Monday, June 17, 2024

Check Your Server!

Do you use your own virtual server to send out your magazine? I do. Be warned, I have discovered bad things that can happen when you don’t check your server before you send to your list.

Last week, I was getting ready to send out to my subscribers. Earlier in the day, the owner of the server warned me that it would be down for upgrades. I worked on the newsletter waiting for the server to come back up. When it did I started testing my newsletter, sending it out to myself (or so I thought).

The software I use lets me add or change the list before I send out my email. As far ad I knew, I added only myself to that list. I tested several times working on different aspects of the newsletter, trying to make sure links worked, color was right, images worked, and plain text looked good.

I even amused myself sending the ‘test’ mails from R.M.(rim) Ryder with the address of .

The newsletter was being sent to my email address, so as far as I was concerned, everything was working perfectly. I put the finishing touches on the newsletter and sent it to myself again when I got an email that made me pale.


You have sent me 6 emails in the last 10 minutes! I have Unsubcribed! Stop sending NOW!”

I couldn’t understand what was happening. In the next half hour I received 50 unsubscribers. I checked the list to see what was going on. In my mind the only name on the list I was sending to was mine.

When I pulled up my ftp program, last weeks list was on it. I went to my software to change the list but it wouldn’t change. The only thing that would cause it not to change was if the chmod settings had changed. They did. I had sent my ‘test’ to my list as it was last week.

The upgrade on the server had reset all the settings to everything in my cgi-bin. After it was all said and done, I lost over 200 subscribers. My host is aware of the problem and have done a number of good things for my site, so I see no need to move. The real goal of this article is to make web owners aware of checking their site frequently.

Though the program I use is unusual in that the mailing list can change in the cgi-bin, I had other programs that users brought to my attention were not working. What this means is that as a website owner, you have to check your site all the time. Don’t trust that it works.

Dale Sexton owns and operates ‘’ and
publishes ‘Small Business Tools magazine’. Both are
focused on tools and tips to run your small business
or start a business. You can reach him at
pagecrafters@p… and sign up for ‘SBT
magazine’ at

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