thing. The plugin was completely broken.

I hadn’t planned on writing a post for a few days, so I closed my browser and went to bed. I kept an eye on the comments. Update 4.0.1 was supposed to fix the 502 server error. Update 4.0.2 was supposed to fix this and that, but broke the other thing. 4.0.3 fixed something else, but ten other things were still broken. It is all supposed to be fixed in 4.0.4, but it’s not.

Among the most annoying issues for me are the following:

The plugin randomly decided to send out post notifications in the queue. The queue says everything was sent. There is a notification in the “reports” tab that says “Send Queued Emails Now.” If I click that, it says there are 34 unsent notifications. My post from Friday didn’t send. Neither did my Saturday post. I had to manually take them out of the queue and send them.

In the previous version, 3.5.18, you had two options for sending notifications – immediately and setting a custom time. That option is now gone. It is supposed to do it in the background an hour after you post, which is useless. Dozens of commenters want to old option back. I do, too. It is absolutely stupid to remove functionality from your plugin, especially when it is the single most important part of your plugin. You had given the user a choice for sending an email – now or later – and you took that away.

The widget for people to subscribe to my website completely broke many people’s sites. It affected mine as well. That has been fixed, but people are now complaining that no one can sign up for the email list. On my site, it is at the bottom of each page. If anyone reading this would like to help me and try to sign up and see if it works, please do. Leave a comment below if it does or doesn’t.

My biggest worry – the disappearance of my subscribers’ emails – seems to be resolved. I copy and pasted them into a separate file so that if it happens again, at least I can manually fix it. I lost three subscribers in that fix, but I knew who they were and manually re-added them.

I used to get an admin alert that the email had been sent to XX subscribers. This is vital to know that everyone is getting their emails. That capability has been removed. Users are begging for its return.

I have purposely set this plugin to auto-post at 4am. I hope when I wake up, it has actually sent. If not, that is another thing still broken.

Until this plugin broke, the most annoying thing in my life was Paul interrupting me while I was trying to write. Now, I just want to punch my computer repeatedly.

The author of the plugin claims that, since it was such a big update we should have expected things to be buggy. No, I expected the major update to be tested repeatedly before it was rolled out to more than 100,000 people.

The suggestion right now to fix everything is to roll back the plugin to its last stable version, which I am hesitant to do for fear of things breaking further.

I hope this gets sorted out soon. Again, I apologize if this has caused issues on your end.

If you’re having issues, let me know in the comments below. I will try to fix them as best as I can. Thanks for your patience.

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1 Comment

  1. Leslie jordan

    I.m still receiving.ur posts…thank s soooooomuch!.I can.t type!!!!..take care🐧🐧🐧🐈🐈🐈

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