Next Version – you decide!

The next version of Subscribe 2 is coming along nicely. There are no massive changes in the function of the plugin but briefly these are the improvements so far:

  • Much improved compatibility with WordPress MU (thanks to Ben)
  • Use of <label> tags throughout the admin menus so you can now click on text too!
  • Maybe – a slight redesign of the Subscriptions form

That last point there is a maybe – because now is your chance to decide how the plugin moves forward in terms of the form. Get voting below for your favoured choice of form. (And I bet some of you want to know what it looks like so see below the poll!)

[Poll Now Closed]

Option 1 (above):
Option 1

Option 2 (above):
Option 2


60 thoughts on “Next Version – you decide!

  1. Very cool Matt! I love the interactive part of your decision πŸ™‚ I look forward to learning how many voted and the ultimate outcome!

    By the way, how did you get the “Stumble it!” inside the email? That is really awesome and something I’ve been interested in with the Subscribe2 plugin.

  2. I’d love to have ALL the options! πŸ™‚

    (BTW, where can I translate the button names and/or labels?)

  3. Andy,

    I don’t think “Stumble it!” is anything I’ve done but more likely another plugin that adds it’s content to the post content using the in-built WordPress the_content filter.

    • Julian,

      How would you foresee this working? Do you want a preview for all 3 types of email? Sent via email to admin or previewed in an admin window?

      There are a few ways to do this in the plugin with a bit of coding reworked. For now the easiest way would be to set up a test blog and subscribe yourself with different emails and settings.

  4. Fretbuzz,

    Okay, I can see you post over on the WordPress forums. Have you asked your host why the emails are not sending? The error that Subscribe2 is reporting should also be in their error logs.

  5. Fretbuzz,

    Cpanel error logs only tend to show up server code errors like PHP errors and the like. They are unlikely to include email error messages from the MTA client as these are held in a central log on the shared server. You can’t see them as you’d also know who else is on your shared server.

  6. Hi! This plugin is kinda saving my life πŸ™‚
    BUT I just can’t figure out how to set it up correctly.. anyway, there’s a “quick subscribe” plugin which helped me lots.

    My question/request for the ongoing dev: Could email be send to individual addresses, instead of the admin one? And also.. could the template include the name of the subscriber?


  7. Hey Joaquin! Yes this is a great plugin! πŸ™‚

    If you haven’t already done so, please try reviewing the admin panel (and Subscribe2 areas scattered throughout it), FAQ, and searching the comments the next time first. It saves a lot of time for everyone. Then post your question.

    Go into the admin panel > settings under Notification Settings and you will see “Restrict the number of recipients per email to (0 for unlimited):” Select “1”
    When you select this each subscriber will receive their own email and it will have their name on the email.

    In this area you may want to try experimenting with selecting CSS stylesheet or leaving it unchecked depending on how the email is sent and how you want it to look as well as whether or not you want HTML emails sent. You might want ot add one of your email accounts first to send a post to and see how it looks in order to choose the best settings, etc. for your purposes. Also, if you don’t have a play site (i.e., beta, or test site to experiment on) you might want to download Maintenance Mode by Michael WΓΆhrer, which allows you full access to the site, but puts a maintenance splash page up for your visitors (assuming your site is already live). Hope this helps! Have a great day…. πŸ™‚

  8. Hello,
    The subscribe2 plugin is nice, but I would really need the emails to be sent in HTML format to public subscribers (and not only to registered subscribers), as most of the subscribers will register to the newsletter using our web site.
    Please, could you tell me if the next version will allow public subscribers to receive email in HTML format ? The look is much more nicer.
    If this functionality is not planned for the next version, could you let me know a way to go around the problem and send all newsletter emails in HTML ?
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Isa74,

      HTML emails for public users will never be an option in the main plugin but you can pay $40 for a version that will deliver this functionality. Post another comment if you are interested and I’ll email you direct with details.

  9. @Andy You rock! πŸ˜€

    My mistake, sorry for posting. Anyway, apart from the 1 recpt, I was “requesting” to have a “Message substitions” with say.. USERNAME or USERFULLNAME so in your template you can say:


    Which will be:
    Hi JoaquΓ­n,


    Thanks lots again!

    • Joaquin,

      There is currently no USERNAME or similar keyword to allow substitution. Since public subscribers only give their email address, and WordPress Registered users don’t need to complete their name details in order to register there is a great likelihood that these details will be blank for the majority of plugin users. This feature is not something that I plan to develop because of this.

  10. Hello Joaquin—

    You are MOST welcome! πŸ™‚ No trouble at all….Glad I was able to help. I haven’t yet customized those messages, but I’m pretty sure if you go into the admin panel, you will find the area where you can put the message into the sent email. Let me know if you are successful or need further help and I’ll do my best—

    Take good care, and if you really like the plugin and find it useful on your blog, please consider making a small donation to help Matt.

  11. Fretbuzz,

    errors in line 54 of subscribe2.php

    What error are you getting? Line 54 is simply where the Subscribe2 class is defined,if there was an error there the plugin would fail to work at any level.

  12. The errors from the error log that bluehost gave me are as follows:

    error logs show: 8] PHP Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class s2class in **/****/wp-content/plugins/subscribe2/subscribe2.php on line 54 [24-Feb-2009 11:11:32] PHP Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class s2class in /****/****/****/****/****/wp-content/plugins/subscribe2/subscribe2.php on line 54 [24-Feb-2009 11:12:12] PHP Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class s2class in **/****/wp-content/plugins/subscribe2-for-social-privacy/subscribe2.php on line 50 [24-Feb-2009 11:56:21] PHP Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in **/****/wp_heathmcconnell/wp-content/plugins/wp-mail-smtp/wp_mail_smtp.php on line 86

  13. Heathmcconell,

    Okay, the error you are getting from Subscribe2 is because you are running 2 copies and therefore the software is trying to re-declare an existing class. One copy is in wp-content/plugins/subscribe2/ and the other is in wp-content/plugins/subscribe2-for-social-privacy/.

    Remove one as you don’t need two copies.

    The error in wp_mail_smtp will be because foreach expects to be passed an array and it probably is not being passed an array. However, as it is not my plugin you’ll have to follow it up with the plugin author.

  14. Heathmcconell,

    I don’t know what phpmail() is. There is an inbuilt PHP function called mail() but if you are getting down to that level then you are editing code in my plugin and the core WordPress files and you shouldn’t need my help! πŸ™‚

    Just try using a out-of-the-box install of WordPress and Subscribe2 to send a message from Posts->Mail Subscribers to a list of subscribers that includes you and see if you get the message.

  15. I haven’t edited any code. I just installed this plugin, tried to email my subscribers and it didn’t work. I read on your site I might need wp-mail-smtp. iadded that plug and did a test email with it and it sent fine. The Mail Subscribers window says, “Message failed! Check your settings and check with your hosting provider. Language string failed to load: instantiate” on the POST->Mail Subscribers page when I click send.

  16. Heathmcconnell,

    Okay, basically then the PHPMailer functions that are used by WordPress are trying to report an error to you but can’t as there are no language files included. you can either try to figure out the error yourself by adding the language error files (more help here or contact you host and get them to look in the mail and server logs.

  17. Andy and Matt, thanks for your replies!

    I’ll contribute, again, as a way of thanking.



  18. i would really like to have categories in the subscribe widget, so that subscribers can register and choose their category a one simple step.

    like the currently out-of-production ShiftThis newsletter.


  19. Johny why,

    The widget only handles Public Subscribers who are not able to pick categories. In order to do this they must register.

    I write the plguin for my sites and since I neither want or need this sort of feature I will not be changing the plugin to deliver this functionality.

  20. Hi Matthew,
    You asked what I had in mind when I mentioned some changes I’d love to see in the admin area. I coded and tested most of the ideas. It is written it up here with screen dumps so you can see what I am getting at.

    Happy to help with the other ideas I mention lower down in the text too if you decide you are prepared to roll any of these in to next version.

    By the way – on the form – I like to use “Your email address” or “” as the default value in the text box. It tells users what to put in the box, and leaves a smaller simpler form for the widget.

  21. Actually, I don’t care what the form looks like – I just want it to work for registered users who aren’t logged in! Please allow regsitered users to unsubscribe through the form without logging in first, or at the very least, redirect them to their subscriptions page and prompt them to log in. We have the widget at the bottom of our pages, and when registered users try to unsubscribe, they aren’t aware that they have to log in first. Then they complain to us than they aren’t unsubscribed, and accuse us of spamming them! The redirect would be very simple to implement, although simply allowing them to unsubscribe from all categories through the form without logging in would be more ideal.

  22. Lee,

    If the redirect is easy to implement then go ahead and code it and submit me a patch. I’m only one person and I write this code in my spare time; and some days I have no spare time πŸ™‚

  23. I meant it would be simple for somebody who has some idea how to code PHP – in other words, not me. πŸ˜‰ But I really don’t like being called a spammer. 😦

    • Lee,

      I’ve just read your suggestion again, if I allow a Registered user to unsubscribe just by having their email entered into the box and Unsubscribe clicked what is to stop someone else doing it? It’s not very secure without some for of authentication.

      If I redirect to the login page then your users will likely get confused by the change in appearance, may not recall either their user name or password and quite probably won’t log in anyway.

      I’m not sure what the 100% solution would be but can I recommend that you add a message to your email notification template telling readers where they should go to manage their email subscriptions. My template contains the following:

      You received this e-mail because you asked to be notified when new updates are posted. To change your settings or unsubscribe visit <a href=”BLOGLINK/subscriptions/”>BLOGLINK/subscriptions/.

  24. The problem with saying what you suggest is that it is incorrect for users who aren’t registered, whereas the widget can theoretically work for everyone.

    I don’t think my first suggestion is much of a security risk, as non-registered users have to do it this way anyway. And how would somebody know the registered user’s email address, and why would they do such a thing in the first place? It seems so unlikely as to not be worth worrying about. You could also send out a confirmation email when people unregister, which would probably be a good thing to do in any case.

    As for the redirect, registered users presently have to log-in to unsubscribe, so if they can’t or don’t log in they can’t unsubscribe anyway. But at least this makes it obvious that they *should* log in.

    I don’t see why changing the way it works would be confusing either; it’s not like people unsubscribe from any given blog multiple times.

  25. Lee,

    Okay, your first point is not true. If you follow the install instructions and create a WordPress page that handles your subscriptions (you can still use the widget too) then a link to that said page will work perfectly well for registered and public subscribers – I use this method on my work blog.

    If you don’t consider it much of a security risk you are accepting that there is some risk. That in itself is not a good coding practice and I would find that risk too high for my site. As for getting your email – there are means and ways otherwise spammers wouldn’t have any work.

    The plugin currently makes it as obvious as I can that a registered use needs to log in. When the email address of a registered user is entered a message is displayed back telling them to log in. It is my opinion that a redirect to the login page won’t really accomplish more than this.

    I’m actually pretty happy with the way the plugin works in handling requests from users and I won’t be looking to make the changes you’ve suggested. I write it for my sites and make it available for others to use for free. I’m always open to suggestions for additions and improvements but sometimes these won’t be acted upon if I don’t want them as a core part of the plugin. Since the code is open source you are free to make any changes you like or commission someone else to make changes for you.

  26. Admin,

    First of all, let me say thanks for the great plugin. We’re still setting up our site but it’s proven very useful so far.

    For the next version, I’d like to lobby for a feature to restrict the categories that registered users are automatically subscribed to when they register and tick the ‘Subscribe’ button on the registration form. Here’s why:

    The blog we’re running only wants to send select posts to our subscribers, not every post. Of course, one way to do this is to exclude categories, but the problem we run into is that we often select multiple categories for posts, and if any of them are on the excluded list, the email doesn’t get sent.

    The solution I’ve devised in the meantime is to not exclude any category, and have the post author select the ‘Don’t send this post to subscribers’ option. Of course, the problem with this is that it’s easy to forget to do that, which leads to a lot of spam.

    What I’d like to be able to do instead is be able to control which categories registered users automatically get subscribed to. At present, they get subscribed to all non-excluded categories, but it would be nice if you could select the categories they subscribe to automatically. That way, you could have one ‘mailing list’ category which would be the only one that all users would be subscribed to by default, so a post author could check the ‘mailing list’ category and send a post out to all our subscribers. If he/she forgets, there’s no harm done.

    Does this make sense? Love to hear your thoughts on it – I’m subscribed to this threat.

    Thanks again!

  27. So, I should have looked into some previous thread comments more thoroughly – I find your solution for changing the AND logic to OR logic in a previous thread, which seems to work.

    Still, I think the ability to decide which categories are automatically subscribed to by new registered users would be a helpful addition.

    • Gabe,

      Automatic subscriptions should not include any categories excluded in Settings->Subscribe2 under Excluded Categories so what you are asking for is already in the code (I think).

  28. Admin,

    Thanks for responding. I realize my original post was somewhat convoluted – the point is that if you post in multiple categories, one on the excluded list, one not, no email will be sent. There are many rationales for why an admin might not appreciate this behavior – in our case, we have a category that has both new content going up that we do want sent out, and old/archival content that we don’t want sent out. Plus, our theme allows us to exclude posts from the front page by category, and we have situations where we want to post something in the frontpage category but not to the mailing list. Yes, you can just check ‘don’t send this’ for each email, but as I said, if you forget to do so, it creates a lot spam. I’d rather have to re-post something that I forgot to send out to the list than send out a mass email that subscribers aren’t expecting.

    In truth, the easiest way to get around this would probably be to have the ability to assign a master mailing list category – ie, if something is in this category, it gets sent out, regardless of the exclusion list. However, I’ve read through some of your comments and understand why you might not want to do that.

    Thus, the best solution might be to allow admins to choose which categories registered users are automatically subscribed to. That way you wouldn’t have to exclude any category unless you wanted to. Plus, as another benefit, having this option would allow you to give your users the ability to opt in to a main category (or multiple ones) at first, and then later choose to opt into other categories once they become more familiar with and hooked to the website.

    For now though, as I said, I saw your solution for changing the ‘and’ logic for excluded categories to ‘or’ logic, and that’s working fine for me right now.

    Thanks again,


  29. Hello

    Would you consider the use of a TunyURL like feature to shorten the length of the blog links when sending out emails that link back to the post ?

  30. Gabe,

    I’m with you now. the principle of what you suggest is simple but the code behind the scenes would be complex. I’ll add it to the potential areas for future development.

  31. Ernest,

    That’s quite a neat suggestion. I’ll get a TINYLINK keyword added to the email templates to encode the Permalink URL. Check out the dev version in a day or two if you want to test it out.

  32. I’d like to use your plugin together with WordPress-mu. Can I test drive the changes for WordPress-mu or is a new release scheduled shortly?


    • Maurice,

      I’ll be sending an update to the SVN site later today that I’m hoping will be a release candidate for Version 2.14 of the plugin. It will contain all the new changes for WordPress MU.

  33. I tryed to active the subscribe 2 and my blog was deleted!!!
    The blog is chaged for a blanck page.
    What can I do?
    Please help-me!

  34. Hi Matt,
    I Picked “2 radio buttons” because id be aware just in case the client accidentally hits the wrong button.. how many times when filling forms in have you accidentally press “reset” instead of “send”

    Just my two shillins in the pot πŸ˜‰

  35. Hello,

    I installed version 4.13 on my WordPress 2.7.1 Testblog. I am new to WordPress after using Movable Type for quite some time and honeslty have not much clue about PHP.

    I got Subscribe2 to work perfectly, very neat, thanks for your work on this. I do however have one question that I was unable to find an answer to, neither on your site or on Google.

    I would like to visually enhance the subscription box using CSS to make it fit the rest of the layout and design of my site. I’d also like to be able to change the text a bit that is dynamically generated by the script.

    Would you be able to direct me to an answer to solve this?

    Any help would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot,

    • Hey Martin!

      I had a related question over the weekend re customizing the outgoing email template.

      The option to include CSS in emails pulls in the CSS from the theme you are using. I’m not sure if what you want to do is have the emails reflect the content on your site but if you do, Matt has suggested to me that by careful addition of tags into your email template to match those used by your theme, this might work.

      He suggested to send one email including the CSS and then copy the source of the email into a file and play around with the positioning of your div tags until your content matches that on your site. Then apply these changes to your template.

      I’m not at all sure this will work for you. Let me know…I’m still playing around with mine so this could be a project we both work on πŸ™‚

      Let me know how this works for you….

      • Hey Andy,

        Thanks a lot for your reply but actually that’s not what I meant. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

        I’d actually like to change the appearance of the form that is displayed on the notifications page that I created and the text that is displayed there after you submit your e-mail address, etc.

        It’s the form displayed at on my testblog. And I can’t figure out where this form get’s generated so that I can add a class=”mystyletag” to it.

        Do you know what I mean?

        Thanks a lot,

      • I actually just found out. It’s inside the subscribe2.php starting on line 85.
        The subscribe2.php file can be found in wp-content/plugins/subscribe2. Maybe that will help someone else in the future too.

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