Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

If you’re a regular here at Playing With Wire, you’ve probably already read our articles about Cacti. While Cacti does do a great job on visualizing load on your servers, it does not provide (by default) alerts when a server goes down.

When we launched YippieMove we quickly realized that we needed a reliable 3rd party that could ping our servers from several locations across the globe to ensure that we were not experiencing any problems with the access to our site. As we are quite tech-savvy here at WireLoad, we had a hard time justifying paying more than a few bucks per months for a service like this, since the service is so easy to write (we actually did write our own uptime-monitor with alerts a few years back using Curl, Crontab and some other tools, but would rather outsource this service).

So the search began. We required a few thing for this service:

  • Several servers across the globe that ping our servers.
  • Cheap. Preferably free (we don’t mind some ads).
  • Decent statistics showing response-times etc.
  • Reliable alert system by e-mail (luckily most US Cell providers allow you to send email to your phone, using [email protected])
  • Must allow monitoring of both SSL and non-SSL servers.
  • A minimum of 4 monitors (we needed to monitor playingwithwire.com, wireload.net, yippiemove.com [with and without SSL]), but it would also be great if we could monitor our mail-server.
  • The more frequent the pings the better.
  • No back-links required.

One of the most impressive sites we found was Pingdom, a small Swedish firm that is trusted by companies such as IBM, Loopt and Twitter (wow, they must spend more bandwidth on alerts than pings with Twitter for sure). What we really liked about Pingdom was the general look and feel of their site. It feels fresh, responsive and reliable. The pricing is definitely within reason: they charge $9.95 for their Basic plan, which includes 5 checks and 20 SMS.

The next site we stumbled upon was SiteUptime. The site has a decent look and feel (but does not come close to Pingdom). After examining their pricing, we realized that we needed their Advanced plan, since none of their lower plans allowed SSL monitoring. The price for this plan is $10 per month. While their site and visualization does not come close to Pingdom, they do give you 10 monitors, as apposed to 5 monitors with Pingdom, with their Advanced plan.

Another site we found was Pingability. The general look and feel of the site is OK, but the service offered was not great. The free plan requires a back-link (which we think is unacceptable for a professional site). At the same time the premium service, for $9.95, only offers one monitor.

Next up for review is Wormly. Priced at $9 per month, their Bronze-plan seems to be a reasonable alternative. The plan includes 5 monitors and they ping your server 5 times every 5 minutes, which is good enough. Unfortunately there’s a big ‘but’ — no SSL monitoring (at least as far as we can tell). That’s a deal-breaker. To Wormly’s defense though, they do offer something that sets them apart from the competition, namely the ‘Server Health Monitor.’ This service is something similar to Cacti (it definitely looks RRDTool-based), that visualizes server-load. However, they will probably have a hard time selling this service to security-concerned organizations, as they require a monitoring-client to be installed on the server (it’s hard to get this data otherwise).

Basicstate is the final service we will cover in this article. A lot can be said about Basicstate’s web design (it’s _really_ bad). However, they do offer a very competitive service. They ping every 15 minutes and allows you monitor as many sites as you want (including SSL). While it might not be a very pleasing site to browse, they do offer sufficient statistics (with graphs) on their site. In addition to that, they also send you daily reports about all your monitored sites (with time data for dns, connect, request, ttfb, ttlb). The only drawback we discovered with Basicstate is that you cannot monitor the same domain-name with SSL and non-SSL (sub-domains is fine though). This may or may not be an issue for you.

The verdict? We settled for Basicstate. Later on, as we grow, we might consider switching to Pingdom. We’re happy with Basicstate for now. Although we did experiencing some false alerts, the guy who runs the site (I assume), Spenser, did a great job on providing an in-depth explanation to the alerts by email. So if you’re on a tight budget, Basicstate is our recommendation. If you have more money to spend, go for Pingdom.

Author: Tags: ,
Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

We are really excited to announce that YippieMove now offers both volume discount and custom migrations. Let me explain how these two things works and how it affects you.

Volume Discount

In order to qualify for a volume discount, you obviously need to migrate more than one account. We’ve decided that five accounts is a reasonable number to start offering volume discounts at. However, if you’re interested in migrating a larger number of email accounts, we are willing to work with you to make your migration as easy as possible.

Custom Migration

First, let me explain what we mean by custom migration. Normally, YippieMove integrates seamlessly with Gmail / Google Apps. However, with our custom migration, we enable you to migrate your email between virtually any two email servers (assuming they both support IMAP).

Since this is a custom migration, we can unfortunately not offer this service for single account migrations. However, we do offer volume discounts on custom migrations too.

For questions regarding volume discount and custom migrations, please contact our sales team.

One more thing…

Since last post we’ve kept adding more providers. As of this very moment, the number of providers we now support has exceeded 90. That’s quite a few. You would imagine that we would be satisfied with that numbers, but you’d be wrong. We will keep on adding more providers.

Author: Tags:
Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

We know, we should post updates more frequently here at PWW about our work (and about technology in general). To our defense, we’ve been busy working on improving YippieMove. So what have we been up to?

Since our last post, we’ve added many more pre-configured profiles. At the time I’m writing this, the current number of pre-configured providers has reached 63! Keep in mind that this is only the number of pre-configured providers – any IMAP service may be used. We think that’s pretty impressive. To take a look at the list of supported providers, go to the About-page on YippieMove.

What’s even more exciting than the long list of supported providers is the improvements we’ve made under the hood. In order to improve the speed and flexibility of YippieMove, we have made significant changes to the back-end. With these changes, we have cut the transfer time in half (or even more in some cases). With the help of this new back-end, we were also able to improve the information passed on to the user about current jobs on the status-page.

Status-page

The new status details.

In addition to more providers and an improved back-end, we’ve also worked hard on writing documentation related to our service and other problems related to e-mail migration. One of the problems that people who migrate their email is facing relates to how to migrate all their contacts. Because of this, we’ve compiled a guide on how to cope with this problem. Our guide includes a steps-by-step instructions on how to export and import the contacts for some of our most popular providers. Note that even if your particular provider is not listed, it’s quite likely that by reading though our instructions, you will be able to figure it out.

If you haven’t already checked out YippieMove, please go ahead and do so. A great place to start is to take a look on our screencast on how to use the service.

Author: Tags:
Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.
Jul
31.

YippieMove has now been up and live for a few weeks. Here at WireLoad we’ve kept busy even after the launch, focusing on promotion and polish.

The promotion part is similar to how it was like when we started up Playing With Wire. Apart from the obvious – buying ad based exposure – we’ve been working on the most important part for a modern website. The website has to appear in search engines. So we configured a Sitemap and added the site to Google Webmaster Tools.

The Sitemap is a simple enough idea: you list what public pages you have on your site and provide auxiliary information about how often you think each page will change and how important it is to the site. Since YippieMove is written with Django we could use Django’s Sitemap framework. We couldn’t use any of the fancy shortcut classes but since YippieMove only has a few public pages a simple list did the trick. We could have written the whole Sitemap by hand by this logic, but in the future there may be lists of pages we can add more dynamically. Besides our list in Python is much less verbose than the XML of an actual Sitemap. Writing XML by hand is painful.

We use Google’s Webmaster Tools for all our sites. I don’t know if it actually encourages Google to keep the sites well indexed, but it does make it easier to troubleshoot. The information I keep checking is when Google last crawled the site. YippieMove isn’t very well indexed right now but since I know that Google hasn’t crawled our site for more than 2 weeks, I know all I can do is to wait. It’s too early to start examining if there’s anything we’re doing wrong with the content or inter-page linking and so on.

We’ve also been polishing the site. The demo video has been up for some time now.

We fixed a couple of bugs. On the second week we noticed iPhone based access was not working. This appeared to be due to the version of Prototype we were using: 1.5. Upgrading to 1.6 took care of that easily enough. The experience in Internet Explorer 7 wasn’t perfect. Various bugs had snuck into the Ajax form submission towards the end of development. Our policy with Internet Explorer is simple: the site needs to work, no more. So we fixed the bugs and left an odd graphical glitch (the fieldsets we use have a border in IE 7 even that the CSS specifies no border).

Another matter of polish, or at least gradual expansion, was that we added more preconfigured providers. We now support more than twice as many preconfigured email providers as when we started. As the list began to grow a little long we also added category headers to structure it up visually.

Speaking of providers, we hooked up a learn more page that lists what we’ve got. Hope you like the design – those 3D screenshots take forever to make with my current method. :)

So all in all, it’s been productive since the launch. I hope you’ll all enjoy the new stuff!

Author: Tags: ,
Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

Yesterday we (WireLoad) launched a new service named YippieMove. The idea of the product is to ease the pain of leaving an email account behind. Most of us have probably been in that situation at least once. For most users, the options are limited to:

  1. Forwarding all emails, one by one. This is not a very appealing solution because it’s very time consuming, but also because it ruins the integrity of the emails by inserting a forwarding tag.
  2. Just forget about the messages and let them be deleted when the account expires. This is obviously not a very appealing solution either.
  3. Setting up the account in a desktop email client and drag and drop the messages. Not only is this very slow, but it’s also too complicated and error prone for the greater majority of the users.

If you’re really tech-savvy, you know that there are a few different tools you can use for this. However, as I recently was in this situation myself I realized that none of them worked out very well. After some research I discovered that there were only a few Open Source tools that could do the task. Out of these, Imapsync and imapcp seemed to be the most realistic tools. However after playing with these tools for a while, I realized that imapcp was to immature, and Imapsync was just too slow and too memory consuming (also, I was looking for a tool that copied the messages, hence the ‘sync’ part was just plain overkill). Because if this, we developed our own solution and turned it into a web app.

Even for tech-savvy users, YippieMove is a reasonable option, as it does what the Open Source tools mentioned above does (but without the hassle of figuring out how to use them). However, if you’re migrating hundreds or thousands of accounts, YippieMove might not be the best option….yet.

When we designed YippieMove, we tried to make it easy enough to use for even the most novice users, but at the same time provide the option that tech-savvy users are looking for. So far, judging by the feedback we’ve received, we have succeeded.

So how does YippieMove work? Well, we decided that everything more than three steps makes the service too complicated. Thus we created a simple three-step-process.

Step 1

In Step 1 we ask you for the account details for the source account. You can either choose to use one of the pre-configured settings, or ‘other,’ where you can fill in the server settings yourself.

Step 1 - SCU - thumb
Here’s an example of how Step 1 looks using the pre-configured settings for Santa Clara University.

Step 1 - Other - Thumb
Here’s an example of how Step 1 looks with the ‘Other’ option. As you can see, you can enter the host yourself as well as selecting if you want to use SSL or not. For tech-savvy users, we also allow you to specify a non-default port.

Step 2

In Step 2 we ask you to fill out the account details for the destination account. At this point we only support Gmail as the destination. However, we will be adding more types of destinations shortly. The argument for initially using Gmail as a destination was that Gmail both supports IMAP and that it has generous storage quotas. Unfortunately the IMAP setting in Gmail is disabled by default. To solve this, we provide a simple guide below the input-boxes where we explain how the user can enable IMAP.

Step 2 - Thumb
As you can see above, this step is very straight forward.

Step 3

Here we ask you to select what folders to transfer. This is very simple for the more tech-savvy user, but might be a bit confusing for the most novice users. To cope with this problem, we’ve tried to make an educated guess of what folders the user may want to transfer. To be safe, we worked out a list of folders to exclude (ie. Junk, Spam, Trash), rather than a list of folders to include. For most users, the default selection should be sufficient.

Step 3 - Thumb

In this screenshot you can see that we’ve selected ‘Apple Mail To Do,’ ‘Drafts’ and ‘INBOX.’ We decided to not include ‘Cabinet,’ ‘Calendar’ and ‘Checklist’ as these are Novell GroupWise specific folders.

And You’re Done…

In three easy steps, you’ve successfully managed to migrate your email. I hope we’ve shown in this article that YippieMove is designed for the entire spectrum of users, from the most novice to most tech-savvy. If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know.

Author: Tags: ,

© 2006-2009 WireLoad, LLC.
Logo photo by William Picard. Theme based on BlueMod © 2005 - 2009 FrederikM.de, based on blueblog_DE by Oliver Wunder.
Sitemap