I agree. I'd love to move to the 3rd Gen editor for a number of its features including responsive design, A:B testing, and recent introduction of trackable links, but the limitations of the template designs coupled with the inability to edit the HTML to get around these issues, make it a non-starter for our business. For example, each week we put out a newsletter including about 20 book jackets, brief description and link. In the 2nd Gen editor, I can generate all the code needed directly from our website (formated to fit CC's style) and then just copy and paste the entire thing into a block. If I was to have to do this by hand, it would take hours every single week. At other times, I need to be able to make a display of clickable images, usually 5 images wide, 4 high. In Gen 2, I can just paste everything into the HTML view. In Gen 3, I can't even find a way to do it, even if I was prepared to invest the enormous amount of time to build it manually image by image.
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After reviewing your code, the first thing that I would suspect that is a server related issue is that the SSL root certificates for the production server are out of date. I have seen cases where this can cause Constant Contact's SSL certificate to appear invalid, thus causing any cURL requests that use SSL to fail.
Beyond that, you can try getting more information about the error back from cURL and see if there is an error message that you can use. in PHP this can be done using curl_error().
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