Phpbb mailing list question

I have a “newsletter” that’s currently running via DH “announce list” with about 270 signed up. I am planning on dropping this newsletter via DH’s list as we roll out a new site that’s based on a phpBB core. The phpBB core allows for usergroups and you can email these usergroups from the admin panel.

My plan is to just send out a final (DH announce list) newsletter that announces the new site launch and explains how to go sign up for an account and RE-register for the new newsletter (via “newsletter” usergroup) since the old one will be discontinued.

My question to DH is regarding spam policies as relating to this new method of distributing the newsletter. Any foreseeable problems here?


A few problems with this:

  1. If I recall correctly, phpBB sends the message BCCd to all the recipients. Our system currently won’t allow mail sent via sendmail on the web machines if there are more than 40 recipients. This limit may be reduced at some point soon.

  2. By default, phpBB almost definitely uses php’s mail() function or something and does not set the envelope-sender using the fifth(?) parameter to mail(); If you’re not running PHP as a CGI, you’d need to set this to "" where is a valid address, so that you could receive any bounces from the newsletter. Tracking bounces is required by our spam policy.

  3. I don’t think that phpBB stores / retains all of the information required at - but I’m not sure. Make sure that it does.

  4. Make sure that users understand that they will receive these emails when they sign up for the board, and that they have an opportunity (at that point) to “opt-out”. Make sure that a closed-loop “confirmed opt-in” process is used for the signup to prevent malicious or accidental subscriptions.

Lastly, we prefer that you keep bulk mail off of the user machines entirely, and if there are problems (in terms of the volume of mail you’re sending) caused by mail sent from here, we will likely ask you to stop.

You have most definitely rained on my parade goodsir.

However, thanks? =\


[quote]You have most definitely rained on my parade goodsir.


Will has a tendency to do that. He’s like a walking, talking, typing rain cloud.

In any case, your needs would probably be best served with a ‘dedicated’ bulk email script of some sort. A tool geared toward this sort of functionality is more likely to have the required flexibility than one built into phpBB.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

Yeah, I forged ahead on “want-to” always with this nagging dread in the back of mind about it. No worries, I was prepared for that, nay, expecting it. Not ready to fork over the dough to be able to consume those kinds of resources

As for that rain cloud bit, does coffee help? Get the man some coffee.

edit: will: have a coffee! I’m going to leave a suggestion that you be made to pepper your rain cloud posts with cute smileys and whatnot :sunglasses:


I try not to drink too much coffee, though I drink a fair bit of tea.

It’s food intake (or lack thereof) that really affects my mood. I have a high metabolism or something - I have to eat constantly. When we move our office somewhere with more / better food options for me than Huntington Park, you may see a (relatively) more cheerful me.

(For anyone who’s disappointed to hear that, don’t worry - I said “relatively”).

Note that there is apparently an option in phpBB to send via SMTP as well (which would be Ok, though if you’re doing this often or to a really large group of people, we may still ask you to take steps to limit your resource consumption).

This is ok. I suggest using as the SMTP server (not mail.[your domain] (though this might change at some point).

As long as you’re making it extremely clear to people when they sign up that they will be receiving messages, as long as you are using a confirmed opt-in process (which apparently phpBB does), you should be ok… just make sure to read our policy and clarify any potential issues /before/ they come up.

Again, make sure you configure it to set the envelope-sender address if it doesn’t do this by default.

Lastly, we haven’t announced this yet, but we are planning on improving the existing announcement list functionality… if you have suggestions for improvements, post them to a new thread or to the suggestions area, and we’ll make sure they get to the attention of the right people.

Ha! I’d never have noted any cheerless disposition had Jeff not mentioned it, you’re always most helpful (even fun sometimes in a super geek way).

Still, more smilies willbot. Try these:

and thanks for the tip on the SMTP, I may try it out, or just let it go, the site’s very communal so a list would be secondary to that. We might actually get more useage without a list.

You misunderstood my intent as well, they were only going to be on the new list if they signed up for the list, not upon registration. I’m definitely a proponent of the opt in as opposed to auto in, I hate that crap, surely most everyone else does as well. Golden rule right?



I tried using the STMP and I got the following error:

Ran into problems sending Mail. Response: 503 Error: authentication not enabled

Am I not supposed to have my user name and password included since I am switching to the SMARTY server?


I think I speak for all of us if there was a way to integrate a single login on PHPbb/Mambo with a fully functional e-mail list. As we try and build communities to ask members to have multiple logins is prohibitive to say the least and can deter people from participating.


Helping to build cooperation, coordination and community for Dulles Area Democrats.

David T. Pierpont
Director/Web Site Manager