THE DEADLY IDLY

Why Not To Use Sendy.

TLDR: 
It’s painful to manage Sendy servers. If you want to send emails via AWS SES, i suggest you use one of these SaaS service providers ... sendwithses.com or moonmail.io or emailoctopus.com or mailblast.io

When it comes to Sendy, a lot of things are not obvious at first glance. The Sendy sales pitch implies …

1. Buy a license for a one time fee of $59 and that’s all you will be paying for Sendy.
2. You can send 62,000 emails for free every month. 
3. You can get away with hosting Sendy on a $5 or $10 server.
4. Set it and forget it.

  
Sendy also assumes …

5. Your time is free. 
6. There is no loss due to downtime.
7. Email is the only thing required (No Multi Channel Messaging).

  
Lets get to the brass tacks:

  1. Sendy License: The Sendy one time fee of $59 only gives you minor version upgrades. This means you pay an upgrade fee (currently $29) every time Sendy has a major version update. Expect to pay $29 every year or so.

  2. 62,000 Free Monthly Emails: AWS gives you 62,000 free emails ONLY if you are triggering emails from an application hosted in EC2. So don’t expect to get this free limit if you are using other hosting providers.
     
  3. $5 or $10 (Cheap) Hosting: Most articles about Sendy seem to suggest that you can get away with hosting Sendy on a $5 or $10 per month virtual server. Here's the truth; hosting the Sendy application (PHP) and the required database (MySQL) on a single server is a bad bad idea. Everything is fun and games until this single server crashes and you lose everything because you didn’t bother about backups.

  4. Set it and forget it: The vibe around Sendy seems to be that you can configure Sendy once and it will work forever. Here’s the sad truth. SERVERS FAIL ALL THE TIME, sometimes for no apparent reason. Your Sendy server is no exception. Most of the times you will be using a virtual server. This means there will be other tenants on the same physical machine as you. When one of those tenants runs a badly coded app, it can crash the entire machine, bringing down your Sendy as well. This happens all the time even in top-dog data centers, which is why reputed email service providers have security measures, redundant servers, autoscaling architecture, and synchronous database backups. Also get ready to wrangle with your servers every time you have to update to a minor or major version of Sendy. 

  5. Your time is (NOT) free: Managing Sendy is not your core business. Sendy is just a servant to whatever main business you are doing. Every minute you spend on Sendy server upkeep is a minute you don’t spend making money from your core business. Your time is very valuable - even if you don’t put a price tag on it.

  6. Loss due to downtime: It's difficult to put an exact value on this. If sending emails is critical to your business and Sendy fails at a critical time, the loss (monetary and reputation) is incalculable. 

  7. Multi Channel Messaging: Sendy only lets you send emails. The world is moving to multi channel (emails, sms, push notifications) message delivery.

    If you want to send emails via AWS SES, i suggest you use one of these SaaS service providers. 

    sendwithses.com (emails, sms, push notifications)
    moonmail.io (email, sms)
    emailoctopus.com (emails only)
    mailblast.io (emails only)

    If you are adamant about using Sendy, make sure you use AWS Elastic Bean Stalk with a minimum of two t2.small ec2 servers and a t2.small multi AZ MySQL RDS. This setup will cost you around $125 a month. Expect to spend at least 2-3 hours every month on servers upkeep.

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