May 4, 2019
business

May Updates

Welcome to May! I wrote this from two places:

  1. the lounge of Seattle’s Sorrento Hotel, counting down the minutes until Silent Reading Party (a truly insufferable city tradition that I love dearly) begins;
  2. the promenade of Cal Anderson Park, on a particularly sunny Saturday.

I wrote last month that April was going to be filled with small and necessary work, a nice step back before diving into some renewed projects.  It was exactly that!

Buttondown has been buggy the past few months.  It feels bad to admit that, but it's true; the "bugs" tag in my issue tracker has been growing wider and more bulbous, and it feels good (and, frankly, necessary) to dedicate some time tackling it.

Still, I was able to get some fun stuff done:

Email domains for all

I announced last month that I had added support for custom SPIF/DKM records for premium accounts, and I'm thrilled to announce that it's now available for everyone.  If you own your own domain, you can now use it to sign the emails you send from Buttondown, greatly improving deliverability:

There are a couple reasons why I decided to make this a free feature: but it really comes down to one thing: deliverability is important, and it feels gross to essentially gate high deliverability behind $29/month.

UTM sources

In what may be the most niche feature ever, you can now automatically apply UTM tags to all outgoing links from your newsletter.

Twitter support for meta tags

Sharing your newsletter on Twitter looks prettier!

What’s next

May is going to also be a heavy bug-squash-and-technical-debt month, but with a couple meatier things to handle:

  1. CAPTCHA support for embedded signup forms.  (Lots of folks have complained about getting spammy subscribers: I hear you, and this should help with that!)
  2. A nicer writing UI.  (The first major UI change since I launched Buttondown in 2017!)

Oh, and... introducing Weeknotes

I've launched Weeknotes, a weekly update newsletter for Buttondown.  Weeknotes will be more focused on the minutiae of building Buttondown, rather than feature announcements and updates.  Subscribe to it if:

  1. You want to learn more about what building Buttondown is like.
  2. You want to support Buttondown but do not want to pay $29/month for a premium account.  (Weeknotes costs $4/month — think of it as patronage!)

As such, I'll likely be shifting the blog's structure from monthly updates more towards blog posts for each major feature.  (Of course, I say that now, but who knows what happens five months from now.  I'm nothing if not consistently inconsistent!)

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