How I Made PHPList Autoresponder Work In My Site

Being a newbie in the blogging world, I was not ready to invest hard-earned money on an Aweber autoresponder or other list-building autoresponder services that required monthly payments. I purchased a software called FreeAutoresponder Pro which only needed a one time payment. However, I believe it requires a lot of PHP know-how in order to make it work to my liking. So after trying for weeks to make it behave the way I want it, and failing, I decided to find some other tools that don’t entail a lot of expense. That’s when I found PHPList. It actually surprised me that it has always been there waiting for me because it is included in Fantastico. And most importantly, this autoresponder is FREE!.

The installation was a breeze because I did it through Fantastico in Lunarpages. I just accepted all the default values already in the boxes. I only needed to input some required fields like the install directory (which usually is ‘lists‘), the admin name and password you need to login to your PHPList account, etc.

After the installation, I logged in through The resulting page was very user friendly. PHPList by default only asks your subscribers for their email address. If you want to require their names, you need to create a Name Attribute. You do this by going to the PHPList main page and clicking on the ‘attributes‘ link under the ‘Configuration Functions‘ block. In the resulting PhpList Configure Attributes page, click the ‘add a new one‘ link. Type ‘Name‘ in the name field box, choose ‘textline‘ in the Type menu, leave the Default Value and Order of Listing as is, and check the ‘Is this attribute required?‘ checkbox. Save Changes.

Next step is to create a list. In the sidebar to the right, click on the ‘lists‘ link. Click on the ‘add a list‘ link. Type in the name of your list in the ‘List name‘ text box; check the checkbox to make the list ‘active‘; leave the ‘Order for listing‘ as is; and finally, write the description of your list in the large text box. Save.

Create Subscribe pages. Click the ‘subscribe pages‘ link on the sidebar. ‘Add a new one‘. The fields are self-explanatory like the previous ones. When you come to the ‘Select the attributes to use‘, check the ‘Check this box to use this attribute in the page‘ checkbox. This makes sure that the Name field will appear in the subscribe page besides the email fields. Then check your list in ‘Select the lists to offer‘ portion. ‘Save and Activate‘.

To start having your readers subscribe to you, you need to find out the url link to your subscribe page. You do this by going back to the subscribe page and clicking the ‘view‘ link of your created list. The url you find in your browser’s url box is that link e.g. ‘‘. Copy that and use it in your site’s side bar or wherever you want people to click in order to subscribe. Of course, this arrangement is not same as those you find in most websites where their name box, email box and submit buttons are integrated right on their website (with the theme). Using PHPList requires your reader to be directed to the PHPList subscribe page which usually does not look like your regular themed pages. There is however a plugin that can integrate this into your wordpress pages beautifully. Please refer to the article Making The PHPList Form Integration Plugin Work to know how to do this.

Webhost for my first website: Lunarpages

Just as I was very thorough in researching for a domain registrar, I similarly did quite a load of research into my choice of webhost for my first website. Like I always say, I don’t want to make a hurried choice which might lead to stupid regrets later. Thus, off I dived into the ocean of information, or should I say a huge haystack of information. This time, the haystack has several needles in it and my goal is to search for the best needle that would serve me best for my weaving.

Yes, I took notes, I made a list with 2 additional columns for pros and cons, and acted out the whole regimen of exercises that one does when one is faced with a lot of choices and options. Of course the final page of the bunch of notes resulting from my research contained the final conclusion: “Webhost for my first website: Lunarpages”.

Even though I had seen and analyzed a lot of webhosting companies earlier, my first cursory scanning of Lunarpages’ offerings alone kept me glued there and made me forget about the rest. You know why?lunarpagesimg While the majority of webhosts are trying to keep you confined within specific space and bandwidth limits designed to maximize their profits, Lunarpages gives you total freedom. Unlimited space. Unlimited bandwidth. Who can top that? Not only that. They give you all that for a crazy low price of $4.95/month!

The question arises: How can a company afford to give unlimited space and bandwidth? Well, if you really want to know, this is your chance to test how Lunarpages Support deals with queries, both from their clients or non-clients. Go to Lunarpages and ask.

The other juicy add-ons to their service are the following:

  • Free domain name. (For the first year only. After the first year, you pay an annual fee of $12.95 for the domain name.)*
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited bandwith
  • unlimited domain hosting
  • unlimited subdomains
  • unlimited parked domains
  • unlimited MySQL
  • $775 free bonuses
  • POP3/SMTP included
  • email accounts unlimited
  • email forwarding unlimited
  • email autoresponders unlimited
  • webmail 2 types included
  • mailing list included
  • spam protection included
  • ecommerce included
  • Free Web Scripts:
    • Fantastico Script Library included
    • Blogs 3 included
    • Content Management 6 included
    • SMF Forum included
    • Guest Book included
    • Web site templates included
    • etc.
  • Media Support:
    • Flash support included
    • MIDI file support included
    • REal Media Audio & Video support included
    • etc.…

I am now into my first months with Lunarpages. Support is prompt and very friendly. Any future additional websites of mine shall certainly be hosted by them. Recently, I ventured into creating a subdomain: Another first. All in all, I am perfectly contented with Lunarpages as my webhost for my first website.

*Some webhosts offer free domain name for life. That is, as long as you continue having them as your webhost, your domain is free.