In this article I will explain how to install phpList and how to use this great PHP script. First, let's answer the question what is phpList good for. PhpList is free script written in PHP which can be used as a newsletter manager. With the double opt-in subscription system you can be sure that your subscribers are really interested in your newsletter.
Web hosting requirements for phpList:
Before you start the installation process, ensure that your web host support PHP and MySQL database and you have at least 10 MB free disk space (more space will be necessary when your newsletter will grow and more data will be stored in MySQL database). PHP version must be at least 4.3.x or higher and MySQL version must be 3.23 or higher. Developers recommend to run this script on Linux servers with Apache Webserver. They highly recommend to run phplist with "safe mode" in PHP off too.
How to install phpList:
Download the *.tgz or *.zip package from developers website. Unpack the archive files using WinZip, Total Commander or similar program. Then upload files in public_html folder to your web host. Edit the lists/config/config.php file and setup variables like Mysql database server (usually localhost), database name (if you have not created the database yet, you should do it through your web hosting control panel), database username and password. Other settings you should leave intact unless you are sure what are you doing. Then point your browser to http://www.yourdomain.com/lists/admin and follow the instructions on the screen. That is the last step, when done the installation should be finished.
Another and easier solution how to install this PHP script is to sign up for a quality web hosting service which offers pre-installed PHP scripts. Then easily go to your control panel, find the section with pre-installed scripts and select phpList. The installer will do all the job for you. All you need to do is to choose the script you want to install.
How to use phpList:
Login to admin interface and look at configuration functions. From this place you can setup e. g. mailing list url, how often you want to check for a new version, url where users can subscribe and unsubscribe etc. Then check out links under list and user functions. This is the section where you can see and manage current lists, users, eventually import or export users. Under administrator functions it is possible to add, edit or remove administrators and configure attributes for administrators.
The most important section is called message functions -- from this place you can send messages to your subscribers. You can choose between HTML format, plain text or combination of plain text and HTML, pick some of the templates, set up criteria (e. g. send email only to users that answered "yes" particular question when they signed up) and other options.
I hope the installation and settings will be easy for your. Anyway if you will have any problem you can visit developers website where is extensive documentation and forum.