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What is CRON and What Can it Do?
By: Rich Smith
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    Table of Contents:
  • What is CRON and What Can it Do?
  • Cron for website and system maintenance
  • Cron for customer contacts
  • Cron without training wheels

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    What is CRON and What Can it Do? - Cron for customer contacts

    (Page 3 of 4 )

    As per the example on the first page of this article, you can utilize a cron to send you emails with information from your site. More important to a website owner though, is that you can utilize cron jobs to schedule contact with your site visitors.

    For example:

    Let's say you run a social website, where people become members of little "clubs."  You could have a daily cron run that sends email to all members notifying them of new members who joined during that day, and refer them to any new posts on message boards that may be relevant to their club.

    Or maybe you run a website for car enthusiasts, and keep a calendar of events that your users would be interested in. You could have a cron that checks for events on the calendar nightly, and sends notices to people in the same area as the events, so they know the event is coming up.

    As you can see, there are a number of valid reasons to send notifications out to your site members.  And these emails donít all have to be mere notifications as well.

    For example:

    Maybe you run a site that hosts classified ads. You donít charge for your service, but to keep content "fresh," you require that they "renew" their ads every seven days (this makes sure a ton of ads arenít running on your system for things that sold six months ago).  A cron could look for items that need renewal, and send the member an email with a link to renew the listing.

    Or maybe people pay for memberships on your site. A cron could look for memberships about to expire, and email the users along with a link they can use to read about how to extend their memberships.

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