Some of Subscribe2 settings for email notifications

As you may know,  the Subscription Option WordPress plug-in as a great way to feed out your blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and email. You can follow this link to see more information on this plug-in, and see how it generates configurable icons in your sidebar that allow users to subscribe to your posts.

This post will focus on Subscribe2, a plug-in which also manages subscriptions, and can be conveniently configured to notify subscribers to a blog via email when new content is posted.

Installation and configuration is managed by blog admins. Here are the steps:

1. Activate Subscribe2 like any other WordPress plug-in.

2. Go to your WordPress Dashboard and find the Subscribe2 under the “Settings” tab. Here you will find a variety of settings that handle various occurrences, including new subscribers, new posts, new pages, and un-subscribers. Subscribe2 provides granular control of each of these events for both the admin and the subscriber.

3. Email templates: This step lets you control the text within the emails that will be auto generated and sent, depending upon admin settings and user profiles. There are three types: New Post email, Subscribe/Unsubscribe email, and Reminder email. Admins can control what the email says, and provide additional information from “message substitutions” words – symbols which are auto-rendered when the email is sent. See example of a Subscribe2 template, below.

Subscribe2 template announcing new content

4. Configure Widgets (optional) – Subscribe2 has two widgets which may be enabled on the “Settings” tab.

Subscribe2 Widget provides non-subscribers a convenient form to type in an email address and click “Subscribe.” A confirmation email is sent, and a click on the url is all that is required to begin the subscription. This option is available to both members and non-members of the Commons. But only group blog members may manage their profiles via the provided url.

Subscribe2 Counter simply displays the current number of subscribers to the blog.

If you want to conveniently manage how subscribers to your blog get notified of new content, check out this robust and highly-configurable plugin.

More Subscribe2 settings


The Subscription Options plug-in is available to all Commons members from the dashboard of their blogs (just click on “Plugins” in the left-hand menu and search for “subscription options”). The plugin will help you create icons like this, which can be placed in the sidebar of your blog to give your readers various ways to subscribe to your blog.

The buttons there connect to 1) The blog RSS feed, which readers can subscribe to through their favorite RSS Reader; 2) An email notification option (more about this below); 3) A link to a blog twitter account (more about this below) 4) A link to a Facebook page (ours is a little out of date!).

Once you’ve activated the plugin, follow the directions on the plugin installation page under “setup” to add the widget to the sidebar of your blog and configure the settings.

Note that the email subscription option uses Google’s Feedburner to send out posts by email. You’ll have to set up an account on Feedburner to make this work, but it’s worth your time: Feedburner offers not just subscription options, but also statistical analysis and many other ways of connecting to your readers. Also nice is the fact that it sends out full posts via email. Also, once you’ve set up your account with google, the process of signing up is easy for your subscribers — they just need to click on the email icon, enter their address, and confirm it via email. After that, they’ll receive a daily digest email on every day that new content is posted to the blog. If you have questions about the setup process, check out Google’s Feedburner Email Subscription Help Page.

The options in the Subscription Options plugin allow one to control the size of the icons in the sidebar, which is a nice feature. I like the fact the the icons are big and bright, though I’ve resized them to 50 pixels on this and other blogs.