I’ve been looking at a variety of options for allowing a simple email notification from WordPress when a post is made. Although we are still heavily entrenched in email marketing and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, email marketing is still a big pain in the butt! It’s a pain to send email and a pain to recieve email, so I’m opting for a lightweight email notification system and hoping that RSS will be a big help in getting my messages out to my clients and subscribers.
The first thing I had to do was add SMTP email capability to WordPress. It seems that the standard email function is a slack old send function expecting an open relay (tsk tsk). So I had to put in the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) plugin to enable me to send via SMTP with a username and password.
I used WP-Mail-SMTP. It was simple to install, i.e. point and click and simple to configure. There is even a test button so you can check it works on the config form. Nice. Thank you!
Then, after looking at a couple different post notification plugins I ended up selecting http://subscribe2.wordpress.com/. This is a bigger plugin, with a few config pages. Install was a snap. I still have to configure the messages, under settings>subscribe2 but the good news is you can easily create any message you want for your subscibers, optins and reminders.
You simple add a new page (easy in Worpress 2.5) to put the subscribe / unsubscribe form on and away you go.
I also noticed that Feedburner (now owned by Google) were offering email updates as a service, plus a ton of tracking options in the feedburner PRO version, which I believe is free. It would probably be the easiest option to go for if you didn’t have your own web design, development and hosting company!