Questions and Answers

Use the  forum to discuss or ask for help, thank you!

This page addresses common problems and their solutions using Newsletter 2.5+. Please be sure to have the latest version installed because some issues could be already resolved on latest version.

Diagnostic emails are delivered but newsletters are not

If you try to send a test newsletter from the composer and it is not delivered but emails from diagnostic panel are, your provider probably has a spam filter. Just empty the newsletter body and write only some words without images or links. Try the test again. If the email is delivered, ask the provider about filter.

More, try to add a link but disable the link tracking and test again.

After some usage of the administration panels I cannot access the blog anymore.

It’s a mod_security configuration problem of some provider (very rare). Here you can find an explanation. Actually the solution is to ask the provider to review the mod_security rules.

Should I always deactivate and reactivate the plugin?

Since version 3.0 a new behavior has been coded on Newsletter and it should auto detect an update even without reactivation. So the advises on other answer should be obsolete even if a deactivation and reactivation does not hurt.

Deactivation deletes all my subscriber and configurations?

No, definitively. Deactivation is a normal process of WordPress to stop a plugin and only if the plugin does something on its deactivation something could happens. Deactivation and reactivation takes places every time you update a plugin with auto update feature of WordPress.

Plugin data is stored on database and WordPress does not delete or change it, so configurations and subscribers will be there on next activation.

But a note worth to be underlined: with automatic update via WordPress plugin panel, the plugin folder is deleted. So any customization made inside that folder will be lost. Newsletter has some coding conventions which let to customized the plugin in a auto upgrade safe way.

How can I upgrade to latest version?

Free version, the one installed directly from WordPress or downloaded from WordPress Plugin Directory can be automatically updated from your WordPress plugin panel when a new version notice appears. Other way is to use the “updates” panel on dashboard sub-menu. That kind of update already deactivate and reactivate the plugin which is mandatory to be sure the database will be updated as well.

If you prefer to manually update your plugin, you can overwrite all Newsletter files (in wp-content/plugins/newsletter folder) uploading them via FTP. You must deactivate and reactivate the plugin manually.

Pro version must always updated manually since latest version is available only to customers on my downloads area. To download it, sign in with your account. If the contract is expired, the download won’t be available. Follow the instructions above.

Can Newsletter send email using Bcc to aggregate them and lower the email volume?

No, is not possible. Most of the time an email with more than one address (being them on To, Cc or Bcc fields) counts as many emails as if they were sent separately for each recipients. This is easy to understand: since each recipients need to have it’s own copy of the same email, the first mail server (your) must deliver for each recipients the email. For the mail server there is no advantage to have one email with 10 address in Bcc or 10 emails.

The only real performance improvement is when you deliver the email to your mail server.

More, each email contains tracking code and unsubscription link that are user-specific so they cannot be used on a Bcc email.

After I upgraded no data is saved on database

Most of the times this is due to a database out of sync. Try to deactivate and reactivate the plugin from your WordPress plugin panel and this will do the trick.

On activation I get the error “Cannot redeclare nt_post_image()…”

Only one version can be active, the free or the pro, not both. Deactivate the version you are not using anymore.

I got the error “Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_CONST, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR”

Ask the provider to upgrade your web space or your server to PHP 5. PHP 4, which is giving the error, is out-of-date and no more supported (neither by WordPress).

I get a “Internal Server Error” on subscription confirmation or unsubscription confirmation (Aruba users, read this!)

Newsletter calls the “do.php” file stored inside it’s folder. Some providers, some configurations or some security procedures can change the file permission so it cannot be executed (while it should).

The {unsubscription_confirm_url} does not work (with test emails) – Version 2.5

When this tag is replaced on TEST emails, it is not connected to a real subscriber so it cannot bring to a cancellation page and it gives the message “no user found”. The URL produced will be something like

http://www.domain.com/newsletter?na=uc&ni=0&nt=faketoken

and it’s correct. Believe me.

The editor is not working

Unfortunately there are some WordPress plugins which “injects” their own JavaScript code on other plugin pages stopping the editor. I cannot solve that problem on my side, but you can verify is this is you case trying to disable them once a time. Some plugin reported to be incompatible with Newsletter editor are an event manager plugin, some contact form plugin, a couple of plugin made to improve the WordPress editor and a plugin to extend the user profile data.

Custom forms: how can I create them? – Version 2.5

First, be sure the “profile panel” is not enough for you. On that panel you can configure how the subscription form and the profile editing form should be. If you really need to create a custom form you can copy the one generated by Newsletter on subscription page or generated by Newsletter Widget: just look at the HTML source page of you blog and extract them.

How can I add a subscription form other than my sidebar?

You should code a form manually (see above) and then modify your theme adding the relative HTML. Most of the time, on well made themes, the page areas (sidebars, footer, …) are widget active and you can insert the Newsletter subscription widget.

To style it, you should add to the theme your own CSS looking at the HTML structure of the subscription form (use Firebug, for example). CSS can be added directly on your theme style.css file, but you’ll lose them if you upgrade the theme. Other solution is to use my Header and Footer plugin to add a <style> block so it will be always there, even if you change the theme. More, some themes has a special configuration to add custom CSS.

Can I put a subscription for on a different site?

Yes, absolutely. The subscription form is pure HTML, but you should remove the “newsletter_check()” JavaScript call, since on external site the relative code won’t be present. Pay attention to have the form “action” pointing to your subscription page if you use one, or to your home page.

My custom form does not save the subscriber and show the subscription form again when submitted

Probably you forgot the hidden field named “na” and with value “s”. This fiels is the “newsletter action” and its value means “subscribe”.

I’m on GoDaddy

Arghhh… please, read here ’cause probably you need to use the SMTP (if things had not changed).

Test emails are not sent

Very bad.

Verify your spam folder as first step. If the emails are there, the plugin is working.

If not, open a ticket to your provider asking if you can send email from your blog and what the rule are. You should follow those steps as well:

  1. remove the return path from main configuration
  2. remove the reply to from main configuration
  3. use a sender email address in your domain (if your blog is www.myblog.com, use an email address like newsletter@myblog.com)
  4. check if your provider require the sender email to be an existent email (some require it)
  5. try to remove the sender name

You can even do a special test: add a new user to your blog and set to send the password via email. Check if this email comes, if not, open a ticket to your provider. If this email is delivered but not the test emails, this may be due to the nature of Newsletter emails: they are HTML email. Your provider should be of help about that, I cannot do anything.

Emails are marked as spam

This may be caused by so many factors that a single and simple answer is impossible. Before enter in pain mode and start to post in my forum, try the mxtoolbox.com site to see if your server (or generally the server where your blog is located) is black listed. If you are black listed… the end, only your provider can resolve this problem.

Test on mxtoolbox can be not valid is the problem is caused by other black listed server which are part of the delivery process. You, if able, should analyses the email headers and look for any information explaining while the email has been marked as spam or follow the delivery path. It’s not easy.

About spam, can I use DKIM or SPF records?

DKIM can be used IF you can configure your server to sign the outgoing messages. The internal WordPress library, even if coded to support DKIM, seems to produce wrong signed messages. At least I never been able to make a signed messaged to be recognized. SPF records are another story and you can setup such records to declare that your web server, from which emails starts, is allowed to send emails for your domain. By the way I’m not an expert on such field, you should find a professional with a deep knowledge in this area.

The delivery is very slow (even if I changed the emails per hour rate)

First, check please your emails per hour rate on main configuration panel. The default rate is 100 emails per hour.

Second, the delivery engine works as excepted only if activated every five minutes. Since the cron system of WordPress is not a real cron system (and is widely affected by site traffic and cache systems), you can trigger with external calls. Refer to this article about the WordPress cron.

Can I create an unsubscription/cancellation form?

No, you can’t. Unsubscription MUST start from a PERSONAL link subscriber find on your emails. That link has a token used to certify the unsubscription request. Dont’ worry to much about the absence of an unsubscription form, user decide to unsubscribe when they get an email from you, and any email should contain the cancellation link. You can also state on your site to contact you to be manually cancelled, you won’t get too many of those requests.

Administration panel can be translated?

No. The work to maintain translation files for so many texts is a work I cannot afford. Initially Newsletter was translatable, but I changed so much its administration panel (to help users while configuring it) that translation were quickly unusable. Sorry, it’s a my limit.