Frequently Asked Questions for NS Pro - Newsletter for Joomla!

Here you can find information about how to use NS Pro effectively, or how to solve common issues that may occur.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, you may want to search the NS Pro Forum, or contact me directly.

General Questions

In a few words, anything you may need for your newsletter in Joomla!

NS Pro offers the ability to create multiple, professional sign-up forms, with any required details, including hidden fields, like IP address.
Although, it can become anything you like, from a simple email-only sign-up form, to a complete newsletter solution, with newsletter campaigns, multiple mailing lists, thousands of subscribers and detailed sending statistics.

Read more in the NS Pro download page.

No. NS Pro is a Joomla! extension and can only be used within the Joomla! CMS.

That is very simple. You just login with your user account and navigate to Connect > My Purchases.

Please refer to the NS Pro download page, on the right.

Yes. Please refer in "Advanced Configuration", regarding Hidden Fields.

Yes. Most commonly, the front-end is translated. You can easily customize texts like "Thank you for subscribing", from component or module options. For a deeper and more complete translation, you should use the language ini files. More information available here.

No, by no means. NS Pro uses its own DB records.

Payment & License

You get unlimited usage on unlimited domains and websites. You get unlimited support (please read the Terms of Service for more information) and free updates for 1 year. After that, you may continue to use NS Pro as you did, but to be able to receive updates, you would have to renew your license.

When you download NS Pro, you get unlimited usage rights. That means you can install NS Pro on a friend's site, but they won't be able to receive direct support or updates, and you should not share the zip archive you download.

Well, that is because Mavrosxristoforos.com extensions are not developed and maintained by a large company, but rather by Christopher Mavros, the developer and owner of this website. That means no expensive equipment and no large facilities, which results in low-cost development, and thus, low-cost extensions.

Yes, of course! You can still use it without limits. Only, if you select not to pay the annual fee, you cannot get updates, but the existing NS Pro installation will still continue to work as it did.

Installation & Configuration

To install NS Pro, you follow the usual steps, as with installing any other Joomla! extension.

Navigate to Extensions > Extension Manager, and under the tab "Upload Package File", you select the zip archive you downloaded from Mavrosxristoforos.com, and click "Upload & Install".

Wait until the package file gets installed and you should see a completion message. You are ready to go.

What is great about NS Pro, is that it has no minimum configuration.

After installation, the first thing you may want to do, is enable the Subscribe form, by either creating a dedicated menu-item, or publishing the NS Pro module.

Another optional configuration you may want to enable, are the notifications. To do that, you just open the NS Pro Component Options, and change the "Admin Notification Email" to your email address.

Note: For NS Pro to be able to send any email, you must make sure that your Joomla! Mail Settings are correctly configured. For more information, please read the question below. 

NS Pro, as well as any other Joomla! extension that sends emails, requires that the Joomla! Mail Settings are properly configured. Those settings are found in your site's Global Configuration, under the Server tab.

Some servers allow the default settings (PHP Mail) to work just fine. Even though, it is better to use SMTP, according to your host directions for configuring an outgoing email client.

Yes! It is actually very easy. You just open the NS Pro Toolkit, and export a migration file from Tool #7.
You then import that file to the target NS Pro installation, and you are ready!

Please make sure to move any uploaded files, like images or attachments.
Those must be migrated manually.

Sure! To find out the correct format to use in your file, you should navigate to the Subscription Manager, on the bottom, where you can find links named "Click for Import Example", next to each accepted formats. At the moment, you can import from Comma Separated Values files (saved as txt or csv), and from the Newsletter Subscriber (free) mailing list files.

Extension Usage

No. NS Pro can be used in unlimited sites and domains, with unlimited DB records. Enjoy ;)

Either by creating a NS Pro module, or by creating a NS Pro Subscribe Form menu-item. For more information on how to customize the form, change texts and more, please refer to the NS Pro help, found in all NS Pro administrator views.

Sure. NS Pro has a special Tool for that. In the NS Pro Toolkit, you can use Tool #3 to send your newsletter to an email address and see how it looks..

That is called "Email Throttling". NS Pro does that in a very simple way.
Each time you select a newsletter and click "Send" (or each time your site is triggered for auto sending), NS Pro will send each newsletter, a fixed number of times.
That number is called "Emails Per Send", and you write it for each newsletter, in the Newsletter Edit page.

If you have no such limits, you can write "0", and NS Pro will try to send, until it sends to all the subscribers assigned to this newsletter, with the mailing lists and the sending filters.

To send the newsletter to all the subscribers, while having an email sending limit, you will have to select the Newsletter and click "Send", depending on your server rules. NS Pro will start sending from where it stopped.
That process can be automated, if you configure newsletter scheduling
(See Advanced Configuration).
Note: If you have 500 emails per hour as the limit, you should write 250 or less as the "Emails Per Send" when using newsletter scheduling, because the sending is triggered twice per hour.

Yes. And since version 2.1, this is done automatically.

You simply have to create a newsletter that has no mailing list selected. It will be sent to all subscribers.

NS Pro offers the following features for Newsletters:

HTML Templates, so that you don't need to re-create your newsletter from scratch, every time.
You can create HTML Templates from the HTML Templates Manager view, and apply them when editing a newsletter.
If you cannot apply a template, please refer to the Common Problems section.

Newsletter Attachments. Attach your own files to the newsletter. You can also re-define the allowed file-types, in the Component Options.

Newsletter Smart Text (Key Tags): You can personalize your newsletter by writing smart text like {subscriber_name} and many others.
You can include modules, full articles, article titles, article intro texts, automatic links to many NS Pro features, and a random inclusion feature, which allows you to send some content of the newsletter to a random percentage of the recipients.

Advanced Configuration

Yes. You can do that, by using the "Fixed List IDs" option of the menu item and the module. In the "Multiple Lists Appearance Options", you should select "Use Fixed List IDs" and the new subscribers will be automatically added to the lists with the (comma-separated) IDs you write.

Yes. You should write the IDs of the lists you want to be checked by default in the "Fixed List IDs" option of either the menu item or the module.
Note: The IDs should be comma-separated (e.g. 1,2,3)
Then, you should select "Use Fixed List IDs as Default Checked" as the value for the option called "Multiple Lists Appearance Options"

Yes. Just use the "Mass Assign to List" tool (Tool #6) in the NS Pro Toolkit.
Note: If you have more than 3000 subscribers, those are not shown in the toolkit, for faster loading.
To load them all, just add &special=loadallsubs to the URL. (e.g. yoursite.com/ administrator/index.php? option=com_nspro&view=toolkit &special=loadallsubs

Yes. NS Pro offers that option. The following types are available at the moment:

  • Simple Text Inputs
  • Large Text Areas
  • Boolean Fields (True / False)
  • Radio Buttons
  • Checkboxes
  • DropDown Select Boxes
  • Multiple Selection DropDowns
  • Hidden Fields (for pre-defined or auto-calculated values)

Yes. You can select which of the extra fields created to show, by using the "Fixed Field IDs" of the menu item and the module.

Yes. You can create an extra field of type "Hidden" and set its "Values" to any of the following:

  • #subscriber_ip#
  • #page_url#
  • #web_browser#
  • #operating_system#

Note: The hashes (#) should be included, exactly as shown here.

Yes. Each field has a "Validation Regular Expression" option. You can write your own regular expression, or if you don't know what that is, you can write one of the following pre-defined values:

  • #email#
  • #us_state_code#
  • #us_zip_code#
  • #canada_postal_code#
  • #uk_postal_code#
  • #north_america_phone#
  • #ip_address#

It is quite simple. All you need is a "Cron Job Key". You can get that key from the Cron Job Key Generator page.

Your site is added to the Mavrosxristoforos.com site trigger list, and it will be triggered twice per hour, to send any scheduled newsletters, or check for bounced emails.

If you want to use your own server's cron job, you may download the NS Pro Trigger script, and select to "Only Generate Key" from the generator page.

Well, that is exactly the same as configuring an Email Client for incoming emails. You should use your host's options for connecting with IMAP or POP, in the NS Pro Component Options, in the section for "Bounce Checks".

After configuring that, there are two ways to check for Bounced Emails (Bounces in short). You can either check manually, by clicking the "Check for Bounces" button in the Subscription Manager, or you can enable "Automatic Bounce Handling" in the Component Options.
Note: For this option to work, you need to have a Cron Job Key. Details on how to get that key, are described in the question above, regarding newsletter scheduling.

Common Problems

Please configure your Joomla! Mail Settings. For more information on how to do that, please refer to the "Installation & Configuration" section, at question "How to configure my Joomla! Mail Settings".
Note: If your site is sending emails, but NS Pro is not sending, please check if you set the same email address as the Sender Email Address in both the Joomla! Mail Settings, and the NS Pro newsletters. Some servers may not allow different configuration. If it still doesn't work, please contact me.

This is normally produced when an email from address is not correct, or a recipient address is not correct. It may also happen if you are have configured your Joomla! Mail Settings to appear to be sent from your "Gmail" account, or similar, while you are using your website address to connect to SMTP. Some servers do not allow that.

This error is recorded in the error_report.txt file in the administrator/components/ com_nspro/ directory. Right after the Newsletter ID, you can see the Subscriber Email at which the system stopped sending. It might be an empty or invalid subscriber email address, imported directly to NS Pro (because the Subscribe form does not allow that). To easily find out which subscriber is erroneous, go to the Newsletter Manager and see the Newsletter Sending Progress. The Last ID means the last Subscriber ID, to which the newsletter was successfully sent. Find that ID in the Subscriber Manager, and you should easily spot the issue. After solving it, you may continue sending, and NS Pro will start from where it stopped.

That is most commonly an issue with directory permissions. You should make sure that both the components/com_nspro/uploads and administrator/components/ com_nspro/uploads directory permissions comply with the suggested permissions from Joomla!

In the vast majority of cases, NS Pro can do little or nothing for that. The HTML content of a Newsletter is saved by your editor, directly to the database. NS Pro does include some transformations to show your newsletter background images both in the editor and the email clients correctly. The rest of the content remains untouched.

Please make sure that you don't use spaces in your image URLs. You should keep in mind that certain email clients have VERY STRICT HTML and CSS rules. Including stylesheet files, javascript, even css backgrounds are not supported. Please search online for How to Create HTML Newsletters or HTML Email Sending and you can find a variety of ways you should style your newsletter.
Short suggestion: Use lots of html tables, and stick with background colors and images placed in img tags!

This problem is simple. NS Pro displays only "sent" newsletters in the front-end. While a newsletter is in the sending process, it remains in the "Pending" status. After the newsletter is sent to all the subscribers, to which it is assigned, it will appear normally.

This is a usual problem, created by editors that include Javascript code, not using the way that TinyMCE does. To solve this, please open the Component Options and switch the "Editor Compatibility Mode" to "No Quotes".

This is just a security option, which disables such sensitive views by default. Please go to the NS Pro Component Options and under the tab "Optional Features", you can enable either or both of these views.