New E-mail Platform Coming Soon & Wilma Server Retirement
There are some upcoming changes related to @widomaker.com e-mail accounts, e-mail settings, and pricing for e-mail accounts.
This announcement contains important information and is broken down into the following sections:
- New E-mail Server Platform
- E-mail Login Username Format Change
- Pricing Changes Related to E-mail Accounts
- E-mail Forwarding
- Webmail Address Book
- Spam Filtering
- Personal Web Storage
- In Closing
If you have one, please pass this information along to the person or company who usually provides technical assistance for your computer or other connected devices.
New E-mail Server Platform
Widomaker will be retiring our current e-mail server platform (Wilma) in the coming weeks. A specific date will be announced in the near future. We plan to automatically migrate all active e-mail accounts, on our current platform, to the new and improved platform, at that time. Customers’ e-mail addresses will not change. Only the e-mail server is changing.
We do not plan to automatically migrate inactive e-mail accounts, that haven’t received and downloaded new mail for more than a year. However, billing will continue for any inactive accounts, until our office is contacted to remove them.
The new e-mail platform will include several improvements, such as more storage space on the server. Currently, e-mail accounts are allowed up to 10 megabytes (MB) of server storage space. The new platform will allow up to 5 gigabytes (GB), which is 5000 megabytes (MB).
Customers will continue to be able to use their desktop or laptop POP3 e-mail program (e-mail client), such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, which has always been the recommended, and most supported, method of accessing Widomaker e-mail accounts. However, the additional server storage space will make it more practical to access e-mail from multiple devices, using IMAP or Webmail, including mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Several changes related to the upcoming migration to the new e-mail platform are highlighted below. Additional announcements will be made in the weeks and days leading up to the changeover to the new e-mail platform.
E-mail Login Username Format Change
Currently, when customers log in to access e-mail using an e-mail client program like Outlook, Thunderbird, a mobile e-mail app, or Webmail, they log in with their e-mail username, which is the first part of their e-mail address, before the “@” sign.
The new e-mail platform will require that customers log in using their full e-mail address (email@example.com) for the username, instead of just the username portion of their e-mail address.
Once the migration is complete (a specific date will be announced in the near future), customers may be prompted to reenter their username and password, or they may receive a login error suggesting the username or password, they are using, is incorrect. When that happens, customers will need to update the settings, in their e-mail software, to include the full e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the “Username” or “Account Name” field. The password will remain the same as it is now. Please make sure you know what your password is, and have it stored in a safe, but accessible, place, prior to the migration.
Do not try to make this username setting change in advance. Only make it after the migration has completed. A specific date will be announced in the near future.
Pricing Changes Related to E-mail Accounts
The new e-mail platform will cost us more, per e-mail address, than our old e-mail platform. We believe the increase in cost is justified due to the increased server storage space (5GB!) and other improvements. As a result, there will be some changes to Widomaker’s pricing and packages that include e-mail accounts.
Currently, customers who subscribe to certain packages including, Dial-up Internet Access, or DSL Internet Access, are optionally allowed several @widomaker.com e-mail accounts. Going forward, existing customers, who are subscribed to an eligible package (such as dial-up or DSL), will be allowed one @widomaker.com e-mail account, included in their package. It is anticipated that additional e-mail accounts will cost an additional $1.50/month, each.
Billing for more than one e-mail address will begin soon. Please review the e-mail addresses you have added to your Widomaker account. Let us know if you are no longer using any of them, so they can be removed before the migration completes, and billing for them begins. If you don’t remember which e-mail addresses you have added to your account, please e-mail us for assistance.
Any customers that have set up e-mail forwarding, from their @widomaker.com e-mail account, to another e-mail address, please take note of the following… We may assume, since forwarding is set up, that there is no need for us to transfer any e-mail stored, on the server, in the account that has forwarding enabled. We may just create your e-mail account on the new server and set it to forward to the same e-mail forwarding destination. If you have forwarding enabled, but still have mail stored on the server, that you would like to keep, please contact us, immediately, to discuss your needs and options.
(*) Widomaker’s existing Webmail system was only ever intended for short term, temporary use, while customers were traveling, and away from their home computer. However, we are aware that some customers, against our recommendation, have been using the existing Webmail system as their daily method of checking e-mail. While Widomaker will continue to suggest using a Desktop/Laptop E-mail Client like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, customers who would prefer to use the new Webmail system, as their primary method of checking e-mail, will not be discouraged from doing so. The increase in server storage space makes this much more practical.
Webmail Address Book
Users of the existing Webmail system (https://webmail.widomaker.com) who have created an Address Book should be aware that when the existing Webmail system is retired, they will no longer have access to that Address Book. If any user of the existing Webmail system has Addresses in the Webmail Address Book that they want to keep, they will need to backup the existing Address Book, before the existing system is retired, by exporting it to a file that they save to their computer. It should be possible to import that file into the new Webmail Address Book, once the new system is online. Once the existing system is retired, it will not be possible to access the existing Address Book, so users are advised to backup/export their existing Webmail Address Book right away. Customers who do not use the Webmail system, or have not created an Address Book in the Webmail system, do not need to take any action regarding their Address Book or e-mail contacts. E-mail address books, or contacts, in desktop/laptop e-mail clients, like Outlook or Thunderbird, keep the address book on the user’s computer, so the changes to the Webmail system would not affect users of those e-mail programs.
Widomaker’s existing anti-spam system rejects e-mail messages that are determined to have high likelihood of being spam. In the case of messages with a valid sender’s address, the rejected messages are returned to the sender letting them know the message did not go through.
The new e-mail platform also includes advanced spam filtering. However, most messages detected as spam will not be rejected and returned to the sender. Instead, by default, messages will be quarantined, in a special spam/junk folder, that will only be visible in the new Webmail system, or via IMAP. Messages placed in quarantine will be automatically deleted within 30 days. Customers wishing to review the quarantine for legitimate messages, detected as spam, should review the quarantine, by logging into Webmail, at least, several times a month.
Personal Web Storage
With the retirement of our Wilma server, any customers still using the old “Personal Web Storage” for a “Personal Web Page” will need to find an alternate home for their personal web page, perhaps by using one of our web hosting packages. If you are affected, please contact our office to discuss options.
Websites that used the Personal Web Storage space had an address/URL in the format of “http://www.widomaker.com/~username”. Decades ago, it was common to include personal web page space along with a dial-up Internet account. Once the cost of domain name registration and website hosting became affordable, the included “Personal Web Storage” was seldom used or offered.
We are excited for the upcoming e-mail upgrades. Be sure to review the extra e-mail addresses you have on your account. Please stay tuned for further announcements, regarding these changes, via e-mail, and posted on our Members Home, Weblog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.