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Plugin Review: MailPress

24
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on
February 8th, 2009
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Weekly Plugin Review, WordPress Plugins

While WordPress comes inbuilt with the power of RSS, which allows users to subscribe to new posts and view them in their feed readers. For those who prefer the traditional method of receiving updates via email, you have Feedburner or Feedblitz that enable you to do this.

But, what if you want to send a newsletter out to interested readers. One option is to get hold of a remote newsletter solution. However, this can cost you a good amount of money if you have many subscribers. Another option is to install a mailing list software on your server. Yet another is to rely on good old email clients like Outlook or Thunderbird.

Then again you can use MailPress.

Description

With this plugin you will be able to send beautiful and styled html and plain text mails based on dedicated themes and templates for any e-mail notification issued for

  • comments subscribers,
  • your periodic newsletters or post notification (per post/daily/weekly/monthly),
  • specific admin events : registration of a new user, comment to moderate, new comment on your posts.

Screenshot

MailPress

Review

MailPress is powerful and extendable with addons. Installation requires a few more steps like setting the appropriate permissions for the tmp folder as well as configuring the various settings of the plugin.

Add the necessary code to your template or use the sidebar widget and you are good to go.

The plugin integrates perfectly within WordPress 2.7 and picks up the styles too.

You have complete customization on the look and layout of newsletter, through the use of themes. The plugin comes inbuilt with five themes and you can quickly design your very own.

The plugin creates a Add New Mail screen in your WP-Admin as you can see in the screenshot above. This is what you would use to compose your newsletter. The plugin uses the familiar inbuilt editor to compose your email, you there isn’t any learning curve. It’s as easy as writing a new post, with a few extra options.

Save the new mail as a draft for future use or send it across to your subscribers.

Overall, MailPress is a great plugin that adds a fantastic functionality to your blog. However, this isn’t a plugin that would cater to all and sundry. If you have no interest in writing a newsletter, then you’ve absolutely no use adding this plugin to your blog.

However, if you’re a regular writer and want to add and retain viewers / readers then this plugin enables you to attract a whole lot of visitors who are interested in not only what you have to say in public, but also in the confines of their email inbox.

Lastly, on a minor note, MailPress is already available on a domain. I think it’s time for the author to move it completely on a separate account, instead of as a sub-domain that it currently is.

MailPress already has already seen well over 20,000 downloads so far, so I’m sure atleast some of you have it running. What has been your experience with the plugin so far? Do you prefer this over other newsletter management software?

What features would you like added? And, what would you like removed? Is it fast enough for your needs?

And, if you’re looking to setup a newsletter, does MailPress fulfill your needs?

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24
Responses

 

Comments

  1. Chung Bey Luen (14 comments.) says:

    Good review, good plugin. I think it would be nice if it can have autoresponder feature like Aweber.

  2. Christopher Ross (9 comments.) says:

    I’ve been using MailPress for a couple months on my test servers but have not installed it yet on my live site. The tool is wonderfully easy to use and has a lot of great features, my only concern would be how well MailPress handles bulk emails on a shared server environment.

  3. Laura says:

    I tried MailPress on a client site, and I found it fairly unreliable.

    It had overly-frequent updates, which dramatically changed and overrode its own mail templates, meaning I had to often change to other templates, or try to constuct my own, as the structure was unusable, sometimes randomly in French.

    The accompanying Google group was a lot of help, the plugin author is very friendly and helpful, but I just couldn’t spend the time trying to make the plugin work the way I wanted. (Just allowing users to subscribe, then sending them non-automated e-mails.)

  4. Hikari (79 comments.) says:

    hmm I don’t see much use to this plugin…

    you yourself listed better solutions… I think it would turn WP “heavier” than it needs to be

    most hosts that work with cPanel offer mailing lists in the package

  5. ymy (1 comments.) says:

    Subscribe2 is also a very nice plugin and a bit easier to handle.

    http://subscribe2.wordpress.com/

    • Dee (1 comments.) says:

      I’ve just started using Subscribe2 and, as a writer who is not a programmer, I’ve found it easy to use and relatively quick to set up. Of course, I’m only sending out my links newsletter to about 200 subscribers right now. I have no idea how it might work with a larger list.

    • Ben says:

      I also use Subscribe 2. It was wonderful a year ago and with recent enhancements, has become even better.

      And extremely easy to use. Two thumbs up!

  6. Eris (3 comments.) says:

    I have been using this on my blog. It’s a nice plugin. The only problem is, sometimes mailing is delayed.

    • Banago (84 comments.) says:

      How many email addresses do you send at once?

      • Eris (3 comments.) says:

        Usually less than 200.

        • Banago (84 comments.) says:

          It is normal to be delayed for WordPress. I have been using Subscribe2 to notify my subscribers of a blog of mine (around 100) and when I posted the post, it used to delay a lot.

          Feedburner is better, but is have troubles lately.

  7. mahesh (2 comments.) says:

    #service ldap restart
    Stopping slapd: [FAILED]
    Checking configuration files for slapd: bdb(dc=example,dc=com): file id2entry.bdb (meta pgno = 0) has LSN [108][3063349].
    bdb(dc=example,dc=com): end of log is [1][156]
    bdb(dc=example,dc=com): /var/lib/ldap/id2entry.bdb: unexpected file type or format
    bdb_db_open: db_open(/var/lib/ldap/id2entry.bdb) failed: Invalid argument (22)
    bdb(dc=example,dc=com): Unknown locker ID: 0
    backend_startup_one: bi_db_open failed! (22)
    slap_startup failed (test would succeed using the -u switch)

  8. mahesh (2 comments.) says:

    service ldap restart
    Stopping slapd: [FAILED]
    Checking configuration files for slapd: bdb_db_open: alock package is unstable
    backend_startup_one: bi_db_open failed! (-1)
    slap_startup failed (test would succeed using the -u switch)
    [FAILED]

  9. Microkid (1 comments.) says:

    I think bulk mailing is something that should be treated as an applications core feature. WordPress is a platform for publishing content, not for sending bulk mail. Just my 2 cents.

  10. Christopher Ross (9 comments.) says:

    @Hikari, that’s the main reason I have not installed it on my live servers. WordPress (a wonderful program) already has a lot of slow queries. I was concerned that adding additional DB calls might take down the sites on a shared environment.

  11. Candycgiz says:

    I use this plugins myself, but when you have 14500+ members, it needs to have batch process and time gap

  12. Harald Walker (1 comments.) says:

    @Candycgiz: If you have 14500+ members you will need more than that. Getting your mails delivered (not being blacklisted/filtered) will be a problem on any shared host (if that host even allows you to send such bulk mailings). MailPress doesn’t seem to offer essential features like bounce handling and I don’t see anything about statistics (open rates, click rates).

  13. Daniel Cameron (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve been trying for weeks to get this working it’s been a nightmare! Anyone that wants to help can! The maker doesn’t i even offered him money to sort his own thing out!

  14. Websalto (1 comments.) says:

    there´s a spanish translation of mailpress at http://www.websalto.com/2009/b.....press.html for those who are interested (traducción de mailpress al español en la url citada)

  15. Bruce (1 comments.) says:

    Any reviews about WordPress phplist-form integration by Jesse Heap?

    http://wordpress.org/extend/pl.....tegration/

  16. draguscn (1 comments.) says:

    I’m satisfied using mailpress, until I found that my server doesn’t allow me to send > 120 per day. I tried to change my email to gmail and hotmail, but not works, I think I had followed all instruction right .. would you help me?

  17. jasper (1 comments.) says:

    I would like to have more statistics on the mail sent to customers. As far as I can see there are only stats how many mails are unopened (open rate) and on how many links have been clicked (click rate). I would love to see data on email user agent used, OS they are on, browser used if opened in a browser and so on. That and an user export function. Other then that I am happy with Mailpress. It does the job and allows you to create your own theme.

  18. Brad (1 comments.) says:

    I am not a progammer, but used to be. I am trying to set up mailpress on a wordpress site and am finding that the documentation is severly lacking. I have no idea what I need to do to acomplish my goal of allowing people to subscribe and look at who is subscribed and possibly do a mass subscribe. Needs more easy to follow documentation. I’m going to check out Subscribe2.



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