SBI! News Ticker: New Webmail Released – Sharp Look & Rich Functionality
Right on time for the Holiday spirit, the SiteSell technical team fulfills one of the top wishes SBI! owners had expressed in the forums… a shiny new Webmail platform!
Of course, there’s more to this than mere good looks. It comes with loads of new features, too, such as…
- Preferences – set up Webmail the way you want it.
- Responses – re-use snippets of text over and over.
- Parent and Child Folders – create, delete and move them around to your heart’s content.
Here’s what our customers have to say about the new Webmail:
Love the new look! Thank you so much for changing this.Meghashyam from sherlockholmes-fan.com
I cant stop smiling. Its look and feel is now a real web mail experience.
Good job people! and thanks for all that you do to help keep SBIER’S on “top”.Sarah from successbasis.com
This truly is a holiday season’s blessing. Awesome!
You elves have sure been busy recently. Thank you!Richard from perfectapology.com
I just saw this news on Santa’s Release (how very not PC of you ) on the heels of personally numbering the wishes SBI has granted over the years. I was also thinking back to when I couldn’t figure out how to jump from the Action Guide to Site Central, which by the way, looked very different in 2007.
I recently heard from someone who thought for them that $300 a year for the SBI subscription was overkill since they only needed a small brochure website. So trying to make a responsible decision, they changed hosts to cut the fees in half. All was good for a few months until their charges more than quadrupled, sky rocketing to $700+ a year.
My point is that SBI has stood beside its subscribers over the years. I have never once felt the carpet torn out beneath my feet. There have been challenges at times but that is to be expected from a company who strives to improve and stay above the fray.
As 2014 closes out, I’d like to thank Ken and Team for another stellar year. Thank you for all you do. And thanks for the new webmail. I’ll gladly come back from Google Apps Mail that I set up using Mx It when I had no idea what I was doing. LOL!Kate from get-your-best-mortgage-rate.com
What Went Into The New Webmail?
Upgrading the webmail feature was a massive undertaking. Even before we started programming, there were many considerations to examine.
We knew that the existing tool was not really serving our customer needs. To the point that some users were going through complex configuration steps to use external email services. SBI!’s mission has always been to offer everything you need to build an online business in an integrated, all-in-one package, including a webmail platform.
We weighed various options:
- Stop offering webmail all together? (This was never really an option, see “Everything you need” above.)
- Upgrade the existing tool? (Unfortunately, it’s really showing its age – best to just put it out to pasture.)
- Build a new tool? (Not a very feasible option.)
- Integrate a third party tool? (Yes!)
Using a third party tool for the new webmail was perfectly in line with SiteSell’s priority on improving our core products:
- With a third party tool, someone else takes care of the bulk of bug fixing and feature upgrades.
- Implementing a third party tool frees up time to work on tools that really bring value to our customers’ businesses.
When considering which webmail solution to implement, we weighed the following factors and requirements:
- It must have a good customer experience.
- It must be easy to integrate via plugins.
- It must be easy to change the look and feel (like SBI! sites).
- It must have good support and a great user community (like SBI!).
- It should ideally be open source.
With all of that in mind, we chose RoundCube which is an open source, well supported, easy to integrate web-based mail client.
All in all the project involved 5 people over 4 months to make it happen, from initial evaluation to deep integration, testing and roll out to production.
With the initial response being incredibly positive, we’re confident that as this feature rolls out to all members, it will be a valued improvement to their business processes. And we can’t wait to share with you our many plans and improvements scheduled for 2015 (more on that soon!)