Set up a Mailing List in Minutes with Simple Mailing List

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jun 29, 2012 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Need to set up and manage a mailing list with a minimum of fuss? The Simple Mailing List application (SML) is the perfect tool for the job. This web-based application runs on the Apache/MySQL/PHP stack, and it offers all essential features wrapped into a lightweight and user-friendly interface. Although deploying SML requires a bit of manual work, the entire process in not particularly complicated. Grab the latest release of the application from the project's website and unpack the downloaded archive. In the resulting directory, locate the admin/tables.sql SQL file and use it to create tables in a MySQL database. Open the admin/config.inc.php configuration file in a text editor. All options in the file are commented, so you should figure out most of them without any difficulty. Once you're done tweaking the options, save the file and upload the entire SML directory to the document root of your server. Next, you need to protect the admin directory from unauthorized access. The most straightforward way to do this is to use the .htaccess file (provided that the htaccess functionality of your Apache server installation is enabled). Finally, create a subscribe/unsubscribe form as described in the supplied README.pdf file, and SML is ready to go.

Despite its unassuming appearance, SML boasts a number of useful features that can help you to manage a mailing list with consummate ease. For starters, you can import existing email addresses into the mailing list, which can be useful if you are migrating from another mailing list solution. SML supports both plain text and HTML messages. If you choose the latter format, SML automatically creates a plain text version of the message for users who are not able to view HTML emails. SML also supports templates (both plain text and HTML), and you can add custom templates to the application by moving them to the admin/templates directory. These are just a few highlights of SML's capabilities, and the application offers a slew of other handy features. So whether you have a few dozen or several thousand subscribers, SML can prove to be an indispensable tool for managing your mailing lists.

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