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Ninjakreborn

programming newsletter

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I am about to start a site creation for someone, he is wanting a newsletter on his site, where he can put what he needs to into it, and have it send to whoever he needs. Is it better to use a 3rd party script or create one from scratch, the project is for 500 for a site creation, recreating his old site, about 5-8 pages, and that's it, this is a challenge because the site is about something I know nothing about, but I have past content to go on, it's just the newsletter is what is making me wonder.

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Probably just as easy to write it yourself, but then again, if you need to ask the question, maybe its better to just download some existing script.

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I know php programming very well, but I am unfamiliar with the act of programming a newsletter. A place where people sign up, and have it add it to a list, and automatically send a list to a bunch of people when the site own gets ready, looking at other newsletters all I see for the form action goes to a php script that mails it to the site owner, what do they do with the email after that. Programming is funer than grabbing a renegade 3rd party script for everything.

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Perhaps something rather simplistic...

1. Form to subscribe to newletter (take data and add to database - might consider using a validate email so as to ensure subscriber is who they claim to be - use a 'valid' field in you table - 0 when first adding data, 1 when they validate --- and back to zero if they UNSUBSCRIbe)

2. UNSUBSCRIBE option on the site.

3. Policy regarding how email addresses will be handled by your client (not sold or given away etc) available on the site.

4. Check with host as to their policy regarding mass emails (ie what quantity and in frequency does mass mail constitute spam on their part)

5. Depending upon how client intends to create the newsletter, could either email link to current letter (html version); or have client publish newsletter in pdf format and either attaching it to an email OR provide link to view/download the pdf file.

Just some suggestions.


Lite...

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That sounds good, how do I set up the situation where they can email the person back. I know how to create mail scripts, but I have to put in the information for it to mail, and I know how to process/validate forms of any manner/size. But what I am trying to figure out how to do, is set it up to where the emails can get sent out, or do I just gather the emails, and then have him send the emails through his email address, these are the details I am trying to work out, but what you said was very helpful I will keep all of that in mind when I start building it.

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I have been looking around and I saw something like Mailing List Managers, is this something I can program myself, or something I have to find in a script, how do I create my own mailing list manager.

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Create a database with colummes for user_name, email, subscribed. Then do something like this...

[code]
<?
$query = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM newsletter WHERE subscribed = 1") or die();
$news_query = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM news") or die();

while($info = mysql_fetch_array($query))
{
     --- build email headers ---
     while($news = mysql_fetch_array($news_query))
     {  
          --- get news info ----
     }
}
-blah --
[/code]

Go along the basis of that

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That's not the part I am confused about, I guess I misworded the question.
What I need to know is how to get it to where my client can email people
I know how to collect the information about the mailers, but I am confused about how to set it up to where the client can actively create and send a newsletter out to all the people.

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try this [a href=\"http://tincan.co.uk/phplist\" target=\"_blank\"]http://tincan.co.uk/phplist[/a]

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This is helpful for something to look at, and if I get too bogged I will switch to this, but I want to get better at programming, now i am far from a beginning, I just need to learn how to put this together. I was finally pointed in advice earlier from someone on the components I need to program to send an email massly, but there is one thing I don't understand, how do I get my client access to where he can send the email, I could put a page on the server, that is password protected where he could send out bunches of emails.
But what I don't get though is I have never seen another site do that, to where they have a place where the client logged in to send the emails.
What is the best idea for me to set something up so he can get the emails to send.

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I dont get why you want to make a news letter where the client sends letters

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I mean my client.
Here is the thing, someone wanted me to build a site, no problem, they wanted a newsletter, to where people could sign up for the newsletter, this entails getting email address saved to a database, easy. But then I get down to trying to figure out, there has to be a way for my client, the one who will be owning the site, to be able to email all the people that sign up for the list. I have looked at other peoples websites and never saw anyone with an area on there websites for them to send emails to people on there mailing list, I am wondering how this is done, or how I set something up.

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[!--quoteo(post=377128:date=May 25 2006, 05:21 PM:name=rab)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(rab @ May 25 2006, 05:21 PM) [snapback]377128[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Create a database with colummes for user_name, email, subscribed. Then do something like this...

[code]
<?
$query = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM newsletter WHERE subscribed = 1") or die();
$news_query = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM news") or die();

while($info = mysql_fetch_array($query))
{
     --- build email headers ---
     while($news = mysql_fetch_array($news_query))
     {  
          --- get news info ----
     }
}
-blah --
[/code]

Go along the basis of that
[/quote]

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By looking at that, it tells me that it is pulling the emails from the database, then
send the email, I understand all that, it's just about the issue of getting the client access to that, My client, the one the site is being built for doesn't understand php. I need to figure out where HE can send the email from. How do I set that up, I thought about a form, where he can just type out the newsletter, click submit and it sends it to all of them, but I have never seen another site do that before, unless they don't link it to the main site, do you understand what I mean.

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Design it so the client only has to do 1 thing - create the newsletter. Then simply use a cron or taskscheduler to check the file date of the newsletter. Have the script compare that date with a corresponding field in the database ie lastsent. If the file date is newer than lastsent have the script AUTOMATICALLY send the emails; being sure to update lastsent to the date of the new newsletter.

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Make a newsletter admin page (where he must login too) with a form for him to put the email in and a send button. Done.

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That is a little over my head, I am confused about the part where you stated.
[!--quoteo--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]Design it so the client only has to do 1 thing - create the newsletter[/quote]
How do I get him to create the newsletter.
That is the part that is confusing me.

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What part dont you understand? There must be thousands of cms's that do this.

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PERFECT that was what I was wondering. So this should be the whole process.
I have a form, with 1 text field and submit button, this gathers the emails.
Or actually 2 buttons, subscribe unsubscribe, if they subscribe it adds the email to the database, if they unsubscribe it it takes it out.
Then I have it database that information.
Then I create another form, to where he puts in all the information he wants to send in the email and hits send, then I have to send an email to everyone in the database from there.
That is perfect, 2 more questions and I am ready to start.
1. Do I create the newsletter admin page on his server, but just don't link it to his site, and give him the url, like that, because I have never seen anything like that linked to a site before.

2. How would I accomodate the form to be able to accept pictures. He wanted to have like a picture of his book at top, then some information regarding the book, in his first newsletter, then whatever else in future ones.

edit- I meant I didn't understand what lite said, that specific part, was a little deep.

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Ok, let us presume he has word or somesuch word processor (there are a ton of free ones availbale). All he does is sit at his computer and type up his newsletter, insert pics and graphics as he goes. THEN he uses one of the FREE pdf creators to create the pdf file. That done he simply uses a button YOU create that allows him to upload the new newletter. The rest is done with smoke and mirrors - magic - prestadigitation

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That makes sense, but I am unfamiliar with pdfs, I will keep that in mind, after I hear thorpe's idea one more time
then I am going to get started on this either way.

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1: Yes, just create an admin area where your client must login through a hidden address (make sure you also secure this area).

2: You'll need to enable him to upload the images and include them into html formatted emails from there.

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Sounds good I have a thourough grounding in some steps to follow to get this accomplished I apprecaite all the help thanks.

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the only downside(s) to sending an html version of the newsletter:
1) subscriber may not have htm email enabled
2) client loses control of formatting, depending upon subscriber's email client, browser etc.

pdf is cross platform and retains exact formating that client intended. a pdf creation program acts like a printer. when the client goes to 'print' the newsletter, he/she simply selects the pdf program as the printer. it really is very easy to do.

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I wasn't intending on sending it html format, but the thing about the pdf how do I set that up.
I mean does it send it in an email as an attachment, because I want to avoid that, or does it send the PDF, to where you can read it in the email, and also not everyone has a pdf reading, that is what is confusing me on this specific idea.

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