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NS Pro FAQ

Common NS Pro Questions. This article is separated in functionality sections, highlighted with larger fonts.
Click on each question to show the answer.
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General


Question 1. What can I do in NS Pro?

Answer: You can manage your mailing lists, subscribers and newsletters in an easy and straightforward way.
NS Pro is designed with simplicity in mind. There are no hidden configurations, or complex categories.
1.
NS Pro can be useful for any user, from a total newbie in the Joomla! environment, to a multiple list/newsletter administrator.
NS Pro can produce complex forms with additional, even hidden fields, but can also be as simple as a Name/Email form with a button.


Question 2. What statistics does NS Pro provide?

Answer: You can see a "confirmed" vs "unconfirmed" subscribers pie, a subscription chart with dates and counts and
also a pie for "Opened Emails" to see which of your newsletters was mostly opened, and an "email opening" chart, consisting
of unique openings, which means how many email addresses opened the newsletter, and total openings, which means
how many times was the newsletter opened, in total.
You can filter these charts to see specific data.


Question 3. Does NS Pro provide Bounced Email Handling, and how is this configured?

Answer: Yes. NS Pro provides bounced email handling, by connecting to an email account and searching through emails for bounces.
To configure it, you use the Component Options found in all the back-end views (with a button named Preferences or Options) and complete
the required fields for an IMAP/POP3 connection. It is strongly suggested that you use a dedicated email account for bounces.
For setting up an IMAP/POP3 connection, you usually need to ask your host.
If you cannot understand your host's answer as to what goes where, please contact me using the Contact menu above.


Question 4. Do I have to buy NS Pro more than once? Are there any additional costs/payments after the initial purchase?

Answer: Definitely not. NS Pro can be used unlimited times, after paying for it, only once. Updates are free.
If although, you want to use NS Pro as a production solution, it would be nice of you to purchase for each client.
If you don't think so, you have every legal ability to use NS Pro as many times as you need, as long as you don't give it out.
That is, of course, to keep NS Pro updates free forever.


Question 5. How do I update NS Pro?

Answer: Easily. You should register at http://members.mavrosxristoforos.com with the email you used to purchase NS Pro, and you can download the latest version. Once you get the latest version, the files are named the same, as with the first time you downloaded. Just install over com_nspro.zip, mod_newsletter_subscriber_pro.zip and newsletter_subscriber_pro.zip and you are done.


Question 6. What additional features can be found in NS Pro?

Answer: NS Pro has a built in Forward To Friend feature. It can be accessed by using Smart Text in Newsletters. For more information in Smart Texts, please see the Newsletter section.
Moreover, NS Pro has a Scheduled Newsletter Sending feature. This is also discussed on the Newsletter section below.
Within all the competitive features you need, NS Pro can provide you an easy solution, that you can easily teach to your client.
User experiences mention "The client sent his first newsletter, 20 minutes after I bought NS Pro". True story.


Question 7. Why does NS Pro cost 15 euros, while the closest extension with half the features costs 30 euros?

Answer: Because NS Pro is developed and maintained by one person, me, Christopher Mavros.
NS Pro is not the product of a big industrial company with big departments and cutting edge facilities.
NS Pro is a smart purchase. You can save money by purchasing this extension, because it is effective, cheap
and constantly upgraded. Clients dating back to May 2009 still get the latest NS Pro releases, without paying an extra cent!


Question 8. How can I trust NS Pro?

Answer: NS Pro has proven its stable and reliable nature. The JED Team clearly mentioned that NS Pro is the most honestly reviewed extension. No fake reviews or votes. NS Pro was the #1 top rated JED extension for more than two weeks, in a row. It is still on the first page of Top Rated Joomla extensions!


Question 9. What is the support provided with NS Pro?

Answer: NS Pro has priority support over free extensions. Many clients are supported every day, even in issues not caused by NS Pro.


Question 10. My country's laws require Subscriber IPs to be recorded. Can NS Pro handle that?

Answer: Sure it can. Please see Question 3 in the Extra Fields section.


Question 11. Is NS Pro compatible to Joomla 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 and 2.5?

Answer: Yes, it is.



Installation / Configuration


Question 1. How to install NS Pro?

Answer: When you download NS Pro, you get a .rar archive. That is not directly installable to Joomla. You should extract it first. For help on how to extract a rar archive, please see Question 2 in this section. Once extracted, you will get a directory called NS Pro, containing 4 files. Please upload and install com_nspro.zip, mod_newsletter_subscriber_pro.zip, newsletter_subscriber_pro.zip to Joomla, and you are done.
That is all with installing NS Pro.


Question 2. How to extract a rar archive?

Answer: You should download WinRar or 7-zip (which is free), if you are using Windows, or the Unarchiver if you are using Mac. Once you install either of these programs, you can right click on the file you downloaded from Mavrosxristoforos.com and extract.


Question 3. What is the minimum configuration required?

Answer: Quick configuration is the easiest thing to do in NS Pro. As long as your Joomla Mail Settings are configured (see Question #4), you should only write your email address in the Module and Plugin parameters.


Question 4. What are the Joomla Mail Settings and how should I configure them?

Answer: The Joomla Mail Settings is the means used by Joomla to send your email. The default configuration (PHP Mail) might work in some servers, but others need you to write the SMTP connection details of an account in these fields. You should send an email to your host asking about SMTP connection details, like SMTP port, Security, username format, etc. If you find it hard to understand what you should fill in these fields, you can send me an email with your host's reply.


Question 5. Bounced Email Handling Configuration

Answer: Please see Question 3 in General Section and Question 7 in Subscribers section.


Question 6. How to get a Cron Job Key?

Answer: Please see Question 3 in the Newsletters Section.


Question 7. Is it easy to translate NS Pro? How can I do that?

Answer: It depends on the depth of the translation. NS Pro uses 2 kinds of translation. First of all, it comes with 11 pre-installed languages. Then, some common texts like "Thank you" messages or common error texts can be customized in the module / plugin parameters.
The Confirmation Message's Subject and Body are configured in the back-end Component Options, accessed by the Preferences or Options button in the administrator views. If your site is multi-language, or your language is not within the NS Pro pre-installed languages, translating these texts uses the native Joomla "language ini files" method. For more information, please read this article about language ini files



Subscribers


Question 1. Are there any restrictions with subscribers in NS Pro?

Answer: No. You can create as many subscribers as you want.


Question 2. What are the supported import formats?

Answer: NS Pro accepts two formats. The Comma Separated Values
(CSV format, either saved in a CSV or in TXT file) and the NS format, from the free module/plugin.
The CSV format is simple. The separator is the semi-colon by default (;) and the format is as follows:

Name;Email;Date and time;Confirmed;Mailing Lists; ( and possibly extra fields... )

Example:

Christopher Mavros;mavrosxristoforos@gmail.com;2011-08-17 21:34;True;1,2,3;

Explanation:

In red, the Name and Email.
In sky blue, the date-time and confirmed,
an in light green, the mailing list ids, separated with commas (,).


Question 3. Does NS Pro migrate subscribers from 1.5 to 1.6, 1.7, 2.5 and vice versa?

Answer: It surely does, with the click of a button. You can use the "Migration Tool", Tool #7 in the toolkit, to export and import all the data contained in NS Pro.


Question 4. Are NS Pro subscribers connected to Joomla Users?

Answer: No, they are not, in any way.


Question 5. Imported the file. Message said "### subscribers added" and no subscribers are visible.

Answer: There is a problem with the file format. Please see question 2, and make the file like that. If you cannot see where the problem might be, please contact me, using the Contact menu above.


Question 6. Which ways are there to collect subscribers?

Answer: You can import subscribers, either from files or from the Joomla users. You can show the "Subscribe" form in an article, using the plugin. You can show the "Subscribe" form in a module position, and you can add iframes in other sites with this link as the source yoursite.com/index.php?option=com_nspro&tmpl=component
Note: If you have an old list that you would like to import, just in case there are live emails, you can do so, but import them as "Not Confirmed".
Then, use the "Re-Send Confirmation" button to send them confirmation messages. Only live email recipients will take action to confirm their emails, and dead accounts will be handled by the bounced email handling system.


Question 7. How do I set up an automatic bounced email check?

Answer: You need to turn "Automatic Bounce Handling" to Yes, in the Component Options and make sure you have a Cron Job Key.
For more information about the Cron Job Key, see Question 3 of the Newsletter section.



Newsletters


Question 1. Are there any restrictions with newsletters in NS Pro?

Answer: No, not at all. Same with subscribers, you can create as many newsletters as you want.


Question 2. Does NS Pro support email throttling to overcome server limits, and how is this configured?

Answer: Yes. NS Pro has email throttling designs. You write the number of emails you would like to send in every sending session, in the
"Emails Per Send" value of the Newsletter.

Example: Your server limits email sending to 500 per hour. You have two options:

1. Manual Sending (and)
2. Automatic, Scheduled Sending

In option 1, you write 500 in the Emails Per Send field, and click send. In an hour you come back and click send again. NS Pro starts from where it stopped and as such, you never send an email twice. The process is repeated until you send the newsletter to all your subscribers.

In option 2, you write 250 in the Emails Per Send field, and schedule the newsletter to be sent, by setting it to "Scheduled Sending" and providing the date and time to be sent. Mavrosxristoforos.com will trigger your website's NS Pro sending every half an hour, and all your sendings will be done with, soon, without further attention. *Note: To use the scheduled sending, you need a Cron Job key, discussed in Question 3, below.


Question 3. What is a Cron Job key and where do I get one?

Answer: A Cron Job key is a 16-digit number produced by this page: http://demo.mavrosxristoforos.com/obtainkey.php
You should write this key in your website's Component Options, accessed by the Preferences or Options button in any back-end view.
This key is used to verify your product's authenticity, and trigger NS Pro sending and Automatic Bounce Check.
Of course, the script to trigger NS Pro sending can be shared with you, if you have the knowledge to set up a cron on your own server.


Question 4. Does NS Pro support attachments like PDF or DOC files in Newsletters?

Answer: Yes. It certainly does. You cannot attach a newsletter to a new newsletter. Once you save a newsletter and click to "Edit" it, you will be able to see the Attachment upload form below the message area, at the end of the screen. Allowed file types can be changed in the Component Options, accessed by the Preferences or Options button in any back-end view.


Question 5. Does NS Pro support HTML Newsletter Templates?

Answer: Yes. You can add html templates, in the "HTML Templates" administrator view. NS Pro does not handle image uploading. You can do that by using the Joomla Media Manager, FTP, cPanel, or any other file transfer means implemented by your server.


Question 6. My newsletter looks weird in certain email clients. Has NS Pro anything to do with that?

Answer: In the vast majority of cases, no. The HTML content of a Newsletter is saved by your editor, directly to the NS Pro database. You should keep in mind that certain email clients have VERY STRICT HTML and CSS rules. Including stylesheet files, javascript code, even css backgrounds are not supported.
You should search online for Create HTML Newsletters or HTML Email Sending and you can find a big variety of ways you should create a newsletter.
Short suggestion: Use a lot of html tables, and stick with background colors and images placed in img tags!


Question 7. What is the Newsletter Smart Text?

Answer: In NS Pro newsletters, you can write certain keywords to produce dynamic content in your newsletter. An exhaustive list of Smart Texts can be found right above the Message textarea, while editing a newsletter. In a short notice, NS Pro supports One Click Unsubscribe links, Forward to Friend links, Edit Mailing Lists links, Edit Subscription links, Subscriber Data, like Name and Email and also Randomly Displayed Content, like content only sent with a percentage probability to subscribers, randomly selected. That is an excellent way to include a Winner COUPON image, for only lucky subscribers, with honesty!

Moreover, you can include joomla articles, joomla article titles and even site modules. In the next versions to come, Virtuemart items will be included, as well as a variety of other components' data. If you would like to suggest a component to be included, please do so, by contacting me using the Contact menu above.


Question 8. How to apply a HTML template on a newsletter?

Answer: While this might change in the next versions, at the moment, you should create a new newsletter, save it and then edit it again to be able to apply HTML Templates.


Question 9. What is the average sending speed of NS Pro newsletters?

Answer: On a local SMTP server, with an average size newsletter that might be 100 or more emails per minute.
If you have the means, NS Pro can adapt to massive newsletter sendings, keeping the same simple quick sending strategy.


Question 10. I just sent a newsletter. I clicked on the "Read online" link but there was an error message saying "No newsletters found".

Answer: NS Pro shows on the front-end only those emails that are marked as "Sent". You can get an email marked as "Sent" by assigning it to a list with just one user - you - and click send. This way, you can keep sending and the newsletter still appears as "Sent".


Question 11. I sent a newsletter recently, but I got new subscribers that I would like to send it to, without sending to the whole list again. What should I do?

Answer: You can click "Send" right away. If you do not click the "Clear Sending Status" button, NS Pro will start sending from where it left, even if it is marked as "Sent".


Question 12. Can I edit Newsletters on the Front-end?

Answer: Not yet, but you soon will. This feature is requested, and marked for implementation, as soon as possible.


Question 13. How can I know that my newsletter has been opened?

Answer: By including the {img:black} or other colors Smart Text, you can include the newsletter in the Email Opening Statistics.
As soon as your email is opened, statistics will appear for your newsletter's ID.


Question 14. Can I send a newsletter to test subscribers, or to selected emails?

Answer: Sure you can. You have two options:

Option 1: You can use the Toolkit tools #3 and #4. Tool #3 can send a newsletter to an email address, even if it is not subscribed. Tool #4 can send to a list of hand-selected already registered subscribers. Note: The Tool #4 only loads 3000 subscribers. If you have more than that and would like to load it all in the Toolkit, copy and paste the link below:

yoursite.com/administrator/index.php?option=com_nspro&view=toolkit&special=loadallsubs

Your Option 2 is: to create a new mailing list and include all the subscribers you want. Then set the newsletter to send to that list only, and do not forget to "Clear Sending Status" if you have already sent the newsletter before.


Question 15. I do not have a HTML template, but I have created already created a Newsletter containg the HTML I want to use. Should I use the same record?

Answer: No. Just select the Newsletter and duplicate it. This way you can easily have the Newsletter format you want, and just need to change the content.


Question 16. How does NS Pro send newsletters?

Answer: NS Pro uses the default Joomla! JMail framework. In some rare occasions, servers did not allow sending the way Joomla! does. In those cases, we filed a claim with the clients against the server sending policies, that they are incompatible with Joomla! email sending. NS Pro has always won the case, since there is no host that wants to be incompatible with the system used by 5% of websites globally!!! For more information on configuring Joomla Mail Settings, see below, at Configuration Section.


Question 17. How to send a newsletter to all subscribers, even those who have no lists assigned?

Answer: NS Pro has the ability to work without mailing lists. To send a newsletter to all subscribers, just select no list at all. This will send the newsletter to all subscribers.


Question 18. How to send a newsletter to those subscribers who have no lists at all?

Answer: If you have no other subscribers assigned to lists, then NS Pro automatically does that, when sending a newsletter without list. If although, you have subscribers with lists, and you want to send only to those without mailing lists, you cannot do it. You should create a "No List" list and assign them to it using Toolkit Tool #6, Mass Assign to Mailing List.



Mailing Lists


Question 1. Does NS Pro have multiple mailing lists?

Answer: Yes, it does. NS Pro works well with either none, one or many mailing lists.


Question 2. Is there a limit on how many mailing lists I can have?

Answer: No. You can have as many mailing lists as you want.


Question 3. Can I have a hidden mailing list?

Answer: Yes. An un-published list can still be used in the back-end, properly.


Question 4. Can I have a user subscribe in a list without clicking the checkboxes in the "Subscribe" form?

Answer: Yes, you can. In the module and plugin parameters / fields, there is a field named Fixed Mailing List IDs.
You can select the action you would like NS Pro to do. You can either show all lists, show some selected lists, or even apply some mailing list ids to all subscribers without them choosing.
That is particularly useful when you want to separate your lists in languages, for example. You can set the fixed list ids to subscribe visitors to the English list when they see the English language of the site, and subscribe them to other language mailing lists in other parts of the website.


Question 5. I just imported a subscriber list. Can I massively assign them to a list?

Answer: Sure, you can. While you can do that by importing with the lists assigned, (see Question 2 of the Subscribers section), you can do it even after importing.
You should use Toolkit Tool #6, to massively select subscribers and assign the desired mailing list id.


Question 6. Can I have different mailing lists for different parts of the website?

Answer: Definitely. A nice example would be a tourism site with multiple cities. Each city has its own lists of course, let's say "City 1 Entertainment News", "City 1 Political News", as well as "City 2 Entertainment News" and "City 2 Political News".
You should create two NS Pro modules and assign, say, Module 1 to City 1 and Module 2 to City 2. Then using the Fixed List IDs, you select the Mailing Lists that correspond to each Website Part. Easy, isn't it?



Extra Fields


Question 1. Does NS Pro provide custom extra fields?

Answer: Yes, it does. NS Pro has many different types of Extra Fields.


Question 2. What kind of extra fields does NS Pro offer?

Answer: It offers 8 different types of custom fields:

  1. Inputboxes
  2. TextAreas
  3. Boolean Fields (True / False)
  4. Radio Buttons
  5. Checkboxes
  6. DropDown Select Boxes
  7. Multiple Selection DropDowns (and)
  8. Hidden Fields



Question 3. How can I add fields like Subscriber IP, Country, etc?

Answer: You should create new fields of type "Hidden". Then in the Initial Value, you should write one of the following available "smart" initial values:

  1. #subscriber_ip#
  2. #page_url#
  3. #web_browser#
  4. #operating_system#

Then, save. When a user subscribes, NS Pro will automatically collect the data you need.



Question 4. How can I add fields like emails, postal codes, telephones?

Answer: You should create new fields of type "Inputbox". Then in the Validation Regular Expression, you can write one of the following shortcuts:

  1. #email#
  2. #us_state_code#
  3. #us_zip_code#
  4. #canada_postal_code#
  5. #uk_postal_code#
  6. #north_america_phone#
  7. #ip_address#

Then, save. Now the field you saved will validate the data written into it, before letting the user susbcribe.




Common Errors


Question 1. Error: Could not instantiate mail function.

Answer: Please check Question 2 in Configuration section. This error is produced when your site cannot connect to send emails.


Question 2. Error: PHPMAILER_RECIPIENTS_FAILED.

Answer: This is normally produced when an email from address is not correct, or a recipient address is not correct. If you see this message after posting the "Subscribe" form, then please check the "Mail Recipient" and "Mail From" parameters, in either the module or the plugin, depending on which you use. If you saw this error after clicking on the confirmation link, please check your "Confirmation Notification Email" in the Component Options, accessed by the button Preferences or Options, in every NS Pro back-end view. In any other case, please contact me using the Contact menu above.


Question 3. Error: Error Sending Newsletter ID: #.

Answer: This error is recorded in the error_report.txt file in administrator/components/com_nspro/ directory. Right after the Newsletter ID, you can see the Subscriber Email with which the system stopped sending. It might be an empty subscriber email, probably imported from an incorrect file. To easily find out which subscriber has the empty email, go to the Newsletter Manager and see the Newsletter Sending Progress. The Last ID is the last Subscriber ID, to which the newsletter was sent. If you navigate in the Subscriber Manager until you see this ID on the left, you will be able to locate the empty Subscriber email.


Question 4. Blank page after submitting the "Subscribe" form.

Answer: To fix this error, go to the module or plugin parameters (depending on which you use) and turn the "Disable HTTPS" parameter to "Yes". If that doesn't work, then if you use a SEO component, please check that the URLs are correctly assigned.


Question 5. Error: Your subscription could not be completed

Answer: This error probably means that NS Pro was not able to send the confirmation message. The subscriber should be correctly inserted in the Subscribers table, but set as not confirmed. Please check the Mail From parameters for the Confirmation message, in the Component Options, accessed by the Preferences or Options button in the administrator views of NS Pro.


Question 6. Error: Email already exists. Please try again

Answer: This error can mean two things. Either the obvious part that is that your email address already exists in the table, and thus will not included again, or that the database tables were not correctly created. Please check that the DB user that your Joomla installation uses to connect to the Database has ALTER rights. If not, please grant the right to ALTER the db tables and install again.
Note: This logic might change in next versions. There have been requests to allow a user to subscribe again, and thus alter their mailing lists, or other fields.


Question 7. After installing, I get an error: Unknown Archive Type

Answer: This error means that you are uploading the downloaded rar file. Please see Question 1 in Installation / Configuration section.