When it comes to alerting visitors to new posts on your WordPress website via email there are plenty of options out there. If you want a quick and easy to use solution, the Email Subscribers & Newsletters plugin is a great option, and it’s free.
MailChimp is also a popular option but it takes a bit more work to setup and may be too complex for some users. If you want tons of customization and don’t mind a little extra set up, check out the post Create an email list for WordPress with MailChimp to see how to setup an email list on WordPress with MailChimp.
Email Subscribers & Newsletters vs MailChimp
Email Subscribers & Newsletters is a good choice if you are looking for simplicity and just need to email new posts and send newsletters to your subscribers. I use it on two websites to alert subscribers by sending an email whenever a post is published to a specific category.
When using MailChimp to send emails for new posts it will only send them at a specified time of day. Which isn’t a good option if you need your emails to be immediate.
Email Subscribers & Newsletters lets you manage your subscriber list, email templates and sign up form all from your WordPress dashboard.
One of the biggest differences between a service like MailChimp and Email Subscribers & Newsletters is that MailChimp uses their servers to send your emails. The sending of emails will have no impact on your web server. Email Subscribers & Newsletters uses your web server to send your emails.
Depending on the hosting you have, there could be a limit on the number of emails you can send every hour. If your email list is very large sending all those emails at once will place a high load on your web server possibly causing your website to slow down.
I experienced this when I was running a website on a basic hosting plan. It had a list of about 200 subscribers. The plugin was set to send an alert to the subscribers whenever a post within a certain category was published. When the emails were sending the website would slow down considerably.
The last thing you want when trying to alert people of a new post is the website being too slow for them when they try to view that post. It makes for a bad user experience.
If you have think you will have a large email list and are on a cheap shared hosting plan be aware that sending all those emails could really slow down the website. If you have something more robust like the SiteGround’s GoGeek plan it shouldn’t be a problem.
Installing and Using Emails Subscribers & Newsletters
The first step is to install the plugin. Within your WordPress dashboard go to Plugins > Add New. Search for Emails Subscribers & Newsletters. Install and activate.
After the plugin has been installed head over to the settings to set everything up. Within the WordPress dashboard go to Email Subscribers > Settings. From the Admin tab in settings you can change settings such as:
- The name and email address the emails will come from when sending to your subscribers.
- The Opt-in type: double or single
- The email you receive when a new subscriber signs up
- And more
The Signup Confirmation tab within settings lets you change:
- The Opt-in confirmation email
- The welcome email new subscribers will receive
- The unsubscribe text
- The subscription error text
After changing the settings you can move on to Post Notifications found in Email Subscribers > Post Notifications. From here you can set the categories for which the plugin will send post notifications.
Go to Email Subscribers > Templates to create a template for new post notifications or newsletters.
Once the settings, notifications and templates have been configured its time to add a sign up form. There are two options. The first is to add a short code to pages or posts. This can be found at Email Subscribers > Help & Info. The second option is to use a widget. It can be placed in the sidebar or any other widget area of your theme.
That’s all there is to setting up an email list for WordPress with the Email Subscribers & Newsletters plugin. Now you can start building your email list and notifying subscribers of your new content!