I installed the PHPList form integration plugin for the first time in a test site and was glad that I did not install it directly on my wordpress blog because it did not work right out. It took me a few days of googling (after office hours, and errr… (cough)… during some of my office hours too) before I was finally able to make it work. And boy, how I did jump and shout in glee when it happened. The people downstairs probably thought I won the lottery or something. This PHPList form integration plugin is a God-send for bloggers who start out with a PHPList autoresponder.

My problem was like that of the majority of users who commented on Jesse Heap’s post. The name and email boxes are indeed nicely integrated in my wordpress blog page. When I entered a name and email address and clicked on the ‘submit’ button, the page tells me I got through all right. However, I did not receive any confirmation email. The PHPList database also did not reflect the email address I entered earlier.

General Settings:

After activating the plugin, go to its settings page by clicking ‘PHPList’ under the dashboard’s Settings drop down menu. Do not be fooled by some default values that are already there. The first field under the General Settings block, PHPList URL, has a default value of ‘http://yourdomain.com/lists/’. Change this one accordingly. The ‘lists‘ in the url is the install directory that you specified in Fantastico when you installed PHPList. In the ‘PHPList List Information‘, if you’re not sure of the PHPList ID, go back to your PHPList page (http://yourdomain.com/lists/admin/?page=home) and click on the ‘lists‘ link on the sidebar. The List ID is that leftmost number (under the ‘No’ column) corresponding to your created list’s row. Then, to play safe with the CAN-SPAM Act, uncheck the ‘Skip Confirmation Email‘ checkbox. Click ‘Update Options‘.

Form Settings:

If you want to have the Name box appear in your form, check the first leftmost checkbox under the ‘Show the Form‘ heading. Under the ‘Text Field Label Name‘, type ‘Name:’ or just ‘Name‘. For the ‘Text Field ID‘ of your name box, go back to your PHPList subscribe pages section (http://yourdomain.com/lists/admin/?page=spage) and click on the ‘edit‘ link of your subscribe page. Scroll down until you get to the ‘Select the attributes to use‘ section. Find the one for your Name field. On the top-leftmost grid of the box, you’ll find ‘Attribute:x‘, where x is a number, e.g. 1. So, if you find there ‘Attribute:2’, your Text Field ID for your Name field shall be ‘attribute2‘. Prior to clicking the ‘Update Options‘ button, make sure you check the ‘Required Field‘ checkbox if you so desire this field to be required.

Now, there’s only one more thing to do, and that’s to place your form on your desired page. Say, you want it on your ‘signup’ page. Just insert ‘<!--phplist form-->‘ (w/o the quotes) wherever you want it to appear in that page. Unfortunately, this plugin is not widgetized; so you can not just drop it in your sidebar like the other plugins. You can however still insert it into your sidebar by inserting the following codes in your sidebar.php file.

<?php
   $content = apply_filters('the_content', '<!--phplist form-->');
   echo $content;
?>

The important thing is to make sure all the entered data are correct. Go back and forth between your WP dashboard and your PHPList home page to make sure that their data match.

You can download and find the documentation of the PHPList Form Integration Plugin at its creator’s (Jesse Heap) site.

Jesse Heap, btw, has stopped further development of this amazing plugin because of his commitment to their business and his studies. Hopefully, some other genius can pick up where he left off and make our life even easier.

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