Strange SendGrid problem

I’m working through this bug with SendGrid support but wanted to know if anyone else experienced this problem…

A while back I signed up for a free SendGrid account through Rackspace Cloud Sites. I configured options on SendGrid and then configured a WordPress plugin (recommended by SendGrid) on my domain.

The only emails sent out were backup success/failures from another plugin. So I wasn’t really using SendGrid as it was intended (newsletters, customer interactions, etc) but I figured I would find a use for it later.

Important Story Point: The emails had my logo on them which I *think* I configured through SendGrid’s website.

Flash forward several months. I find out that you can add additional API users/keys on that same account. This way you can use one SendGrid account with different API keys on different domains so that they all have different “from” addresses. This functionality might have always existed in some form but I just found out about it.

Great! I actually have a use for SendGrid on this upcoming project and figured I could actually make some use of those free 40K emails/month.

I set up the new user and connect that user to a completely different WordPress install and domain. But when I send out the test message I see the logo from the original domain.

I scour the SendGrid site and the WordPress settings on both domains and can’t find anywhere to change it. I contact support and they say it must be in the WordPress configuration. I said that it was probably on their site at one point and that maybe they took away the newsletter “app” to encourage customers to upgrade thereby leaving my settings in database limbo.

So now I can’t use SendGrid on any other sites because I can’t figure out how to get that logo out of the emails.

Anyone else have this problem? Do you remember configuring a Newsletter Template of some sort when you signed up? I used their API Workshop (http://docs.sendgrid.com/apiworkshop/) to send an email and it has my logo in it. So it has to be something on their end, right?

=========== Answer 1 ===========

In case it happens to anyone else here’s their reply:

Thanks for the info – that actually helped me narrow down exactly where to look. It seems that when you first signed up, we gave you the option to setup the email template, and you did so, but that option actually should not have popped up for you.

Our devs have taken care of this problems, and I sent a test to confirm that the box with your logo is now gone, so you’re all set now!

Rackspace Email Marketing (spamming) – Direct to Your Clients

I discovered this week, that my customers (entered as clients in Cloud Sites control panel) – are being added to Rackspace’s general email marketing list.

I also discovered this in April

Both times I have been told it was a mistake and won’t happen again… but it did – and might again?

So beware, if you enter a client into cloud sites, they may get email marketing directly from Rackspace. Actually, they will get spam – since it is unsolicited bulk email.

My clients know that they are hosting with Rackspace – via me as a reseller – which I think made the messages that much more confusing to them. They get a message from a vaguely familiar sender (that they associate with me) – which contains (in their mind) – a bunch of confusing information about cloud this and cloud that.

One confused customer called and said – “What is this email? I thought I paid you so I didn’t have to worry about or understand this “cloud” nonsense”

This is not reseller friendly behavior.

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I have verified with a couple of customers and you are right, they are receiving Rackspace Newslletter.

One of them forwarded me an email received on August 22.

My customers also know we are Rackspace resellers but it is not good that they receive communications directly from Rackspace.

Proxy Error due to process time out

So I wanted to see if anyone else out there is running into proxy errors due to processing timeouts. Rackspace has a 30 second limit. I’ve had it happen a number of times on not so complicated things. Support gave me a canned response and blamed my method of doing it. Then suggested a work around that doesn’t work.

It’s a real shame. We have plenty of sites that have complicated reports that are called on a very limited basis – once a day or month. 30 seconds seems like such an arbitrary number too. Its not often that I say I think Rackspace has it wrong. But they do. I bet you they would satisfy 95% of our complaints about this by raising the time out to 45 seconds. In truth, the cloud servers can run slow, so these things take much longer in the cloud then they would else where. I have a table with 30k records and I am cross referencing for duplicates. Simple as that and it can’t be done. The pipe method they recommend doesn’t work either. I would even venture to say that RS’s timeout is not 30 seconds, in reality its less. I can do my call using phpmyadmin and it only takes a few seconds, then when I make the same call using php – it won’t work. REAL BUMMER. I can only say that I was easily able to find a lot of programmers that don’t like this on the web. Slowly, rackspace’s products are loosing their luster and their reputation. Cheap ass hosting that does a better job than Rackspace, I have to take you more seriously now.

=========== Answer 1 ===========

Yah, the 30 second load-balancer / proxy timeout is a real pain the the arse. But if you are coding your own script, it really isn’t that hard to work around – at least not with PHP anyway. The key is to make sure some data is sent back to the browser no more than 30 seconds apart.

I just recently wrote a script that accesses a remote web service repeatedly while building a large array of results and ultimately writing to a text file. It ran into the 30-sec timeout, or course. So in my loop where I repeatedly accessed the web service, I simply do this:

Code:
 echo " Submitted $entrynum...
";

 ob_flush();

 flush();

…and my proggy runs for about 15 minutes and finishes.

Not sure what you are doing that’s taking up time – but if it’s looping then you can do the flush as I did above. But if it’s waiting for the database to come back and the DB query is taking a long time, then you might have to find another solution.

Good luck!

Gary

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Gary I’ll give that a try and report back!