I’m speaking at the BEA Bloggers Conference!
So not only am I attending BEA this year (yay!), but I’m also speaking on one of the panels at the Bloggers Conference! I will be on the “Design 101: Creating a Picture Perfect Blog” panel at 10:15am. Hopefully some of you will stop by! 😀
Last week I was in Boston for my sister because she was running the Boston Marathon! She did a great job and the trip was a lot of fun. She even hosted a bridal shower for me while we were there!
I’m a total failure and didn’t even get a photo of my sister running. We were too busy hugging her when she ran past, then 2 seconds later she was off again!
My mom is hogging all the bridal shower pics on her phone, so sorry I don’t have any of those to share!
I’m coding my own email subscription plugin
For ages now I’ve been using MyMail for my blog’s subscription emails. MyMail handles the subscribers and sending out the emails. Then the actual emails get sent with Amazon SES. Everything was great and peachy until last week when I updated to WordPress 3.9. For reasons I can’t figure out, MyMail just decided to stop working. It thinks the emails have been sent, but it doesn’t actually send them. I contacted the developer about it, but he still hasn’t replied. (If I do say so myself, I put his “customer service” to shame. His response time sucks balls, if it exists at all.)
So instead of sitting on my ass any longer, I decided to be pro-active and start thinking of backup plans. What do I do if this developer never replies or doesn’t fix the problem?
My first thought went to MailChimp.. But honestly, I hate their pricing. I think it’s kind of bullshit how their free plan has: up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month. But their first paid plan only allows for 500 subscribers. So in order to jump from free to paid, I’d have to immediately jump up several paid levels before I get one that actually works for me! I don’t feel like spending $15-$20 per month to send out emails…
Onto the next plan.
I figure, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So I’m currently in the process of coding my own email subscription plugin for WordPress. I’m going to manage my own signup form, subscribers, and email sending from within WordPress. Then to actually send the emails, I could probably use my own server, but I’m going to use Mandrill instead. Mandrill is run by the same folks as MailChimp, but it’s just an email-sending service. It doesn’t have the subscriber management or interface that MailChimp has. Instead, you use their API to send your emails (by writing code). It’s similar to Amazon SES, but as an added bonus, Mandrill has the same statistics that MailChimp has (with tracking opens, clicks, etc.).
However, since Mandrill is just for sending emails and requires code to do it, it’s a tiny fraction of the cost that MailChimp is. I estimate I’ll be spending $1 per month to send emails (which is so much better than $15-$20!).
Overall, I just love managing all my own code. If something goes wrong or isn’t working, that’s on me and I’ll know how to fix it. But I hate relying on plugins made by other people because if something goes wrong, I can’t rely on them to fix it, and I hate digging through other peoples’ code.
Coding God and I are honeymooning in Egypt!
I’m so excited!!! My amazing dad has put together an incredible honeymoon trip for Coding God and I! In October we’re going to EGYPT! I’ve been there once before about 10 years ago, but have been dying to go back.. so what better opportunity?? We’re taking an amazing tour with Abercrombie & Kent and I couldn’t be more excited!! Look out for some epic photos in October. 😉
Here’s a brief layout of our itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrive in Cairo
- Day 2: Giza | The Pyramids & Sphinx
- Day 3: Cairo | Legendary Pharaohs
- Day 4: Luxor | Karnak and the Valley of the Kings
- Day 5: Cruising the Nile | Temple of Hathor at Denderah
- Day 6: Cruising the Nile | Edfu to Kom Ombo
- Day 7: Aswan | Majestic Philae
- Day 8: Abu Simbel | Temples of Ramses II & Nefertari
- Day 9: Cairo | Bustling Souk
- Day 10: Depart Cairo