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Subscribe, Feeds, RSS, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins

WordPress PluginsAsking someone to “subscribe” to your blog used to mean signing them up on an email list. On a regular basis you would send out an email from that list with news about your site or blog encouraging them to return for a visit.

Today’s notion of subscribing to a blog goes way beyond an email newsletter.

When you ask someone to subscribe to your blog, you need to be specific. Blog subscriptions now consist of:

  • Email announcements
  • Email alerts of new posts or activity
  • Email monitoring of comments on the blog
  • Email monitoring of comments on a specific post
  • Email newsletter subscriptions
  • Submission to social bookmarking site submission services
  • Full site feed
  • Site comments feed
  • Category feeds
  • Author feeds

Example of blog subscription linksWith so many ways to “subscribe” to a blog, I’ll do my best to cover some of the most popular subscription methods for each of these types of communication. For information on social bookmarking site submission WordPress Plugins, see Social Bookmarking Submit Links on WordPress Blogs.

If you have a favorite WordPress Plugin for handling your various subscriptions, please let us know in the comments below.

Email Mailing Lists

Email mailing lists allow you to contact your subscribers and users with information about your blog, updates, recommendations, or a form of mini-newsletter. These WordPress Plugins work with your blog’s Users list or an email mailing list management program or service integrated into the WordPress Administration Panels.

Mailing List pour WordPress (French) (English translation) is one of the more popular mailing list management Plugins. It allows the blog administrator to send messages with attached files, if desired, to members of the list or other recipients. It allows includes automatic notification of blog updates.

Viewfinder offers various WordPress Plugins to help you stay in touch with your readers including the The Viewfinder Mailing List, an easy-to-use email mailing list manager which sends out plain text emails to subscribers. It allows automatic subscription and unsubscription, with an optional validation email. You can contact fans of your blog with updates, special events, and recent activities.

Naatan NotifyMe WordPress Plugin offers mailing list functions to make and manage unlimited mailing lists in WordPress. You can design the form and customize the mailing parameters in many different ways. It also includes a “new blog post” notification and alert when you publish a new post.

Instinct’s WordPress Campaign Monitor is an email newsletter Plugin for email campaigns. It includes tracking of results and managing subscribers.

Subscribe MaxGal WordPress (English) allows you to email information to registered users on your blog. Supports different charset and HTML tags for your email letters.

Email Users WordPress Plugin allows you to email registered blog users, based upon their role and permissions. It adds a submenu under the Write Post panel for easy emailing. It does have some restrictions. Currently, emails are text only and the blog administrator needs to take care to not email everyone at one time, working within the email restrictions of the blog’s server. For those with multiple bloggers, this is a great way of staying in touch and sending out announcements.

MailList WordPress Plugin calls itself a “mailing list, mass mailing, and mailer plugin”. Unfortunately, support for the Plugin has stopped due to a variety of bugs. If you are interested in supporting this innovative WordPress Plugin, contact the author.

Email Alerts

Email alerts are often confused with email mailing lists. An Email Alert works automatically with little interaction from the blog owner after setup and configuration. Each time there is an updated post released or activity on the blog, an email is sent out to those on the subscription list advising them of the updated posts.

A word of caution for email alerts WordPress Plugins. These Plugins send out one email for every new post you publish on your blog. If you post more than a few times a week, and definitely if you post more than once a day, don’t use these Plugins. Choose an email mailing list or newsletter WordPress Plugin to send out a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly announcement of updates and new blog posts. Otherwise, you can quickly flood a reader with too many emails.

Subscribe2 WordPress Plugin is one of the most popular blog update notification Plugins. Originally developed by Skippy, it has found new life and compassionate folks to keep it going. The Plugin is very simple. A visitor subscribes and after confirming their subscription, they get an email whenever the blog is updated.

Advanced Mailer Using AJAX WordPress Plugin expands upon Scott Merrill’s Subscribe2 Plugin to create an advanced subscription management system for WordPress bloggers. Subscribe and unsubscribe events are handled automatically. Management of their subscriptions is easy, allowing them to add or delete specific categories to receive updated information and new post notifications from. It offers variable limits on the number of emails to be sent out at one time to avoid conflict with host server limits, and designed to accommodate translation and localization.

WordPress Email Notification Plugin and Yellow Swordfish Page Update Notification WordPress Plugin work the same way, creating automatic notification of subscribers when you update your blog.

Email Monitoring of Comments

Email monitoring of comments is the line of text with a checkbox you see on many WordPress blogs in the comments form. It invites the visitor to subscribe to the comments from this blog post. When a new comment is made on the post, an email is automatically sent out, reminding them of their participation and interest in the blog post.

While many people use this feature because they think it will encourage return visitors and increase traffic, the best use of the subscribe-to-comments WordPress Plugins is on sites hosting customer support and services. If a user is asking for help, support, or information, they will want to be notified of an answer if one is provided. It’s good customer service.

WARNING: When adding subscribe-to-comments WordPress Plugins, make sure the subscription checkbox is unchecked by default. This will prevent irritation for those who miss the box and then get an email from you, and have to figure out how to get off the list. To encourage use of this feature, make sure it is placed above the Submit button, preferably near the email form box.

Example of a good subscribe to comments layout

Subscribe to Comments 2.1 adds a checkbox to your comment form for users to click and add their email to a list for email notification of further comments on that blog post. It features a simple security check and the ability for subscribed users to manage their subscriptions, and other customization, including “themeing” the manage subscriptions panel. For WordPress 2.1 users, there is a fix for the Subscribe To Comments Plugin, until an updated version is released.

WordPress Plugin: Subscribe to Comments Report and Stats works with Subscribe to Comments WordPress Plugin to display subscribers, the posts they are subscribed to, and other basic stats on the WordPress Administration Panels.

Filosofo Enroll Comments WordPress Plugin enables visitors to receive an email when someone comments on a post and manage their subscriptions with an Admin Panel. It includes AJAX for fast and easy application, and subscribers are listed in your WordPress Administration Panel Users list.

Newsletter Subscription WordPress Plugins

The popularity of emailed newsletters comes and goes. Currently, it’s popular again to email information about your blog’s activities, events, and “subscriber only” information.

A Newsletter Subscription Management Plugin sends out a newsletter, not just an email. The Plugins often provide customization for the look and design, as well as easy inclusion of blog information and content into the newsletter. Some of these Plugins manage their own subscription lists from the WordPress Administration Panels. Others require a separate mailing list management program or service.

PHPList Form Integration WordPress Plugin works with the PHPList open source newsletter management program integrated into your WordPress blog. It allows easy management of your newsletter subscriptions. PHPList Helper WordPress Plugin is another PHPList integrator Plugin.

Semiologic Newsletter Manager WordPress Plugin allows registration with a mailing list management service list ezmlm, Mailman, and/or Majordomo from within your WordPress blog. It includes a Widget for adding the Newsletter subscription information to your blog’s sidebar, and easy configuration. Newsletters are sent from the mailing list management program, not from within WordPress.

Feed Subscription WordPress Plugins

Example of Feed Subscription ListsYou can offer your readers subscriptions to your blog through your feeds. Your feeds include your full blog feed, comments only feed, and specific category feeds. Your feeds can be created and hosted through your WordPress blog, or through or other feed hosting services which allow easier monitoring of your feed statistics.

Feed Subscriptions are similar to social bookmarking site submission links and icons. They are a list of the most popular web-based feed reading services for readers to click for fast adding of the blog to their feed reading list. The most common online feed reading services include Bloglines, Google Reader, My AOL, My Yahoo, Newsgator, Rojo, NewsBurst, FeedFeeds, Netvibes, and Feed Lounge.

WordPress Bookmarking Widgets offers a simple list of fifteen different web-based feed readers for inclusion in the visitor’s feed reader.

Other Feed/RSS Subscription WordPress Plugins include:

If you move or change your blog’s URL or permalink structure, you still want your feed subscribers to track you down, right? Ryan Boren’s Feed Director WordPress Plugin will help you “redirect” your feeds to from the old location to the new without breaking stride. It’s up to you to inform your feed subscribers through your WordPress blog that you have a new location.

Feed subscription services, like Feedburner, have recently added some Widgets and technology to add “encouragements” to get readers to subscribe above and beyond offering them a link. The FeedBurner Awareness WordPress Plugin is one of these. It adds statistics of your Feedburner account to your blog’s sidebar, adding more emphasis to encourage them to sign up for your FeedBurner feed.

Feedburner WordPress Widget allows easy adding of the Feedburner subscription icon to your WordPress Theme sidebar. It includes the choice of different Feedburner icons, and the ability to show other blog services Feedburner hooks into, further expanding your feed subscription coverage.

These are just samples of what’s available. They may become obsolete or discontinue support at any time, so check out Newsletter WordPress Plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory for updated listings.

Related Articles

What Subscription WordPress Plugins Are You Using?

Are you using any of these WordPress Subscription Plugins? How are they working for you? What do you like and not like about them?

Have I missed some of your favorites? What are you using to add subscription information to your WordPress blog?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Subscribe

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted February 17, 2007 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Great rundown! I’ve been looking for a good newsletter plugin. Thanks Lorelle!

  2. Posted February 17, 2007 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    It might be worth pointing out that if you are using Feedburner then you should also make sure that your autodiscovery also points to Feedburner, otherwise your stats can become split.

    It looks like you also had a nice boost today, though I bet a chunk of Google Reader users who use a bookmarklet are subscribed to your feed

  3. Posted February 17, 2007 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Andy, are you peeking at my details again! Shame on you! I had such respect for you, but now… 😉

    Yep, that’s the Google effect at work.

    Unfortunately, blogs are stuck with whatever comes with blogs and Themes. For the most part, they are not pointing to Feedburner, so our stats are split if we do it ourselves. Such is the nature of this beast.

    But you are right about it for full version bloggers. Good point. Thanks.

  4. Posted February 17, 2007 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I was peeking at lots of people’s details, though of course yours were special and I kept those private.

    I found the most interesting stats were the B5 Media stats for niches that Jeremy posted.
    It was striking the difference between Techcrunches massive gain, and the small gain for Mashable.

  5. Cameron Orr
    Posted February 28, 2007 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t understnd the comments about Feedburner, can someone please explain?

  6. Posted February 28, 2007 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    You have to be more specific about what you want to know. Feedburner is an optional way of having your feeds from your blog available to the public in addition to or as an alternate to your WordPress default feeds. Feedburner monitors your feed statistics and offers extra options not available with the default WordPress feeds.

  7. angel1367
    Posted April 19, 2007 at 5:18 am | Permalink


    I am only new to blogging and am trying to define my 3 blogs I have put up this week.I have been searching and asking questions for days about setting up contact forms in wordpress and don’t seem to be getting anywhere until now. Thankyou for this list. Now I know it is possible to do it simply I hope. For my new lists this would be great. If I use a newsletter plugin do I need to add a special page or is that done thru the plugin?

    As I said this will be good for my new list I intend to do. But I already have a list that has subscribed to a free report thru a AR series and would like to be able to intergrate this subscription on one of my blogs. More than just a link to the signin page. Is there an easy way to do this.?

    Thanks Again

  8. Posted May 25, 2007 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Just what I needed.
    Thanks! I have been searching for a basic newsletter plugin for some time.

  9. Posted June 8, 2007 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    hmm is there one that redirects the information to another email system such as aweber? I know VPM has a script that it does this, but I do not want to interrupt the comments ajax system, since the VPM script is a redirect

    trying to use a mailing campaign for subscribers of comments

  10. Posted June 14, 2007 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the ShiftThis WordPress Newsletter Plug-in. What I read on their site has been helpful, but hearing from someone who believes that this product could be helpful encourages me to go ahead and make that purchase.

  11. Carrie
    Posted August 2, 2007 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I tried out the Shift This Newsletter Plugin and found it very difficult to use. I think it is an excellent idea and has some great potential but it is not ready for distribution. If you look on their support forums there are several issues/bugs that need to be worked out. I spent two weeks trying to get it up and running and couldn’t. Was able to get a few issues worked out through other users that had similar issues on the support forum. However the tech support is minimal and slow. I finally asked for a refund and was granted it within 5 minutes of my email. I must not have been the first to request a refund.

    I hope that in the future the bugs and issues can be worked out or someone else can create a similar plug in because there are quite a few of us out there that would love to use it if it could work properly.

    Hope this helps!

  12. Posted August 20, 2007 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I’ve often thought that all these different types of plugins would be better as one. Finally I’ve managed it! I have Subscribe2 as my subscription system. Set it to automatically sign up new users of the site. Then, have a WordPress login/register box on the sidebar (I use the fantastic “AJAX Login” plugin with a bit of HTML tweaking). Users will register with the site, be automatically added as a subscriber for new updates, and you can use the simple Mail Subscribers link that Subscribe2 adds to the Write section of WP to do your newsletters. One signup, multiple functions!

  13. Posted January 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    nice post..

    i just released a simple WP plugin that will allow visitors to subscribe / unsubscribe to an ezmlm mailing list – directly from a WordPress website – without having to manually send this email request from your email client software. it’s a free plugin, you can read more about it (as well as download it) here. anyway, i remembered reading this post a while back, and thought i’d come back and comment here once i finally got around to releasing my plugin.

    keep up the good work!

  14. Chris Erickson
    Posted January 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    You guys are awesome

  15. Posted February 7, 2008 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Of course, these functions are the most effective methods keep in touch with your readers, to increase traffic and promote your business.

  16. Posted March 22, 2008 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I keep doing google searches to improve my blog and your site consistently appears high up in google…and this is because your content is always clear, concise, and informative.

    This morning’s google search was “automatically email updates plugin”. I searched for this because my mom said “how do I know when your site is updated? Do I have to go back to it each time?”

    I especially liked your suggestions that…ïf you update your post too many times, people will be bombarded with emails. This is definitely a good thought. I think weekly updates will be better for me.

    Again, thanks for all the information. It’s quite helpful and I will refer to it often.


  17. Posted March 22, 2008 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    @ Richard:

    Thank you, and the answer to your mother’s question is “feeds” not email. Email subscriptions are one thing, but feeds are the answer to knowing when a site is updated. Teach her about feeds. She’ll have much more fun on the web and get faster access to interesting information. 😀

  18. Posted April 21, 2008 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    Love it! Send me everything!

  19. Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this list. Your posts are so helpful!

    I am looking for a way that users can subscribe to both new posts and updated posts/pages. Not just updates for one post, but whole categories or the site.

    The Advanced Mailer Using AJAX WordPress Plugin sounds like it might be what I need, but it seems to be offline. I can’t find it… Anyone have suggestions? 🙂

  20. Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    @ Tzaddi:

    I don’t understand what you are looking for. Do you want to notify “subscribers” by email or through their feed reader. See Understanding, Using, and Customizing WordPress Blog Feeds for information on customizing feeds with WordPress, including by category. You can use FeedBlitz or Feedburner to email feed “updates” automatically to subscribers, too. See Integrating FeedBlitz Feed Email Service Into WordPress for how to do that. It’s really simple and requires no Plugin. It’s automatic. Does that answer your question?

  21. Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle. Ideally I’d give people the option of RSS or email. I understand that you can use feedburner etc. for emailing the RSS feed, and how that works (more or less) on newly published content. The part I’m not clear on, is whether when you update a previously published post or page, can that be included in a ‘broadcast’ by email or RSS. Basically the content in question (rules, regulations) will be updated from time to time, and visitors will want to be notified when the rules/regs have been updated. If you have any tips they’re most appreciated 🙂

  22. Posted September 21, 2008 at 5:21 am | Permalink


    Came across this post as I was looking for newsletter for WP. It would be great if you could review the plugins that you list. I love your blog and don’t want to be all negative.

    This ShiftThis (which has a cost of $30) has a frustrated user base and really should not get any business from here.

  23. Posted September 22, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    @ Leslie Gilmour:

    Sorry you had an unfortunate experience. I cannot personally use every Plugin mentioned. At the time of this article, these were the options, and not all are currently supported, but some might be taken over by others if they are not.

    A lot of people are frustrated with newsletter Plugins and turn to non-WordPress-specific tools. You might consider that.

    Good luck with your hunt and hope it improves.

  24. Posted September 25, 2008 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Interesting article although I think it would be useful if it could be updated.

    A couple of the links that I tried where dead which is a real shame.

  25. Posted September 25, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    @ Jon Cook:

    If you could be more specific with the links that aren’t working, I can update this page faster. Thank you.

  26. Posted October 4, 2008 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle:

    Thanks for a very informative post. I also found that the link to the Advanced Mailer Using AJAX WordPress Plugin is not working. I tried to find it through Google, but to no avail.

  27. Posted October 12, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I really liked reading this list. I find it helpful to see the different solutions along side each other and written about by the same person. Such reports are invaluable when deciding where to begin.

    If I may so modest, I too have developed a subscription plugin for WordPress (called Suma) which would fall under the ‘Newsletter WordPress plugins’ section in the taxonomy above, although it is quite different from the others listed there.

    The Suma plugin allows one to use WordPress as a paid-content, subscription-based newsletter platform. Suma restricts access to your WordPress posts and pages and even comments (configurable) such that the content is viewable to subscribers only. Non-subscribers are told this is subscriber-only content. Visitors become subscribers by registering and providing a payment method (PayPal or Credit Card) which is billed on a recurring basis according to the subscription plan they elect.

    Unfortunately the plugin isn’t free. Its $199 for a perpetual license and non-expiring access to product updates. I wish I could make it available for free, but I’m an independent software developer and this took many months of my time to build. Plus, all sales go towards supporting me support the product.

    I hope people will consider it if they have need for a paid-content, subscription-based plugin for WordPress.

    – Brenton

    • Brian Stokes
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I’d rather pay $199 once for something that:

      1. Works as promised
      2. Is supported and updated

      Then $30 for something less than either.

      So, be proud of what you do and what it’s worth!

  28. Posted October 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    When I try to login to WordPress, I get message stating I don’t have sufficient permission to access the page. Please help ASAP. Marcia Wood

  29. Posted October 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    @ Marcia Wood:

    You need to not just ask anyone on the web but go to the source: The WordPress Support Forum. You may not be able to access because your blog has been hacked, your server permissions have been changed, you’ve put in the wrong username and/or password, you added a Plugin that created a conflict, or a dozen other possibilities. The WordPress Support Forum can help.

  30. Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the list, I came apon it looking for a nice subscribe to comments plugin.

  31. Nicholas
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting your very relevant description as to the breakdown of the multiple ways to subscribe. Being able to ‘pick and choose’ what information you’ve decided to be bombarded with – now – at least has a great explanation. It makes decision making that much easier.

  32. Mark shaffer
    Posted December 13, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink


  33. binomial
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this great writeup. I am still searching for the feature that was in WP pre 2.7. Not sure if it was a pluggin or if it was standard, but it was a simple link within a post creation to email subscribers of this new post. My blog is a simple family portal with a few users, so I don’t need anything robust. Does anyone have an idea of what that pluggin or feature was. Thanks for the help

  34. Posted January 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m in process of converting my site to WordPress driven, with the help of a developer who suggests cformsII. My current site uses a form supplied by iContact to sign up for updates (most of the work is done on the iContact site, but there is an option for the form to run completely on my site instead).

    After looking at what cformsII can do, it seems to me that the best approach is to stick with the iContact form for the update signup – perhaps local so I can improve the look and feel. And then use cforms for other form functions on my site – enquiries and the like. Otherwise I’ll need to figure out how to integrate cforms and iContact – which is either complicated or not possible, certainly not a good return on time.

    Does that approach make any sense? I’m so new to blogging that I’m never sure if I’m on the right track.

    Thanks for a great article – it has made things a lot clearer for me about this aspect.


  35. Posted January 26, 2009 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I also Use a Subscribe plug in in my WP site but that is only collect the email. But now a days is it most important to collect the Name also. coz some time people dont want to open the male but if anybody see that His/her name in the mail Subject he/she must will open the email.

    Any way Your post is really informative.

  36. Posted February 2, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I see no one here has mentioned Emma, similar to iContact and Constant Contact. They have been very good for us and I would recommend them. They have an impressive client list and their support is top-notch.
    However, I admit that the reason I am here at all is that I am looking for a replacement that we can install into our WordPress site to do basically the same thing. Why pay a monthly fee if you can pay a one-time fee, or better yet… get it open-source for gratis? I am going to look into Subscribe2 and Shift This WordPress Newsletter Plugin as a result of reading this post.

  37. Raymond
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I tried to install this and it installed quickly. And I am still customizing the plugin. Thank you for this.

    Beside Constant Contact, there are two companies i think are very good: Return Path and Habeus. MSN uses Return Path for all their mailing platform.

  38. bernieschmidt
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, could you check the links on your email plug-in page? 3 go to 404s

    • Posted February 10, 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I have checked them. If you could be more specific, I can track down the one you are having trouble with.

  39. Posted February 27, 2009 at 1:23 am | Permalink


    Great and clear text, nice explanations. I love it.

    But, help me. I no nothing on blog keeping, but I need to establish cooperation between about 100 members of a magazine editor’s board. It should be a private (closed) blog, where each of members contributes with his/hers article, and all other members should know the article is published, give their comment, and afterwards I get the “cleaned” text to publish in paper issue.

    Can you (or anybody else) point me to a similar solution, or suggest where to start?

    Thanks in advance,
    Zoran Knezevic,
    Belgrade, Serbia

    • Posted February 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Set up a “closed” private WordPress blog. The setup will ask you if you want it to be private. Get a WordPress Plugin that sends email alerts when a post is published. Give all on the mailing list a password for access. That’s it.

  40. Aline Ohannessian
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Hope this finds you in positive Light!
    I came across this site about a year ago, and might i add it was incredibly helpful!
    And i just stumbled upon here again 🙂
    Yet again LOVING your fantabulous resources and great information!
    My appreciation for your awesomeness!! :o)

    Blessed Light,
    Aline @ArtWave

  41. Posted March 21, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Great post! Very useful 🙂

  42. fooBar
    Posted April 29, 2009 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Hello,is there a list about wp mailing list plugin without 404?

    • Posted May 2, 2009 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      I don’t understand. A WordPress Mailing List Plugin without a page not found error? Did you find an error on this page? Most WordPress Plugins have been moved to the WordPress Plugin Directory. Check there. As for the issue you might be having with a specific Plugin, contact the Plugin author.

  43. Posted June 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

  44. Posted June 25, 2009 at 5:59 am | Permalink


  45. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 2:12 am | Permalink

  46. Shayne
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the process of customizing a blog for my sales team…I have stripped it of a lot of the extras because it’s going to be private and used by my sales team only – as such will be in a password protected directory on the host server. The point is not for it to be linked to or indexed or anything so the whole set of RSS tools are gone BUT at the same time I do want to have an email send out to the contributors/subscribers with updates of any new posts that are made. Are there any special recommendations you can make on how best to do this?

    • Posted July 21, 2009 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      I do not make recommendations on specific Plugins per request as each Plugin offers something a little different from the others. They are free. Try them and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, try a different one. There are lots of choices and Plugin authors are constantly updating them with new features.

  47. Tony
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Thanks for the great list.

    I was just wondering whether there’s a plugin that offers the feature where you can integrate an Autoresponder (ie RSS to Email ie the feature that use) with plugin? I’d like to offer a subscription fee based membership where my members receive blog posts via email but are charged to receive this content.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    • Posted November 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      There are such plugins available, though I haven’t personally worked with any of them. I believe aweber has one.

  48. Tony
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Thanks for this. Yes Aweber do have this feature but was wondering whether you’ve heard of any other company that offers the same?


    • Posted November 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      I’ve heard of many, but each service works differently. You need to use one that serves your needs. I don’t have any specifics to help you decide. Sorry. Good luck and let me know what you do choose so it might help others. Thanks.

  49. Posted December 13, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Contact the service directly, not any blogger who might have written on the subject. They are the only ones who can help you.

  50. Posted January 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I was looking for a good newsletter plugin and I went to get Shift This and the site is no longer valid 😦

  51. Posted January 29, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    this post is a blessing in disguise.. thank u so much..

  52. Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I was looking for some opt-in solution for wordpress. And i got this list. Awesome work.

  53. Patrick
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    What an extremely helpful site Lorelle. However I am not sure I can add a lot of what you suggest as I bought a blog package that has its own plugins but I am going to inquire whether I can add mailing list pour wordpress (French) as I live in France and it may well help.

    Thanks for the great advice.


    • Posted August 3, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure what you are asking, but I’m very sorry you spent money on any blogging package and its Plugins. The majority of them, including the best ones out there, are free. I fear you bought a bridge, if you understand the metaphor.

  54. Sophie Benshitta Mav
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Actually there are so many ways to skin a cat… Recently I have employed a 3-tier approach to subscribing my blog visitors, and it seems to be working. Several paid plugins I used. Good stuff.

    • Posted August 3, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your comment, however, I avoid endorsing paid Plugins or Themes on this site.

  55. Varouj Asdourian
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed your article. You do provide a lot of very valuable information for the novice just starting out.

  56. Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Hi, on my website, i have provided an option for people to register to use my free service. But after filling the username and email address, and completing the registration, NO mail is sent to them about their password. is there any plugin to use or maybe, i’ve done the wrong thing?

    • Posted August 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      You’ll have to ask in the WordPress Support Forums or the author of whatever Plugin you are using.

  57. Posted August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle.
    I am pretty new to wordpress, only used it for about 3 months, And I really like what you share her on wordpress “subscription” options. I also like your posts about plugins and wordpress themes.

  58. Posted September 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m Using WP-Responder and This is Not work. I’m still search what the best and still free or at no cost.

  59. Posted December 17, 2010 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Thanks so much for this post.You always provide valuable material!
    I just wanted to ask if there were videos on youtube or step-by-step non technical info on how to migrate from to have been struggling to do this for ages and need help.Im also considering contracting services,but do not know whom.

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Migration is really a couple step process. Sorry you are having problems. Simply export the posts and comments to a file on your computer. Switch to your new site, import them. Choose a Theme. You’re done. It’s THAT easy. There are helpful videos at, but it’s THAT easy. I watched a 13 year old with little computer experience do it in minutes. I was staggered. Usually takes me 10.

      What you do with your old blog is up to you. You can have it redirect, I think for a small fee, or delete it. Or leave it there and put a last post up that redirects people to your new site. That’s the hardest part of the whole procedure.

  60. Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Hello all,

    I need something that will allow the following capabilities for a type of business directory I’m building. So far, no luck, only subscribe to comments, not posts.

    Author will post a directory listing as a post. Subscribers can sign up, “like”, “watch” a listing and be notified of updates/changes.

    I have already found a way to notify the author at one year to update the post to keep the information fresh.

    I just need a way for people to subscribe per post and be notified when that post is updated.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks, E

    • Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I’m trying to understand your question. You want a WordPress Plugin that will let people “like” an article. There are tons of them. Use “Facebook” as a keyword to search.

      You want a WordPress Plugin to notify people if a post has been changed? Not sure I’ve heard of that. There are email notifications for when a post is published, those are probably the best as few update posts much after publishing.

      As for notifying authors to update their content, that’s a Plugin I’d love to hear about.

      I assume you are using BuddyPress to create this directory, and there are a ton of options with that.

  61. Posted January 13, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. I haven’t experimented with BuddyPress just yet.

    I found the option to notify to refresh a post with this plugin (still testing):
    Access Expiration

    It’s a workaround as all it would do would be to have the user login but the message will say that it is to update their post content.

    This is what I’m trying to do:
    Example: Post a résumé online (or business directory listing, whatever), password protect it, have someone have to link through to get it, and have the password.
    – Post views (easy)
    – Contact author through a form (easy)
    – Hide from search engines (easy)
    – Hide from RSS (not easy, there’s a flaw that allows password-protected posts to be streamed anyway, trying to lock it up through another plugin)
    – Have the visitors that have the password have the option to subscribe (like, watch, whatever) to the post/listing to be notified of any changes or updates by email
    – Have some kind of user-friendly panel for authors not so familiar with WP
    – Have them be able to view more detailed stats of only their posts (may be several, each having the same independent capabilities, so a subscriber to one post wouldn’t necessarily know about the author’s other posts)

    The idea is to control the contact (thus not being found in search engines) to see how much people respond to the invitation request

    A scenario for this is a person with multiple résumés (different specialties or skills). They don’t necessarily want a potential employer to go to LinkedIn as they would have one profile that may have nothing to do with the other tasks. For example, I have a client that is a psychologist and sees patients but is also a business consultant and sees businesses. She might keep her contact info and profiles separate from one another.

    • Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      There are a lot of business directory/LinkedIn-like services like this, so do some market research. I’m working on two similar projects right now, so you are not alone. I recommend you explore membership WordPress Plugins and BuddyPress and consider creating a blog network with WordPress, not a single installation. As for user-friendly panel, WordPress is as user-friendly as it gets. I’ve worked with projects where they tried to minimize the interface, and nothing was better than what WordPress does automatically with their user-level permissions, which you can adjust granularly with WordPress Plugins.

  62. Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I guess the main trick I am looking for is subscribe to post somehow rather than to comments.

  63. Michael Waddell
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Very helpful. I like the suggestion on comment #12 (Wibbler). However, it’s 3+ years later — I wonder how it’s working out for him. Also, since this post has staying power, is there any chance you’ll freshen it for 2011?

    • Posted January 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I have no current plans to do more than randomly update this at this moment. Things could change but this was part of a month long series and, unless the Plugins listed do harm, this is a great example of what was possible at that moment. 😀

  64. The Pam Quinn
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi there… Sorry if this has already been covered, but I had some trouble understanding the answers from the previous responses above.

    Anyway… I update my pages more than my posts and THAT’S what I want my subscribers to be emailed about. Instead they’re getting emails regarding every new POST. How do I change that?

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      This post is for those using the self-hosted version of WordPress, not

      If you are updating posts more often than pages, you might be abusing your Pages. I don’t know of a Plugin that notifies people of changes to Pages. They aren’t updated very often if used correctly. If you make a change to the content within them, consider publishing a post announcing the change.

  65. Sam
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Please, I need something similar to mashable’s ( subscription opt in. Any Ideas?

    • Posted February 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      I’m not familiar with it. There are tons of subscription Plugins. They are free. Poke ’em to find which one works the way you want.

  66. Inge
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    I love your site and excpetionally clear ways of explaining things. I am new to RSS Feeds, and WordPress really, and visit regularly if I get stuck and it always works. I am a bit stuck though on Newsletters and wondered if you can help. I would like people to be able to subscribe to a Newsletter, and the Newsletter to contain the content of the RSS Feed. This will save me writing a Newsletter every week and keep people up to date. I know, just like an RSS Feed, but I myself have never before ventured into RSS and am sure many of my audience wouldn’t dare either. It seems you have almost explained how to do it above, but somehow I can’t get how to make this work. I would be grateful for a quick hint

    • Posted February 25, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I haven’t explained how to do it. I’ve offered optional WordPress Plugins to try, finding one that meets your needs. These are all free and there are new ones now available to also experiment with.

  67. Posted March 12, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Thank you so much for your tips. I’m new to wordpress and your help is definetely good for a non-experienced user like me. I will follow you and be in touch. Thanks!

  68. Maya
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post and for all of the wonderful information! As a novice to this blog thing I am so appreciating your work in putting this together for us!!!

  69. Posted April 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Which plugin enables the “Notify me of site updates” button which you have on this site below the comment field?

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      That is a built in feature of The Subscribe to Comments WordPress Plugin alerts commenters to an update on new comments to that particular post. There are many different Plugins for email alerts and updates to choose from for new posts. Try them to see which one works for you.

  70. Greg Fleischaker
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    It looks like this page is a few years old so I may be late to the party, but I was looking for a few plugins that are still supported and working. Any suggestions? It looks like a few of the mentioned plugins above are no longer available.

    • Posted May 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      The article is designed to give you ideas of the possible, not a specific list of the only options available. Use the keywords for the plugin you need and search the WordPress Plugin Directory.

  71. Vicky
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    You had given load of information regarding list building at one place. I am looking for this solution for my newly build blog. Hope it surely helps me.

  72. Posted June 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    This is really good information. I will be using the subscribe2 widget on my wordpress site.

24 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  4. […] Then I read about PHPlist and its WordPress Plugin options at Email Mailing List Manager, which seemed to be the best option for me. Lorelle also reviewed some good mailing list and newsletter software. […]

  5. […] Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins […]

  6. […] Want a full list? […]

  7. […] articles, et pour d’autres de publier une “vraie” newsletter. Lorelle a fait un article complet (ENG) sur le sujet. Vous pourrez donc faire votre petit marché parmi les nombreuses […]

  8. […] Form WordPress Plugins As noted in Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins and WordPress Plugins for Comments from the month long series of WordPress Plugins, there are a lot […]

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  12. […] The plugin I use to send out emails through the membership website is Email Newsletter. […]

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  14. […] personally always called them “email alerts” because Lorelle said so a few years ago. Most of my past clients just used the term “automatic newsletter“, which makes a lot […]

  15. […] are many WordPress Plugins and Widgets to add this feature to your WordPress […]

  16. […] are many WordPress Plugins and Widgets to add this feature to your WordPress […]

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  21. […] For information on contacting registered users on your blog, see Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins. […]

  22. […] Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins […]

  23. […] Subscribe, Feeds, RSS, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins: Asking someone to “subscribe” to your blog used to mean signing them up on an email list. On a regular basis you would send out an email from that list with news about your site or blog encouraging them to return for a visit. – by Lorelle VanFossen –… […]

  24. […] personally always called them “email alerts” because Lorelle said so a few years ago. Most of my past clients just used the term “automatic newsletter“, which makes a lot of sense, […]

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