List Creation

The Mailing Lists feature is available on all NoSpin WordPress accounts with their own domain name (see domain mapping) and cPanel accounts on NoSpin Web Hosting. In the following mailing list example we utilize the Bloom plugin by Elegant Themes on NoSpin WordPress to create subscription forms; however, it is not necessary to have Bloom activated on your account in order to create a form. A subscription “Optin” form can be placed anywhere on your site for a one time fee if you don’t know how to write HTML code; or, if you are a NoSpin WordPress site administrator, you may sign up for a Bloom annual subscription in the Client Portal. If you are self-hosting WordPress on NoSpin Web Hosting, you may also subscribe to Bloom in the Client Portal for $20-US annually; however, a better option for self-hosters would be to purchase your own license from Elegant Themes.

Our free mailing lists feature is brought to you by the good folks at cPanel and the Open Source GNU Mailman software provided on our system. Even though there is no software for our members to install, there is a procedure that must be followed in order to build mailing lists on your account. For cPanel account holders on NoSpin Web Hosting, we invite you to read the cPanel mailing list documentation prior to requesting assistance. NoSpin WordPress site administrators must request mailing lists to be configured by submitting a Mailing Lists support ticket in the Client Portal. We’ll discuss the details of the required support ticket after introducing a sample Web form used to collect Email addresses from potential subscribers.

HTML Form Construction

Laid out below on a light gray background is the HTML code used to render the text fields and subscribe button for the form depicted to the right. This is a sample form used to collect Email addresses and optional subscriber names from Web page visitors. The action attribute of the HTML form tag, highlighted in yellow, sends form input to the Mailman software responsible for maintaining the mailing list for the Email account, news@nospinw.com. The news_nospinw.com part of the action attribute value is the Email account associated to the mailing list with an underscore substituted for the @ sign. In this example, news@nospinw.com would be the Email account to which your Email compositions are sent for subsequent distribution to all recipients on the news_nospinw.com mailing list. The underscore is substituted for the @ symbol in order for the GNU Mailman software to function properly.

<form method=”post” action=”https://nospinw.com/mailman/subscribe/news_nospinw.com”>
<p style=”float:right; width:45%; padding:1em 0;”>Your Name (optional): <input style=”margin:1em 0;” name=”fullname”></p>
<p style=”width:50%; padding:1em 0;”>Your E-mail address: <input style=”margin:1em 0;” name=”email”></p>
<input style=”width:33%; margin:0 auto; background-color:#ccc; border-radius:0.7em;” type=”submit” name=”email-button” value=”Subscribe”>
</form>

If you are using the Bloom plugin, choose the Custom HTML Form selection from the Form Integration pull-down menu depicted to the right. Notice the HTML form code above is included in the Form Integration section just below the pull-down menu. The other form features such as the logo and title area were created in the Bloom Design interface. We shall describe using the Bloom plugin and creating HTML forms from scratch in later articles, for now we’ll focus on getting the mailing list Email accounts set up.

Creating Mailing List Accounts

If you are a NoSpin WordPress site administrator, the single step involved in creating a mailing list is to submit a Mailing Lists support ticket in the Client Portal. In that ticket there are three required fields:

  • Domain Name
  • List Name
  • Moderator Name

In the domain name field, supply the registered domain name currently mapped to your NoSpin WordPress site. In the list name field, supply the name of the Email account intended as the sending account to all recipients in the mailing list. The list name account receives Email compositions from the mailing list moderator to be subsequently forwarded to all recipients on the mailing list. For example, when you are logged into Webmail, using the Roundcube > Composition interface shown to the right, the list name account is placed in the To field and the moderator account in the From field. The screen capture depicts the Roundcube interface after the Composition button has been clicked in the main interface and the source code option revealed by clicking the <> button. Using the source code interface is only a suggestion as there are plenty of tools one can use to compose nice looking Email messages in Roundcube without writing HTML code.

You may specify a new Email account in your support ticket to delegate moderation duties for your mailing list(s); however, the moderator account must use the domain name of your NoSpin WordPress mapped domain. When you receive requests to join your mailing list, your moderator account is used to login securely into Webmail to process requests (details to follow).

Example Subscription Request

As a mailing list moderator, you shall receive new subscription requests similar to the following example sent to your inbox when a site visitor subscribes to your mailing list.

Your authorization is required for a mailing list subscription request
approval:

   For:  don@print-hut.com
   List: News@absaraka.net

At your convenience, visit:

   http://absaraka.net/mailman/admindb/news_absaraka.net	
to process the request.

When you click the link to your mailing list admindb interface to process the request, you are transported to the following login Web page. Until we are able to automatically force https, please edit the URL by adding https:// in front of the domain name (green ellipse) and press the Enter key or click the Go button.

You should now see the following page where you can login securely with a list moderator password. After login you may attend to your pending request(s). You actually have more than just the approve or deny options with respect to pending requests and we shall provide more mailing list management documentation in forthcoming articles.

More on mailing list management is forthcoming.

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