Category Archives: Email

Getting email from your blog.

How To Upgrade MailPress

I've recently upgraded MailPress on my comedy blog and The Confident Man Project. Upgrading MailPress is a little trickier than upgrading most WordPress plugins because the automatic upgrade will wipe out your local customisations, like your MailPress child theme.

Here's the simplest way I've found to do it:

  1. On the WordPress plugin panel, Deactivate the MailPress plugin
  2. Using FileZilla:
    1. Rename the old mailpress directory under wp-content/plugins to mailpress-version (where version is the version number in wp-content/plugins/mailpress/Mailpress.php)
    2. Create a subdirectory under wp-content/plugins named old if you haven't already done this
    3. Move the old mailpress directory to the old directory
  3. In WordPress:
    1. Go to Plugins → Installed Plugins so WordPress sees the plugin has disappeared
    2. Go to Plugins → Add New, Search for MailPress and Install Now
  4. Using FileZilla:
    1. Copy mailpress-config.php from old/mailpress-version to the new mailpress directory
    2. Copy your MailPress child theme from old/mailpress-version/mp-content/themes into
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How To Resend An Existing Post In Your MailPress Newsletter

Every now and then something goes wrong on one of my blogs, and I want to resend an existing post in my next MailPress newsletter. Perhaps I mess up something in the server configuration and mail starts getting lost, but I don't notice for a few posts.

Creating a new post just so that it goes out in the next MailPress newsletter is a hassle. So here's how to resend an existing post in your MailPress newsletter:

(Be warned, it involves hacking the WordPress database, which can destroy your site if you get it wrong...)

  1. On the dashboard, choose Posts → All Posts and Edit the post you want to (re)send
  2. Note the post id “post=n” in the URL
  3. In another browser window, go to your hosting provider's control panel and open phpMyAdmin
  4. Select the WordPress database for your blog. If you don't remember it's name, open
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Posted in MailPress | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Fix for Posts with a Featured Image not being sent in MailPress

There's a bug somewhere in MailPress 5.3 that prevents posts from being sent in your newsletter if they contain a featured image. I'm not exactly sure why this happens, but it appears to be related to MailPress's attempt to reproduce the TwentyTen theme's evil habit of changing your site header according to a post's featured image.

Something seems to go wrong in the process; but given that you probably don't want the image in the header of your emails to change according to a post's featured image either, the simplest solution is to disable this buggy behaviour entirely. To do this, you need to edit the file mailpress/mp-includes/class/MP_theme_html_.class.php.

In the function header_image, delete or comment out these 3 lines:

//    case ( $post_id && function_exists('has_post_thumbnail') && function_exists('get_post_thumbnail_id') && function_exists('wp_get_attachment_image_src') && $post_id && has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) && ($image = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id( $post_id ), 'post-thumbnail')) && ($image[1] 
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Posted in MailPress | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How To Include A "Continue Reading..." Link In Your Newsletter

Having an automatic newsletter distributing your blog's content to your readers is great; but it does have one downside: readers don't have to visit your site to read your content, so you have less traffic than you otherwise would.

The solution to this is to have a Continue Reading... link in your newsletter. You start with a tasty introduction describing what you're about to say in order to hook your readers, and then they click on the link in order to read the rest of the article on your site. So how do you do this?… Continue reading…

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Fix For “Loading...” Keeps Spinning In MailPress

One of the most annoying problems I encounter regularly with MailPress is the “Loading...” icon keeps spinning in the subscription form. Sometimes it spins before you've even done anything; other times it spins after form submission and never stops.

It's always some form of problem with the MailPress Javascript or CSS used to power the form. I recommend you apply the following changes to any new MailPress installation, so that you can save yourself the grief of having to deal with this annoying problem.

If you're applying my MailPress hacks, it'll be called “Processing...” instead of “Loading...”. Either way, the solution is the same.

Here are my solutions:

Enable MP_wp_enqueue_script

There is an option in MailPress that enqueues the problematic Javascript for generation at the bottom of the page. With recent versions of WordPress, this is pretty much always a good thing; but this option isn't the default yet … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How to Add a Horizontal Banner Ad to Your Mailpress Newsletter

Want to advertise a product or service in your MailPress newsletter? I did this by adding a horizontal banner ad at the bottom of the newsletter email, just above the footer. Here's how:

Firstly, create a horizontal banner ad image using The Gimp or some other graphics editing package. Make it the same width as the header image in your theme, which you can work out by looking for HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH in your MailPress theme's MP_theme_html.class.php. I found a height of about 100 pixels looked good for me. Save the image in your theme's images directory named horizbanner.jpg.

Secondly, add these lines to the end of the style array in your theme's style.php:

'bannerad_img' => "margin:0 4px; border:none; padding:0;",

Finally, add these lines to the top of your theme's footer.php:

<a href="http://site.com/targeturl" title="Click Here to Get The Product" rel="generator">
    <img src='images/horizbanner.jpg' <?php $this->classes('bannerad_img'); ?> />
</a>
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Posted in MailPress | 12 Comments

Workaround for Poor Embedded Video Support in Email Clients

WordPress has a neat feature that allows you to easily embed content from video sharing sites such as YouTube by simply writing the URL of the video you want to embed in your post, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJM4697kLL4

When your post is displayed, this gets replaced with an iframe which contains the content you wanted to embed, like this:

This works great in a web browser, but isn't so good in your MailPress newsletter, because most email clients don't support iframes. Your readers end up with a newsletter with a blank space instead of the embedded video content. Andre has done some experiments to address this, but nothing has seen the light of day yet. The problem isn't really MailPress's fault, but it does make newsletters with postings containing embedded videos look pretty odd at present.

As a workaround, I suggest disabling the automatic embedding so that the email … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged , | 4 Comments

My MailPress Hacks

I have a small list of hacks that I make to MailPress every time I upgrade. It's been shrinking as some of the issues have been addressed in the plugin, but I thought I'd share my local modifications with you:

Remove "[Blog Name] New post" from Subjects

I'd rather have the Subject line of my newsletters read like a personal email than an automatically generated one, so I change:

mp-content/advanced/newsletters/post/post.xml:
Under <mail><subject>
Strip "[%1$s] New post : "

mp-content/advanced/newsletters/post/categories/categories.xml:
Under <mail><Template>singlecat</Template><subject>
Strip "[%1$s] New post in {{the_taxonomy}} : "

Friendlier Messages

I like messages that are clear to non-MailPress users, so I change:

mp-content/languages/MailPress.pot:4149 &
mp-includes/class/MP_Widget.class.php:104:
Change "Waiting for your confirmation" to "Check your inbox and confirm your email address"

mp-content/languages/MailPress.pot:4133 &
mp-includes/class/MP_Widget.class.php:99:
Change "Loading..." to "Processing..."

Featured Images

Apply the hack to avoid featured images appearing in the header image of the … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged | 4 Comments

How to Send Your Newsletter Subscribers A Welcome Message

On The Confident Man Project, I wanted to send my new newsletter subscribers a Welcome message including a link to a bonus audio download that I promised them in the subscription box.

There are two ways to do this:

Using an Autoresponder

Create an autoresponder triggered by new newsletter subscriptions, and attach your welcome email to it. With this approach, the subscriber gets both a confirmation email, and a welcome email.

Here are the steps:

On the WordPress dashboard click Mails → Autoresponders

Add an Autoresponder Named newsletter, Slug newsletter, Description New newsletter subscriber. Make sure you select Active, and choose the Event Subscription activated. Then click Add Autoresponder.

Now go to Mails → Add New and write the Welcome email that you would like to send. For the recipient, under All choose one of the Newsletters. At the bottom of … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | 10 Comments

MailPress Enhancement/Bug Fix Wish List

MailPress is the most powerful free email newsletter plug-in for WordPress. Its ability to generate automatic newsletters from your posts is a great time-saver. Plus it has some powerful advanced features like open rate and link tracking, mailing lists and autoresponders.

Yet MailPress 5.1.1 also has some limitations, missing features and bugs which can really get in my way when I use it. At present it's merely great; once these issues are addressed it will be awesome.

So here's my list of enhancements I wish MailPress had, which would bring it much closer to replacing commercial email solutions like MailChimp and Aweber which don't integrate with WordPress anywhere near as cleanly. If you're a developer, I encourage you to give Andre a hand by submitting patches to add these enhancements, and fix these bugs.

I've ordered the list from most important to least important (to me, anyway):

Easy Subscribe to

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Posted in MailPress | Tagged , , | 18 Comments