Best online mailing list management software

Date: 10 Mar, 2008
Posted by: admin
In: internet, web design & development|linux, open source & software|Search Engines, SEO & SEM

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logo for PHPlistThis page is a repost of one made when searching for mailing list management software for the CrowPoint festival website as part of my work with Communimedia (I’m now at BridgeHosting for web design work, etc.). I’ve used PHPlist on several sites now (including Diverse Manners) and so you could well consider it the winner, but do install at least a couple of apps (or try demos if available, eg PHPlist demo) to ensure you get the app that works best for your situation.

There are several options for open source PHP based mailing lists (and other types). I’m just going to summarise the project names first. I might do some reviews and add details later though.

Note that well known applications used for mailing list management include LISTSERV(TM) by L-Soft (now at version 14.5) and Major Domo by Great Circle Associates (now at version 1.94.5) – these so far as I can tell are console / command line based applications. Major Domo at least has some web-based front-ends made for it though. They might be useful to you, but not to me!

Project names link to project homepages. The ISO standard date is the date of the version release.

Program Version, YYYY-MM-DD Requirements Notes
Program Version, YYYY-MM-DD Requirements Not yet tested by alicious.
PHPList 2.10.2, 2005-11-27 PHP, MySQL PHPList on Freshmeat. A review is available from NewsForge giving details of PDF and RSS features. Not yet tested by alicious.
Mailman 2.1.7, 2005-12-31 Python (has some C code too) The canonical mailing list app? Not yet tested by alicious.
Dada Mail 2.10.6, 2006-03-19 CGI execution (written in Perl, requires 5.005 at least) GPL. Live demo wasn’t available when I tried (2006-04-16 19:00H). Not yet tested by alicious.
bMail PR10.2 (“Aardvark”), 2006-04-14 PHP >= 4.1.0; MySQL >= 3.23 bMail on Sourceforge. Not yet tested by alicious.
bMail is in pre-release (PR) and is considered not ready for a production environment … but don’t let that stop you!
Minimalist 2.5(3), YYYY-MM-DD Perl based Not web based. Not yet tested by alicious.
PHP Mailer 1.73, 2005-07-DD PHP Not a mailing list manager but rather used extensively by other list programs. It provides a class (classes?) for sending complex emails, eg HTML based with attachments and inline images. There’s a recommended tutorial available.
PHPEmailList 0.1, 2003-07-DD ? Appears to be abandoned. Not yet tested by alicious.
phpledmailer 1.8, before 2006-04-16 PHP; SQL – Works with a range of SQL backends. For a single mailing list only. An admin demo is available. Uses FCKeditor when composing the emails. Not yet tested by alicious.
pLiMa 0.6, 2003-MM-DD ? Appears to be abandoned. Not yet tested by alicious.
ecartis     As used by the Bluefish (web development application) team. Not yet tested by alicious.

These applications and scripts can be funny about the mailer program that your server is using – be sure to check out the details of the full requirements before you try to install. Mailer programs include: sendmail, qmail, …

For the benefit of searchers and researchers some commercial offerings include: Topica, PHP multiple newsletters, GroupMail.

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