PHPLIST Tricks (Send A HTML Message)

Phplist is a popular email campaign manager that is used to send text as well as html emails to list of recipients. It is a free software distributed under GPL license and can be configured to send mails at a configured speed from a shared server.

The documentations and support group of PHPlist are adequate but often it is difficult to find a systematic step by step process in one place about how to send emails to a list of multiple recipients and little tricks that are needed for this operation. Here are few tips that are handy when using phplist to send email to recipient of a mailing list. This information is written for Phplist version 2.10.19 but may apply to older versions.

A. Set option for the users to receive html email.

  • Edit member and make sure “Send this user HTML emails” set to 1. When this option set, users receive html as well as text messages.

B. Configuring the rate at which email will be sent.

On a shared host, it is preferred to configure the rate at which the emails are sent to recipients. Instead of sending the emails all at one time, it can be configured to set up batch processing to send a number of emails at one go. It is also possible to insert time delay between sending of two emails. You can open cofigure.php file and change MAILQUEUE_BATCH_SIZE and MAILQUEUE_BATCH_PERIOD to specify how many emails you want to send in a period. For example if you have configuration as


phplist sendmail funtionality will send 10 emails in every second.

Alternatively you can set up to add delay between message by entering a non zero value for MAILQUEUE_THROTTLE parameter. For example the following configuration will insert 8 seconds delay between messages.

# define the amount of emails you want to send per period. If 0, batch processing
# is disabled and messages are sent out as fast as possible

# define the length of one batch processing period, in seconds (3600 is an hour)

# to avoid overloading the server that sends your email, you can add a little delay
# between messages that will spread the load of sending
# you will need to find a good value for your own server
# value is in seconds (or you can play with the autothrottle below)

These settings allows PHPList to throttle 450 mails per hour.

C. Add Text Message editor

Phplist supports sending both text and html versions to list recipients for whom ‘Send this user HTML emails’ option is set to 1. However, one of the problem of using html template is that the text message often comes empty.  In order to send a text message, it is often preferred to insert the text message. To enable the edit box for text messages, enable USE_MANUAL_TEXT_PART parameter in the config.php file as follows.

# Manual text part, will give you an input box for the text version of the message
# instead of trying to create it by parsing the HTML version into plain text

When this parameter is enabled, the content window (after selecting send message option) will show a edit box at the bottom of WYSIWYG editor where you can add text for text message (also see section E).

D. Remove “Powered by” tag from message signature.

In both html and text version of the message, Phplist inserts a phplist specific signature. If this tagline is desired to be removed or updated, the following steps may be followed. Please note that the removing this tagline is against the desire of the author. The following is the comment by the author in the admin/sendmaillib.php file.

We request you retain the signature below in your emails including the links.
This not only gives respect to the large amount of time given freely
by the developers but also helps build interest, traffic and use of
PHPlist, which is beneficial to it’s future development.

You can configure how the credits are added to your pages and emails in your
config file.

Michiel Dethmers, phpList Ltd 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

Steps to follow to remove/update phplist default signature:

  • Search lists/admin/sendemaillib.php for $text["signature"] = "\n\n--\nPowered by PHPlist, --\n\n";
  • Add a line immediately after the line or remove the line with the following line.
$text[signature]= “ABCD”;
where ABCD can be any string you desire or can be an empty string.
  • Search lists/admin/sendemaillib.php for the part that looks like: $html[“signature”] = preg_replace(‘/src=”.*powerphplist.png”/’,’src=”powerphplist.png”‘,$html[“signature”]);} else {$html[“signature”] = $PoweredByText;}
  • Add the following line after that section:

$html[‘signature’] = ‘ABCD';
Where ABCD can be any signature including empty string. This takes care of the signature in the html version of the mail.

  • Save the file on your sever and you are about to send mail without or modified signature.


E. Sending emails message using a html template

Now that all configurations in place, you are ready to send email messages to a list of recipients.

  • Make sure your users are set to receive html emails by setting “Send this user HTML emails” 1.
  • From the admin menu, click on “send a message” and a multi-tab email form will appear.
  • In the content tab, enter [CONTENT] in the WYSIWYG editor. Note : Your html template must have [CONTENT] somewhere.
  • In the plan text editor at the bottom of the WYSIWYG editor, add your text version of the email message.
  • Click “Save Changes”.
  • In the Format tab, select on “Send as HTML”. When this option is chosen, all the user set to receive html email, will get both html and text version of the message.
  • Select the template you want to to send using the drop down menu and click “Save Changes”.
  • To send email to a list of users, select “Lists” tab. Select the list you want to send email to and click “Send Message to Selected Mailinglists”.
  • Next window will show the progress of sending email messages.




3 thoughts on “PHPLIST Tricks (Send A HTML Message)

  1. Also one useful trick regarding  A.  You can set all users to receive HTML mails. From the “main page” go to the “reconcileusers” option, and press the link: “mark all users to receive html” .

  2. i doing all steps but always i have a problem in my yahoo 
    i can’t see the images and the tamlates
    what can’i doing give me solution please

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