It never fails to amaze me just how customizable and flexible WordPress can be. Just when you think you have found out everything that it can do you suddenly find something new and fantastically wonderful that can make things better.
Did you know that you can use WordPress to create a newsletter? Did you know that you can do it for free? I did it yesterday and I’m going to show you via this post just exactly how I managed to achieve it in five minutes.
All you will need is:
– Some spare time (about five minutes at the most).
– Advanced Category Excluder (ACE) plug-in.
– Feedburner account.
Step 1 – Add New Category
Go to Post > Categories and create a new category, this will be where all your newsletter posts will be published so try and give it a name that you know is for your newsletter.
When you create the category make sure you take a note of the ID number as you will need it later on. You can find this out by going to Post > Categories and looking for your newly created category on the right. Put your mouse cursor on the name of the category and you should see the ID number.
Step 2 – Excluding Category From Public View
You do not want your new category to be shown on your blog. This is the messy bit, you will need to edit the HTML code. Simply go to Appearance > Editor and find lines of code that look something like this:
When you find it replace it with the following code:
Step 3 – Exclude The Posts From Public View
Now you have excluded the category from public view you will now have to do the same with the posts, otherwise they will show up in your RSS feed and your blog. This is a lot easier than the previous step and does not involve any editing.
I used a plug-in called called Advanced Category Excluder (ACE) that made this step incredibly easy. All you have to do is install it, activate it, go to ACE > Categories and tick the newsletter box in all sections.
If you can not see the newsletter category listed then simply add a post to that category and it should now show up.
Step 4 – Create a New Feed in FeedBurner
Create a new feed with Feedburner. The link to create the feed is:
http://www.yoursitename.com/?feed=rss2&cat=[Replace with your Category Id]
Step 5 – Enabling E-mail Newsletter
Once the feed is set up you should now set up the email feature. Go to Publicize > E-mail Subscription and activate it.
Once activated you will see some code, that is your sign up box that you should place on your blog to get new subscribers.
Step 6 – Sending newsletter
Now you have activated the feed you should now click on the sub-sections under E-mail Subscription and edit the changes to your needs. The important one is Delivery Options.
Step 7 – Select Full Text
The final step is to go back to your WordPress admin panel and go to Settings > Reading and tick the Full Text option and then click save. This means your subscribers will get full posts instead of excerpts.
I hope you found this helpful, why not let me know if it worked by leaving a comment?
This article was written some years ago before lots of newsletter plugins came onto the scene, but it is still relevant if you wish to create a simple newsletter that will not take up a lot of your site resources.