View Full Version : email jitters

12-26-2004, 11:37 PM
Hi, I've been WH over a year now. Their service and price is great, but of late the jitters have been creeping into me with regards to Email related issues. I'm on a VPS reseller system.
I would like to stick with them for a big client of mine, but because of issues like missing emails, email ques, delays in receiving emails I'm really sort of hesistant.
Usually the issues arise only when sending emails with attachments of up to 2MB or more.
These problem would most probaly arise because of the overstrain the shared server resources. I hope I'm not considered *****ing here,but it's just a thought. If your site is not really heavy on email usage, then WH would always be the first choice.

12-28-2004, 12:59 PM
I've been a WH customer for 3 years. I have noticed that lately the servers seem more swamped. On VPS WH does not currently guareentee any percentage of CPU and resources so consequently it crawls at times or stops dead in its tracks. When you sign-on using SSH they say that any use which would undermine the useability is cause to have your access priviledges revoked. So either this policy is not being upheld or the servers are utiliized to capacity. This issue has come up before and their response is that they perform load balancing and what not and despite the horrid delays at times it isn't constant. My web-site runs batch so it's not that big a deal, but I can understand your grief because it can be very painful during testing. I am unaware that e-mails get lost, but them not being processed in the order they were generated/received is not unusal. WH does have good prices and a whole lot better than competing outfits like webidiots who devide up available resources better.. And WH is competant. That is getting harder to come by imo. WH has made mention that in the future they might enforce resource limits, but until that happens you're just going to have to live with it or go elsewhere and pay more. I also read a while back that SPAM accounts for more than 80% of internet traffic. So imagining that's how a lot of the resources are being consumed is not such a stretch and going somewhere else is not going to make much of a difference since SPAM is world-wide.


12-28-2004, 07:10 PM
Yes, thanks for the indepth look at the situation.I still love WH no doubt,but maybe a solution to this is that they could run emails on a seperate dedicated server ? But then I'm no techie, don't know what other implications are there.However,I would just like hope WH keep up with the current good work that they provide relentlessly. A great host indeed.

12-29-2004, 02:29 AM
SPAMMERs have a weakness. <u>It's not profitable or practical to do so by hand</u>. Out of the millions of advertisements sent only a small percentage of the people they reach actually buy. Customers or visitors to my site have no problem, because they do do it by hand!

The method I use is very simple and uses far less CPU and other resources than the conventional way - SPAMASSASSIN et ilk.

I generate a random code that varies between 1 and 4 digits. I tell the surfer that the code has to be put in the subject. The code changes everyday. I display the code in plain text. I'm not worried the spammer will learn of it, because tommorrow it will be different and it's a near impossibility people who harvest e-mail addresses will pick the code up and get it out to spammers that day. Plus at present SPAM mailers aren't even set-up to do anything special with the subject anyhow!

I use a mailto link to encode the address. The user named doesn't exist. It is simply used by procmail to know that it should compare the number in the subject to today's code and if they are the same to send the message (in my case) to a program. Anyone else could simply have it forwarded to a real e-mail.

I have a shell script that is run by cron every night. It derives the code from the system clock which is a sequential count of the number of seconds since January 1, 1970. I reduce the count by a day (86400 seconds), AND (&amp;) it with a 0x0ffff to reduce the number of digits, and at last stick it into a js (javascript source) file that my web-pages load so it can be displayed. That's it!

So far this method has worked very well. In six months only one has gotten through and that's because it was done manually. I don't get nearly as many SPAMS as some people do. Probably because the web-site is new and if the day comes when I do get inundated - who cares! Well maybe WH, but if enough people started capitalizing on SPAMMERS weakness it wouldn't be as profitable and instead of increasing it'd start to decrease.

Well I'll climb down off my soap box now. Perhaps some enterprising soul would like to develop this idea further? There are things that still need to be done. For example feeding the e-mail message to SPAMASSASSIN if the code is missing or expired. This would also be useful if in the unlikely event the surfer's browser didn't understand JavaScript and therefore the number couldn't be displayed.

A while back I posted the source code for my first cut, but I have refined it greatly. Except for a few expressions of gratitude nothing ever became of it. So if you are interested PM me and I'll send you all that I have. If you'd like to see it in action check out my web-site at http://www.sanjuanpersonals.com/ . With exception of knowing where to put the procmail stuff, how to include a js file, setup cron and some other basic HTML it's as simple as pie to implement. The status link at the bottom of the intro page displays a count of all e-mail received. Any e-mail that went anywhere will be denoted by an "E-mail Sent" label. My web-site uses catch-all. These entries expire and are dropped after 3 days of inactivity so the numbers themselves are not an accurate representation over the life of the web-site. Go ahead and try it out. I'll reply to your e-mail if you get through. But I tell you right now there is no way to break it! I extend my offer to share to anyone who is interested.