Now that your copy of MT-Notifier is installed and the settings are configured, you need to create some subscriptions. There are three ways to do this.
- #1: Use the itemset action menus inside of Movable Type.
Every list of items in Movable Type (for instance, entries) is called an itemset. Along with this itemset, you'll see a list of available actions in a drop-down control, from which you can select an action to perform on selected items. In this case, you can choose to Add Subscription(s), Add Subscription Block(s) or View Subscription Count(s). Each of these is fairly self explanatory. Just select items from the list by clicking, then choose the item from the menu and click Go. Your selection will apply to every item you have chosen.
For the first two selections (Add Subscription(s) and Add Subscription Block(s)), you will be presented with another screen that allows you to add names (for adding subcriptions or adding subscription blocks). The third option provides you with a quick count of the number of subscriptions and subscription blocks for the selected items. Keep in mind, however, that if you run this last item across blogs, it may have to process a large amount of data - so it may take a while!
- #2: Create a standalone subscription form.
To allow users to subscribe without you having to create subscriptions for them, you can simply add an HTML form to your pages. Just make sure you create it outside of any other forms that you have (including any comment forms). The form should look something like this:
<div class="widget-subscribe widget">
<h3 class="widget-header">Subscribe to Blog</h3>
<form method="get" action="<$mt:CGIPath$><$mt:CommentScript$>">
<input type="hidden" name="__mode" value="verify_subs" />
<input type="hidden" name="blog_id" value="<$mt:BlogID$>" />
<input id="email" name="email" size="16" />
<input type="submit" class="button" value="Go" />
Please note that this form varies slightly from prior releases - both in that it's now calling the Movable Type script (rather than mt-notifier.cgi) and the HTML elements are named differently, to fit in with the default MT4 templates. The parameters have changed slightly too. I'm sorry for the change, but it was necessary due to the changes in MT4.
Once you have added this form to the page, users can subscribe to be notified of new entries that are posted on your site. To allow your users to subscribe to a category instead of the entire blog, specify a field name of category_id (with a valid category ID) instead of blog_id, and to provide an entry subscription, replace blog_id with entry_id (and use <$MTEntryID$>).
Because there is no category ID tag within an entry, MT-Notifier includes a template tag for use in your templates called <$mt:NotifierCatID$> that you can use to fill in this field automatically, easily providing a "subscribe to this category" function if you so desire.
In MT-Notifier version four, you can visit the blog settings page (Preferences -> Plugins -> MT-Notifier -> Settings) and have MT-Notifier automatically create this widget for you. Then you can use the widget in a Widget Set or an <$mt:Include$>. Try it out, it's easy!
- #3: Add a checkbox to your comment form for those leaving a comment.
This is the simplest change, but it requires that someone leave a comment. Just go into your template that contains your comment form and add this HTML:
<p><label for="subscribe">Subscribe to This Entry:</label>
<input type="checkbox" name="subscribe" value="1" /></p>
Once you have added this checkbox to your comment form, then anyone leaving a comment on your blog just needs to check the box and they will automatically be notified of any comments that are left.
Note that this is good for comment notifications only, where the first example of using the itemset action menu, and the second example of using a standalone HTML form, were good for entry notifications as well. You cannot use the comment form method for entry notifications!
If you wish to allow users to subscribe to comments on an entry without having to leave a comment, you can do so by creating a standalone form as described above and then replacing blog_id in the example with entry_id and inserting a valid entry ID (likely using the <$MTEntryID$> template tag).
Should you encounter any problems creating your subscriptions, you might want to visit the Troubleshooting Forms page.
Though prior releases of MT-Notifier have almost always had some sort of management function, until now, it has just about always had some shortcomings.
From the very earliest editions of the software, where you were hampered by seemingly endless drop-down lists, to recent versions where the search was available but it didn't work, there was always something that just didn't feel right. No longer.
In version 4.1.0, MT-Notifier has been completely reworked so that every aspect of the management interface feels like a native application. Scroll through your subscribers by pages, edit-in-place, search using the quick search function, even filter your search by date and use the search-and-replace function! In this latest release, the IP address has also been exposed through the search function so that you can easily find - and act upon - any of the records in your blog.
Perhaps the most exciting development is the ability to use the quick search (the box in the upper right corner of the screen) and the native search function for your subscriptions. Have thousands of subscribers, and don't feel like paging through them to find the one you need? Have to figure out which IP address is causing you headaches and can't dig through the database? MT-Notifier to the rescue!
Now you can use the quick search box to quickly pull up results from your database, and the full-blown search will allow you to search on the email address or IP address of all your subscribers. Even better, you can filter your search by a date range, and even perform search-and-replace on the data, just like you can on many other native Movable Type searches, making MT-Notifier an even more important part of your toolkit!
This makes all of your subscribers available from the familiar Manage screen (Manage -> Subscribers) or the Search screen, making subscriber management easier than ever!
Return to the MT-Notifier installation guide.