I have been using the subscribe2 plugin to send out an email to my subscribers every time I add a new blog post. It has been working perfectly until recently when I found out that the subscribe2 plugin is actually not compliant with Dreamhost’s spam rules, even though it has opt-in confirmation, it doesn’t do some tiny little thing so they are banning me from using it. I have 320 subscribers to my blog and I really need a way to keep them updated! Dreamhost told me to come here and ask if anyone knew of a plugin that would do the job. I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me!!
There may be a plugin, but a workaround could be a Discussion List with only one authorized sender. It’s a bit of a hassle, but at least it fully complies with DreamHost’s spam rules.
It’d be nice to be able to use the Announce List, but that has a web front end and not an email one.
To evaluate a possible alternative, it’s kinda improtant to know precisely what the “tiny little thing” subscrib2 does not do that makes it unsuitable (so we can make sure that ny replacement does not have the same problem).
It could also be that the “non-compliant” part is indeed, a “tiny little thing”, it might be easy to just add that thing to the plugin (Hooray for Open Source!)!
Alternatively, have you considered just asking reader who are interested in keeping track of each new post to subscribe to your RSS feed? Personally, given all the issues with email today, I think that is the “wave of the future”; it seems to me to be much more efficient, and dependable, than email and it is very easy for your readers to add your feed into many modern email/news reader clients.
Thank you so much for your reply, rlparker! Sorry for being so terse earlier, I am just a little irritated with this thing.
Okay, here’s the deal. Dreamhost requires the opt-in confirmation to log the date, time, and IP address associated with that confirmation.
Subscribe2 only logs the date.
The creator of subscribe2 says it CAN be added. He said…
"First you’ll need to add a column to the subscribe2 table to collect the IP address. Probably by using the upgrade() function.
You’ll also need to insert the IP address in the add() function but you’ll also need to collect it in the form and pass it through to the script to this function."
Of course, he assumes everyone is just as fluent in (php???) as he is. I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.
If anyone here can help me with this I will love you forever and be your best friend. Promise.
I suspected it might be something along those lines … which is actually encouraging, because:
Something along those lines ought to do it…
I know for a fact that there are many PHP wizards lurking about here that such an exercise would present a problem for; with any luck, one of them might just take it on (if the author doesn’t do it himself … and after your query, he just might, as a “future enhancement” for his program).
I think I was probably editing my first response to you when you were typing this post, so you probably didn’t see my “alternative” suggestion (now is that response) - what are your feelings about usng RSS as a “preferable” mechanism to email for allowing your interested readers to keep abreast of your new posts?
Hey rlparker, thanks again for your reply
I hadn’t seen the edit to your post. I wish I could get my subscribers to do something like an RSS feed, but unfortunately, most of them are not the techo-savviest of us, and I really, really, really, don’t want to explain, in excruciating step by step instructions, to every single individual (oh cause one blog post just would not hande it, believe me) what on earth an RSS is. If I even attempted to say the word RSS they would look at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears or something.
ANYWAY! I have contacted the author of the subscribe2 plugin and have pleaded with his help in this situation. He is very much aware of all the problems us Dreamhosters have and unfortunately I don’t think he’s too sympathetic.
He suggested Feedburner Email as a “quick fix” alternative, but I’m having the same problems with FB as I am with subscribe2. I have no idea how or where to verify if FB logs the date, time and IP address and there is absolutely no way to contact anyone over at FB, just a discussion group. I’ve posted there, but we’ll see.
In the meantime!! If there are any php wizards lurking here who desire to take pity on my wretched soul and make me the happiest girl on earth, I would be eternally grateful.
Thanks for reading
I’m not a PHP wizard, but wouldn’t it be adequate to modify the plugin to print a line to a logfile with the email address, date, and IP address? It’d be easier than updating the database.
Hey Scott… I’m not even sure… lol. Is this something I should pass on to the plugin author? I was thinking about emailing him again.
Couldn’t hurt…too much. He at least might be able to tell you which file to modify.
Yeah great idea Scott!
You could set it up so when a client submits their subscription request PHP writes a file named after the email address to a specific ‘subscribers’ folder. The contents of the file being server time, date, and IP address of the submission.
Assuming the plugin has an additional opt-in process (which the OP has suggested it already contains) such as an email sent out containing a link that needs to be followed in order to have the subscription ‘officially’ activated, then I’d think that would comply 100% with Dreamhost’s anti-spam policies.
Why not use feedburner?
I use it with http://letdanys.org (wordpress) and it works great
Hey Mezz! That’s actually what the subscribe2 author suggested. I have been informed that the emails go through Feedburner and NOT dreamhost, therefore they do not have to comply with dreamhosts spam policies. woohoo!!
But I need to know…
I have a small following that has been with me for over 10 years now… there are over 300 people on my little email list. Will they all have to resubscribe?? Or is there a way to import them? I’m trying to find out now…
Thank you for your reply!
If you can prove to feedburner that you are not a spammer they may import your subscriber list manually for you. They did that for me at for http://theMezz.com … I have to show them a several year history of my newsletter.
Thanks good to know Mezz, thank you for the reply.
Did you just forward them the emails or something? I don’t really save the emails to my webpage? But I do email myself a copy of the newsletter. lol
Unfortunately, since google has taken over feedburner, they’ve taken away every possible way to contact anyone at feedburner about doing this… but I’m a little bit of a stalker and am now in contact with one of the co-owners of feedburner, so maybe he can help me with this situation.
keep your fingers crossed. And thank you so much for all the help! I appreciate it.
[quote]You could set it up so when a client submits their subscription request PHP writes a file named after the email address to a specific ‘subscribers’ folder. The contents of the file being server time, date, and IP address of the submission.
Assuming the plugin has an additional opt-in process (which the OP has suggested it already contains) such as an email sent out containing a link that needs to be followed in order to have the subscription ‘officially’ activated, then I’d think that would comply 100% with Dreamhost’s anti-spam policies.[/quote]
If anyone can do this I would be eternally grateful!! I heard back from the author of subscribe2 and he said he will not be updating subscribe2 to comply with dreamhost’s policies.
When I switched to Feedburner … my newsletter was called theMezzenger and when goggled it came up all over the place … and archived at a couple places. Being that it was archived by someone other than me and it has a long history … feedburner was convinced that I was not a spammer. See http://tinyurl.com/6xapbc
Feedburner can deliver a newsletter for anything that has a RSS feed.
I also use it on my photoblog http://joemezz.com … which is pixelpost php script and feedburner delivers thumbnails of new posts.
Feedburner’s interface is a little difficult but it sure is powerful service.
Yet another even easier option is to use http://rssfwd.com
Works great with wordpress. Just provide your viewers with the proper link.
As an example… the link to subscribe to letdanys.org using rssfwd is
I use rssfwd for a LOT of feeds and just love it.
The only thing is that you will not be able to see your subscriber base… or see who or how many subscribers you have.
Sorry for such a long reply, but their are a lot of variables and options to doing what you want to do.
What is your URL anyway???
I have www.kevinandamanda.com
www.monsterpaparazzi.com << my two crazy boston terriers’ website
I never really had a “newsletter” of sorts, I would just always email people when I updated my webpage. Just sort of a friendly, “Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I added some new pics to my webpage!”
I had a “What’s New?” section on my webpage, but I just sent the emails on my own until the list got over about 50 people… Then I started using a service that I loooooooved that would tell me who opened the email, if they clicked on the link, etc. I loved that, but they started charging for their service and it was an insane amount. Also, I would still have to go and manually write the email myself and send it, which was an extra step, but I didn’t mind it.
Then I changed my “What’s New?” section to a wordpress blog. Since my What’s New section looked suspiciously like a blog already. That’s when I started using the subscribe2 plugin. It automatically emailed everyone on my list as soon as I made a “What’s New?” post! Perfect!! Took out an extra step for me.
Until dreamhost squelched my dreams. bah.
I reallyreallyreally hope feedburner will let me import my list. I have no idea how to prove to them that all these people want to be on the list. subscribe2 currently emails me when someone confirms their subscription but i always delete those emails.
If they take a look at my website they will see that it’s just a silly family website with pictures, a scrapbook, and the mishaps of my two cats and dogs. Maybe they’ll take pity on me.
Just a “heads up” that you need to be a little careful of that assumption.
Per the information available at the DreamHost Abuse Center:
[quote]" There are a number of frequently asked questions we receive about our anti-spam policies, some of which reflect common misunderstandings both about the spam problem and our policies in particular. They are as follows:"
"What if I send the email from a non-DreamHost server?"
You are still required to comply with our policies if this mailing is being done in conjunction with our services in any way. That includes emails sent in promotion of a site or domain that we host (ie. you are pointing people toward your site via a link, hosting embedded email graphics on our servers, referring to a DreamHost-hosted email address, etc). "[/quote]
Now, none of this is an issue at all if DreamHost receives no complaints about spam regarding your mailing … but you should understand that if they do receive complaints, you will likely to be found to be non-compliant even if FeedBurner sent the email.
Ah! That’s good to know. I have heard back once from the co-owner of Feedburner and he was under the impression that dreamhost would not be able to have any input on how email updates you deliver through a third party service should be handled.
In case anyone else is wondering, he went on to say “We do not provide any IP address information related to subscriber status. The information available about subscribers is exactly what’s presented (and exportable) on the Publicize > Email Subscriptions section of your feed’s settngs.”
I seriously doubt anyone will complain about the emails as I know personally almost everyone on the list and am highly reachable to them and always say at the bottom of my emails “just let me know if you want to stop receiving these emails!” Soooo, I will probably take a seriously look at feedburner IF I ever hear back from the Feedburner guy and he will import my list.
IF NOT… does anyone have any other suggestions for something LIKE feedburner that will let me import my subscribers?
Thank you SO much everyone!!!
Joe You crack me up