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cpartsenidis
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Joined: Jan 17, 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:09 pm Reply with quote

Hello to everyone,

After running my website on phpnuke for 8 years now and recently upgrading to Raven-nuke, I've decided to make use of the HTML Newsletter and have a few questions if the community would care to answer:

1) How will HTML Newsletter cope with 35,000+ users of which only 2,500 have registered to receive the newsletter? The site is hosted on a VPS of which I run.

2) Any idea how long it will take to send to 2,500 users?

3) Templates - does anyone know of a site that offers site to create custom HTML News letter templates?

4) Should the amount of users be troublesome for the system, if there an alternative recommendation for a newsletter?

Thank you all for your responses.

Cheers,

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Guardian
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Joined: Jul 18, 2005
Posts: 397

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:01 pm Reply with quote

To answer your questions;
1 Yes it should cope BUT you may run into PHP (script execution) timeouts - as you have control of a VPS you should be able to lengthen the script execution time limit but it is really anyones guess if it will be sufficient based on the number of mails sent, how big each send is (data size) etc.

2 I have absolutely no idea as there are so many variables; network speed, the load on EXIM, processor speed, memory etc

3 Why not edit one that is already available? I do not know of any sites that cater specifically for HTML Newsletter templates.

4 see below

There was another discussion here regarding mail sending limitations but to recap;
HTML Newsletter should be able to cope with 2,500 mails but there are a lot of caveats. The script execution is much faster than emails can physically be sent so it will create a large mail queue in your mail manager (usually EXIM). Provided your server has sufficient resources, you shouldn't have any problems BUT expect your server to be sluggish for a little while - its the nature of the beast I'm I'm afraid.
Since you are using RavenNuke, maybe you can put divide your users into 'Groups' and since HTML Newsletter can send to specific groups, you might be able to use this as a method to send newsletters into more manageable chunks (resource consumption wise).

There are commercial solutions available but they are not cheap. Give HTML Newsletter a try and see what happens Smile
 
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cpartsenidis
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Joined: Jan 17, 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:19 pm Reply with quote

Guardian,

I appreciate your response and time. To be honest, I'd like to give HNL a go, however, I am troubled about redesigning the whole newsletter template from scratch as my PHP/HTML skills are somewhat limited.

If I actually designed a HTML file and cut the necessary sections, stuck it into a template.php file along with the necessary variables, would that work ?

Thanks again,

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Slackervaara
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:06 am Reply with quote

My experience is that sending the newsletter to 2500 users will take 30 minutes. On my shared hosting initially there was a timeout after 30 seconds, but all my 1500 newsletter was sent. However latest month my webhotell has changed some configuration, so there is no timeout but a internal server error after 5 minutes and 458 newsletters. So it difficult to say what will happen for you, but you might get a clue of what happens in your VPS, when you run longer processes.

I have changed the DeepBlue theme of the newsletter, so it looks exactly as my first page with the PH2-theme and it was rather easy to do.
 
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montego
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:24 am Reply with quote

Sorry folks. Was away at a conference this weekend and had to also get caught up at home and work. I agree with everything that has already been said.

I just wanted to touch on the template question a bit further. The HNL was originally designed to be quite easy to template. The easiest piece is the main body of the email. If you want to include more dynamic content, then these are just slightly more difficult. If you know HTML, then you're in much better shape. If you don't, then it will be slightly more challenging to carve out the header, footer and rows for each of the dynamic content pieces. An example of dynamic content would be either news articles or forum posts.

I would say the provided Fancy_Content or Guardian templates would be the most current ones to maybe try and copy and get your HTML into. You can preview your newsletter as often as you like as you keep adding elements that you want.

After giving it a good try, if you get stuck, feel free to post back with specific questions as separate topics in the forums here. Also, if you are willing to pay for a template, I know of someone who might be willing to do it. If you have the complete HTML including graphics all laid out already, I might even be willing to do it for you on the cheap (I need to pay for hosting fees - Wink )

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montego
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:04 am Reply with quote

Did you get my PM reply? It looks like you picked it up. Are you taking a crack at it yourself? If so, that is terrific. Best way to learn. If you run into any issues and need specific help, try back here in the forums.
 
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yomp
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:54 pm Reply with quote

We have a forum of 20,000+ users and we want to use the HTML email facility but we know we will have to put the users into groups and drip feed the emails out so as not to upset our host.

My question is when picking the users from the list to group them they are in alphabetical order which when a new user comes on they will be hidden anywhere in amongst the 416 pages of users.

is it possible to list them by their user number? That way we can pick off the end of the list say each month to put the new users into a group?

I have before now exported the forum database out and uploaded to my own marketing software as this was a far easier way of getting the users into groups. I then mass emailed out from this 3rd party software. The downside was its not html and the emails looked bland and boring.

It did however highlight that about 2,500 of the users emails were no longer in existence and bounced back.

If I do use the HTML newletter can you tell me how it handles the returning emails?
Also, is there a way that the system can automatically remove these users from the groups so they don't get emailed again and we generate a list of old accounts which can be removed manually.

Any advice fully appreciated.
 
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Slackervaara
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:34 pm Reply with quote

HTML-Newsletter can not handle bouncing newsletters, but myself it has happened that I manually remove the e-mail addresses for the bouncing e-mails from the database. PHP-List, however, manages bouncing e-mails automatically I think and thus keep the database updated.
 
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montego
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:04 am Reply with quote

If you get and install my latest TegoNuke(tm) Mailer version, you can configure a bounce mail address. At least this would allow you to have a separate account for these bounces, making it a little bit easier to carve them out.

HTML Newsletter was definitely never intended to be a full blown mailing application for massive applications. There are far better full-featured tools out there, such as PHPList that was mentioned. I am struggling with the direction for HNL given these other tools. I've even thought about taking one of these other tools that have compatible licensing and just nuke-i-fying it... struggling with direction and time ATM.
 
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